True Origin of Martial Arts

It is common place for people to say that martial arts originated in the far east (China, Japan). On occasion, I have heard people come close to the correct point of origin by saying Greece. With that I asked myself, “If it is true that every culture that had a need for any army had a form of martial arts, then why would it not be logical that martial arts originated where MAN originated?” I have come to learn that martial arts hieroglyphics appeared on the walls of Egyptian tombs 3,400 years B.C., before the arts arose in China and Japan. These hieroglyphics are found on the ancient temple of Karnak in Egypt. Every nation, or “tribe” in Africa has its own complex and complete martial arts styles and these styles can be seen all over the world.

There are many people who would argue that Greece contains the oldest records of combative arts such as wrestling, boxing, and Pankration. The Greeks began the practice of wrestling around 776 B.C. By that time Egypt was already ancient. It is known to scholars that the name Greece derives from an ancient name for Africa, “Nigrecia”. Present day scholars of what is commonly known as Greco-Roman wrestling attribute the origins of their sport to illustrations discovered on the walls of tombs at a region of ancient Egypt called Mahez, which has been renamed “Beni Hasan”, or “hill of the son of the Hasan family”. At Beni Hasan, in four separate tombs, there are hundreds of paintings on limestone walls that for the most part, have since decayed. The paintings are of African martial artists using a variety of wrestling holds and locks. The illustrations total well over 500 individual pairs of wrestlers. The paintings feature pairs of fighters who are wrestling, as well as illustrations of warriors using other forms of unarmed combat that employ kicking and punching techniques. There are scenes of martial artists using weapons such as a lance, short sticks, daggers, staffs, and bow and arrows. There are even scenes of warriors utilizing military technology such as a testudo, which is a shielding device used during the siege of a castle. These paintings in Africa represent the most ancient, and prolific depiction of martial arts on Earth.

Englishman Percy Newberry, while working for the Archaeological Survey of Egypt between 1890 and 1892, Newberry carried out “excavations” at Beni Hasan. The results were published in a two volume work as the First and Second Memoirs of the ASE (Percy E. Newberry, Beni Hasan, Part I [London, 1893] and Beni Hasan, Part II [London, 1893]. He states that graffiti on the walls that were written in Greek further proves that the Greeks were frequent visitors to the tombs in ancient times.

To the early Greeks, wrestling, and the related arts such as Pankration, were simple sport. It was sport then, as it still is today. Kemetic thought such as the science of Maat, encouraged justice, truth, righteousness, and correct actions to direct the spiritual forces that would be encountered with the intense study of the physical martial sciences. There are also the teachings of the Seven Principles of the great Egyptian Tehuti, or Hermes as he was called by the Greeks. These teachings and sciences, along with meditation, breath control, concentration and the correct application of the martial arts, would lead to the release of powerful inner forces, represented by the Ureaus Serpent in Kemet, and the Kundalini, represented by a coiled serpent ( Kundalini is the most powerful form of Yoga) as it was known to the sister civilization in India.

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