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 and other fighting systems.

Periodically, new articles will be added that discuss some of the most interesting fighting styles, masters and cultural aspects of the martial arts that 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 fighting system that has been refined to the point of becoming an art form.

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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 on the History of Fighting 

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.....

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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.....

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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.....

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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.....

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.....

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Post-Queensbury Rules Boxing Culture

With the introduction of the Queensbury Rules, boxing began to become legitimised and more professional. Carnival fighting took off in a big way however until around the mid-twentieth century, the sport was institutionally racist leaving many of the best black fighters unable to fully reach their potential.....Read Article
Making the Native American Bow and Arrow

The bow and arrow made up an important part of Native American culture as it was used both for hunting food and as a primary weapon of war. The process of making the bow and arrow was a complex one that required a considerable amount of time and effort, along with a high level of craftsmanship to insure optimum accuracy and trajectory.....Read Article
Pak Mei – A Kung Fu Legend

Pak Mei kung fu, named after its founder, is believed to have been developed in the 17th century after the infamous burning of the Shaolin Temple. Thought by some to be a traitor and others a hero, the legendary Pak Mei developed a style that was so ruthless that even to this day, is only taught in its truest form to the most elite of martial artists.....Read Article
The Rise and Fall of Yoshitsune Minamoto

Yoshitsune Minamoto was an instrumental figure during the Genpei War in the twelfth century, helping his brother Yoritomo overthrow the ruling Taira Clan with several decisive victories on the battlefield. However after the war was won, Yoritomo turned on his brother, accused him of treason and hunted him down like a common criminal.....Read Article

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