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Re[2]: Fwd: [sig] Cossack Martial Arts

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  • Alexey Kiyaikin aka Posadnik
    Greetings! ... I am awfully sorry.... But it is no good source. The Stroganov chronicle is a later copy of a 17-century text speaking of the earlier times. It
    Message 1 of 5 , May 24, 2007
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      Greetings!


      > There are only so many ways the human body can move so it should not
      > be a suprise if there is similiarity here and there, but if sombody
      > makes claims about traditional heritage it would be nice to have some
      > doumentation.
      > Here is something:
      > http://www.kismeta.com/diGrasse/YermakSiberia.htm
      > look at Yermak-the-cossack learning his trade as a youth..
      > From this I would look to the Turkish Janissary -like tradition of
      > wrestling as a Cossack martial arts training form, rather than, say,
      > kung-fu.
      I am awfully sorry.... But it is no good source. The Stroganov chronicle is a later copy of a 17-century text speaking of the earlier times. It is already a comix strip for those used to see European Romman-styled images, an anachronism like a canvas with St. Sebastian surrounded by people wearing Gothic full plate. Just for example - the cossack doing spear practices holds a typical european lance - nothing of the kind Cossacks really wielded. Also, no holding a blade like a guy at the top. The real thingy in the picture can be the stick game, developing pulling strength (needed in archery and rowing).


      >
      > The 'indian style' wrestling with a stick also seems like a fun thing
      > we will do in camp one day.
      And it _is_ a Cossack (children) game, afair. I once met it in a book about traditional children's games.

      Bye,
      Alex
    • Rick Orli
      You are mistaken, the pictures are a late-17th C. illustration of a 16th C. event. As such, they probabally reflect practices and the look of things as the
      Message 2 of 5 , May 25, 2007
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        You are mistaken, the pictures are a late-17th C. illustration of a
        16th C. event. As such, they probabally reflect practices and the
        look of things as the artist experienced or understood them in the
        early to mid 17th C, or a 17th C. person's guess of what a 16th C.
        person would be doing. It happens I'm interested in the 17th C., so
        that is fine with me.

        I would not be as dismisive of the images as you seem to be, after
        all, the artist was more or less of that time and place, so I am much
        more inclined to credit his guess than yours, and especially as he
        had access to earlier sketches and pictures that have been since lost.
        THere are for sure many seemingly goofy or anchronistic things in the
        picture. I mentioned the flintlock pistol... not 16th C.
        The western lance... from foot not horse no less. Yes that is
        puzzling, but I think you need to remember that Eastern Europeans
        entered western style jousting tournaments as late as the late 16th
        C. There were at least 2 Poles ( and they could have easily been
        ukrainian or lithuanian for all we know) at a tournament that
        was "won" by King Henry VIII of england. So, the equipment as a sort
        of by-then-archaic sporting gear may have been around, and taught to
        socially upwardly moble young men. Somewhat like modern sporting
        basketball or football, jousting and swordplay was a way in which an
        athletic superstar with modest social or financial background could
        move in elite company, and kids dreamed of becoming famous sport-
        jousters. It could have been something like that, that inspired the
        lance.
        As far as not holding the blade like that... 'no' so you say. I say
        atypical but interesting defensive way to hold a weapon (is it a
        dagger or stick?), that can work (as long as the other weapon is used
        for attack, which seems to be being practiced here), and I have some
        experience with such things. to me its a puzzle, a puzzle rooted in
        actual near-contemporary documentation; not something to dismiss out
        of hand.

