More than one martial art

Formal shooting competitions originated in Germany about five centuries ago. Top marksmen used wheel lock rifles with range-adjustable leaf sights. Firearm use as a martial art thus predate such traditional disciplines as Aikido and Sambo by over 400 years.

Rifle shown: Chipmunk

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18 Responses to More than one martial art

  1. T.Stahl says:

    There’s still a club in Stuttgart that was founded in 1500 and which itself originated from an association of crossbowmen founded in 1482.
    1482, that was ten years before Columbus stranded in the Caribbean, 29 years after the fall of the Eastern Roman Empire.

  2. R. says:

    Karate? Why should one learn to fight bare-handed, when it’s always possible to quickly have a blade in one’s right hand and a pepper spray in one’s left hand and a killer smile on your face….?

    Some forms of karate, weren’t they developed originally by disarmed peasants? Why should one try to emulate them, if one lives in a free country where one can carry weapons and other tools, and where even a working man is in many ways more wealthy than feudal lord used to be in the middle ages..

    • Oleg Volk says:

      Because kids are without rights, disarmed by law like peasants.

      • R. says:

        What? Disarmed? I got a knife with a six inch blade on my 11th’s birthday. Still have it.

        Picture here:

        And OC spray? If I ever have kids, I’ll give them a good few whacks if I ever catch them without it. Or if they abuse it.

        • Oleg Volk says:

          That knife you showed…were you able to actually carry it with you everywhere? In the US, most kids cannot do so legally. They can carry karate and use improvised weapons.

          • R. says:

            Yes. I don’t think there’s any law against it, and I looked completely harmless as a kid anyway. I found out that glasses, a bit of deference, proper grammar and politeness render police officers very cooperative.

            I only carried the knife rarely, and then concealed. I’m not sure it was legal in Slovakia. It is legal in Czech Republic, I believe, for teenagers to carry knives. Yes, it is. Used to be banned during the commie era, but that law was replaced by another, and the new one isn’t concerned with knives or any other cold* weapons.

            *a czech umberella for all hand to hand weaponry

            Openly carrying knives is legal too. I often go running at night and I wear the same knife openly. Swords I think have to be carried with discretion, that is, the blades shouldn’t be seen, or cops may take offence.

            OC spray if legal and police advises everyone to carry some. It works surprisingly well if applied to the eyes.

            Imo, a OC spray/telescopic baton is a better combination which a lot of people I know carry. Knives spill too much blood.

            • BritishHistorian says:

              Its amazing how few places in the world- including much of the United States – will allow you to carry a telescopic baton. You’re fortunate. Where I live in Iowa, they’re classed as “Offensive Weapons”, which means you need a Permit to Carry to carry one in public. Which I have. And do:-) But most of the surrounding states will not allow me to carry my 21-in baton…

  3. ex-shooter says:



    As discussed at length in the “Good Learning Tools” thread, not everyone has access to some place to shoot.

    And even those of us that do have access to some place to shoot, that place is not within a convenient distance, so teaching and maintaining a perishable skill is not practical.

    And those places that do exist more-often-than-not fail to meet Oleg’s criteria of being “fun and comfortable” for newbies, or even non-newbies, to shoot at.

    • Oleg Volk says:

      Use an air gun to maintain marksmanship skills. Train when you can.

      For newbies, an effort may be necessary to learn, so get their interest using the nearest substitutes like airsoft or pellet guns.

      • ex-shooter says:



        I understand your point that there are alternative ways to maintain marksmanship skills (airguns, dry fire, etc.), and even agree with you that they are valuable training aids.

        But I think it’s an incredibly glib response — often repeated here and elsewhere — to the concern of not only lack of places to develop skills, but an even greater scarcity of “fun and comfortable” places to shoot real guns — which is how to get somebody interested.

        We often forget that other people, even those who have expressed some interest in learning to shoot, aren’t “in to” guns as much as we are.

        Telling somebody “So, you’ve bought a gun and want to learn to shoot it? Don’t go to the range, spend another $200 to $300 on a quality airgun” is going to do nothing to encourage interest, nor help get people over their fear/discomfort/unfamiliarity of guns.

        Flight simulators are a great training tool for pilots, but would you want to be a passenger on a plane if the pilot was in the cockpit only once or twice a year?

        Or ride in the back of a cab with a driver who is inexperienced behind the wheel, but is really good at “Mario Kart” or “Gran Turismo 3”?

        Would you want to fight somebody whose training consisted of playing “Mortal Kombat” and “Street Fighter” instead of time in a real dojo? (note to self: Yes, of course. Who wants to fight fair?)

