Welcome to the History of Fighting 

Welcome to the History of Fighting, an on-going project that attempts to learn as much as possible about the history of the martial arts, combat sports, the military and anything related to the art of fighting. Periodically, new articles will be added that discuss some of the most interesting styles, masters and cultural aspects of the subject matter that have been handed down to us through the annals of the history of fighting.

Talk the Talk

The Oxford English Dictionary defines the term Martial Arts as a 'self defence system that originated in East Asian countries'.

However the History of Fighting acknowledges that most cultures have some form of civil fighting system that has been refined to the point of becoming an art form.

Walk the Walk

Most countries throughout the word have developed both civil and military systems of fighting that extend far beyond the concept of inflicting damage on an opponent.

The History of Fighting seeks to root out not only the techniques, weapons technology and training methods behind these systems, but also the philosophical and theological principles that guide them.

Martial Arts Quote

“Good technique includes quick changes, great variety and speed. It may be a system of reversals much like a concept of God and the Devil.

In the speed of events, which one is really in charge?.....To put the heart of martial arts in your own heart and have it be a part of you means total comprehension and the use of a free style.

When you have that you will know that there are no limits.”

~ Bruce Lee ~

Recent Articles

Sam Langford

Sam Langford is one of the greatest boxers never to be crowned World Champion. Boxing in the early half of the 20 century, he was a victim of the ‘colour line’ and not given his chance because of the colour of his skin despite the fact that the champion at the time, Jack Johnson, was an African American.....Read Article
Hienori Otsuka - Founder of Wado-Ryu Karate

By the age of 28, Hienori Otsuka was a renowned master at jujitsu before becoming a student of Gichin Funakoshi. He excelled at karate, quickly rising through the ranks to become an assistant instructor and helping to develop training techniques in Shotokan karate. Later, he broke away to form his own style of karate, Wado-Ryu......Read Article
The Kamakura Period

A look at the change and turmoil experienced by the ruling elite of Japan during the Kamakura Period and the Kemmu Restoration. A series of civil wars and two invasions from the Mongols saw powershifts not only between rival families, but also between the titles of the Emperor, the Shogun and the Regent.....Read Article
Mongolian Archery

Archery has been integral to Mongolian culture for millennia and used for fighting, hunting and sport. The bows they used were amongst the best in the world and coupled with the archery skills of Mongolian warriors, allowed Genghis Khan and his descendants to build one of the largest empires the world has ever seen.....Read Article
Edith Garrud - The Suffragette Jujitsu Teacher

Edith Garrud was a pioneer in the art of jujitsu becoming one of the first women to teach martial arts in the West. She used her skills to help the suffragettes in their fight for votes for women, not only by protecting the movement’s leaders but also by training others to do so......Read Article
The Reign of Don King

Amidst numerous accusations of corruption, Don King has had a major influence on boxing since becoming a promoter in the 1970s. He staged some of the biggest fights in history, increased the prize money earned by fighters and considerably raised public interest in the sport, all in his own charismatic and outspoken style......Read Article
Zhang Sanfeng

Zhang Sanfeng who, according to legend, was the founder of an internal Chinese martial art known as Mien Chuen that would evolve into Tai Chi Chuan. After spending many years training in the Shaolin Temple, he made his way to the Wu Tang Mountains where he developed his new style after watching a fight between a snake and a crane.....Read Article
The History of the Shotokan Kata – Part Two

A rundown on the history of some of the more advanced kata in the Shotokan karate sylibus, looking at their origins and development over the years. The list includes Wankan, Gankaku, Meikyo, Chinte, Gojushiho Sho and Dai, Sochin, Nijushiho and Unsu......Read Article
The Japanese Samurai in War

The samurai of Japan were a warrior elite whose very identity was moulded by tactics, customs and philosophies pertaining to war. The term samurai literally means to serve referring to the duty of the warriors to serve their warlord, especially in battle where a glorious death was to be longed for.....Read Article
The History of the Shotokan Kata – Part One

A look at some of the kata that have helped shape Shotokan karate as we know it today. The list discusses Kihon kata, the Heian kata, the Tekki group, Bassai Dai and Sho, Empi, Hangetsu, Kanku Sho and Dai, Jion, Ji’in and Jitte, attempting to explain their meanings, origins and how they developed over the 19th and early 20th centuries.....Read Article
Archery and Social Class in Medieval England

A look at the development of archery in medieval England in warfare and how the social status of the archer changed over time. Early in the period, soldiers armed with short bows or crossbows were often seen as inferior warriors but as the period developed, their social states saw some growth.....Read Article
Five Little Known Facts About Muhammad Ali

As one of the most charismatic figures in 20th century sports, most people are aware that Muhammad Ali was one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time. However as a man who has led an interesting and varied life, there are many facts about him that are less well known, but interesting none the less.....Read Article
The Duels of Miyamoto Musashi 

Miyamoto Musashi is one of the most acclaimed samurai that ever lived. While undertaking a warrior’s pilgrimage in the 17th century, he fought in over 60 duels dispatching the best swordsmen in a given area, often in fights to the death.....Read Article
Ving Tsun Kung Fu

When Yim Ving Tsun was being bullied by a local man, she found help from Ng Mui, one of the Five Elders from the Shaolin Temple who taught her kung fu. From her, the Ving Tsun (wing Chun) style developed and was handed down from student to master before being popularised by Yip Man and Bruce Lee.....Read Article
Angola Capoeira

As the inventor of the Angola style, Mestre Pastinha is an instrumental figure in capoeira history. His system took the art back to its roots, moving away from set training methods and favouring a more personalised style of fighting for each capoeirista.....Read Article

Fighting Systems


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