Historical Fencing

The absence of judicial violence in Medieval and Early Modern North Africa

Compared to Medieval and Early Modern Europe, it seems dueling and violence in North Africa was heavily dismissed when it came to social reasons, to the suprise of many Medieval European onlookers. This was due to both Islamic practice of litigation and the legal system in relation to that. According to David Nicolle: Medieval European… Continue reading The absence of judicial violence in Medieval and Early Modern North Africa

Advertisements
Historical Fencing

A possible origin of drooping quillons in Islamic swords

Much corroded quillons and upper part of the blade of a sword from the province of Seville. The style is very similar to that of 10th century Western European weapons, and it has sometimes been described as a 'viking' type; but the written sources make it quite clear that Andalusian troops also used imported 'Frankish'… Continue reading A possible origin of drooping quillons in Islamic swords

Historical Fencing

What we can learn from Omani Sword and Buckler

The form of sword and buckler practiced in Oman show some historical similarities with Mamluk illustrations dating back to the Fatmid period and might be some sort of carry-on. The Mamluks occupied Yemen twice, in the 1100's and 1500's but, in any case, this might have it's origins in Arabic sword and Buckler in proximity… Continue reading What we can learn from Omani Sword and Buckler

Historical Fencing

The Kaskara: Not only Sudanese

The Kaskara sword design wasn't only limited to the Sudan, the design was also predominant in Ethiopia. Indeed, the term probably isn't even Sudanese but was either popularised by Richard Burton's Book of the Sword, from his travels in the Bagrimi, a Kingdom near lake Chad (in which the sword appears near the name and therefore… Continue reading The Kaskara: Not only Sudanese

Historical Fencing

Fencing in North Africa: Common fencing and Mamluk fencing

With North African Swordplay, there seems to be a difference between what would be called "common fencing" (sword-fighting that was commonly taught to everyone) and a more nuanced Mamluk style. It's difficult to tell the differences, other than what is in the treatises, but one noticeable difference, in the Mamulk tradition, is traversing footsteps compared… Continue reading Fencing in North Africa: Common fencing and Mamluk fencing

Historical Fencing

Inverting the wrist in North African Sabre

In the Mamluk tradition and in North Africa, inverting the wrist in the opposite direction before a cut seems to be common and is mentioned. Inverting the wrist is mentioned as a way of utilising an effective draw (similar to drawing the katana). This is evident in a lot of Middle Eastern Sabre traditions. This… Continue reading Inverting the wrist in North African Sabre

History

The people chosen to be Mamluk

It's often get questioned a lot about the validity of North Africa, especially with the Mamluks and it can be tricky; however the main body of Africa played a large part in a lot of cases. The era where Turkic peoples from the Caucasus form the elite guard isn't very long when it comes to… Continue reading The people chosen to be Mamluk

Historical Fencing

Historical African Martial Arts: Introductions and Issues

When people talk about Martial Arts, they will typically look to Asia and point to various Martial Arts like karate, Jujitsu, Kung Fu and Taekwondo. If one were to diverge from the cliché's, they could venture further to find Martial Arts like Savate (French Kickboxing) or Sambo (Russian Wrestling) which are more in-tune to people… Continue reading Historical African Martial Arts: Introductions and Issues

Historical Fencing

A brief History of Ethiopian Swords

Ethiopia: A Kingdom which existed for 800 years whose culture has existed since the time of ancient Egypt. With the existence of the Kingdom itself came blades of different types. This article will give a brief history of those blades. Before I begin, it's important to emphasise that the main type of weapon used by… Continue reading A brief History of Ethiopian Swords

Historical Fencing

The Flyssa – The long-Knife of the Maghreb

The Flyssa is relatively unknown in origin, however there are a  few clues we have which indicate where it came from and how it was used. The word itself comes from a group of Kabyle Bebrer, a confederation which nowadays inhabits the North of Algeria. As a result, due to proximity to the coast, these… Continue reading The Flyssa – The long-Knife of the Maghreb