        Think about how much criticism there is of the skill levels of police officers who “only shoot 50 rounds a year,” or whatever the number that is often repeated on gun forums. What makes a civilian so much more capable?

        While quality airguns can be useful training aids, it won’t teach gun owners to use their real gun, since the controls will probably be different (even in dry-fire). Maybe if Simunition (or a similar product) were sold to civilians, there would be more opportunity for people to actually shoot the guns they own (and hopefully generating a sustained interest in owning guns).

        We may like to boast that there is something like 180 gajillion gun owners in America, and that number is growing at 500% per month. But let’s be honest with ourselves, and admit that most of those guns are sitting in nightstands and closets, with some of them seeing the light of day maybe once a year (and those are the hunting rifles during sight-in day at the range).

        Until people have access to places to shoot that are safe, conveniently located, fun, and comfortable , I think we’re doing an incredible dis-service by encouraging gun ownership without telling new gun owners how frustrating the experience is going to be.

        • Oleg Volk says:

          The stop-gap solution is for the current gunnies to put up the initiative and the resources to enable the newbies to get trained.

        • R. says:

          How’s a bolt action airgun different from a bolt-action rifle?
          Both have a bolt and a trigger. The key to shooting well is aiming well. If the trigger pull is similar…

          And is there a market opportunity there? Would say, a powerful pcp airgun handling and looking almost exactly like an M4 sell better than a similar powerful airgun?

          And IMO, one doesn’t need to be a crack-shot who does well on IPSC, shoots a thousad rounds a week and similar gear-wankery to be defend oneself effectively.
          Being able to very quickly draw and then achieve multiple torso hits very quickly at a distance of <10m is probably what's needed for 95% of SD situations.

          And the most important thing is to be alert and avoid trouble and not look like a victim. That's impossible for most women, I 'll give you that, but men, if they're fit and don't look like pussies hardly ever get hassled if they never show fear or are too aggressive.

          • anonymous says:

            “How’s a bolt action airgun different from a bolt-action rifle?”

            There are more types of firearms than bolt action rifles.

            The operation of my Umarex 1911 airgun is nothing at all like my Colt Combat Elite.

            But since am very familiar with the operation of my real 1911, training with the Umarex does not present a problem. And it is a great training aid for use at home.

            But it will not help a newbie learn use of the real thing. Even dry fire fire practice won’t do that.

  4. Alany H says:

    Air Guns are serious business and a great way to practice where you would not be able to shoot. I do Martial Arts and Shoot which are both defensive tools. If you can learn both, I did not start doing Martial Arts (Krav Maga) until I was 36 so it is never too late. I have 3 daughters who I want to grow up strong and safe, being safe is having tools available so if one fails or is not available there is a backup. I thanked my dad for teaching me how to defend myself as a kid it allowed me to defend myself a bunch of times without injuring anybody. A fast take to the ground and light set down catching the person shakes up an attacker and they will usually stop. Only one person who threw a punch I took down actually hit the ground hard without a strike by me and it was enough to allow me to get away. I believe I actually said sorry which cracked up my friend who was with me. I want my kids to learn all of this even if I expect them to never need to use it. My 14 year old was on a school field trip a few months ago where she and her friend got followed by a strange man, she came home and proudly told me how she used the tools I gave her to protect her and her friend.

  5. William says:

    I’ve been studying karate for 17 years now, shooting for a bit less.
    One time when my instructor went to renew his cc permit he was wearing a dojo t-shirt, and the cashier asked him why he needed a gun when he knew karate, he said; “Karate is for when I run out of bullets.”

  6. Dubber 308 says:

    This reminds me of an overheard conversation between my then sixteen year old daughter and a would-be suitor. “…and I study ju-jitsu and muay-thai. I’ve also studied kung-fu and tae-kwan-do. Do you know any martial arts?” My daughter’s response was great, “I study Browning, Smith, Wesson, and Louisville Slugger.”

  7. Lazy Bike Commuter says:

    Yeah, this brings back memories….my kung fu instructor was the one who took me to buy my first gun (he had a shop he liked that was a little weird for outsiders (and there were/are NO gun stores in town)).

  8. knirirr says:

    The oldest Western martial art for which we have any information is this one. The arts of the mediaeval period tended to incorporate a variety of weapons (swords, daggers &c.) as the primary means of defence and offence, with unarmed techniques integrated into the system. The splitting of Western arts into separate boxing/wrestling/fencing streams is a much more recent invention, as is the importing of oriental martial arts (started c. 1900).

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