A Chronological History of the Martial Arts and Combative Sports

Click to send your EJMAS tip
Copyright © Joseph R. Svinth 2000-2002. All rights reserved.

Being a compendium of useful facts and figures to assist in the research and development of the knowledge of the martial arts, East and West.

Click here to buy Getting a Grip

Search this site or the web        powered by FreeFind
Site searchWeb search


0000 to 0499
0500 to 1349
1350 to 1699
1700 to 1859
1860 to 1899
1900 to1939
1940 to present

Reference List:

bibliography A-F
bibliography G-M
bibliography N-Z
How to use Kronos
   Kronos Updates
About the Bibliography
Spelling and Transliteration
Other Online Resources
Contact us
Barnes and Noble
Chapters Canada
Sponsors EJMAS shopping

Receive email when this page changes

Powered by NetMind

Click Here

Introduction and Copyright Information: 
Please read this before going any further.

About the Chronology

The purpose of this chronology is to introduce the history and development of the world's martial arts and combative sports. Rather than a completed proprietary work, it is very much a work-in-progress and reader input is solicited.

The Internet was deemed an appropriate venue for publication because the medium is easily accessed, quickly updated, and widely available. The chronological format was selected because it provided a convenient way for storing what were otherwise unrelated factoids.

Correcting Mistakes

To correct mistakes, e-mail either Joseph R Svinth <> or Kim Taylor <>. When submitting corrections, be sure to:

1. Tell us precisely where the error is located. The easiest way is to simply copy the entire offending passage into your message.

2. Provide suggested revisions. How complex this gets depends on what you're suggesting. If it is simply noting a spelling error, then nothing more is needed than the proper spelling. On the other hand if you're asking us to change our interpretations, some suggested text would be nice.

3. Send documentation for the recommended change. It isn't that we don't trust you, but how would you feel if our response to your recommended change was, "Well, this guy I never met in my life sent me this e-mail, and I trust him a lot more than I trust you." You'd be mad, right? Well, so would the other guy. Thus our request for documentation. If your source is a book easily available in any good-sized North American bookstore or library, then simply saying check such-and-such a page will work. On the other hand, if you're citing some obscure third century manuscript written in Lower Slobovian, then how about sending a copy complete with translation? Otherwise how will we (or the next person with a question) know what you're saying is true?

Upon receiving your recommendation, we'll do some digging and then get back to you with our initial response. If you're clearly right, we'll say thank you and incorporate your suggestions next time we update the base document. If you're clearly wrong, then we'll say thank you and send you some recommendations for further reading. And if we both have some good points to make, then we'll enter into a correspondence, with the end goal being the production of an online source document that is as accurate as possible.


The text contained in this chronology is viewed by the editors and publishers as intellectual property. Therefore international copyright is claimed, and all rights reserved.

Use of site information for academic or personal research is authorized, as is publication of extracts of 500 words or less, provided normal attribution is provided. A copy of any published material would be appreciated.

Other websites are encouraged to link to this site, but may not download its information directly to their own.

If you plagiarize material from this site for use in a term paper and get a grade of B or higher, how about dropping us a line to say thanks. On the other hand, if the grade is C or lower, then before flaming us please ask yourself if the grade was due more to our content or to your inability to interpret or present the data. As for unauthorized commercial use, note that the maintainers of this site read a lot of books and articles, and sometimes even watch TV and surf the Net. So one of these days we're likely to spot you. Please make lots of money from the theft of intellectual property before we do, as that will make our lawyers so much happier.

For more information on copyright check out Brad Templeton's page.

Your Editor-in-chief: Joseph Svinth
Your Webmaster: Kim Taylor


Joseph Svinth Research
Joseph Svinth Research Services

Sei Do Kai Iaido, be sure to check out our catalog

(If you would like to become a sponsor of the Encyclopedia please contact us.)

How to Use this Resource:

Click on the volume (year range) you are interested in. This will take you to a very large file of text. To find your topic, press CTRL-F and follow the directions to search for key words. Remember that this encyclopedia reflects how the editor thinks rather than how anyone else thinks. Therefore events and people may appear in unexpected places. So it may be worth your while to run your key word searches through multiple volumes rather than just one.

When you are done with a page, hit your browser's back button to return to this page.

Occasionally you will encounter links. These will lead you to footnotes, glossary terms, photographs, or other web resources. Feel free to send us links to additional web sites, but unless we really like the site or you become a sponsor the only links we are likely to post are ones maintained by universities, museums, and other public agencies.

To return from a note to the main text, click your browser's back button.

