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Author Topic: Knives in the Middle East; jambiya daggers  (Read 4717 times)
Crafty_Dog
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« on: July 03, 2010, 04:02:00 PM »

Woof All:

Anyone have anything to offer?  If you do not wish to post here, please PM me.

TAC!
CD
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Rarick
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« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2010, 10:37:11 AM »



Wikipedia also has stuff on this.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2010, 12:41:54 PM »

I'm hoping to get something more specific on when and how they are used , , ,
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pappydog
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« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2010, 03:16:32 PM »

I find that most of these are ceremonial and a sign of manhood and or status. As far as how to use them........Well, it seems the best porthole into the past where they use them is in the dances or that really really old guy who sits outside on the street corner drinking coffee. Usually the knife stuff is basic.

I have the same issues with the Greek and Cretan knives. Which I am researching for a possible book.

Pappydog
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Mick C.
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« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2010, 09:00:54 PM »

I don't know much about their use, other than that the extreme curve in the scabbard is designed to catch the belt to allow a quick draw (most of the models I've seen don't have belt loops on the scabbard., and are designed to be tucked into a cloth belt)  I always thought the curved blade of the weapon was designed to maximize its slashing capability, but apparently the curved design is an artifact of the original material of its manufacture, as before the Arabic peoples gained metal-working technology the Jambiya was made from a buffalo horn split longitudinally, then shaped and sharpened into a blade. A lot of the blades of Africa and Asia bear the design characteristics of the "Horn Age" when weapons were made from re-worked bone and horns, like  the Persian and Indian Khanjar.  I just learned this after I pulled Sir Richard F. Burton's "The Book of the Sword" (1884) down from the shelf today.  Burton wrote:

"The modern weapon, with metal blade and ivory handle, has one side of the latter flat, betraying its origin by retaining a peculiarity no longer required. The same is the case when the whole Jumbiyah is, as often happens, made of metal."  I wonder if that characteristic still shows up in modern Jambiyas?

Burton, who was an avid swordsman, doesn't discuss how it was employed. Are there systemized schools of sword and knife combat from the Arabic tribes? You would think that if there were, those techniques would show up in the knife classes taught in their armies' elite units.  From the few videos I've seen of Jordanian and Egyptian special ops units training, it looks like pretty standard Applegate-Fairbairn techniques and sentry removal with a standard straight-bladed combat knife. I know there are al-Qaeda videos showing combatives training but I don't recall seeing any knife techniques  being taught or demonstrated - has anyone else seen any?

It's worth noting that the 9-11 hijackers learned how to use their edged weapons at a martial arts school in the United States.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2010, 08:19:08 PM »

Very interesting!
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stilljames
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« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2010, 05:16:00 AM »

A very interesting post.   Amazing how logic can lead one wrong.  Without having done any research, I had assumed that the curve of the blade was a holdover from it being the utility knife of the average nomad.  It reminded me of some of the knives used in gutting deer.  But I can definitely see the hornlike characteristics now that they are mentioned.

I'm gonna have to go find the Burton book and add it to my library.

One possible source, provided someone can get them to talk, are the Berber tribes that still live in the old manner.  Mind you, it could be hard to reach most of them.
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5RingsFitness
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« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2010, 10:11:09 PM »

I don't know much about their use, other than that the extreme curve in the scabbard is designed to catch the belt to allow a quick draw (most of the models I've seen don't have belt loops on the scabbard., and are designed to be tucked into a cloth belt)  I always thought the curved blade of the weapon was designed to maximize its slashing capability, but apparently the curved design is an artifact of the original material of its manufacture, as before the Arabic peoples gained metal-working technology the Jambiya was made from a buffalo horn split longitudinally, then shaped and sharpened into a blade. A lot of the blades of Africa and Asia bear the design characteristics of the "Horn Age" when weapons were made from re-worked bone and horns, like  the Persian and Indian Khanjar.  I just learned this after I pulled Sir Richard F. Burton's "The Book of the Sword" (1884) down from the shelf today.  Burton wrote:

"The modern weapon, with metal blade and ivory handle, has one side of the latter flat, betraying its origin by retaining a peculiarity no longer required. The same is the case when the whole Jumbiyah is, as often happens, made of metal."  I wonder if that characteristic still shows up in modern Jambiyas?

Burton, who was an avid swordsman, doesn't discuss how it was employed. Are there systemized schools of sword and knife combat from the Arabic tribes? You would think that if there were, those techniques would show up in the knife classes taught in their armies' elite units.  From the few videos I've seen of Jordanian and Egyptian special ops units training, it looks like pretty standard Applegate-Fairbairn techniques and sentry removal with a standard straight-bladed combat knife. I know there are al-Qaeda videos showing combatives training but I don't recall seeing any knife techniques  being taught or demonstrated - has anyone else seen any?

It's worth noting that the 9-11 hijackers learned how to use their edged weapons at a martial arts school in the United States.



if anyone wants to have a copy of the book mentioned, you can have it here for free http://www.archive.org/details/booksword00unkngoog

archive.org is awesome
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"Nations have passed away and left no traces, And history gives the naked cause of it - One single simple reason in all cases; They fell because their peoples were not fit."-Rudyard Kipling
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