native american martial arts

Discussion in 'Western Martial Arts' started by Jordan, Nov 14, 2006.

  1. Jordan

    Jordan Valued Member

    do native americans have any empty handed or armed styles? :confused:
  2. inthespirit

    inthespirit ignant

    The info I found at National Geographic’s Genographic project suggests that Native Americans and almost all indigenous Americans both north and south originated from the same group of people whom crossed the former land mass called Bernigia from Siberia in to Alaska around 15,000 years ago. So considering that these peoples ancestors were central and north east Asia, it may be worth looking at the martial arts of these groups of people. Though, of course 15,000 years is plenty of time to create a new martial art too. Plus taking in to account the new physical, social and spiritual conditions brought by their migration, it is likely that these peoples would have had plenty of influence for new ideas. So, to sum it all up, I’m just guessing and don’t really know. :D

    Good Luck! Will be interesting to see what comes up!
  3. disgruntled

    disgruntled Not so Valued Member

    It would really depend on how we want to define MA. because they use weapons, like bow and spears and a throwing thing.... can't remember name!! they did not train specifically in hand combat. or at least i have never ever seen any reported ethnographies or acconts of this. the closest thing i can think of that would be more a combat technique and not a weapons technique would be counting coup, but that is a real stretch
  4. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    Hilarious there InTheSpirit. :p

    At any rate... I think that people when looking for any martial arts by Native Americans tend to look for some sort of martial art defined as a codified set of rules and techniques that can be drilled by repetition under the watchful eye of a master to achieve some sort of consistancy and perfection of technique and application.

    I don't really know that the sort of definition of MA's applies to Native Americans.
    Most of what I've seen or heard of regarding Native American MA's looks suspect at best. There have been many charlatans over time who have tried to pass of their own funky brand of whatever as Native American martial arts.

    No doubt Indians were familiar with wrestling. If I remember correctly it was very much a part of pow wows and get togethers. But on another level - I don't think you're going to find any manuals or anything like that. Native Americans were massive in their diversity. There were literally hundreds of languages... most of them with no written script. Much of the history of Native Americans is handed down orally from one generation to the next. Native Americans... even today tend to be very wary of outsiders... that means anyone non-Native American - and usually anyone not from their tribe in particular.

    Many Native American tribes were heavily involved in raiding and warfare. They had many of the weapons that we know of today...the war club, the tomahawk, the spear, the bow and arrow. When they came into contact with westerners they didn't waste any time in taking up the gun and the horse as a means of conducting raids and war on each other.

    Another note is that although most peoples definition of Native Americans means what is today America.... but in reality includes the native tribes of North, Central and South America. We're talking a massive amount of people prior to the Europeans arriving. People are often shocked when they find that there are still many 'indians' living in Mexico - that's exactly what the Yaqi people are... the indigenous people that were their prior to the Spaniards and other Europeans arriving. So it pays to bear in mind we are talking about a group of people that is massive and linguistically diverse. Ranging quite literally over thousands of miles and of all types of different environments and climates.

    So I would be highly skeptical of anyone claiming to know much if any Native American martial art.

    Here's an interesting read:
  5. inthespirit

    inthespirit ignant

    Indeed... except this guy of course... you can tell he's kosher by his name -

    Harley "Swiftdeer" Reagan :D

  6. Jordan

    Jordan Valued Member

    so how much is jiu jitsu and how much is the native arts?
  7. Langenschwert

    Langenschwert Molon Labe

    I'm sure that many native tribes had very effective MA systems, since some of them were very warlike. Any culture that is in constant conflict will develop fighting skills quickly or be destroyed. I have heard of the odd teacher of NA MA in Canada, but finding someone who has retained the original arts would extremely difficult, and hard to verify.

    Best regards,

  8. Mei Hua

    Mei Hua Banned Banned

    I ran into a Native American some time past who was researching this exact same topic.

    NA MA's were basic wrestling/striking/weapon skills.

    It has become more common now a days to find MA's from China/Japan/etc included in the Native American cultures and retooled as being solely Native American.
  9. Davey Bones

    Davey Bones New Member

    There is no real recorded martial arts tradition within the Native American cultures. Although some tribes did have some form of wrestling as a sport, most of what they did was geared towards warfare, and just about all of it involved weapons. Anything that "Swiftdeer" is claiming as such is at best a reconstruction of any Native American arts, at worst a sham.
  10. Lame Leopard

    Lame Leopard Valued Member

  11. Polar Bear

    Polar Bear Moved on

    Yeah your right. Kinda hard to have a real recorded martial arts tradition when you have no written language and various invading peoples practicing cultural and physical genocide on you.
    I think we just have to accept that if there were any they are lost in history.

    Still could be worst we could forced to watch tubby yanks prancing around in leather loin cloths and waving tomahawks as opposed to the modest Gi. Although some of their names might amuse, "Dances with Donuts".

    The Bear.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2006
  12. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    LOL! :D
    As if the UK was a country full of fit and slender good looking people.
    Pot meet kettle. :p
  13. Polar Bear

    Polar Bear Moved on

    Yeah but our native martial arts are kebab throwing and the prehensile beer spew. Bellys are a sign of competence and I am EXPERIENCED.

    The Bear.
  14. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    Having just finished 2 kebabs myself (1 lamb 1 chicken)...
    I know all about it being kebab 'o clock any time of the day. :D
  15. Polar Bear

    Polar Bear Moved on

    Your certainly on the way to becoming a British Martial Arts legend slip.
    All you need to do now is knock up a girl called Tracey in the back of a ford capri and be able to drink 10 pints and urinate 11. Then you will confirm your Shihan status.

    The Bear.
  16. Stolenbjorn

    Stolenbjorn Valued Member

    The only thing I know about North American warfare is that prior to the european invation, they were into symmetrical warfare, where raiding for cattle, and the abilty to perform athletical and daring feats were more importaint than killing the opponent. Some tribes got feathers in their headgear for every opponent they managed to "touch" with a stick in a battle (i.e -not very lethal, but impressive all the same).

    In order to achieve this (touching the opponent) while the opponent might be busy trying to kill you indicates that dexterity, and other martial factors must have been trained to a high degree?
    I cannot remember my sources for this, it might be from a radio-program or a book, so I cannot verify the thruthfulness of this claim. It's a known fact that many close-to-nature-cultures practise this kind of warfare -but it's allso a known fact that other close-to-nature-cultures practise very hostile (and lethal) attitude towards strangers.
  17. disgruntled

    disgruntled Not so Valued Member

    yes they did do that..... counting coup
  18. disgruntled

    disgruntled Not so Valued Member

    oh i forgot to mention they also were considered brave if they charged into battle and ran across the attacking party, not attacking them but dodging them. they even did this up against the europeans with guns.
    they might not have been developed MAist, but they were excellent in warfare. i still think that crazy horse was buy far the best military commander.
  19. Polar Bear

    Polar Bear Moved on

    Not that good, he lost. Great Military Commanders win wars not battles.
    Look at George Washington he couldn't win a battle if he fell over it. Won the war though.

    The Bear.
  20. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    Cochise was far better...and more successful IMO

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