We don't plan to get a lot more complex than this at the moment. Feel free to get lost in the data and make your own serendipitous discoveries.

Kronos Updates

Since its first publication in November 1999, Kronos has received a complete invisible update each quarter. Then in June 2000 a reader wrote:

I enjoy reading KRONOS and I would be interested to read all the revisions and additions that go into the updates. But given the size of the existing document, it would be exceptionally arduous to have to reread through each section in order to find the revised and/or new information. A separate section that contained only the revised and/or new information would be very appealing to casual readers such as myself. This seemed a reasonable request. So, while updates will continue to appear in the text invisibly, changes that are more substantial than simple improvements to grammar or spelling appear below as separate entries.

If you have additional thoughts about how to improve Kronos, or if you have a question about sources, interpretations, or inclusions, please drop me a line at

About the Bibliography     

 Rather than listing everything one should read, this bibliography lists only published sources that were consulted during the preparation of this chronology.

Since there are only so many hours in the day, there are many glaring omissions, not the least of which is the fact that almost every text listed was read in English. If you'd like to hear our excuses, drop us a line. Meanwhile, if you believe that some seminal work was omitted, by all means feel free to send us review copies.

 Some of the information was obtained via e-mail or other personal correspondence. Although we could list the people who helped this way, we thought maybe it was better if we didn't, as that way these nice people couldn't be blamed for our mistakes. Their assistance is, however, acknowledged and greatly appreciated.

Note on Spellings and Transliteration

 Names of places are generally given in their most commonly used English form. In some cases this is not their legal name. For example, the Southeast Asian country is called Burma in the text rather than Myanamar, and the Chinese city is called Peking rather than Beijing.

 When transcribing, I generally omitted macrons. My reasoning was that since I don't speak the language, using macrons to show my erudition was being unnecessarily pretentious.

 Chinese words are transliterated using Wade-Giles rather than Pinyin. While this does not meet United Nations standards, I don't read Chinese so am mostly writing names as I find them in old texts. If someone wants to put them into Pinyin for me, let me know and we'll include those spellings, too.

 Finally, names are listed as the people themselves use them. For example, Japanese names are listed family name personal name (Smith John) while English names are listed personal name family name (John Smith). If this causes serious consternation let me know and I'll do something such as capitalize all family names (SMITH John). However, I'd prefer to avoid that as I find it visually clutters the page.

Online Resources (January 2007)

By Joseph R. Svinth

Copyright © EJMAS 2000-2007. All rights reserved.


1. General

EJMAS does not do link exchanges. On the other hand, EJMAS does accept advertising. So, if you want a plug, send cash.

When using the site, please remember that Kronos is intended as a starting point rather than an end in itself. So, please do not use it as anything more than that.

Also, remember that whenever researching anything, always go to the original source whenever possible. Was the original source quoted accurately, in context? Was that source citing something earlier? If so, go to it, too.

If you find a dead link, please write The last time all links were checked was October 30, 2006. I have no control over the National Library of Canada’s authorized mirror. The base document, however, is always the one at


2. Using the Internet as a research tool

Here I sit, scribbling away, and for the most paltry and impractical of reasons. I want to make some sense of this past, and of myself; and I want to tell the truth. Is this not ridiculous? But, then, I am like that.

-- Donald Richie, Memoirs of the Warrior Kumagai (1998)

"It doesn’t take a lot of education to check things out," Nobel laureate Kary Mullis noted on page 154 of his 1998 book, Dancing Naked in the Mind Field. "All it takes is access to resources and a minor distrust of everyone else on the planet and a feeling that they may be trying to put something over on you." The purpose of "Online Resources" (and the associated Kronos bibliographies) is to give readers access to resources that should help them check out claims (mine, as well as others).

In Dancing Naked, Mullis also described a book in which its author had posted a long list of references. Unfortunately, said Mullis, "While she listed the references, she failed to specify exactly what books supported which arguments. She didn’t make it clear where she had learned what she had claimed she had learned, making it difficult to check up on her. Scientific method takes issue with this kind of callous disregard for the impersonal nature of knowledge." Mullis is right, and if there is truly interest in the matter, let me know, and I’ll post Kronos’ footnotes, all hundred pages of them, to this site. Until then, if you have questions about my sources, facts, or conclusions, please write; the address is

2a. Using the Internet

If you’ve never seriously researched a topic using the Internet, an online tutorial appears at Also, check with your public or university library, as most offer written guides to using the Internet.

