"Amazons battled skillfully but just like women"--> Amazons battled skillfully but just like women (Female Single Combat Club)


женскихsingle combat



Amazons battled skillfully but just like women

Amazons. Etruscan mural fresco
Etruscan mural

Female battle is a trick, adroitness
and nothing from strength confrontation…

Русская версия

Nikolay Nemytov in his book “Battle fighters” cites interesting analysis of the ancient images of battling Amazons. He derived from them that the ancient female warriors were very skillful but fought just like women – they developed the special female combative strategy fitting women’s particular features.

Women's field battle

She grabed hold Dobrynya by yellow curles,
Turned him down out from his good horse,
And dropped Dobrynya in a deep bag...

…Our story about epic heroes would be partial if we don’t mention the legendary glorious female warriors named “Polenitsa”. That was the name of a girl or a woman who engaged in a field duel with male hero warriors. On a level with male warriors they were sitting on the honor feast of the Grand Duke Vladimir “Red Sun”. Epic heroes engaged with female warriors in duels and Polenitsas weren’t inferior to men in strength and adroitness and sometimes even outdid them like legendary Nastas’ya Nikulishna.

The best description of an ancient Russian female warrior is done in the epic poem “Ilya Muromets and his daughter”. Polenitsa is very tall and she has a totem – coat of arms. “On her right arm a ”nightingale” is sitting, on the left hand – a lark. A combat helmet covers her head with a face-like visor and fur under-helmet. Neither Dobrynya nor Alesha take a risk to fight with her. The only great Ilya – tsar-warrior engaged with her in a combat”.

They don’t beat each other mercilessly,
They don’t knock down each other from horses,
They don’t hit or wound each other either,
Nothing is bleed -
When they have broken the spears
And notched the swords,
They just engaged in the fisticuffs
This Polenitsa was quite daring
And besides, maliciously quick-witted
She was taught to fight by one hand…
She toppled Ilya on the ground by a treacherous move.

The information about Polenitsas is very scanty and it’s difficult to say if they had their own knight Order. Unlike epic heroes who were sole-worshipers they used bird totems which was a common sign for them. Bird totems make Polenitsas to be related to the Amazons who battled Greeks and Greeks left a lot of information about those ancient female warriors.

Let’s pay attention to numerous images of battles between Greeks and Amazons and may be we will manage to discover something new. Analyzing the images we can derive some battling techniques the Amazons used. First of all, we must note that women hand-to-hand combat is different from men’s one just because a male body is not adapted to carry embryos and to give birth; consequently their body are very different. So do battling tactics. Female battle is a trick, adroitness and nothing from strength confrontation is impossible. It looks like a sweetheart has been caught and is already in your hand but it was not to be! She just allowed to come near, pretending amenable, weak. But don’t be surprised if the ground falls onto you and you feel nauseous by slight tough of tender fingers. Those contemporary martial art teachers who make artificial creatures from girls who are able to physically resist men just pervert them forcing to go against their nature. In fact, the Amazons were horrible element, however they didn’t forgot about their main function to give birth and continue their race. Having killed a certain number of enemies a female warrior had rights to select a husband equal with her in battle trade, even from enemy camps. That’s why female combat style should be different from the men’s one. For a reason it was said that a Polenitsa was “maliciously quick-witted”.

Let’s examine the three images of the Amazons in battle (see the vase drawings taken from the WEB site of the University of Texas - FSCClub). Pay attention to male warriors attacking female opponents. Perhaps, in a moment the exhausted Amazons will fall down under mortal Greeks’ attacks. This imagination is a spark of the female style, which misleads male attackers. We will consider separately each combat episode.

Amazons in single combat

Fist episode (left vase, upper pair). The woman is stepping back turning her body by the right side to the opponent, threatening from above with the sword leaving her liver vulnerable. The male warrior aims directly there, his sword points from below. He encounters two problems though: it’s more difficult to hit the opponent’s body disposed sideways and besides, in order to strike the receded opponent he should either stretch ahead or strike with a step. The Amazon enticingly exposed herself; he can protect himself from her desperate strike by the shield, but her side is so close and the man makes a direct thrust. Possible Amazon’s actions: she shifts her center of gravity to the leg moved aside. She makes a move toward his shot with the 1800 turn; the right armored arm makes a sliding block against the opponent’s arm. Thus the woman’s chest turns out to be next to the right shoulder of the man and her weapon appears just next to his open belly - his shield is on the left and his right arm with the sword is stretched ahead in a vain attempt to touch the enemy.

Second episode (right vase, upper pair). The Amazon’s position seems to be critical but, once again, it’s just at first glance. She disposes in a deep sitting and her opponent attacks her by the spear from above pouncing on her by all his men’s strengths. Indeed, the Amazon is like a string in such a stand. She turns her body around turning her shield toward the spear; she shifts the left leg ahead and at the same time stands up crushing the unprotected enemy’s head and chest by the shield whereas her sword (or the javelin) strikes the Greek’s open belly. The struck down warrior is sliding along the Amazon’s shield by inertia of his own stroke and he is thrown to the left from her. The Amazon might see an alluring temptation to chop off the supporting leg of the Greek by her leg as they do that in karate-do, then the enemy’s body would fall on her. But a hitch happened in a battle may cost the life.

Third episode (left vase, lower pair). The female warrior is also in a deep sitting while the male warrior exposed himself in fever of the battle and might be easily caught. The Amazon is supposed to shift from one leg to another exposing the shield under a stroke and appears on the right from the opponent, just next to his open belly. She also has an option to clip his vein inside of his thigh.

Thus the impression of the overwhelming Greek superiority would turn out to be their crash. It’s important to note that a defending warrior is in such stands during fractions of a second transferring from one combative move to another. So, the artist made the excellent snapshots of these quickly changing poses. The Greek artist killed two birds by one stone: he represented the triumph of his fellow warriors and, at the same time, he truly drew the Amazon’s perfect combat moves. But possibly the artist was a talent slave from a tribe allied to the Amazons and knew what he was drawing?

From the book "Battle fighters" by Nikolay Nemytov
Publisher house “Tavricheskiy”, 2001

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