Is boxing the oldest *living* tradition of martial art?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by cross_trainer, Aug 5, 2022.

  1. cross_trainer

    cross_trainer Liston was good, but no "Tire Iron" Jones Full Member

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    As a hand-to-hand fighting tradition, boxing traces its championship lineage back to Figg and Broughton in the early 1700s. Over three centuries. Less than a century after that, we have written manuals from Mendoza and his pupils. Aside from the wrestling, its recorded technique does look like an ancestor of modern boxing.

    Meanwhile, although some East Asian martial arts traditions claim to be older than this, documentation can difficult to locate. Lots of the stuff we consider ancient -- Tae Kwon Do, Judo, some Kung Fu styles -- can't go back recognizably further than the late 19th century (although they obviously still drew upon older traditions when they were formulated. Judo, for example, came from jiu-jitsu in a manner analogous to boxing's emergence from earlier folk-fighting traditions that probably resembled the stuff in Ring-Buch or Worstel-Konst.)

    So...as recognizable styles in living traditions go, who has boxing beat?
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2022
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  2. mr. magoo

    mr. magoo Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    I find it hard to believe that boxing predates some of the ancient Asian forms of martial arts but given that I am not an expert on the subject I can’t say for sure. Then again, I believe boxing ( or some form of it ) goes back as far as Ancient Greece. Hard to say. One thing that I think we can all agree on is that hand to hand combat has been around since the birth of man kind. Cave men used to kill each other with their bare hands I’m sure even their primitive brains had specific techniques
     
  3. The Fighting Yoda

    The Fighting Yoda Active Member Full Member

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    I don't know what the oldest tradition is, but Indians were often very early in many cultural achievements.
    Thus, I checked out Kalaripayattu (or Kalari)

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    According to a German source that I found it's even 6000 years old:

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  4. Dempsey1238

    Dempsey1238 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Boxing and wrestling (Real wrestling) goes all the way back to Homer. So it even predates the likes of Figg.
     
  5. Dempsey1238

    Dempsey1238 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    A video on boxing in ancient Greece.
     
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  6. cross_trainer

    cross_trainer Liston was good, but no "Tire Iron" Jones Full Member

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    True, but its ancient Greek form does not appear to have passed down as a living tradition to us.
     
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  7. Dempsey1238

    Dempsey1238 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    I am going to be real here, but the Greek "Boxing" was more for a war tactic. For a "Freindly" sport, it had to be tone down. You did not want Foreman vs Fraizer and the fight to go on until Frazier is killed. Even the sport of Wrestling was used in case a soldier lost their weapon. You can punch and kick in Greek wrestling, even choke or break a arm if you got a good hold.
     
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  8. Pugguy

    Pugguy Well-Known Member Full Member

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    This far back at least:-

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    Aurelius you ask? Yes, very really-ous.
     
  9. 70sFan865

    70sFan865 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    I think Sumo is also older than boxing, or at least it's close.
     
  10. FastLeft

    FastLeft Active Member Full Member

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    ' living tradition "" is not requiring documentation

    yes so it is difficult to know factual from legend
     
  11. Marvelous_Iron

    Marvelous_Iron New Member Full Member

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    daito ryu aki jujitsu was created by the Seiwa Minamoto clan and handed down generation to generation with its first compiled teachings being dated to the 11th century, so actually probably more like the 10th century with it being developed over the course of the wars that the clan was involved in

    as time went on certain techniques were refined or emphasized by the various masters and this is eventually where more modern forms of jujitsu such as judo, aikido, and hapkido came from

    so basically judo and more modern forms of jujitsu can trace back to around the 10th century
     
  12. Glass City Cobra

    Glass City Cobra Boxing Addict Full Member

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    Primitive wrestling/grappling is the oldest art on Earth. It predates humans. You can see chimps, gorillas, cats, bears, even monitor lizards somehow having a rudimentary understanding of leverage, submission holds, side control, pinning, clinching, suplexes, etc. I've even seen baby versions of theses animals displaying an understanding of these things without any instruction from their parents. Grappling and wrestling might be a primordial, instinctive martial art.
     
  13. cross_trainer

    cross_trainer Liston was good, but no "Tire Iron" Jones Full Member

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    I'm not sure I understand what you mean.

    Living traditions can be documented in history, or can lack documentation. Boxing itself is a good example. It's a living tradition, because it's still being practiced. It also happens to be a documented living tradition because we have historical documents about most of its history.
     
  14. FastLeft

    FastLeft Active Member Full Member

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    yes
    & kung fu might be older than English boxing. passed down many centuries. but no one documented in writing.
     
  15. BCS8

    BCS8 Obsessed with Boxing banned Full Member

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    Wrestling is older for sure.

    Read the story of how an MMA guy beat a fully armoured Macedonian champion in full battle gear in a duel, while being naked himself and carrying nothing more than a piece of wood:

    In the course of the drinking a curious event occurred which is worth mention. Among the king's companions there was a
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    named Coragus, strong in body, who had distinguished himself many times in battle. His temper was sharpened by the drink, and he challenged to single combat Dioxippus the
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    , an athlete who had won a crown in the foremost games.note

    [17.100.3] As you would expect, the guests at the banquet egged them on and Dioxippus accepted. The king set a day for the contest, and when the time came, many myriads of men gathered to see the spectacle.

    (continues)


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