- There was no general physical training, it was replaced by diverse peasant physical labor, hunting, fishing, power and outdoor games. They played the role of special physical training, since the skills were multifunctional. Although, of course, for blows with the head, we strengthened the neck, beat our heads, hands and feet with bags of grain, stuffed the edge of the palm, knocked down objects hanging from the stick, stretched them, such as in games that required without hands to be lifted from the floor or sitting with lips objects, such as a hat, coins, etc., that without stretching was impossible. Seasoned fighters imitated a fight with an invisible opponent, as in boxing.
Fragment of a drawing from the Remez Chronicle - Learning Ermak
- What was the modern teaching method? From what age?
- The technique is the minimum of the theory (5%) and the maximum of practice (95%). All learning was reduced to several rules: “fight and struggle itself will teach you”, “look, listen, repeat after me”. Old men and fathers were taught to fight on the principle of natural display, got up with their grandchildren and children and fought with them, along the way explaining how to turn, how to enter, pull, quit. Then the children themselves went to fight each other with the arc, and then their actions were corrected again. As for the "strike", some fighters believed that it was good to hit the bags, others believed that it was necessary to beat, it was necessary to learn to beat the person, but there was no single and clear method. Although, some systematic and consistent approach in a number of points were, for example, stuffing the edges of the palm: stuffed at the beginning, about your palm, and then transferred to more solid objects. It can be said that this was the simplest folk method at the level of teaching basic things so that they could be easily repeated, learned, adopted. It's like mowing the grass, first adapting to the tool and the manner of movement, and then using the skill all my life, improving it. The exchange of skills also took place in children's groups, in the army, in prison, at military gatherings, where a wide network of connections was formed. From here, for example, the blow to the head on the Kalgan is known throughout Russia. But there were also such specialists who were masters of just hitting their heads (calganists, kalganschiki), or one throw, for example, with a deflection, using these techniques in different situations and from different positions. Children began to be introduced to the fight against 3-5 years, brought them to the circle, they watched, listened, they were introduced into the middle of the circle to fight with their peers, immediately encouraged, prompted, of course, it was all a childish fuss, but by the 15-20 years these were already experienced fighters and fighters with many years of practical experience. Weights also started to do with 3-5 years, but they were pound weights.
- What are the regional characteristics of the national struggle?
- On average, the Trans-Urals among the “old-timers” were dominated by the struggle on the outfit tied over the shoulder and around the waist, and among the “new settlers” (those who settled during the Stolypin reform period), the struggle with the belt on the waist prevailed. And in the little things in each village there were differences in tying the belt, the rules for determining the winners, the names of the techniques. For example: screwdriver, screwdriver, twirl, from screwdriver, to screwdriver ... and so on. A living tradition is always variable, because tradition is for a person, not a person for a tradition. Let's say they took up the fight, defined the rules: if there are few participants, they are up to 5 throws or holdings, if many - up to one time, if they fight in stiff shoes, they agree not to cut their legs, if there have been serious injuries on holidays, then to avoid repeated cases banned hooks and throws with deflection, and so on.
- Are there any progress in terms of the development of popular struggle? For example, for holidays, Maslenitsa? Known positive experience of the practice of the Tatar struggle for the holidays in our time. Did you or your supporters fight with athletes?
- There are progresss in terms of development: in Yekaterinburg, and Sukhoi Log, Kurgan, we organize patronal holidays, where wall battles take place, belt wrestling. We invite athletes: wrestlers, sambo wrestlers, judo wrestlers. Two years ago, about 100 people fought on Shrovetide in Yekaterinburg, the struggle lasted for about 5 hours according to popular rules, on the street, in the snow. There were both sportsmen and amateurs, everyone was satisfied. Of course, athletes excelled - experience and professionalism, methods and constant training make themselves felt. In Sukhoy Log there is a good sambo and judo school, known to all of Russia, with a lot of champions and medalists at international competitions, they also fought for the holidays, lost, but the athletes and coaches were satisfied, they were glad that the national struggle was preserved; introduced it to the methodology of training fighters. Today we are organizing national holidays together, they bring their children to fight, look after the guys from the street in the section, checking their makings for the people's struggle. There is no competition, because our niche is those who cannot do sports, who refused to do sports, or who did not want to do sports, and where people would like to do, but they do not have a coach and base, for example, in rural areas, where every school has a physical education teacher. Young, healthy, strong, purposeful and talented can be engaged in sports, only they are able to achieve high results. However, not all people are like that, but they want to fight, and there is a taste of struggle. We are focused on mass, game, entertainment, basic training - at least for those who then want to try themselves in sports, the main thing is that they love their culture and tradition, even if they are great sambo wrestlers, not wrestling wrestlers, more that sport gives more skills and, of course, the fullness of the technique.
- Does the popular struggle have practical value? Can I do it for self-defense? If so, why?
