First European Round Kicks

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First European Round Kicks

Postby Stunt Weasel » 28 Mar 2006 02:46

I'm curious as to when roundhouse kicks, illustrated below in case they go by other names to some folks ...

Image Image

... and so I am curious as to when these kicks first appeared in the western martial arts. I can't offhand recall seeing them in any medieval or even renaissance treatises, but I find it hard to believe that they didn't turn up until the time that savate developed during the early nineteenth century. Any earlier examples that anybody is aware of? Please post images or quote text if possible! :)

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Postby admin » 28 Mar 2006 02:54

Fiore shows the body turned when he kicks the knee in the gioco largo of longsword. I guess that's halfway there!
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Postby Stunt Weasel » 28 Mar 2006 03:04

Looks like a low side kick, but yes the precedent for turning the hip over at least is a step in the right direction evidencewise ...

Image

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Postby Monster Zero » 28 Mar 2006 04:13

The more I see and read of Fiore, the more I'm convinced he was later reincarnated as Bruce Lee... :shock:

That's almost straight out of Jeet Kune Do.
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Postby Monster Zero » 28 Mar 2006 04:15

Honestly Mario, I think these types of kicks, these types of movements have always been part of the human fighting repetoir I don't think it's safe to say that XX kick originated in XX area.

Two legs, two arms... we all fight the same.
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Postby Stunt Weasel » 28 Mar 2006 04:37

Thom, I don't disagree with what you say ... in fact, I frequently find myself saying the same thing to other people who have weird misconceptions about eastern and western arts being wildly different. However, we also have to acknowledge that the differences do exist. The spinning hook kick simply wasn't a part of most medieval judicial duels. I'm sure the roundhouse kick existed in Europe earlier than 19th century savate (in some form or another), but I'm curious as to when it first showed up as part of a system and not just as a natural movement.

I think it's interesting and perhaps somewhat telling to note that the ancient fighting treatises don't seem to describe the various kinds of punches either ... so just because something isn't shown it doesn't necessarily mean much, but it can definitely mean quite a bit when you *do* find something described or illustrated. Fiore doesn't say anything about jabs, crosses, hooks or uppercuts but we know these punches must have existed. Still, I'd be absolutely thrilled (and fascinated as a historical researcher) to find a sheaf of pages written by Fiore detailing each kind of punch and how to block or avoid them.

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Postby Jeff Gentry » 28 Mar 2006 06:51

Hey Mario

I think some of the thing's we see in "modern" eastern art's are late edition's, What I mean by late edition's is they were added after there battlefield use was not very common i.e. the late 18th century early 19th, I have a couple guy's in my HEMA group who did study Asian art's tang soo do, TKD, Haipkido, and few other's and they used to try some of the fancy spin move's they learned and i just stepped in and pushed them off balance.

I think alot of the thing's we see in the fight manual's are practical /battelfield self defense and that is why they do not talk about alot of fancy spin's kick's or head kick's, although low kick's are illustrated in a few manual's they are fairly safe to do.

In the modern US military they have what is called the universal fight plan, which is hit them until they are unconcious and it is very common to have the "Universal" fight plan so there realy is no need to waste valuable space/time writing about hitting someone, remember the printing press was a new invention in the 16th 17th century so it was expensive to print a book and before that they were hand written very time consuming.

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Postby Stunt Weasel » 28 Mar 2006 08:54

Hi Jeff,

I agree that a lot of the flowery flash stuff and spin kicks that are so recognizable from modern eastern martial arts probably weren't ever used on the battlefield, but then again I doubt anybody could consider a basic round kick to be a fancy flash move. So I guess I'm not sure what your point was ... perhaps one or both of us misunderstood something here?

In the modern US military they have what is called the universal fight plan, which is hit them until they are unconcious and it is very common to have the "Universal" fight plan so there realy is no need to waste valuable space/time writing about hitting someone, remember the printing press was a new invention in the 16th 17th century so it was expensive to print a book and before that they were hand written very time consuming.


Well, there's definitely something to this, but then again the masters do tend to go into great depth describing the most basic and natural of sword cuts and how/when to use them ... so there's not much reason to assume they would just omit the punching because it was too basic and natural.

