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Michael Curl




Location: Northern California, US
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PostPosted: Fri 19 Jun, 2009 12:17 am    Post subject: Knowledge on middle eastern combat techniques and weapns         Reply with quote

While I know that there is little to nothing on the actual martial art of turkish/arab/persian warriors, I was wondering if there was any knowledge (or conjecture) on this at all. Or is thereany good information on the curved swords they used (shamshirs, saif, kiliji, etc.)
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Max W.




Location: South Germany
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PostPosted: Fri 19 Jun, 2009 1:08 am    Post subject: Re: Knowledge on middle eastern combat techniques and weapns         Reply with quote

Michael Curl wrote:
While I know that there is little to nothing on the actual martial art of turkish/arab/persian warriors


Are you sure? Considering that the middle east was partially far ahead in cultural achievements like medicine for example and great books were published back then (take a look at Avicenna / Abū Alī al-Husayn ibn Abdullāh ibn Sīnā), i'd be surprised if they hadn't written down their philosophy of warfare too.
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Michael Curl




Location: Northern California, US
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PostPosted: Fri 19 Jun, 2009 10:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

well I've seen this discussion before and It seems that despite the muslim literature that was produced at that time (quite a lot) they didn't make any fight books. It makes sense to me since in Europe you had large groups of mercenaries who would be trained in fight schools.
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Tibor Szebenyi




Location: Hungary
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PostPosted: Fri 19 Jun, 2009 2:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What about the mamluk military manuals? The "Munyatu'l-Guzat" is one of the best, most detailed medieval cavalry manual. The "Excellence of the bow and arrow" is one of the best eastern archery manual. There are several writings about wielding the lance, practicing with the sword, etc. The middle-eastern peoples wrote a lot of "fight books", indeed.
The elite core of the muslim armies were trained in "schools", like the mamluks, or janissaries.
Check out deremilitari.org for other articles about strategy, warfare...
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Sean Manning




Location: Austria
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PostPosted: Fri 19 Jun, 2009 6:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A guy named Manouchehr Khorasani is working on translations of martial arts manuals from medieval and early modern Iran. He also wrote the definitive book on Iranian weapons. He posts on SFI from time to time.

I remember hearing of manuals for mameluks from Egypt, but I've never run across one.
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Ole W.




Location: Norway
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PostPosted: Fri 19 Jun, 2009 8:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Knowledge on middle eastern combat techniques and weapns         Reply with quote

Max W. wrote:
Michael Curl wrote:
While I know that there is little to nothing on the actual martial art of turkish/arab/persian warriors


Are you sure? Considering that the middle east was partially far ahead in cultural achievements like medicine for example and great books were published back then (take a look at Avicenna / Abū Alī al-Husayn ibn Abdullāh ibn Sīnā), i'd be surprised if they hadn't written down their philosophy of warfare too.


Why write about topics of which you seem to have limited knowledge?

The Islamic golden age was wholly dependant upon Greek European science. The middle east was not ever "far ahead", as you seem to imply. Rather, the Islamic empires absorbed European knowledge to their own advantage, in some cases preserving it until it could be rediscovered by Europe during the renaissance. If muslims had not burned the library of Alexandria, the modern world would perhaps look quite different Happy
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Bennison N




Location: Auckland, New Zealand
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PostPosted: Sat 20 Jun, 2009 1:30 am    Post subject: Re: Knowledge on middle eastern combat techniques and weapns         Reply with quote

Ole W. wrote:
The middle east was not ever "far ahead", as you seem to imply.


Well, yeah, except for the time when they invented agriculture... And the earliest numerical symbols. Can't do much in the way of mathematics without them...

I know... You were talking about Islamic Empires. But statements like "not ever"... well, you know...

"Never give a sword to a man who can't dance" - Confucius

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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Sat 20 Jun, 2009 2:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Manning wrote:
A guy named Manouchehr Khorasani is working on translations of martial arts manuals from medieval and early modern Iran. He also wrote the definitive book on Iranian weapons. He posts on SFI from time to time.

