Ancient Georgian Martial Art

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Ancient Christian Martial Art found in the Caucus Mountains

Khridoli the ancient Georgian art of boxing, wrestling, sword fighting and more has survived the centuries in the high Caucus mountains of Georgia. T

Krivi Georgian boxing as taught by Niko Abazadze (one of the surviving teachers of this art; lives in New York, USA)

GADZHIYA  fighting – spiked combat ring. Read more here in this paper by Niko on Academia.edu

The Ancient Combat dance of the Khevsur Georgians. Read more about it here at this link (Georgian)

A Lost Colony in the Georgian Mountains

When WW1 started some of the knights from the Georgian Mountains came down in their chainmail ready to fight in the war.

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

The Last of the Crusaders

THE CITY OF TIFLIS, capital of the state of Georgia in Caucasia, has long prided itself upon its advanced ideas, its broad boulevards, its modern architecture, and its progressive-minded citizens.

The shock was all the greater, therefore, when, in the spring of 1915, some months after Russia’s declaration of war against Turkey, a band of twelfth-century Crusaders, covered from head to foot in rusty chain armour and carrying shields and broadswords, came riding on horseback down the main avenue.

People’s eyes almost popped out of their heads. Obviously there was no cinema company going on location. These were Crusaders—or their ghosts.

The incredible troop clanked up to the governor’s palace.

‘Where’s the war?’ they asked. ‘We hear there’s a war.’

They had heard in April 1915 that there was a war. It had been declared in September 1914. The news took seven months to reach the last of the Crusaders.

And you wouldn’t be surprised, if you tried, as Fritz and I did, to find the behind-the-beyond country in which these twelfth-century people live.

One of the most curious and romantic legends of the Caucasus tells the story of the origin of this armoured tribe. And as yet no historian has found any reason to believe that the legend is not based entirely on fact. The story declares that this race came, eight hundred years ago, from Lorraine, more than two thousand miles away. The argument is borne out by the fact that their chain armour is in the French sty;e, while their otherwise incomprehensible speech still contains six or eight good German words.

When they left Lorraine, so goes the legend, the last thing they had in mind was the colonization of the frosty peaks of the Caucasus Moutnaints, for they were followers of Godfrey de Bouillon and planned to wrest the Holy Sepulchre from the Moslem infidels.

But during the thousand-mile march across what is now Asiatic Turkey, this particular band of Crusaders somehow got detached from the main army, and were prevented by the Saracens from rejoining it. Whether they took a northern course of their own accord, and continued on across Armenia and Georgia to the Caucasus as pioneers, or whether they were fleeing for their lives with Moslem scimitars swishing around their ears, the legend does not say. But we do know that they called a halt in one of the most rugged and unapproachable corners of the Caucasus… and didn’t emerge again in force till 1915 when the rumours of a worth-while war brought them, wearing their ancestors’ coats of mail, into Tiflis. [source]

In Depth Look at Khevsur Martial Art

Extended look at the Khevsur’s fighting art in this Georgian Language documentary. Lots to learn here. A lost Christian Martial art.  

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