        So the archer shooting at the flying straw hat(maybe), the 2 forms of
        wrestling, etc. All looks like much better and solid information
        than the sheer speculation other posts here have made about a dance-
        martial arts connection (which I don't doubt, by the way, but we are
        talking about DOCUMENTATION here).
        -Rick
        --- In sig@yahoogroups.com, Alexey Kiyaikin aka Posadnik
        <Posadnik@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        >
        > Greetings!
        >
        >
        > > There are only so many ways the human body can move so it should
        not
        > > be a suprise if there is similiarity here and there, but if
        sombody
        > > makes claims about traditional heritage it would be nice to have
        some
        > > doumentation.
        > > Here is something:
        > > http://www.kismeta.com/diGrasse/YermakSiberia.htm
        > > look at Yermak-the-cossack learning his trade as a youth..
        > > From this I would look to the Turkish Janissary -like tradition
        of
        > > wrestling as a Cossack martial arts training form, rather than,
        say,
        > > kung-fu.
        > I am awfully sorry.... But it is no good source. The Stroganov
        chronicle is a later copy of a 17-century text speaking of the
        earlier times. It is already a comix strip for those used to see
        European Romman-styled images, an anachronism like a canvas with St.
        Sebastian surrounded by people wearing Gothic full plate. Just for
        example - the cossack doing spear practices holds a typical european
        lance - nothing of the kind Cossacks really wielded. Also, no holding
        a blade like a guy at the top. The real thingy in the picture can be
        the stick game, developing pulling strength (needed in archery and
        rowing).
        >
        >
        > >
        > > The 'indian style' wrestling with a stick also seems like a fun
        thing
        > > we will do in camp one day.
        > And it _is_ a Cossack (children) game, afair. I once met it in a
        book about traditional children's games.
        >
        > Bye,
        > Alex
        >
      • Alexey Kiyaikin aka Posadnik
        greetings! ... May I humbly ask what on earth have Poles to do with the Stroganovs, whose trade posts were in the north-EAST of Russia, afair Vyatka and
        Message 3 of 5 , May 25, 2007
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          greetings!

          > You are mistaken, the pictures are a late-17th C. illustration of a
          > 16th C. event. As such, they probabally reflect practices and the
          > look of things as the artist experienced or understood them in the
          > early to mid 17th C, or a 17th C. person's guess of what a 16th C.
          > person would be doing. It happens I'm interested in the 17th C., so
          > that is fine with me.
          >
          > I would not be as dismisive of the images as you seem to be, after
          > all, the artist was more or less of that time and place, so I am much
          > more inclined to credit his guess than yours, and especially as he
          > had access to earlier sketches and pictures that have been since lost.
          > THere are for sure many seemingly goofy or anchronistic things in the
          > picture. I mentioned the flintlock pistol... not 16th C.
          > The western lance... from foot not horse no less. Yes that is
          > puzzling, but I think you need to remember that Eastern Europeans
          > entered western style jousting tournaments as late as the late 16th
          > C. There were at least 2 Poles ( and they could have easily been
          > ukrainian or lithuanian for all we know) at a tournament that
          > was "won" by King Henry VIII of england. So, the equipment as a sort
          > of by-then-archaic sporting gear may have been around, and taught to

          May I humbly ask what on earth have Poles to do with the Stroganovs, whose trade posts were in the north-EAST of Russia, afair Vyatka and Solikamsk, on the way to the northern passes through teh Urals? The sketches are not Polish at all. They were made by the Muscovites that NEVER practiced jousting, so they had no need to make conical-shape spears. The pics we discuss were made already iunder their control to please them, not any jousting fans

          > socially upwardly moble young men. Somewhat like modern sporting
          > basketball or football, jousting and swordplay was a way in which an
          > athletic superstar with modest social or financial background could
          > move in elite company, and kids dreamed of becoming famous sport-
          > jousters. It could have been something like that, that inspired the
          > lance.
          It could be not. If you were ever interested in Muscovy, you would've long found out that jousting was never a combat discipline with the Muscovy, Russian saddles made a shallow seating with knees very high - which enabled great freedom of movement for mounted archery but was awfully inconvenient for jousting and all that. Baron Herberstein in his 16-century chronicles was more than detailed on that. In other words: do not confuse the Musciovites and the Polish. In late period they were VERY different. And some taste to Western ways and habits did exist yet in early reign of Alexey Mikhailovich (first mundane theater, first plays written by the Russians, first regiments organised by 30-years' war standards etc) - so that could have been added "to add some taste of nobility and knighthood".

