Military Review

Battle Profile-6: Danza Macabra (Dance of Death)

Danza Macabra is a training and research center. But Danza also often calls that mix of Italian and Sicilian techniques, which they managed to assemble in a research center on ethnographic expeditions and in communication with masters and bearers of tradition. The head of the center Sergey Dumbadze and the representative of Danza Macabra in Moscow Yevgeny Burygin decided to share some information about this area.

General issues:

1. Characteristic style (school, direction) in one sentence

The Italian and Sicilian traditional techniques of knife and stick fights, which have proved their effectiveness and viability for over 300 years of stabbing among Italian criminal communities, and we also consider it important to study the issue of "criminal knife application".

2. Style motto (schools, directions)

Stick, stone and pistol for self-defense, a knife for questions of honor, vendetta and crime.
Battle Profile-6: Danza Macabra (Dance of Death)

3. The origins (beginning) of the direction (when and who founded).

This is a living tradition. Teachers with whom we work can confirm the direct continuity of techniques for 4-5 generations in the past ... Indirectly, it can be associated with the emergence of the Neapolitan Mafia mafia. But due to the questions of Omerta, more detailed research is difficult here and is lost in the 17 century. Although historians often talk about the connection of these techniques with the fencing schools of the 15-16 century and the question of prohibiting common people from wearing long-link weaponand some legends tell about the connection of tradition with history some knightly orders.

4. The ultimate goal of the class (the ideal to which the student is going) is the physical and mental qualities that he must acquire.

In Italy, there is the concept of “uomini d'onore” - literally, it means “people of honor”. Today, the term in Italian is distorted and is often perceived by society as synonymous with “the right kid,” a gangster. Therefore, in part, it will be fair to translate this term into Russian, like a boy who lives by notions.
However, we must not forget that the ideals of the Italian criminal communities were formed back in the 17 century under the influence of knightly codes.

A man of honor is a knight. A free, strong man who shares the traditional values ​​of a patriarchal society. This is a man of honor who values ​​peace and family, keeps his word and lives in harmony with himself. He respects the space of others, but he himself says - “my home is my fortress”. He understands the fragility and value of human life, but at the same time he is ready and able to defend his world to the end. He knows how to save this life and how to take it.

5. Used equipment (shock, wrestling, zalomnaya, etc.)

For war, struggle and self-defense, people invented weapons. Therefore, the priority of the Mediterranean schools is to work with weapons and household items that may be at hand. The use of piercing-chopping equipment in a knife or shock-crushing in a stick does not preclude the use of kicks, a free hand and head during a fight. There are techniques associated with the struggle in the clinch and confined space, involving seizures, creases and effects on vulnerable points.

6. Direction tactics

If we talk about the tactics of the Italian and Sicilian techniques that we are talking about - it is always a battle between two deceivers. All that you see, all that it seems to you that your opponent does is ridiculous, stupid, arrogant - know this circus is organized especially for you. All this has only one meaning - to deceive you.

7. The presence of training battles (sparring). In what form, according to what rules are held?

Sparrings are an important part of the learning process.
Sparrings are practiced from soft and conditional versions for beginners to fights to the first blood on sharp knives. The middle variant is fights with full contact and with elements of the man-made on wooden and aluminum layouts. The affected area is complete. The rules of the mutual rule apply - a plentiful exchange of blows says only that both of you are dead and this is considered a lack of skill or psychological dampness of the fighters. The rules range from training tasks and conditions. But in any case, the school does not welcome the use of excessive protective equipment that creates illusions.
School fighters also participate in competitions organized by various clubs and federations in different countries of the world. Most often, such participation is rather part of the educational process than sporting ambitions. In any case, all the cups and medals won by us are not an end in themselves for us. We are just interested in working with different opponents. Competitions give such an opportunity.