I remember hearing of manuals for mameluks from Egypt, but I've never run across one.


He's also a member here although he might have been too busy to post lately writing his new book.

His book mentioned on Iranian weapons is a massive and luxuriously illustrated book well worth the money ( it is expensive but at the top end as far as illustrations and photography. I have it by the way. Wink Big Grin )

Here is a link to information about the book:
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...manouchehr

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Max W.




Location: South Germany
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PostPosted: Sat 20 Jun, 2009 4:30 am    Post subject: Re: Knowledge on middle eastern combat techniques and weapns         Reply with quote

Ole W. wrote:

Why write about topics of which you seem to have limited knowledge?


That's not a very kind attitude, is it? Pay attention to the word "partially".


Last edited by Max W. on Sat 20 Jun, 2009 5:53 am; edited 1 time in total
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David Jenkins




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PostPosted: Sat 20 Jun, 2009 5:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I know this is getting a bit off topic but didn't christens burn the great library, not muslims.
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Tibor Szebenyi




Location: Hungary
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PostPosted: Sat 20 Jun, 2009 6:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Why write about topics of which you seem to have limited knowledge?

The Islamic golden age was wholly dependant upon Greek European science. The middle east was not ever "far ahead", as you seem to imply. Rather, the Islamic empires absorbed European knowledge to their own advantage, in some cases preserving it until it could be rediscovered by Europe during the renaissance. If muslims had not burned the library of Alexandria, the modern world would perhaps look quite different



I am now reading the Munyatu'l-Guzat, which clearly shows that the mamluks were far ahead in mounted warfare. They never needed to learn about archery from Europe, etc. Learn and read, before you speak about limited knowledge, because yours also seems limited to me...
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sat 20 Jun, 2009 8:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Folks,
Let's not start attacking each other. Feel free to debate ideas, but leave the personal attacks off this site. Thank you.

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
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Michael Curl




Location: Northern California, US
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PostPosted: Sat 20 Jun, 2009 9:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ignoring some very rude (and I think fundamentally errored) attacks, I did not know thatwe have surviving saracen and mameluke fight books. I was aware that they had books on how tactics on strategy but I din't know that any of it was on personal combat. Would anyone be so kind as to link me to some of them.
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Greg Thomas Obach
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Location: Elliot lake
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PostPosted: Sat 20 Jun, 2009 11:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi

i know that Manouchehr has written numerous articles on pesh kabz, qame, shamshir and such...with photo's of miniatures..(they are scenes decribing techniques ) and translations of the words... there is a good amount of info and its a very exciting field
-
- there is even gyms that train for fitness and combat... zurkhaneh !! this still exists today... .. ..

its a very interesting culture and i'm sure you enjoy doing research on it..

Greg
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Percival Koehl




Location: Vancouver, Canada
Joined: 05 Jun 2009

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PostPosted: Sat 20 Jun, 2009 2:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

An interesting text. I'll have to look into that.

Perhaps also we ought to stay away from characterising one people or ethnic group or nation as being more or less 'advanced' than another, militarily or otherwise, and instead appreciate each one for its unique traits, in this case, Middle Eastern martial-art manuals. If we must compare, perhaps it would be better to look for similarities rather than differences. Even if one is more 'advanced' than other (the definition of 'advancement' is a knotty issue in itself), it may be helpful to remember that that is far from a guarantee of total military superiority. I believe Sun Tzu has a warning against relying on weapons (and by extension, military technology) to win.

