something just popped up in my brain...
are there any commonly practiced and usefull (for self defence purposes) MA originating from northern or central europe?
the only one i can think of is Glima wrestling, but i can hardly see that used in self defence. anyone else know of any?
Greco-Roman wrestling, savate and boxing come to mind. There are some ARMA guys on here and at least one poster with Bartitsu in his style field.
There are basically two types of European martial arts.
The first category includes traditional living lineage styles such as savate (French kick boxing), la canne (French stick fighting), jogo do pau (Portuguese stick fighting), juego del palo (Canarian stick fighting), boxing, many forms of wrestling (Glima, Cumberland-Westmoreland, Scottish backhold, etc., etc.), Italian stick and knife fighting and so-on.
The second category includes much older styles that became extinct during earlier eras and which have been revived by study and pressure-testing of the detailed, illustrated books produced by historical masters of these styles. This category includes numerous forms of sword fighting (two handed sword, rapier fencing, etc.), various other weapons including staves, polearms and daggers, battlefield unarmed combat, etc. A sub-category of these "revived" styles includes more historically recent sports and self defense systems such as bare-knuckle boxing and Bartitsu.
If you just do a Google search using the terms "Western martial arts", "historical European martial arts", "historical swordsmanship" etc. you will find a huge wealth of info. online including numerous books, training manuals, instructional DVDs, schools and associations, forums etc.