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Author Topic: Native American Fighting Systems  (Read 2746 times)
Maxx
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« on: May 18, 2008, 05:10:59 PM »

Has anyone had the chance to look into this? I was talking to Guide Dog about it today after class and told him about a friend of mine who would like to enter a gathering but he does not practice Kali. He learned Native American Systems taught to him by a awesome man out of Barstow who lived in the Native American Reservation up by Crystal Lake or White lake..Anyways, this stuff is pretty off the chain.

I spared my friend the other day with his make shift tomahawk and he was holding a sharkie in his belt line. We would clash and he would hook my weapon or go for a leg, Behind the neck or shoulder hooks with his weapon and if his got me of footing or unbalanced he would pull his sharkie and try to stab me.

I was rather impressed.

It was his first time he sparred against someone using Kali and he was rather impressed. Their knife system of deployment was rather interesting and very to the point. Not really any slashes...

The grappling system he deployed was not very technical but very very effective. It was more of a charge to a flying or jumping tackle and then alot of smashing, Punches, gouges, Finger manipulation, Throat chokes and bites..

I found using BJJ against him was rather hard..And almost sometimes not worth the effort and just trying to get back to my feet.

The blows he threw were very off balance to look at, at first but they came from all directions..I saw how a good old fashion American hay maker could break though the line though.

The stalking he was using looked like Kali stalking to me..And then I brought this up to Guide Dogs attention.

It seems to me that Tribal People seems to fight almost the same or certain ways and Non Tribal civilizations seem to follow the same pattern.

I.E Western European Sword fighting and Eastern Japanese and Chinese Sword fighting follows this hand over hand stance, Front foot forward and a step to beat cut with very hard line blocks and cuts and maybe this has something to do with the fact that these groups had things like armour to protect and make up for certain movement? While Tribal groups seems to have this very free flow, Circle motion and some sort of zoning out, A stalk and hitting the limb before it hits you type stuff.

I also notice the grappling systems from tribal groups seem to follow this very brutal type of ground destruction. Bites, Gouges, Smashes and throat rends.

Am I totally off base here?

My friend also noticed this about Kali and NAFS he wondered about the samething after seeing kali being used against him.

Anyways, I brought this up to guide dog and asked him what he thought about my friend joining the ranks of a gathering and using his system to fight in it. He thought it sounded great but I need to help my friend find someone who can make a non lethal Tomahawk with the same snap as Rattan.

Any thoughts on this topic or suggestions?
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Karsk
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« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2008, 06:06:12 PM »

Hi Maxx,

I have a pal who practices a bit with me who is First Nations (the Canadian equivalent of Native American).   He was taught how to fight by his father.  I do not think he is as sophisticated as your friend in terms of what he knows but I walked away from sparring with him thinking similar thoughts. 
s
You made a point that I think is interesting about the commonalities between tribal fighting versus "civilized fighting systems" that I need to think about a bit.  I am not sure if you are on to something there or not. 

At some point in the development of "systems" there seems to be a departure from reality based to a more theoretical base.   I am not sure if that is what you are talking about or if that occurs at the line between tribal and civilized.

I am thinking about the pretty sophisticated systems of Bagua and its sister arts and some other things.   There is definitely a flow and circularity there so what separates those arts from what you are refering to?  Is it the theory base of many.  I know some effective fighters who practice Bagua.

Aside: fighting with a tomahawk is probably like fighting with a battle ax.  I have seen some plans for building padded battleaxes.  I will try to dig them up and post them but I think that you would still have to test their whompage capacity prior to a fight.

The problem with such things is that the force is concentrated to a small area which is of course why they used em.

Karsk
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Maxx
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« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2008, 10:28:53 AM »

Cask,
 Thank you for posting.  grin

I don't think that my friend and his style are that sophisticated..It just seems that it is very to the point.

I started trying to look into this little theory about "Civilised" World vs Tribal World.

Civilized world seems to have the benefit of large land and sea mass armies , Armor , Fire Power (Bows/Guns/War machines, Etc.) and of course I mentioned this but Combined unity of force and men.

Tribal World has limited numbers, Few to no Armor, Few to no Fire power. So I believe that maybe the tribal world was put into a life situation to were no matter the location they had to develop a natural fighting style that fit this?

Civilized world can move forward across the land and fight pretty much head to toe. Tribal world has to go around or to the side and or create a different pattern of attack.

Civilized world vs. Gorilla Warfare?  Again. Civilized World In America and Canada moves across the earth using standing gun line formation and a basic Calvary charge with heavy shelling, Native Americans with limited numbers use small arms fire, Gorilla warfare, Hit and Run and wait till the fire line is done and then charge into the line for hand to hand combat.

Seems the Philippines used the same method against the Spanish and the Japanese ( And others)

I am also curious to see why Civilized world grappling all seems to have some of the same methods. Arm Bars, Leg Locks so on and why tribal seems to have more of the rending grappling.

Could it be that Civilized world was dealing with grappling in a Armour situation and those are the only method of attacks that work. Getting a arm bar effects A section that is not covered by armor and with helmets on some Enemies going for the eyes is just not a option.

I would like to mention that when armour went out fighting seemed to change for Western World and Eastern World.

The coming of fencing gave Western Fighting more movement, More beating the guy to the punch attacks and grappling for either German Ringen or western grappling changed over time.

