How to make it into history of world martial arts in one year – World of Martial Arts

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How to make it into history of world martial arts in one year

How to make it into history of world martial arts in one year

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Throughout the year of 2017 freely available to everybody in public domain, one by one there was an appearance of dozens translated ancient treatises on fencing. Some of these treatises were written 300-400 years ago in Old Spanish, Old Italian and French languages. Among these treatises one can single out such fundamental works as the "Greatness of the sword" by Don Luis Pacheco de Narvaez, "Reasons of victorious handling of the weapons" by Giacomo di Grassi, "The Academy of the Sword" by Gerard Thibault, "Treatise on the science of weapons with philosophical reflections" by Camillo Agrippa and many others.
Perhaps, this is extremely unusual and even somewhat paradoxical. Why would someone "stir up the past" and raise things from the depths of the history, that no one has been interested in for many centuries?

It is worth noting that as yet as four or five centuries ago the creation of such written works was not a surprising phenomenon, considering the fact that in those days fencing was the main "bread-producing" industry. The ability to fence was equivalent to the notion of "ability to survive." Moreover, it was not a mere question of life and death, but also of the situation in society, as well as political ambitions. However, that was in the past! All these treatises were undeservedly forgotten and turned out to be of no use to generations. They had been simply forgotten in the libraries and state archives.
However, here we should pay attention to another paradox. Despite the fact that in modern society most people do not have to “bring a bread” by means of the weapons in their hands, having studied even superficially the number of existing fencing schools of various masters today, one cannot help but notice that many of them position themselves as "custodians” of the ancient knowledge. They consider themselves to be followers of scientific fencing and the science set forth in the works left by our predecessors. Moreover, modern so-called "maestros" claim that they are well acquainted with ancient works and that they teach applying that very knowledge, and some even argue that these treatises are their reference books. One may ask "so what is the paradox"? Well, a simple experiment demonstrates that none of these "maestros" can provide evidence to their words. If you ask them to provide such primary sources, it will be no success. Most likely, most modern "maestros" did not look into the treatises. In order to test this, we have decided to conduct a certain study. It turned out that in different years a large number of people took part in the translation of the treatises of the XVI-XVII centuries. Obviously, in order to conduct this kind of work, it is not enough to know the language at an ordinary level. We have interviewed a number of people who have been translating ancient treatises over the past 20 years. Among them are professors of Spanish universities, such as Naira Palmero Ramos, Victor Palmero Rodriguez, American writer Cindy Kepp and others. First, it was found that a considerable number of Spanish and Italian martial arts masters, which are native speakers of the language and, obviously should understand what is written in these books, were not much of a help. Some said that the books they have in the hands is not written in Spanish, others said that they cannot find a meaning in the words, and some accented that there are many words that are not used today anymore which is the reason they are not understandable. Even professors and people who are fluent in the language , having an access to dictionaries and old libraries, faced great difficulties in translating certain fragments of ancient treatises.
Author Cindy Kepp during the translation of the fragment of the treatise "The Philosophy of the Weapon" by Jeronimo de Carranza noted that she used her own approach in translation as a linguist. She used to read out loud certain words and perceived their meaning by the sound, additionally she had applied the approach of solving cryptographic puzzles.

We have also conducted interviews with the staff of the Research Institute, which have translated more than two dozens of treatises in 2017. The Scientific Research Institute of world martial art traditions study and criminalistic research of weapon handling headed by scientist Dr. Oleg Maltsev who has devoted more than twenty years to the study of various martial arts worldwide.

Research fellow of the Scientific Research Institute of world martial art traditions study and criminalistic research of weapon handling Anna Filippova, while working with Italian treatises noted in the first place, that some of them were that old so they were written by hand. An example of such kind of treatise is "The Reasons of Victorious Handling of Weapons" by Giacomo di Grassi (1570). Also, throughout the text one may find that several languages are merged into one. For example, there were treatises that have Spanish, French and even Latin words in them ("Treatise on the science of weapons with philosophical reflections" by Camillo Agrippa, "The Reasons of Victorious Handling of Weapons" by Giacomo di Grassi), as well as the completely unfamiliar expressions that are results of fusion of several words.

