@sbh: The video posted on the first page of this thread claims to show "shamshir" techniques.
Funny enough, the sword used is not a shamshir. The shamshir is a close relative of the scimitar. Its main distinctive feature is a strongly curved blade (sometimes more then 15 degrees from edge to hilt).
Even stranger is the fact that on close inspection many of the movements shown would be useless or even outright dangerous to the wielder, if he were wielding the long and heavily curved shamshir.
Can you explain this? Or ask your master to explain?
BTW: Here is an actual picture of a persian shamshir:
Here is a link with further info on the weapon and additional examples:
Its a sabre btw, not a broadsword as claimed in the video.
Last edited by kwan_dao; 3/19/2010 7:02am at .
That had always been my assumption, that Sonnon had repackaged Indian clubs (or call them Persian clubs, in context).
Originally Posted by Phrost
Back in military college my dad was using Indian clubs in their PE classes, and would also do the same routine with sabers, though with the latter it was practiced standing on a wooden box so you wouldn't accidentally smack the tip into the floor.
JKDChick: I'm sorry if anything I said seemed insulting; I'm just trying to have a civil discussion about Nabard.
I'm not sure what more one could want in terms of evidence for the claim that Nabard is Persian other than the fact that it was developed in Persia by a Persian. But I really think that the issue of the art's ethnic heritage is a red herring, since whether it is Persian or Floridian matters little to the merit of the discipline.
Regarding the prices. Your point is well taken. From what I can tell, there is a standard price (what I pay), and then some senior students may pay less because they have been with Safakhoo for many years and can't afford the standard price or they offer some service to the academy (such as running fitness classes or co-instructing combat classes). I've also seen him offer package deals for families. Standard prices (what a single, nonsenior student such as myself pays) now are $100/month for 8 martial arts classes per month + unlimited visits to log training classes. I go 12 times per month, so I pay around $160/month. Of course, expense is relative to one's financial situation, and I don't find this to be prohibitively expensive; moreover, these prices are competitive with the other martial arts academies around here.
Regarding the kicks and weights. My main claim was that the rigors of the training sometimes scare people away. Safakhoo is careful to monitor students so that risk of injury is minimized and if students have some injury or if they lack flexibility required for a drill, he works with them so that what they do is appropriate for their bodies. We aren't throwing our legs around with these weights, we are moving very deliberately and relatively slowly, attempting to build the muscles we engage in our kicks so that our legs can move more quickly. I don't claim this or any other regimen makes Nabard more rigorous than yours, JDK, nor am I saying that these rigors make Nabard cooler or better than the next, but if you go down the street to the family TKD place, it is a very different and, dare I say lighter, training. And I'm not poo-pooing that either. Different strokes for different folks; it is all in what you want to get out of your training, right?
Now, as far as whether Persian training should necessarily involve archery and such, I suppose that a fully comprehensive training in Persian martial practices spanning from antiquity to present would include that. Nabard does not, but the last I checked, Japanese martial arts don't include Kamikaze training or seppuku techniques. I wouldn't let our stereo-types of a culture infect our expectations of what should be included in that culture's martial disciplines.
I have to get going, but I hope to write more later. Again, JDKChick, I didn't mean any disrespect. A healthy skepticism regarding Nabard is, well, probably healthy, but I think that we should also be charitable when we are analyzing it. I was skeptical too when I started at the school (and for many of the reasons expressed by those who have posted on this thread), but I decided to give it a month to prove itself. Experiencing it is the way to put oneself in a position to assess it.
Regarding the query on log training. I can't really go into it right now because I have to get my car to the dealership for service, but you can go here and see if that answers your questions:
Also, one of the senior students maintains a blog. You'll have to scroll down a ways to get to some of his more substantive comments about Nabard, but he's a good source.
sbh, is the above typical of Nabard weapons training or technique? (Please explain how, if it is, or how not.)
Edit: Also, what about it is distinctly Persian?
Last edited by Eudemic; 3/19/2010 12:38pm at .
Originally Posted by JKDChick
Sorry JKD - as good as your other comments were, this just doesn't make sense. "Japanese martial arts" doesn't mean each art (JJ or Judo or Kendo, etc) include horsemanship or spear/yari kobudo, so why would Persian martial art mean that?
As for conscription and dying in large numbers, sadly that wasn't limited to the Persians, or to their time.
I'm not arguing that Nabard is or isn't a valid art, but this line of reasoning doesn't seem really productive.
