As today’s post needs to include both martial arts and cold, I wondered about martial arts that may have been used during the cold war. Well, an Internet search got me to the website of Impact Martial Arts who have a tournament called Cold War. That wasn’t at all what I was seeking, but it could have been much worse.
That’s how research goes sometimes.
Of course, it doesn’t help me that I don’t know enough about the actual Cold War in order to figure out where to search for martial arts that may have been in use during it. Now, technically one could say all fighting done by a military is martial, but I think you know I’m trying to find out about arts such as karate, taekwondo, tai chi, BJJ, and more.
It also doesn’t help that I’m very much a person who lives in the present day.
Eventually, I found a bit on an art called Systema. Systema sounds more like the original way people learned to fight. What do I mean by that? Today, it’s really common to learn an art that focuses on a specific skill. For example, Jiu-Jitsu is a lot of grappling and ground work whereas Iaido has a large focus on drawing a sword and cutting immediately. As my Sensei has told me, originally there was no need for so many arts because warriors studied all of them and just used whatever technique fit whichever situation they found themselves in. If they were fighting in close proximity, they’d probably do karate or jiu-jitsu style moves. If further away, a sword or staff was likely to be useful.
Systema combines grappling, firearms, knives, and hand-to-hand combat with pressure points. It seems to be more comprehensive than many other arts today.
As you might have guessed given the connection to The Cold War, Systema hails from Russia.
Here’s a little video showing some Systema moves.