          All in all, Ermak was not a war elite guy, he is just an outlaw, that robbed anyone on lower Volga, then, fleeing from the Muscovy troops chasing him, went up the Volga until coming to the heart of the Stroganov empire on upper Kama. As the Stroganovs were indeed a frontier trade empire, that meant safety for any outlaw gang pledging allegiance to the Stroganovs. For most part, tales about Robin Hood-like folk hero Ermak were collected in Esipov chronicles (existing in parallel with the Stroganov chronicle), much criticized yet in 19 century for dropping unpleasant facts marring the sweet image of the never-doing-wrong Ermak host. Some material from Esipov were used in Remizov chronicle, the pics from which were presented on teh web page we are discussing.

          Bye,
          Alex
        • Rick Orli
          Ok, I am not arguing with you about the relation of Poles to the Stroganoffs or Don Cossacks. I was making a case for why the lance in the picture purporting
          Message 4 of 5 , May 27, 2007
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            Ok, I am not arguing with you about the relation of Poles to the
            Stroganoffs or Don Cossacks. I was making a case for why the lance
            in the picture purporting to be part of a 16th C. petty
            noble/cossack's training is not easily dismissible. (So I was not
            really trying to prove anything, expect the benefit of using the
            evidence at hand) My point was that jousting (or larger point, use
            of the couched lance in combat) was not limited to western use.

            To address your other comments below, A claim that Muscovites never
            participated in Western-style jousting lists would not be correct
            even though it was rare. A claim that the muscovite heavy cavalry
            did not use the couched lance - it that is what you mean - I don't
            buy that either. The Muscovites practiced horse archery but they
            also had a heavy shock combat element that was very respected.

            As far as the knees high and inconvenient saddle for jousting, sorry
            to bring up the Lithuanian and Polish cavalry again but they used
            exactly the same seat when they used the kopia, but maybe not when
            they did western-style sport jousting. The Persians did not play
            with western Jousting, but they also had a superb heavy cavalry
            lancer tradition, that used the Couched lance and eastern-type
            saddle. If they managed don't tell me the muscovites couldn't.

            >
            > May I humbly ask what on earth have Poles to do with the
            Stroganovs, whose trade posts were in the north-EAST of Russia,
            afair Vyatka and Solikamsk, on the way to the northern passes
            through teh Urals? The sketches are not Polish at all. They were
            made by the Muscovites that NEVER practiced jousting, so they had no
            need to make conical-shape spears. The pics we discuss were made
            already iunder their control to please them, not any jousting fans
            >
            > It could be not. If you were ever interested in Muscovy, you
            would've long found out that jousting was never a combat discipline
            with the Muscovy, Russian saddles made a shallow seating with knees
            very high - which enabled great freedom of movement for mounted
            archery but was awfully inconvenient for jousting and all that.
            Baron Herberstein in his 16-century chronicles was more than
            detailed on that. In other words: do not confuse the Musciovites and
            the Polish. In late period they were VERY different. And some taste
            to Western ways and habits did exist yet in early reign of Alexey
            Mikhailovich (first mundane theater, first plays written by the
            Russians, first regiments organised by 30-years' war standards etc) -
            so that could have been added "to add some taste of nobility and
            knighthood".
            >
            > All in all, Ermak was not a war elite guy, he is just an outlaw,
            that robbed anyone on lower Volga, then, fleeing from the Muscovy
            troops chasing him, went up the Volga until coming to the heart of
            the Stroganov empire on upper Kama. As the Stroganovs were indeed a
            frontier trade empire, that meant safety for any outlaw gang
            pledging allegiance to the Stroganovs. For most part, tales about
            Robin Hood-like folk hero Ermak were collected in Esipov chronicles
            (existing in parallel with the Stroganov chronicle), much criticized
            yet in 19 century for dropping unpleasant facts marring the sweet
            image of the never-doing-wrong Ermak host. Some material from Esipov
            were used in Remizov chronicle, the pics from which were presented
            on teh web page we are discussing.
            >
            > Bye,
            > Alex
            >
          • Alexey Kiyaikin aka Posadnik
            Greetings! ... My point is that even mid-19 century publications (manuals, actually) for Cossack lance referred to the typical Oriental-type shaft weapon: a
            Message 5 of 5 , May 28, 2007
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              Greetings!

