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

The History of the Sword

A look at the long history of the sword and its usage across the world. First developed in the Bronze Age and then further developed in the Iron Age, the sword has held great significance in most societies as both a weapon of war, an aid to self-defence and even as a status symbol.....Read Article
The History of the Roman Army

A look at the weapons, tactics and organisation of the armies of ancient Rome and how they evolved from a small civil militia in the seventh century BCE in to the most formidable fighting force in the known world by the first century BCE and eventually saw the fall of the Roman Empire by the fifth century CE......Read Article
The History of Medieval Knights

A brief look at the life and culture of the medieval knight. Taught to be brave, courteous and gallant, knights were also bloodthirsty warring men who were sworn to fight for their lord and king and even to be ready to die for them when necessary......Read Article
The History of Kendo

A look at how the sword skills of the samurai, collectively known as kenjutsu, evolved into the modern-day sport of kendo. From the rise of martial arts schools in the Edo period to their decline after the Meiji Restoration and then the rise of sword fighting practiced for sport and as a way to engender personal growth.....Read Article
The History of Judo

A look at how and why Jigoro Kano developed the art of judo. In the late nineteenth century, martial arts in Japan were in decline so in a bid to save the knowledge that had been passed down for over a thousand years, Kano developed judo from jiu-jitsu as a sport while preserving the deadlier moves within judo kata…..Read Article
The History of BJJ

A look at the development of the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. After being taught judo by the great Mitsuyo Maeda, Carlos Gracie and later his younger brother Helio innovated new techniques and built a competition system that saw Maeda’s judo evolve into a whole new system, commonly known today as BJJ.....Read Article
The History of Aikido

 A look at the formation of the art of aikido and how it was conceptualised, created and developed by O’ Sensei Morihei Ueshiba. Aikido is unique in the world of martial arts because of the level of emphasis put on developing the practitioner into becoming a well rounded, productive member of society.....Read Article
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

Fighting Systems


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