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Vintage Victorian photo album offers a gentleman's guide to self-defense maneuvers, 1895


These old photos come from an untitled album from the 1890s that recorded various self-defense hand-to-hand maneuvers.

The two thinly dressed gentlemen display a variety of defensive moves including chokeholds, body slams, kicks, chops and arm twists.

Each of the two-pictures depicts a moment of confrontation between two glowing men, followed by appropriate maneuvers, though what they're doing ranges from the bizarre and vague to the plainly impossible.

The album provides a rich example of a late Victorian instruction manual, produced during a period when photography was tapped by the thousands for its educational potential.

The broad spectrum of self-defense can be thought of as the beginning of time, with even the earliest humans learning how to defend themselves and teaching their tactics to others.

From there self-defense evolved into less primitive forms and developed into painted and disciplined forms such as martial arts.



Broadly speaking, martial arts have only one purpose: to physically defeat a person or defend oneself from physical danger.

Some martial arts are associated with spiritual or religious beliefs/philosophies such as Buddhism, Daoism, or Shinto while others have their own spiritual/non-spiritual code of honor.

Martial arts are commonly associated with East Asian cultures, but are by no means unique to Asia. There was a widespread system of combat martial arts throughout Europe, collectively called Historical European Martial Arts, which existed until modern times and are now being rebuilt by many organizations, while developed by savant sailors and street fighters. There is a French kicking style.

In the Americas, Native Americans have a tradition of open-handed martial arts, which include wrestling, and Hawaiians have historically practiced the art of small and large joint manipulation, a mixture of origins in the athletic movements of capoeira. which was built by slaves in Brazil. , based on the skills they brought with them from Africa.



While each style has unique aspects that make it different from other martial arts, a common feature is the systematization of fighting techniques.

Training methods vary and may include sparring or forms (kata), sets or routines of techniques that are performed alone or sometimes with a partner, and which are Asian and Asian-derived. Especially common in martial arts.

The word 'Marshal' is derived from the name of Mars, the Roman god of war. The literal meaning of the word 'martial arts' is the art of Mars.

The term comes from 15th-century Europeans who were referring to their own martial arts known today as historical European martial arts.






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