- Fight, fist fights, power competitions, even some types of work, such as hunting and others - for some could have practical value, while for others they were just entertainment. All in question in the placement of accents. In the conditions of a real conflict, the whole arsenal of actions that were prohibited in wrestling and fistfighting — technical and tactical methods, weapons and objects — stones, bezmeny, weights, pistils, sticks, knives, brass knuckles, tassels, firearm ... For example, the drivers and peasants who were carrying cart were constantly attacked on the way, so they were armed and immediately launched their entire arsenal of techniques and weapon If you engage purposefully for protection, then you need to clearly isolate a set of actions that will be aimed solely at this task, but then it can turn out to be a set of techniques that are divorced from tradition. There is such a set of techniques in other martial arts, so it is better to take and perceive the tradition as a whole, and in parallel, if you want, you can master other martial arts, especially if a person does not have internal prejudices of contradictions. Personally, I don’t mind such an approach, it doesn’t interfere with one another, it’s just that one needs to be separated from the other and be aware of it, and tell others the truth if you train so as not to mislead people.
- You mentioned that you found in expeditions not only wrestling, but also some tricks. Please tell us about it.
- It was not for nothing that I chose the term “competitive-applied Russian culture”, since there was no one without the other: there were permitted actions in competitions, but they were forbidden, but in applied combat, everything was used in self-defense, especially when it came to life and health including loved ones. At the same time, it’s like two sides of the same medal: the common man was a carrier of both adversary and applied dramatic culture, dividing them only in contests. For example, in a brawl during throws, they could use grabs by hair and beard, twist and break hands, hit the ground without fear, grab the groin, combine grabs with head-butts on the calgan, across the collar area, face, hands (swallow, puncher, cicatrix, blow to flax), toe (kilam - that is, in the groin), knee, foot (toptunka), palm or fist base, inner side of the palm or fist, knuckles of the middle finger exposed to the front, or middle and ring finger, comb four fingers from the pointer nogo to the little finger, forearm from the bottom, and the first third of the forearm from the thumb, elbows, base of the thumb, tylnikom ...
- Tell me honestly - the popular military tradition (as, for example, in the movie "Shishkar") and the so-called "Russian styles of hand-to-hand combat" - are they the same thing, or different things?
- Yes, a folk fighting tradition, such as in the documentary film “Shishkar”, just such, the respondent’s grandfather is colorful, talkative, honest, a find for an ethnographer, I came across these, but I often went on an expedition alone, so hold on to a camera or camera there was no one. As for the “Russian styles”, for me this term is still not clear, in the 1990s. there was such a magazine, Russian Style, where B.V. Gorbunova, G.N. Bazlova, and good scientific and journalistic works by M.N. Lukashova, A. Potrepalova, R.V. Miskin, other authors, and among them there were many articles about all kinds of incredible systems far from ethnography - a pure invention of the authors. If the system does not rely on ethnographic and historical sources, is not confirmed by them, it is not ethnographic and not historical, and this is not a people's struggle. Today, a bunch of all sorts of neopagan, Cossack, "secret" officer and good-looking camouflage systems for martial arts with a glorious terminology crawled out. They divide, budding, give birth to new ones to match themselves and live an independent life. To get rid of the error, you must go on an expedition with experienced people. But sometimes people are afraid to part with their errors, even facts will not help here, they are sectarians, leaving this collective is tantamount to death, a complete loss of the world’s picture, it’s like formatting a disk, and there it’s friends and all social connections. It is a shame and unforgivable danger to call these systems “Russian” and “folk”, rather author’s systems on a folk theme, without reliance on ethnography. There can be connections between Russian styles and folk struggles, especially when they knead one with the other so that everything looks national against the background of folk elements, neo-paganism, witchcraft, magic, occultism, esotericism, Dianetics in the “Russian wrapper” push it ideas. The representatives of the Ukrainian Cossack styles almost all supported the Maidan, and the representatives of the Belarusian styles like Krivich - the liberal opposition of Belarus.
As for the continuity of the “Russian styles” from the Soviet special sections of sambo, I will not say here, you have to be good specialists in sambo to see where the “native” and where not. I can only say that all of them are similar to the Kadochnikov system, wushu, and other systems, especially books and information on this subject to spare. For example, the “Lyubkov” technique is built on “pillar” work of wushu, in Russian shirts (the head previously headed the Wushu federations of the Ivanovo region), ideology is dianetics in a fabulous Russian wrapper, songs are performed as Krishna mantras, and ethnographic polls “cat cried” 5 people , and those under the nicknames, 3 of them are women. So there is no ethnography here. When we collect ethnographic material, we write down the respondent’s data in detail, try to find out whether he studied sambo techniques, or boxing, in the army for various techniques, did wrestling before, if anything was added to the village so as not to “cast a shadow on the fence.” This is done in order to separate the people's - from the sports, if they confirm this, then they can easily separate one from the other. For example, in the USSR in the army very actively promoted boxing, and served for a long time on 3-5 years. So that served in 1940-50-s. they brought a direct blow to the village, called “boxing”, “boxing”, “boxing”.
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