A warning: Some external sites and search engines leave cookies on your computer. Although most cookies are benign, some are spyware designed to track your surfing habits or to set you up for spam. Moreover, all cookies clutter your hard disk. Therefore, I recommend that everyone who uses the Internet install a firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and less buggy browsers, and then update them regularly. Firewalls, anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and less buggy browsers can be downloaded from the Internet, often for free, or purchased from retailers and then updated via the Internet.

2b. Privacy

There are privacy risks involved in using the Internet. For example, you have zero right to online privacy at work. If you think about it, that’s as it should be. After all, you’re using your employer’s property on your employer’s time. Thus, you can lose your job for visiting porn sites during lunch or conducting private business using the company e-mail. However, even at home, there are privacy issues based on page-ranking protocols and third-party cookies. For more on this, see Public libraries are not secure, either, as by requiring users to present a library card, the library also has the ability to track users. And, of course, computers associated with government agencies regularly visit one’s web site (or at least, visit our web site). Bottom line? Be careful about using the Internet to find things that would embarrass you should your queries become public.

2c. Search engines

The quality of your online search depends almost entirely on the quality of your search engine. For lists of search engines, try and

My personal preference is Google. Not only does it find relevant material quickly, but it also has cache sites that allow you to access information on sites that are temporarily unavailable. Not everyone likes these caches. Privacy advocates say that caches violate copyright, and there is no doubt that caches annoy advertisers, martial art grandmasters, politicians, and everyone else who regularly tells online lies -- they make it too easy for the rest of us to document the changes in their stories over time. I don’t know enough about copyright law to know whether caches violate copyright, but evidently Google’s lawyers are doing okay in that department. As for the liars, my belief is that if you don’t want people to catch you in lies, then don’t tell them in the first place.

That said, history changes, as one learns more about the past. So, if you’d like to see how Kronos has evolved over time, then take a look at the National Library of Canada’s mirrors, or at the condensed versions in Martial Arts of the World: An Encyclopedia, edited by Thomas A. Green (ABC-CLIO: 2001).

2d. Search strategies

Whenever possible, use personal names as your search terms. Obviously, this doesn’t work real well for "Robert Smith," but is very useful when searching for "Donn Draeger." Be sure to double-check spelling.

Also use multiple keywords, and be specific. For example, if you are interested in finding a kendo club near Burlington, Ontario, then try "kendo Ontario" or "kendo Canada" rather than just "kendo."

3. General reference

Many scholars choose to remain ignorant even after being given the facts… To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.

-- Oscar Muscarella, The Lie Became Great: The Forgery of Ancient Near Eastern Culture (2000)

If you already knew the answer, then presumably you wouldn’t be here. So, as guidance, the following are some sources of information that I’ve found useful.

3a. Archives and libraries

3b. Bulletin boards and lists

3c. Converters

3e. Dictionaries and related publications

3f. Dissertations

3g. Electronic journals

3h. Gay and lesbian resources

3i. History, religion, and culture

3j. Images and photos

3k. Learning styles

3l. Legal resources

3m. Lesson plans

3n. Making wooden weapons

3o. Maps, cartography, and space images

3p. Martial arts online media

3q. Medical resources

3r. Military manuals and doctrine

3s. Online articles

3t. Online books

4. Other chronologies

The history that lies inert in unread books does no work in the world.

-- Jay Luvaas,

The weakness of chronologies is that they fail to analyze or put events into context. Their strength is that they organize relatively indisputable facts into patterns that we may not be used to seeing. That, in turn, may prompt us to rethink our explanations of the universe.

Either way, the reader needs to interact with the text and images for the text and images to have any value. Unfortunately, as Walter Davis wrote, "Most of us, myself included, read passively; i.e., we expect the author to tell us what we need to know. There is no intellectual interaction with the author. The reader doesn’t question, evaluate, or analyze the material, and sadly most authors are probably glad we don’t." ("Interactive Reading and the Art of War," Marine Corps Gazette, July 2000, pages 52-53.)

The purpose of Kronos is to encourage you to question, evaluate, and analyze martial art history. Toward accomplishing this, the text blends narrative and chronology. Consequently, entries are not always arranged in a strictly chronological format. Nor does it mean that individual tales always lead to some great insight. Instead, it is simply a format that (to quote Stephen Jay Gould) lets EJMAS "expand the range of our tales beyond the canonical to the quirky." (Steven Jay Gould, "Jim Bowie’s Letter & Bill Buckner’s Legs," Natural History, May 2000, 26-40.)

Obviously, it is not the only chronology in existence, and what I focus on may not lead you in the directions that you’re hoping to go. So, the following are some other useful online chronologies.

5. Bibliographic guidance

If you want a new idea, read an old book.

