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Connor Ruebusch




Location: Cincinnati
Joined: 10 Nov 2009

Posts: 97

PostPosted: Thu 16 Dec, 2010 2:18 pm    Post subject: Georgian Axe Techniques         Reply with quote

Check this out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMVhRNEBlSg&feature=related

The video contains a demonstration of apparently traditional Georgian martial arts, and one of the demonstrators wields a large double-bitted axe. His handling of the weapon looks quite effective to my eyes but... I've always been led to believe that double-bit axes were something of a myth on the battlefield--something seen in Conan comics and the like but nowhere else.

What do you guys think? Is this an actual, historical martial art that employs such a weapon? Would it be equally applicable to a single-bladed axe? If so, someone should really look into these Georgian arts and try to apply some of the mechanics to the use of the Daneaxe, as I believe the only other comparable techniques are much later pollaxe treatises, which have less in common with Norse axes than this one appears to.

Ex animo,

Connor
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Bartek Strojek




Location: Poland
Joined: 05 Aug 2008
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Posts: 448

PostPosted: Thu 16 Dec, 2010 3:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This stuff is definitely mostly dancing (they even have the music), but possible connections to actual past martial applications are indeed fascinating.

I hope someone will know something more. Happy


Last edited by Bartek Strojek on Thu 16 Dec, 2010 6:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Bryce Felperin




Location: San Jose, CA
Joined: 16 Feb 2006

Posts: 552

PostPosted: Thu 16 Dec, 2010 5:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

To my eye it was mostly twirling of the weapons from a mostly static position with very little lateral movement. The twirling the weapon to the back part doesn't look too sound martially either.

Very well done though and it looks like they did a lot of practice for their techniques. The dual weapon guy looked pretty good though.
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James Head





Joined: 09 Mar 2008

Posts: 127

PostPosted: Thu 16 Dec, 2010 6:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Double bit axes were used for felling trees, not combat. I can see how one might end up using one in a fight in a pinch, but specific axes made for battle handle very differently. In addition, the axe blade they show in the video is entirely too large for a felling axe.

My personal opinion is that most of this Georgian folk art is now dancing, any true martial knowledge was lost generations ago. Current practitioners are clearly interested in reviving some martial applications in their proud dance art, but it seems like they are starting from square one. I think it should be the other way around: they should be ones studying pollaxe treatises, viking sagas and period illustrations to flesh out the remaining martial vestiges of their dance.

Looking at some of the attacks in the video: I noticed a wide sweeping horizontal stroke once or twice that required the demonstrator to twist up his arms in a strange way. I don't think something like that would have any strength. The same goes for the downward hacks that were without any power, but maybe he was holding back because of the cramped space and the people nearby? I actually think the forward thrust with the tips of the axe blades is the most martial action demonstrated.

The only other Georgian martial art video showing an axe that I know about is this one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-E7TcmYl87M

It starts at 4:42

This guy is even more dancy and impractical than the video in the OP. Lots of spins and strikes that would have slapped somebody with the flat of the axe bit.
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Ben C.





Joined: 01 Dec 2006

Posts: 65

PostPosted: Thu 16 Dec, 2010 6:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't know anything about Georgian martial arts but to my eye the techniques look like they have been adapted from some of the popular Chinese exhibition martial arts. I doubt that either the weapons or the techniques they used were actual ones used in medieval battles or duels.

Keep in mind that many so called traditional martial arts around the world were created long after gunpowder had replaced hand-to-hand combat on the battlefield. Most seem to have developed with performing flashy routines as the goal as opposed to being based on real life combat experience. There is also a cultish aspect to a lot of martial arts so it's always important to be skeptical when you see a display about whether you are seeing a tried and true combat tested technique or just something that was put together to look cool. So even the video does depict something that has been around for a century or two, it is unlikely it was something that was used on the battlefield.
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Eric W. Norenberg





Joined: 18 Jul 2008

Posts: 265

PostPosted: Thu 16 Dec, 2010 10:27 pm    Post subject: Georgian Axe         Reply with quote

Found another one:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1QquSlGJ-4&feature=related

Axe action starts around 1:30.

I've been checking in on these guys, via YouTube, for a couple of years now, starting with the "Land of the Lost Crusaders" video posted by a Georgian-American student of the arts. I get the impression that the Georgian Martial Arts are much like the Asian living traditions in that they have expanded into the realm of exhibition/dance from very serious roots, but that, also like the Asian traditions, there remain plenty of techniques and systems that are still very viable for real combat. The axe may not be very applicable today (and therefore the techniques more for show and strength development), but the long knife-short sword techniques might be:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBrQ2f4kqeE&feature=related
See the qama work around 1:19.

Cheers!
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Fri 17 Dec, 2010 4:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bryce Felperin wrote:
To my eye it was mostly twirling of the weapons from a mostly static position with very little lateral movement. The twirling the weapon to the back part doesn't look too sound martially either.

Very well done though and it looks like they did a lot of practice for their techniques. The dual weapon guy looked pretty good though.


Well there wasn't much room to move around and not hit people standing in the back or the camera man and interviewer so staying centrally placed for the demonstration seems like just necessary to keep the demo safe.

Yes probably a great deal of " dancing " involved but I can see some fluidity in the use of the axe but in isolation without an opponent's moves one can have trouble seeing the context where the moves would be tactically applied.

As to twirling I think that it's a good way to become very comfortable in handling any polearm but in combat the twirling itself would be wasteful motion and not directly translatable to applicable technique, but the usefulness of twirling practice is that if in combat one needs to move the weapon to take advantage of a perceived opening one's hands will be fully capable of changing the direction and speed of the weapon at will with precision and control.

A lot of these exercises I think build familiarity and comfort and control in moving the weapon as one wishes efficiently: What one actually does in combat uses this agility but the twirling itself is not the fighting techniques !? Anyway, my theory I'm throwing out there for debate, if anyone wishes to debate or consider the ideas. Wink Laughing Out Loud Cool

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