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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    Correct. And I'm curious about the ones we can prove. It's certainly possible that there are undocumented, ancient traditions, but there's no way to know if we don't have documentation (or archeological evidence, etc.)
     
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  2. cross_trainer

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

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    I agree, but Greek wrestling / pankration does not appear to have survived to modern times. It's not a living tradition.
     
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  3. FastLeft

    FastLeft Active Member Full Member

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    some traditions = recorded only in the spoken word & passed down through generations by word . & memorise.
    is worth investigation
    to draw a conclusion
     
  4. BCS8

    BCS8 Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    I have it on good authority that Greeks have been beating each other up since then :D

    Fine. Then I counterattack with this



    Cave paintings in the
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    of
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    dating back to Neolithic age of 7000BC show grappling of two naked men and surrounded by crowds.

    This content is protected
     
  5. 70sFan865

    70sFan865 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    That's why Mongolians are also so successful in pro sumo, unlike other countries. They have very long and deep tradition of wrestling competition.
     
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  6. cross_trainer

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

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    If you have evidence of the oral tradition and its integrity, sure.
     
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  7. ikrasevic

    ikrasevic Икрашевић Full Member

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    It is very difficult to determine which is the oldest "living" (still in use) martial art, but boxing is certainly not it.
    It is difficult because of the vast majority of falsified history, and many other reasons.
    Wrestling was an Olympic discipline in ancient Greece, that's for sure.
    Kung fu is a very old martial art and is now in use.
    Boxing is certainly not the oldest martial art, and to determine which one is; for that, we need a historian more than a connoisseur of martial arts.

    And the second thing is that this martial art is still "alive" (in use), and kung fu is.
     
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  8. Philly161

    Philly161 "Fundamentals are the crutch of the talentless" Full Member

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    There are african tribes that seem to have intact martial arts (often involving some sort of stick or club) who live much as they did thousands of years ago.

    I always assumed something as primal and intuitive as sporting combat would have grown out of training for war and then applying that training during peace for entertainment (and probably gambling) far before the invention of things like agriculture or the written word.
     
  9. SwarmingSlugger

    SwarmingSlugger Member Full Member

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    Boxing definitely goes back to ancient Greece, though it would look different from what we say today. Wrestling/Grappling is much more natural for humans overall however the punch tends to be most effective in combat as a punch to the head can literally end a fight in a second or less turning off the human brain aka computer.
     
  10. BoB Box

    BoB Box Member Full Member

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    As far as I remember, Boxing has evidence of existing in Egypt around 3000 BC.
     
  11. MixedMartialLaw

    MixedMartialLaw Boards don’t hit back Full Member

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    Wrestling has to be the oldest form of human fighting. Look at the "combat" of apes and it sort of approximates rough grappling. Look at todlers even when they try to get physical.

    If going by specifically written tradition, boxing, wrestling, pankration and other forms all go back to Greek antiquity.

    Pankration lives on more or less in modern MMA.
     
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  12. cross_trainer

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

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    Written and living. Which DQ's Greek wrestling, since it doesn't have a documented lineage from the ancient world to today.
     
  13. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    There is the issue of whether mock combat, with some sort of limits to violence, constitutes a martial art.

    If the answer is yes, then it is not even limited to humans.

    Wrestling is probably the earliest form of combat sport, and it dates back to at least 3000BC, in what is today Iraq.

    Even before that, there was probably some kind of organized military training, that would have amounted to a martial art.
     
  14. cross_trainer

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

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    The criteria in the thread were:

    1) A living tradition that has survived until today.

    2) Hand to hand fighting.

    3) Relatively well proven / documented historically to have existed and continued through time until today.

    All of the criteria have to be satisfied.

    Mesopotamian wrestling fails (1) and possibly (3), since I don't think it's a living tradition that we can trace from Sumer/Akkad to a modern style of wrestling in a direct line.

    Nonhuman fighting fails (1) and (3), since we have no evidence of a lineage of fighting art stretching from australopithecines (or whatever) until today. Depending on the animals, it would also fail (2), since combat with antlers, venomous fangs, etc. would not be "hand to hand" in the relevant sense.

    Similarly, most HEMA material, although documented to exist in its own time, cannot claim continuity into the present day. Modern enthusiasts revived most of these arts beginning in the Victorian period. Most of the HEMA material also involves weapons.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2022
  15. MixedMartialLaw

    MixedMartialLaw Boards don’t hit back Full Member

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    I'm not a specialist but isn't the Greco-Roman wrestling that exists today not the direct lineage from Greek wrestling? Using that standard modern Boxings lineage can't go back much further than the Queensbury rules as ungloved boxing before that period was very much its own entity compared to today.