-- Jay Luvaas,

"For several years," Walter Davis wrote in "Interactive Reading and the Art of War" (Marine Corps Gazette, July 2000, page 53), "I have been obsessed with professional reading lists. Even before the recent resurrection of the historical study of the art of war, I collected reading lists with the zeal of an antique collector." Davis went on to say that this passion for collecting bibliographies was not much different from collecting baseball cards. After all, the purpose of professional reading isn’t to tell your friends that you’ve read a book, but to gain insight into why other professionals did what they did. But, used properly, the bibliographies might lead you to "the one book or bit of knowledge that would provide the key to military success."

5a. Annotated lists of recommended reading

5b. Scientific articles

5c. Stores specializing in books on Asia

5d. Translation software

6. Individual martial arts and combative sports (an alphabetic listing)

‘Tis the good reader that makes the good book.

-- Jay Luvaas,

To my knowledge, every major culture practices martial arts and combative sports. Consequently, there are literally thousands of different martial arts and combative sports. For a by-name listing of hundreds of them, see John Corcoran’s "Martial Arts of the World" at Armed with this information, you can then visit Google and see what turns up, or you can visit the following, which are web sites that (in my opinion) provide useful information about the styles listed.

6a. African martial arts and combative sports

6b. Afrikan martial arts (eclectic African American arts)

6c. Aikido

6d. Aikijujutsu

6e. American heritage (18th and 19th century) martial arts

6f. Archery

6g. Armor

6h. Arrest and restraint

6i. Atlatls (throwing sticks)

6j. Boxing (Western)

6k. Brazilian jiu-jitsu

6l. Burmese/Kachin combative sports and martial arts

6m. Capoeira

6n. Caribbean stick fighting

6o. Danzan ryu (Kodenkan) jujutsu

6p. Edged weapons

6q. European medieval, renaissance, and early modern martial arts

6r. European wrestling (traditional, amateur, and Olympic)

6s. Fencing

6t. Fencing and bayonet (reprints of historical texts)

6u. Fight arranging and stage combat

6v. Filipino martial arts

6w. Firearm history

6x. Hapkido

6y. Hellenic/Hellenistic combative sports (pankration, boxing, and wrestling)

6z. Hsing-i

6aa. Hwa Rang Do/Tae Soo Do

6bb. Iaido (Japanese sword drawing)

6cc. Iberian combative sports

6dd. Indian, Pakistani, Sikh, and Sri Lankan martial arts and combative sports

6ee. Indochinese martial arts

6ff. Indonesian and Malay martial arts

6gg. Irish stick (bata) and cudgel (shillelagh)

6hh. Islamic martial arts

6ii. Japanese stick (jodo)

6jj. Japanese sword (katana)

6kk. Jewish/Israeli martial arts and combatives

6ll. Judo

6mm. Juego del Palo (Canary Islands stick and knife play)

6nn. Karate

6oo. Kendo

6pp. Koryu (pre-Meiji Japanese martial arts)

6qq. Law enforcement/individual self-defense

6rr. Lua (Native Hawaiian martial arts)

6ss. Maori martial arts

6tt. Mixed martial arts (also known as No Holds Barred [NHB] and Vale Tudo)

6uu. Morengy (martial art of Madagascar, Reunion, and the Comoro Islands)

6vv. Mongol wrestling (böke), archery, and horse racing

6ww. Muay thai (Thai boxing)

6yy. Native American martial arts and combative sports

6zz. Nepalese (Gurkha) martial arts

6aaa. Ninjutsu/ninpo

6bbb. Olympics

6ccc. Pa kua ch’uan

6ddd. Professional wrestling

6eee. "Reality-based" martial arts

6fff. Russian combative sports (including sambo)

6ggg. Ryukyuan (Okinawan) traditional weapons

6hhh. Savate, la canne, and related arts

6iii. Shorinji Kempo

6jjj. Shuai jiao (Chinese wrestling)

6kkk. Sport handguns

6lll. Ssireum (Korean traditional wrestling)

6mmm. Sumo

6nnn. Taekwondo

6ooo. T’ai chi ch’uan

6ppp. Tibetan/Sherpa martial arts and combative sports

6qqq. Varzesh-e Pahlavani (Iranian traditional wrestling)

6rrr. World War II-era combatives

6sss. Yagle güres (Turkish oil wrestling)

7. Links we would like to see

If you have ideas for additional online resources, please drop me a line at Areas that we’d like to document using online rather than traditional print resources include:

Last time all sites verified: Mar 13, 2005

kronos 2005