Saving on the time and cost of extra paper is an intriguing concept to explain the lack of described pugilistic techniques in the manuals, but I doubt it could possibly explain away each and every treatise. Besides, most of the medeival and early renaissance systems were pretty all encompassing. Actually, I have begun to suspect that pugilism was simply considered a separate art from battlefield combat ... but that's somewhat off the point ...

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Postby J Marwood » 28 Mar 2006 09:09

Looking at modern military systems, I think it may be possible that punching was omitted for a reason.

Punches damages hands. Damaged hands don't grip weapons well, so it makes sense not to use a closed fist (other than hammerfist) if you plan on gripping a longsword later.
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Postby Stunt Weasel » 28 Mar 2006 09:13

That makes much sense and it would also go a long way towards distinguishing pugilism as a non-battlefield art.

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Postby J Marwood » 28 Mar 2006 09:14

There are a couple of plates in Novati which show the defender about to launch a closed hand strike. However, these appear to be coming in as a hammerfist/chopper type blow, rather than as a cross.

I'm at work at the moment so I don't have access to the manual :(
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Postby Stunt Weasel » 28 Mar 2006 09:19

Hmmm. This is an interesting sub-discussion. Sometimes you never know where a topic is going to lead!

Anyways, I'd be very interested to see those plates when you get home and have access to them again. I've noticed the German system seems to have a few hammer fist strikes as well, James, but again nothing that I can recall in the way of traditional punching. Fits in nicely with your theory.

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Postby admin » 28 Mar 2006 13:08

Stunt Weasel wrote:I think it's interesting and perhaps somewhat telling to note that the ancient fighting treatises don't seem to describe the various kinds of punches either ...


Hi Mario,
I have a standard answer for people who ask me this, which doesn't cover every reason, but I think covers the main one: People carried knives and immediately resorted to these or other weapons.
I have made a document of all the accounts from medieval legal records from London I could find that explicitly describe fights and muggings. I cannot remember a single one where someone was assaulted with hands and feet - in every single ones some type of weapon was used, from knives to sticks and up to pollaxes!
Therefore I get the impression that they didn't spend much time classifying hand and foot blows because they were never the primary form of attack or defence.
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Postby Stunt Weasel » 28 Mar 2006 13:12

It makes sense, but why all the unarmed wrestling techniques then?

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Postby admin » 28 Mar 2006 13:17

Because wrestling is what happens with weapons in hand when you come close - punching or kicking is in the same range as a weapon, and so is unsafe unless you have somehow occupied the opponent's weapons. This is why every punch or kick shown in Fiore only happens *after* he has crossed or grabbed the opponent's weapon.
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Postby Stunt Weasel » 28 Mar 2006 13:28

Yes, but the unarmed wrestling techniques seem to suppose the weapons are both gone now anyways and there's no punches or kicks there ... as for once distance has been closed and the weapon checked, I recall a few kicks but not any punches specifically. Do you have pics of those? I'd love to refresh my memory!

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Postby admin » 28 Mar 2006 13:39

The Exiles have that part online here:
http://www.the-exiles.org/FioreProject/ ... 0(Combined).pdf

There are knees to petenichio's - I suspect that there are no punches or kicks just because they are not conlusive things normally - wrestling is (see UFC!). He does mention the good places to strike in wrestling in his prologue - in some of the German sources the odd strike is shown, but it's always to assist the wrestling technique, as Fiore's knees are here.
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Postby Stunt Weasel » 28 Mar 2006 13:45

Thanks, Matt!

This time I really am off to bed ...

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Postby J Marwood » 28 Mar 2006 13:47

Look at the later UFCs etc. and you can see plenty instances where strikes are decisive.

I think the use of feet and knees may be a feature of the context. For example, in most modern knife defence systems, two hands are used to control the opponent (The 2-on-1 grip). This only leaves the head, knees and feet to do the damage. Is it possible that Fiore considers it likely that both your hands will be in use, either gripping the opponent or gripping a tool?

Also, the head seems to see less prominance as a weapon in places where football isn't played so this could explain the lack of headbutts.
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Postby admin » 28 Mar 2006 13:50

J Marwood wrote:Is it possible that Fiore considers it likely that both your hands will be in use, either gripping the opponent or gripping a tool?


I think most of the time yes, though in the First Master of dagger he does a one-handed disarm and clobbers the guy with the other hand :). Buy of course this technique can equally be done with a dagger in hand instead of a hammerfist or whatever he uses.
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