8. Physical training (general and special) - including work with weights, free weights, your weight

In addition to the usual sports methods of training fighters and fencers, the school practices a special system of working with weighting ... As well as special practices related to the use of traditional Italian and Argentine dances to improve the psychophysical indicators of the fighters. Such methods are a traditional legacy of the Italian schools, which came from the time when the sports halls did not exist.
In addition, we are not supporters of the “men do not dance” stamp, we leave it at the mercy of the teenagers who are still out of school, who justify their inability to control their body.

9. Work against the group

In training, work is done against 1,2,3 and more opponents ... And various situations of street conflicts are simulated.

10. Work against weapons / with weapons

The main emphasis in training is to work with weapons. But this does not mean that we are talking only about the symmetric fight knife-knife or stick-stick. The symmetry of the duel bewitches with its beauty, but it has a completely different goal, far from self-defense. Therefore, working out presupposes the most diverse schemes of unequal combat, including combinations of unarmed and armed ones.

There are several directions in this work:
- study techniques for self-defense
- dueling techniques (symmetrical combat)
- criminal use of a knife and protection against it
- adaptation of the experience of knife fights of the Mediterranean techniques and the training of servicemen (themes: mokruha, sudden clash, captivity).

11. Work on the ground (in the stalls)

The school has special exercises for practicing the situation when you find yourself lying on the ground. There are many techniques that we inherited from the hooligan techniques of Naples and Bari ... the so-called dirty guapperias ... Which just use the lying position or fall as a way to gain an advantage in battle. This area is not given much time, but the development of skills in this area is mandatory for a fighter.

12. Work in non-standard conditions, from non-standard opponents (in water, in darkness, confined space, from a dog, etc.)

An interesting Italian tradition of the 19 century, chichiata, can be attributed to working in non-standard conditions. This is a group duel to blood in a room with the lights off ... "Cheech" in translation is a stomach or another layer of fat on the stomach ... it is him who is cut by the participants of such a "game". Such a duel gives a completely different understanding of distance and interaction in the dark.

There are also special knife techniques specifically designed for confined spaces. These include, for example, the traditional haliota (or prison equipment). Fights in this manner are different from other Italian techniques and are designed for a narrow prison cell where there is no possibility of fencing, but the condition of conflict requires fighting with knives and protecting your life.

Also at school practiced work with dogs. We specifically cooperate with dog handlers and kennels involved in the preparation of service dogs. Working with a dog is a great opportunity to develop your speed, reaction and your animal instincts. We train on dogs, and they train on us. For real Warriors, this is a very interesting experience.

13. Psychological training

Psychotechnology is a very important part of our training. We are convinced that a person, going out into the street, should live, and not perceive it as a war zone. Unfortunately, many modern schools of self-defense do not understand this, having trained their students to perceive any person who asked to smoke as a potential aggressor. This is a complex self-defense philosophy, in our opinion is absolutely harmful.
Gangsters, gopniki, hooligans - they are people too, they also want to live and live well. They know the Criminal Code, for what and how much they will be given. And they are subconsciously well acquainted with the psychology of choosing a victim, and if you don’t fall into the risk group, then your chances of being robbed, killed and raped rush to zero. How not to be a victim? Learn to be the same as they are a hunter. And also be able to communicate with other hunters in order to avoid conflict on the basis of competition for females and territory.
Therefore, training at our school initially shocked many. They drink tea, take a bazaar, play cards ... they can be diluted with cookies or by the right to make a strong man wash dishes for all, ask for something. They have their own losers and their own “thieves” ... There is a microclimate in the groups, its own hierarchy, but all of it is created so that the newcomer learns and finds his place in the strong world. I learned to answer for my words and deeds. I learned how to ask for "jambs" from others. Learned to be a strong, self-respecting person. The difference between the hall and the street is that they will always leave you the right to change and become stronger.