I am not saying that Western Longsword fighting did not have movement but I don't believe it had as much movement and targeting as fencing does.

« Last Edit: May 19, 2008, 10:33:02 AM by Maxx » Logged

Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2008, 12:48:51 PM »

I have no basis for an opinion.  A Navajo friend of mine writes:

Two perspectives on this topic;
 
First and foremost – old ways of fighting was banned on military Indian reservations [1885 to 1923].  By the time the musket and revolvers came around most of the old ways were put aside.  If any Indian was caught practicing martial art or any type of warfare activities you were put in a cell.  In some cases, even when the people danced to ask the great creator for guidance – it was thought that they were going up raise.  The result was massacres of elders, women and children. 
 
No one realizes that the prior American Indian generations were POW’s from about 1820’s to 1972-73.  The Indian Tribe - Nations were finally given sovereignty – self determination, self governance.  Yet there are still Bureau of Indian Affairs offices still alive and well on most Indian reservations.  The BIA used to be part of the Department of Indian Affairs under the Department of Interior – War Department.
 
Look at stories of Geronimo – who was caught by his own people [Scotts], imprisoned to Fort Sill, Virginia, Florida, and back to Fort Sill.  He was even taken to Europe for the World’s Fair.  Back home on the Military reservations – now Indian Reservations, all arms were taken away – tomahawks, spears, bows & arrows, knifes.  The people were given food, blankets, tents for shelter, etc.  No need for weapons to hunt and gather anymore.  The stories are sad – I have heard them oral stories and read some accounts in history.
 
I am very skeptical due to what history has stated.  In addition, I grew up on an Indian reservation – all I saw was some boxing, judo, some karate.  I never encountered anyone using Native American Indian martial arts of any type.  Once in while I saw a bunch of drunks fighting in town, social gatherings, etc.  Most of the best fighters were people who came back from the military. 
 
Second perspective – I heard of a few Native Fighting systems that were being promoted in martial arts magazines.  There was one from Oklahoma – Apaches, one from California – Pomo’s and one from Texas – Comanche.   On other forums, I have even heard that there was Navajo system that someone had learned in Northern Arizona from a police officer.  To me it’s Native fantasy or infatuation, half truths, off shoots of kenpo, shotokan, and kung fu.
 
I was asked and even talked about in some forums [World Modern Arnis Alliance, Dillman Karate International] regarding me being Navajo and that I would be the best person to talk to. 
 
The warrior path was is a part of the man’s rites of passage from childhood to adulthood.  Most of those rites of passage ceremonies are no longer practiced on the reservations.  Just in a few families that I am aware of still practice them. 
 
I met a man name Kurt Seanez while taking a Wing Chun seminar in Albuquerque with Phillip Romero.  He shared with me that there are dances which depict some martial arts movements.  Kurt was invited the Navajo Reservation to a ceremony.  There he witnessed the dances.  He told the host that there are martial arts movements in those dances.
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Maxx
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« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2008, 01:09:24 PM »

Thank you Crafty for that post. I am curious however on your thought on the Tribal Fighting vs the Civilized world fighting methods.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2008, 01:54:17 PM »

I think John Keegan's "History of Warfare" sheds a lot of light on this subject.
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Karsk
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« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2008, 12:10:57 AM »

As promised here is at least one link for an ax head that may or may not be suitable for fighting.

http://www.revival.us/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=187


This is intended to be used with people in armor.  Often, some folks will fight in armored medieval combat with exposed parts...e.g.  minimal armor on arms. 

Its not the same thing as going at it with no protection.    How does it work at a gathering?  If you can find someone willing to fight you with your weapon its doable?

I have seen people use axes that have padding made out of the same kind of foam that step aerobic steps are made out of.  This foam does not deflate when you hit it repeatedly, absorbs shock but is stiff enough to impart some force.  You can create a head out of this  and then use a combination of fiberglass tape, duct tape and hockey tape plus glue to secure it.   If you build it right it will be padded more than a stick but because of the smaller area the net result will be the same level of impact.  You'd have to dink around with it and experiment...This can become a rather time consuming hobby to build the optimum weapon. 
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Maxx
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« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2008, 10:18:52 AM »

@ Karsk

Thank you for digging that out for me. I am going to pass it along to him and help him think of something to give it a durable wack.

Now if he was to fight in a gathering..What part would he fight in?  Blade or Stick with this?
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Guide Dog
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« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2008, 10:38:22 AM »

Maxx,

I'm going to interject here, before Karsk can get back to you.

IMHO, your friend should fight with the same training axe/tomahawk (what are we calling it at this stage?), but before each fight, it should be decided if the tool is meant to represent a blade, or a (very) blunt impact weapon.  So, if it a bladed simulator, as agreed on before the fight, if your friend lands a good shot, just like in the knife fights at the Gatherings, it's over.  If it is decided upon that it is a blunt impact weapon,

1. it should offer a good wallop to put your friends on an even keel with his opponent.
2. your friend and his opponent need to look at seriously evaluating that "damage" that was simulated, if the tomahawk was meant to simulate an axe tip that had to be put into combat before it could be sharpened.

This would fit right into the spirit of DBMA research, as long as the weapon was evaluated in an honest way.
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Dr. Bryan Stoops, Ed.D.
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http://stoops-martial-arts-academy.com/
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