The emergence of fist fighting as a sport has been lost for centuries. On a Babylonian bas-relief dating from the second millennium BC. NS. depicts a fist fight. The emergence of fist fighting as a sport has been lost for centuries. Egyptian hieroglyphs dating back to the fortieth century BC depict warriors waging fistfights in primitive gloves - leather bandages. On a Babylonian bas-relief dating from the second millennium BC. NS. depicts a fist fight.
During excavations in the vicinity of Baghdad, many slabs were found depicting fistfights. It must be assumed that fistfights spread from Egypt to Crete and Greece. Excavations of the Mino labyrinth have shown that fistfighting was known even before the emergence of the Greek state during the heyday of the Aegean culture.
The surviving traditions say that fistfights were also known in the east, especially among the Ionians. The first written information about fist fighting in Ancient Greece came to us from the descriptions of this type of competition by Homer.
The right boxer resigns by raising his thumb up.
According to legend, the patron saint of fistfights was Apollo himself, who defeated Ares, showing great skill in dexterity and speed
The Greeks believed that the founder of fist fighting was Amikus, who did not let out a single stranger from his state without having fought with him in a fist fight. Typical are the statements of Socrates, Plato and Arrestotle about fist fighting as an aesthetically beautiful form of exercise for brave and strong people.
Poets, statesmen, and writers were fond of fist fighting. For example, the famous mathematician Pythagoras was an excellent fist fighter and even participated in the Olympic Games
For a number of centuries, fistfights have occupied a relatively large place in the life of society. In folk legends, epics, songs, various works of art, courage and strength, courage and nobility, patriotism and honesty, shown by fist fighters during fights, were glorified. those qualities that make a person beautiful and valuable to society.
From the descriptions and images on vases and frescoes, we see. That the fights were carried out not only with bare fists, but also with bandaged hands (later, devices for putting on hands were made).
In the VI century. BC NS. Meilihai was supplanted by a more advanced type of fist weapon - sefairay, an idea of which is given by the sculpture of a seated fist fighter of that time - Amik. These gloves consisted of two parts - the glove itself and a sturdy leather ring surrounding the joints. The ring was approximately 2.5 cm wide and 0.25 cm thick. The glove reached half the forearm and ended with a thick sheepskin strip. If the melikhai was supposed to mainly protect the hands from injury, then the sfaray was already intended to increase the impact force.
The third period in the development of the combat glove is the period of heavy gloves of Roman origin (from the end of the 4th to the 2nd centuries BC) with lead and iron, called cestas.
Ancient fresco from Crete depicting teenagers boxing.
The introduction of such gloves had a detrimental effect on sports culture and the art of fighting. Such gloves were used only in gladiatorial battles.
Already in those distant times, professional fist fighters appeared. Professionals clenched metal and stone balls in their fists. The battle lasted until one of the fighters knocked down the other opponent or struck him with "great damage." This reduced the educational value and attractiveness of fist fighting, generated unhealthy excitement and required excessive exertion of strength; fighters were often injured.
If we talk about the rules of fist fighting, then it should be noted that in Ancient Greece there were no rules for fist fighting. The art of fighting was inherited. There was no precisely measured area either, and the spectators themselves formed the fence of the battle area. The vast space for combat did not make it possible to drive the enemy into a corner. The battle was not divided into rounds, and the opponents fought without a time limit. When they were so tired that they could not continue the fight further, then by mutual agreement the competition was interrupted until the fighters regained strength. Usually the fight lasted until one of the opponents gave the signal to surrender - raised his hand. The judge, depicted on vases with a vine in his hands, watched over the correctness of the battle. With blows of this vine, he separated the fighters in case of violation of the rules of battle. The classification of fighters by weight category was not known to the Greeks. The competitions were open to everyone, regardless of body weight. Hence fistfighting was a monopoly of the heavyweights. The competitions were held according to the tournament system.
In the history of physical culture of Ancient Greece, one of the most striking phenomena was undoubtedly the Olympic Games. The Olympic Games received universal recognition as an event of enormous social and political importance in 776 BC. NS. It was from this year that the time counting for the Olympiads was introduced in Greece. Fist fighting was included in the Olympic program of the XXIII Olympic Games (688 BC).
Before embarking on the Olympic competitions, the fighters trained in the palestras - special schools under the guidance of specialists.
In training, the fighters used gloves made of soft belts, their head was protected by a mask (a hat with earmuffs, probably made of soft leather with a lining). The Greeks had a leather bag filled with date pits, similar to the modern stuffed hanging pear. It was suspended at head height and served for training in strikes. Exercises in shadow boxing were widely used.
A fist fighter resting after a competition (bronze sculpture, 1st century BC).
The games were played according to strict rules. The participants were forbidden to resort to any unscrupulous methods to achieve victory, in particular to bribe each other, injure each other. Eladonics (judges) had to monitor the observance of all these rules.
The charter prohibited only slaves and barbarians from performing at the games. In order to be admitted to the games, a free-born Greek had to provide proof that he had been preparing for the competition for at least 10 months through daily exercise. In addition, each participant had to arrive at Olympia a month before the start of the games and pass tests at the Olympic gymnasium for a month at the participant's expense.
Having conquered Greece, the Romans continued the Olympic Games, but they were fundamentally different from the Greeks. The organization of these games was similar to circus performances.
In 394 A. D. NS. by decree of the emperor Theodosius I, who spread Christianity, the Olympic Games were prohibited. After some time, Olympia was destroyed by the Goths, and in 426 BC. NS. by order of Theodosius II, the Romans burned the temple of Zeus - the center of the Olympic Games.
At the initiative of the Secretary of the Sports Union of France, Pierre Coubertin, in April 1896, the Olympic flame flared up in Athens again. The I Olympic Games was attended by 285 athletes from 13 countries, but there were no boxers among them.