14. Other effects from occupations (improving, developing and etc.)

You can talk a lot about the benefits of training with weapons for the spiritual growth of man. About how it develops a sense of responsibility, removes aggression and, in fact, is a kind of active meditation. We have it an integral part of the class. And this is a topic for a whole book.
Let's just make a reservation in our practice a huge role is played by the peculiarities of the Italian and Sicilian folk culture. The basis of which are Christian values, and many beliefs preserved from the Middle Ages, rituals, traditions, superstitions. But do not be afraid no one will force you to learn "Ave Maria".
Also, as it is not necessary to study Zen and Buddhism while practicing karate, it is also not necessary to join this Christian interpretation of knife culture while practicing DM. But for those who are interested in the wind component, the gate to the world of mysticism and alchemy remains ajar.

15. Unique features of the direction (style, school)

Uniqueness? Perhaps Italy is one of the few regions in the world where the tradition of knife fights has been preserved in active form until the 50 of the twentieth century.
This is not about one-time stabbing. And not about the culture of carrying a knife. This is a culture where the knife was the main, if not the only way to resolve the conflict. The phrase “let's go, we will leave” assumed that they will fight with you on knives and only on knives. The uniqueness is that the masters are alive, able to trace the continuity of their schools on 4-5 and more generations. This is not about the variant of the fairy tale “Dad, grandfather showed me something” ... This is about real schools that performed a very specific social function in the “honor communities”. That is, there are people who professionally trained people to fight with knives, who also learned from professionals, and they, in turn, also learned from professional knife fight teachers, etc. And so it was until the 18-19 of the century, when in Sicily, for example, knife fights were not just a mass phenomenon, it was an epidemic. According to Lambroso, for an island with a population of 200, thousands of 40 people had a knife body per week was the norm. The techniques of Sicilian and Italian teachers were literally tested with blood. Not effective, and not working died with the loser in battle. The best techniques were saved and transmitted. This natural selection is what you can trust. Probably this is the uniqueness of the DM, we are very wary of new technicians and reconstructions, preferring proven traditions in practice.

16. Application in life (a case of self-defense, when the student was able to protect himself in this direction).

In Italy, a similar question would fall into the zone of Omerta. The interlocutor would probably be silent, and then he would translate the topic. And to set his attitude would be like a talker or a child. By the way, it is “Omerta” - the law of silence and allowed knife fights to exist in southern Italy for so long. If no one “knocks”, then the matter of honor remains very personal and it is almost impossible to find the participants of the fight.

During the ethnographic trips to the south of Italy and when communicating with old masters and practitioners of the knife, one constantly has to see people who have gone through a hard school of life, with faces and bodies covered with scars. Many of them have prison experience behind them. They are not taken to ask about where they have scars characteristic of stab wounds. This is a bad tone, and they will not talk about it. But, judging by the fact that these "grandfathers" show how they move, and what they can do, they survived until old years not by accident.
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  1. proletarian
    proletarian 17 November 2015 07: 35
    The article is interesting and very informative.
    Many thanks to the author.
  2. Riv
    Riv 17 November 2015 09: 18
    Mafia martial art? A knife in matters of honor? Oh lane Gott ... What people just won’t come up with to cut the dough. Well read of course, smiled.

    Free tip: never-never-never-NEVER hold the knife on impact as the fighter keeps it on the left in the starting photo. And in general, if you are not seriously ready to tear up a man’s belly and admire his guts, it’s better not to carry a knife with you.
    1. Glot
      Glot 17 November 2015 10: 14
      And in general, if you are not seriously ready to tear up a man’s belly and admire his guts, it’s better not to carry a knife with you.

      Why so critical? I’m carrying the Benchevish VEX with me. I don’t want to rip up their guts, it’s just an assistant (cut off, pick up, etc.) and no more. Useful thing. But in a fight, I won’t even think about getting it.

      Mafia martial art?