Research fellow of the Scientific Research Institute of world martial art traditions study and criminalistic research of weapon handling, Kanykei Tursunbaeva has worked with with Italian and Spanish treatises. She notes that centuries later meanings of some terms have completely changed, for instance, the notion of the science as "physiognomy". In addition, in some treatises in part and sometimes there are no punctuation marks at all. One sentence can take up almost the entire page, thus it is extremely difficult to grasp the meaning and trace the end and the beginning of the thought. An example of such a treatise is the "Greatness of the sword" by Don Luis Pacheco de Narvaez.
Given the fact that the books are old, in addition there are many pages that are wiped out and the text hardly readable. At the same time by confusing one letter, one may lose the meaning of a word or even a sentence.

Research fellow of the Scientific Research Institute of world martial art traditions study and criminalistic research of weapon handling, Valeria Berman has worked with the Spanish treatises, and she spoke about such a nuance as a shortening of words in sentences, as well as the letters having different meaning in different words. Such examples can be found in the treatise "The Philosophy of Weapons" by Jerónimo de Carranza.

Also Valeria says that the number of letters in the alphabet of ancient and modern Spanish do not match.
For instance, here's how the word "Destreza" used to be written before:

In addition, the ancient treatises contain many codes and ciphers, which, of course, makes it difficult to understand the actual meaning of each book. It is also important to understand that these are not just books on fencing with a set of certain technical elements, but scientific works that include notions and narratives on psychology, philosophy, astronomy, neurophysiology, mathematics and other sciences. These treatises are scientific encyclopedias that teach one not only fencing, but also life itself. As the scientist Dr. Oleg Maltsev has said, "the scientific thought is immensely powerful in these books, and they are so practically applicable and so ideal for one’s life that it is simply impossible not to take it into consideration and apply it."
After the translation of a number of books from the Old Spanish language into modern Spanish, some masters in Spanish and Italian fencing gave their feedback. For instance, Maestro on the Spanish tolete and the head of the martial arts school "Destreza Achinech" Palmero Ramos said, that he considers such work of the institute to be very significant, as owing to this work numerous fundamental works of the XVI-XVII centuries become available for contemporaries, for people who are interested in fencing. Thus, these people will have an opportunity to continue self-education and pass on the knowledge to succeeding generations.
Maestro of Neapolitan fencing from Apulia, Sergio Potoni noted the fact he was quite surprised that there are people who still know and study the Neapolitan fencing at such a high level as Maestro Oleg Maltsev. Sergio Potoni believes this knowledge has long been forgotten, but, he said "the revival of Neapolitan fencing is a huge contribution to the education of real men."

As you can see, there are a number of specialists who note the importance and value of the translations of the ancient treatises. Nevertheless, there are people who call themselves "maestros” and claim that they are closely acquainted with the ancient treatises, but cannot provide evidence to this. What they do and what are their motives is the topic of a separate article.
At the moment, we can only say that the scientific staff of the Ukrainian Scientific Research Institute of world martial art traditions study and criminalistic research of weapon handling have done the work which nobody did before them, in the course of more than 400 years. Correspondingly, we can safely state that this research institute has made it into the history of world martial arts.

As you can see, there are a number of specialists who note the importance and value of the translations of the ancient treatises. Nevertheless, there are people who call themselves "maestros” and claim that they are closely acquainted with the ancient treatises, but cannot provide evidence to this. What they do and what are their motives is the topic of a separate article.
At the moment, we can only say that the scientific staff of the Ukrainian Scientific Research Institute of world martial art traditions study and criminalistic research of weapon handling have done the work which nobody did before them, in the course of more than 400 years. Correspondingly, we can safely state that this research institute has made it into the history of world martial arts.

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