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European Martial Arts

flag-europe-XLDespite the fact there is a more than 2,400-year-old military tradition within Western civilization of close-combat proficiency, few subjects have received as unfortunate neglect by historians and academics than the martial arts of Western Europe. But a growing amount of modern research has centered on the historical methods of using various types of Medieval and Renaissance swords and weaponry in historically accurate and martially sound manners. The articles on here cover martial arts from all over Europe.

While the term “martial arts” today is typically synonymous with “Asian fighting art”, for centuries highly sophisticated European martial systems existed. It is from the Latin that we actually derive the English term, “martial arts” – from “arts of Mars”, the Roman god of war. The term “martial art” was used in regard to fighting skills as early as the 1550s and in an English fencing manual of 1639 referred specifically to the science and art of swordplay. In reference to Medieval and Renaissance combat systems the terms “fencing” and “martial arts” should thus be viewed as synonymous. Fencing was in essence the “exercise of armes” –and arms meant more than just using a sword.


Turkish Oil Wrestling – Yagli Gures, history and tradition

This is one of the most popular sports in Turkey. Tukish Oil Wrestling or Yagli gures means literally oiled wrestling. The wrestlers wear tight short leather trousers called “Kispet”, made of water buffalo leather weighing approximately 13 kilograms, and they cover themselves with olive oil. Matches take place throughout the country but the most famous Read more

Keysi Fighting Method, a new wave of self defence

Keysi Fighting Method (KFM) is a method of self defense that is based on natural fighting instincts, martial arts and street fighting techniques, developed by Justo Di guez Serrano from his fighting experiences while raised on the streets of Spain. The system was founded with the help of Andy Norman. The Keysi Fighting Method became Read more

Greco Roman Wrestling

Greco Roman Wrestling: Man has always had to defend his peace of land, river, lake, killed animal, etc. so the fight in the utilitarian sense has always been a means of survival, self-defense. In more recent times greco roman wrestling began to play a crucial role in the application of warriors’ physical preparation. Greco Roman Read more


Pankration is the only martial sport in existence today that can legitimately trace its roots to the Ancient Olympic Games from 648 BC to 393 AD . It is also the only modern day martial sport with a recorded history spanning well back to over 3,000 years. The oldest written evidence of Pankration can be Read more


The history of fencing parallels the evolution of civilization, back from the days of ancient Egypt and Rome, to the barbaric Dark Ages, to the fast and elegant Rennassiance, up to the modern, increasingly popular fencing of today. Fencing has always been regarded as more than a sport; it is an art form, an ancient Read more


If you could go back in time, say a couple of hundred years or so, onto the streets of old Paris, France, you might very well find thugs and hoodlums settling their differences with a street-fighting style which they called ‘La Savate’ (pronounced sa-vat). This was simply a slang term, which meant ‘old shoe’ (or Read more

Glima Wrestling

In the viking age, there were in nothern europe a very popular sport called glima. In glima it is illegal to kick and hit, therefore it is called wrestling. The special thing about glima is that the wrestlers uses some special belts (like in sumo) to get a grip in each other. In the viking Read more


Boxing, often called “the manly art of self-defense,” is a sport in which two competitors try to hit each other with their glove-encased fists while trying to avoid each other’s blows. The competition is divided into a specified number of rounds, usually 3 minutes long, with 1-minute rest periods between rounds. Although amateur boxing is Read more

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