'A knight indifferent to a lady's honour has lost his own.'
-Chrétien de Troyes (fl. 1180), Percival or the Tale of the Grail
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Michael Curl




Location: Northern California, US
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PostPosted: Sat 20 Jun, 2009 2:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Try not to missunderstand what I am abou to say, as I have no racial or ethnic (besides for subconcious bias) reaons for what I am about to say, but I think that using terms such as more advanced is perfectly acceptable when it is used appropriately. Not to take this thread to off topic but as ethnocentric this is about to sound (as a white american) I think classifying cultures as more advanced or more primitive, are accurate statements. A cultral withmore technology (like european over many tribal cultures, or chinese over just about everyone else) is more advanced by the meaning of the word, than one without.

However when one begins to attach racial or moral reasonsto this (european culture is more moral and europeans are better people who deserve to have the lands of natives, and it isok to exterminate them), then it becomes unhonest, unscholarly, and downright evil.

While new information is coming out on just how advanced medieval europeans were (as opposed to the older view as stupid), I still believe that muslim culture at the time was more advanced technologically in many fields (irrigation, aqueductswhich had disappeared in the west). I say this witout any racial (being mostly european) or political reasons for this view.

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Tibor Szebenyi




Location: Hungary
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PostPosted: Sun 21 Jun, 2009 7:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Ignoring some very rude (and I think fundamentally errored) attacks, I did not know thatwe have surviving saracen and mameluke fight books. I was aware that they had books on how tactics on strategy but I din't know that any of it was on personal combat. Would anyone be so kind as to link me to some of them.


www.sacred-archery.com Saracen Archery and Arab archery are books about personal archery - how to hold, brace, shoot, etc. the bow. But the webpage doesn't seem to work now.

Munyatu'l-Guzat : a fine mamluk manual on PERSONAL combat, how to use the lance, it has detailed descriptions about holding the lance, where to put your left and right hand, how to hold the bridle reins with the lance, how to use the banner on the lance to get some advantage, how to attack two and more horsemen, how to cheat in jousting with the length and weigth of the lance:), etc... is it personal enough? It is 14,5 Mb, I can give you the Russian link next week, when I go home.

But there are several other personal manuals, like the one, from which David Nicolle wrote the article 'Know your weapons, know your enemy': http://www.adigafriends.com/?L=blogs.blog&article=10
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Tibor Szebenyi




Location: Hungary
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PostPosted: Sun 21 Jun, 2009 7:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oops, sorry, downloading the Munyatu'l-Guzat is illegal.Happy You can order it here: http://www.eren.com.tr/goster/kitap/kitap.asp?kitap=193558
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Michael Curl




Location: Northern California, US
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PostPosted: Sun 21 Jun, 2009 9:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

haha, thanx for trying to get me into prison, jk, but are these in english? I'm linguistically challenged.

Also you said that it talked about where to put your left and right hands on the lance, did saracens joust two handed?

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Tibor Szebenyi




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PostPosted: Mon 22 Jun, 2009 4:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
haha, thanx for trying to get me into prison, jk, but are these in english? I'm linguistically challenged.


Yes, in English. (I speak only English and Hungarian)
By the way here is the link: http://community.livejournal.com/circassia_v/31045.html#cutid1 , don't be afraid!Happy

Quote:
Also you said that it talked about where to put your left and right hands on the lance, did saracens joust two handed?


Yes, eastern cavalry usually used two-handed lance techniques. They know the western, armpit-style, under the name of Damascus or Syrian attack, but they write, that it is a less efficient way. The western lance wielding works only in mass, with horsemen riding in a line knee-to-knee, and is very effective if they get the enemy. However, for the fast moving eastern cavalry the more versatile two-handed style was more practical. If you break the enemy lines with the bow and fast manouvers, than duelling pairs can be formed instead of formations, and in this case the two-handed lance-fencing is superior. Check out these miniatures about eastern "jousting" (they fought in the arena, not on a straight line):

http://velizariy.kiev.ua/avallon/cuirass/kpd/min/images/353.jpg
http://velizariy.kiev.ua/avallon/cuirass/kpd/min/images/356.jpg

And a video about Kelemen Zsolt, who taught me riding:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndkkN7ZHkoM
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