Because using those tools was the major, EXCLUSIVE Persian method of making war for, you know, centuries. The Japanese are a bad analogy here: their hothouse warrior culture allowed for specific martial arts to develop and flourish for different reasons.
Originally Posted by Craig Jenkins
As an analogy, Roman "martial arts" would involve training in throwing a pila and stabbing people with gladius and very little else. The concept of regional "martial arts", outside of Asia, is really pretty modern.
I'm actually quite distressed that someone would pass off what looks like bad Kung Fu as a Persian art, because this will assist people in NOT LEARNING the magnificent achievements of the Persian Empire, but instead falling into a LARPing fervour over something fake.
And? Yes? When did I say it was? And the fact that most large armies in ancient times acted this way invalidates my statement how?
Originally Posted by Craig Jenkins
Yeah, this I can get behind as a statement. As I pointed out above, I simply find it distressing that people might assume this is some sort of ancient art. Though, in the end, I suppose we can't save every on this planet who won't freaking read a book.
Originally Posted by sbh
Thank you. I would consider that rate standard myself, but again might appear high to other people.
Originally Posted by sbh
Ah, this is not a sterotype. It's historical fact. The comment was made to point up any attempt to sell this as an "ancient art" is false. There are almost no ancient martial arts from the area or Europe other than wrestling, boxing and pankration. A Persian teaching Pankration (considered Greek) would actually be much much closer to teaching an ancient Persian art.
Originally Posted by sbh
Frankly, a case could be made for tagging an art based on the ethnicity of its instructor is racist. I'm not saying it is, but a case could be made that it's an attempt at exclusionary ethnic selection.
I see what you mean regarding shamshir. We do have shamshirs in the academy, so I don't know why the guy in the video isn't using one. These are fairly advanced techniques which area above my level, so I can't really speak to your comments except to say that senior students who receive shamshir techniques do use swords which would be properly classified as "shamshir." With each "line" the student learns a new weapon technique and non-weapon technique which must be mastered at a certain level of proficiency to move on to the next line (of which there are seven); however, I'll bet that if I asked the student I know who has been studying Nabard for over 20 years, he'd probably say he continues to learn new stuff even though he is familiar with the sequence of lines.
So, yes, to Eudemic: these weapons are part of the training.
I'm not going to make relative assessments of worth about various martial arts (I'm neither knowledgeable enough nor arrogant enough to do that), but I'd encourage anyone curious about Nabard who is in the Pensacola area to stop by and check it out and talk to Safakhoo. He's very friendly and willing to meet with people. Try a couple classes out. Persian or not, this school has been around for nearly 30 years. That kind of longevity would be inexplicable if the school were fraudulent or didn't have *something* going for it. That several of the students have been TKD and Karate instructors (people presumably in the know) as well as law enforcement and military personnel (people whose jobs require them to actually use survival strategies) I think also lends some credibility to Nabard.
One thing about the school that I find to be very uncommon is the non-competitive atmosphere and almost family-like camaraderie among the students and Safakhoo. We train together, spar each other, but also run together and it is very tight group. If you miss a class or two, you can be assured that someone will email or call you to make sure everything is ok. Senior students are always very helpful with beginners, often sacrificing their own time to explain techniques and their rationale. The academy is like a second home to many of us. When I began I was taken aback by the level of mutual respect and cooperation. Safakhoo has created an incredibly congenial place to train.
I admit I agree with your point about marketing the style as "ancient." What I think is going on here is partly an ambiguity in his use of the word 'Nabard', and I've mentioned this to him. In one sense 'nabard' does refer to ancient martial practices, but in another, it refers to Safakhoo's style, for which he adopts this Farsi word. I agree it can create some confusion. I think he named his art this to acknowledge the legacy from which he draws (either in inspiration or specific techniques) in formulating his art.
I'm not sure how it could be seen as racist to say it is Persian for the reasons I cited. I mean, Safakhoo doesn't find it objectionable to think of it in this way. But perhaps in other contexts reasoning in this way may be employed in an objectionable or racist way. But don't we call American cars 'American' because they are assembled and developed in the US by companies based in the US? May be this reasoning doesn't work in all contexts, but I'm just offering it up in the context of Nabard, Safakhoo, and his ethnicity. I'm not sure what else he'd have to do to make it *more* Persian (if that makes sense).
Since your training is hardcore, did your club produced any fighters? Do you compete?
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