              > Ok, I am not arguing with you about the relation of Poles to the
              > Stroganoffs or Don Cossacks. I was making a case for why the lance
              > in the picture purporting to be part of a 16th C. petty
              > noble/cossack's training is not easily dismissible. (So I was not
              > really trying to prove anything, expect the benefit of using the
              > evidence at hand) My point was that jousting (or larger point, use
              > of the couched lance in combat) was not limited to western use.
              My point is that even mid-19 century publications (manuals, actually) for Cossack lance referred to the typical Oriental-type shaft weapon: a simple cylindrical shaft was heeded for different parrying movements etc, impossible with the western-type regular jiusting lance, conical or simply balanced weight concentrated at the middle, for easier aiming while on horse. Notably, at the very same type even the Cossacks were trained in cutting techniques on the base of standard Western fencing manuals, with typical leg position and typical elbow-centered cutting movement (while, say, Shashka cutting requires rather a movementpattern involving equally the wrist, teh elbow and the shoulder). I think it is sufficient proof that the Cossacks, using the lance as, say, the Chinese did - with thrusts and swinging blows with the shaft - did not need to traing european-style jousting. They had saddles (actually, stirrups) totally inconvenient for a lance thrust, and were a typical light cavalry, relying on shooting and maneuvre than on regular charge.

              While - say - the Poles did need to train one, as their heavy and middle cavalry was rather Western-type than Oriental, so they really needed to wield a European lance, so THEY had all reasons to participate in jousting events at European tournaments.

              > To address your other comments below, A claim that Muscovites never
              > participated in Western-style jousting lists would not be correct
              > even though it was rare. A claim that the muscovite heavy cavalry
              > did not use the couched lance - it that is what you mean - I don't
              > buy that either. The Muscovites practiced horse archery but they
              > also had a heavy shock combat element that was very respected.
              Sorry, but you will need to refer to anything in proof of that. I have some vague reference to participating of teh Russians in teh pre-Mongol European tournaments. And I have plenty of sources stating that the "Muscovite" period was a turn to Oriental military ways.
              First of all I mean baron Herberstein, about miid-1500s, the Notes on the Muscovite Affairs, and he states that the Russians are mounted archers as their saddles do not provide firm sitting, with stirrups very high - which means any attempt to make a lance thrust will throw the rider backwards from the saddle. Such saddle construction is very typical to mounted archery, while the Western type saddles had their stirrups low, with rear arch high, just to suport a rider thrusting a spear. Herberstein also notes the other military articles the Muscovite riders wield: kisten (bassalyk), saber, and a bow. These are typical light cavalry items. And no wonder: most opponents had same light cavalry tactics, to be opposed with same. It was Poland that had some neighbors equipped Western-type, and some Easter-type. Russia had few prospective enemies with wester-type heavy cavalry, and lots of trouble with Krimean, Nogai etc nomad raiding parties, some of which were so big and - at the same time maneuvrable that they reached the modern Moscow region. So, another reason for jousting decline.

              > As far as the knees high and inconvenient saddle for jousting, sorry
              > to bring up the Lithuanian and Polish cavalry again but they used
              > exactly the same seat when they used the kopia, but maybe not when
              > they did western-style sport jousting. The Persians did not play
              ergm... we speak of the _light_ cavalry? And if we do, did they practice jousting with the heavy western shuttle-like spear? I am afraid it was invented just for the _Western_ heavy cavalry charge tactics.

              > with western Jousting, but they also had a superb heavy cavalry
              > lancer tradition, that used the Couched lance and eastern-type
              sorry but they did never use Western-type spear.

              > saddle. If they managed don't tell me the muscovites couldn't.
              The point is not the Muscovites never practiced ANY jousting The light cavalry obviously did - but in completely different way than the conical-shaped heavy spear suggested. The point is they never used Western-type spear shafts, invented for heavy cavalry tactics. The cone on the front part of the shaft is more likely to be seen, say, on a painting by Durer than on a Russian pre-18 century drawing.

              Bye,
              Alex.
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