      Good specification of the material. 5+ laughing
      1. Riv
        Riv 17 November 2015 14: 53
        No, to sausage - if only for joy. But just not in a fight with him. It will hurt.
    2. The comment was deleted.
    3. g1v2
      g1v2 17 November 2015 16: 37
      The article is interesting, but the style is strange in my opinion. Fencing on short blades in my opinion is a perversion. All the more so. In theory, a knife implies a closer distance. Well, and so - it is enough for the enemy to wrap the forearm of the left hand with a jacket and take such a feint on it, drastically reducing the distance. Of course, if the style has existed for a long time, it means there is something in it, but honestly, it looks strange.
  3. cormorant
    cormorant 17 November 2015 09: 55
    The article is interesting. But I still like Arnis’s military equipment more. Behind the apparent plasticity and smoothness of movements is a tough, and even cruel technique. For a year of training, practically of any configuration, a person will be able to withstand a professional fighter and even several at once. Highly recommend.
    1. Monetniy
      Monetniy 17 November 2015 10: 52
      Filipina steers, there are truly preserved traditions of preparation and are still cut on the streets, unlike the Mediterranean
      1. Turkir
        Turkir 17 November 2015 11: 32
        Filipino knife fight, yes, the system.
        I liked the article, which opens another, little-known facet of martial arts.
        As for the term "man of honor" - this concept implied adherence to the principle of vendetta, blood feud - the origins of which begin much earlier than the appearance of knights. And these customs have survived, to this day, in some places, and in our country.
        I do not have a romanticized view of chivalry by Hollywood or Walter Scott, the origins of which come from the leaders of gangs. As L. Gumilyov wrote in one of his books what the title means, its semantics are count, speaking in modern language bro.
    2. Chiropractor
      Chiropractor 17 November 2015 18: 47
      Quote: cormorant
      almost any configuration people

      uh ... does that mean a person’s incomplete equipment - without an arm, leg or brain? winked
  4. Denis Skiff
    Denis Skiff 17 November 2015 10: 48
    fighters comrades, write an article instructions for survival in the steppe. Sorry that is not the topic.
    1. Aryan
      Aryan 18 November 2015 02: 20
      And at the same time about the "fighting gopag" - which, as you know, goes back to the days of hunting for the Dnieper mammoths laughing
      But seriously, educate on this subject
      Where does this terrible ballroom dance come from
      And who are its carriers?
  5. Monetniy
    Monetniy 17 November 2015 10: 51
    Thank you for the interesting material. Hello to all the knife lovers)
  6. marinier
    marinier 17 November 2015 11: 03
    Hello dear, Forum4ane.
    I read the article, caused a twofold 4suvstvo.S4itaiu 4to eat much more interesting
    School of Noza Boya. Gurkhas are not badly owned, among the Iaponians it’s important
    nau4itsia. Well and certainly RUSSIAN Brothers! 4 years ago at the training camp in Holland
    Special Forces of the World, you priyatno surprised. By fire, physical / training, landmark,
    and hand-to-hand fighting in that 4th noleva. Your kids won and took 1st place.
    And among the rivals were, Delta, GHA, CAC.!
    1. atalef
      atalef 17 November 2015 11: 17
      Quote: marinier
      ! About 2 years ago at the training camp in the Netherlands Special Forces of the World, you were pleasantly surprised. According to fire, physical / training, orientation, and hand-to-hand fighting in that 4th noose. Your kids won and took 1st place

      what a day like this, in the morning you just have to write
      - Do not lie
      , didn’t have this. (I mean competitions in Holland)
  7. Kerch
    Kerch 17 November 2015 16: 45
    Can you strangle them with garotta? )) I mean in sports)
  8. SIT
    SIT 17 November 2015 23: 40
    The engine, the scheme of building the body and movement, whatever you call it, should not change depending on whether you have something in your hands or not. Similarly, the engine should not depend on the type of weapon. How will the guys from the videos without weapons fight? Unclear. Another question that always arises when looking at such videos is why are there 2 hands and only one knife? For example, I feel like a one-armed invalid with one knife. All equipment, even with weapons, even without, should be symmetrical, which means if the weapon is short, it should be in each hand. The whole battle plan will change in this situation compared to what is in the video. Acting like these guys is just deadly. It will be possible to work with sharp knives without equipment to the waist naked as in rollers for 15-20 seconds. Then either an ambulance or a carriage.