IZVOR Russian martial arts
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     HISTORY. Russian martial art IZVOR    
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полчища БатыяThunder-storm of Golden Horde
In 1238-1240 a terrible tornado have passed across Russia hordes of Batyja. The overwhelming majority of Russian cities has been destroyed and reduced to ashes. Only the part from them has gradually been restored, and many and haven't revived, therefore we know their names only under annals. Archeologists is short mention others: "the Anonymous site of ancient settlement, is destroyed in Batyeva of invasion".
Russian princes recognized the power of Golden Horde, obediently rendered tribute and on the first hail submissively went to its governors-khans on punishment. The Polish historian of XVI century Mihalon Litvin wrote: "Before Moscow people were in such slavery at “Zavolzskih” Tatars that their prince … left towards to any ambassador of the emperor (that is the khan. - A.Sh.) and to collector of taxes annually coming to Moskovia for walls of a city and, taking its horse by the bridle, the pedestrian took away the horseman to a court yard. And the ambassador sat on a princely throne, and he on a knee listened to ambassadors".
Golden Horde represented sharp contrast to the ruined Russian earth. The considerable part of nomads became city dwellers. Hundred thousand slaves from won countries have constructed big cities on coast of Volga and Kama. The Arabian traveler Ibn of the Trampoline who has visited those edges in 1334, noticed that “Zolotoordinskaja” capital the Shed - one of the most beautiful cities and to go round it, it was required almost all the day. Trade was the considerable income item of khans - merchants paid the duty from 3 to 5 % from cost of the goods. Across Volga there were caravans of courts with cargoes from the countries Near and Middle East, India and China …
But the classical characteristic of Russia of XIV century of a steel of a word of historian Vasily Kljuchevsky: "People helplessly lowered hands, minds lost any vivacity and elasticity and were hopelessly given to the regrettable position, without finding and without searching for any exit. That is even worse, horror of the fathers who have endured a storm, children who were born after it caught. Mother of a scarecrow of the restless child the dashing Tatar; having heard this malicious word, adults in embarrassment took to the heels, without knowing where … the panic horror of one generation could develop in national shyness, in line of national character".
However not all in Russian earths were quiveringly declined before Ordincami. It is a lot of efforts by it delivered from time to time Ushkuiniki.
What it for terrible force? People manumissions – “Novgorodci”. They have already mastered for a long time Russian North. To the middle of XIV century have passed for the Ural ridge. On the rivers and the seas the Novgorod good fellows moved on courts - Ushkujah, for as have received the nickname. Some linguists (for example, see: Fanster "the Etymological dictionary of Russian", M. 1973) consider that the word "Ushkui" has occurred from old Veps words "boat". But it is more probable that vessels have been named by name a polar bear - Ushkua. For they were often decorated by the bear heads.
Novgorod people built sea and river Ushkui (river unlike the sea had no deck). Against an internal covering of a vessel leaned 6 or 8 cans for oarsmen. Thanks to small a deposit (nearby 0,5) and the big parity of length and width (5:1) Ushkui possessed rather a great speed. Both sea, and river Novgorod vessels bore a unique demountable mast in the central part with one slanting or direct sail. They had no hinged wheels, they were replaced with fodder steering oars.
Ushkui were used as military and trading vessels. But they have entered into history as the military ships Novgorod vollici - “Ushkuinikov”.
It is necessary to notice that “Ushkuiniki” were the professional soldiers skillfully operating both in pedestrian, and in horse I build. They in perfection owned the basic samples of arms of that time: spears, swords, sabres, onions and arbalests. The last were also easy, portable, and heavy, stationary, shooting thick steel arrows - bolts.
The first campaigns Ushkuinikov, according to the remained annals, concern a year from Christmas 1320. That year the Novgorod republic has appeared in an emergency. From the southwest it was attacked by Lithuanians, from the West - German knights. For Karelian isthmus - ancient fatherland the Mister of Great Novgorod - there was a long war with Swedes, and in addition Norwegians have intruded in northern possession of republic.
Then Ushkuiniki have put retaliations across Norway. In 1320 Novgorod man Onions has ruined the area of Finmarnen located from southern coast of Varanger-fjord to the city of Tromse. And in 1323 Ushkuiniki already smashed area of Halogaland jugo-to the west Tromse. Norwegians, without having managed to resist Novgorod people, even have addressed in 1325 for the help to the Holy See for the organization of a crusade against Russian and the Karelian. Probably that attacks Ushkuiniks have made due action and on other foes of Great Novgorod. In 1323 Sweden has made with its the compromise Orehovetsky peace.
For the first time to a large campaign to Golden Horde Ushkuiniki have gone in 1360. With fights have passed across Volga to the Kamsky mouth, and then took storm big Ordinski the city of Zhukotin (Dzhuketau near a modern city of Chistopol). Having grasped infinite riches, dashing good fellows have left to Kostroma. But khan Hidyr has sent ambassadors to princes Suzdal, Nizhniy Novgorod and Rostov with the requirement of delivery of "offenders". Princely hosts have secretly approached to Kostroma and by means of a part of its inhabitants have grasped nothing suspecting Ushkuiniks. Captives delivered to punishment to the khan. However after that their colleagues took and have burned Nizhni Novgorod, and Kostroma plundered almost each time as floated by. Ushkuiniki
Naturally, didn't forget Ushkuiniki and about Ordinah. In 1363 the Novgorod team led by “military chiefs” Alexander Abakunovichem and Stepan Lepoj left to Ob. Here the group was divided - one part has moved downwards on the river to the ocean Ledovitogo (the Ice cold sea), and another has gone for a walk on upper courses - on a joint of borders of Golden Horde, Chagatajsky ulusa and China. Having returned with extraction, Ushkuiniki haven't calmed down. In 1366 they with the same “military chief” Alexander Abakunovichem already operate on an average current of Volga.
From the Shed the complaint - to already Moscow prince Dimitriju Ivanovichu (in the future - Don, to the winner in Kulikovsky fight) flies next Hanskaja. That sends the terrible reading and writing to Novgorod. Therefrom answer, as it is conducted in Russia, the formal reply: "people young to Volga without our word, but visitors (merchants Went. - A.Sh.) yours didn't plunder, beat only infidels". That is, according to the Novgorod boyars to beat infidels - business just, and about the non-participation in attacks they have played a cunning trick. Really great bulk Ushkuiniks was made by the Novgorod poor and newcomers of Smolensk, Moscow and Tver, but in most cases over them supervised skilled Novgorod “military chiefs” Varfolomeevich, Vasily Fedorovich, same Abakunovich and others Has got hoarse. With the weapon and money Ushkuiniks rich Novgorod merchants supplied, and isn't gratuitous - having returned, Ushkuiniki generously shared extraction.Ушкуйники
With 1360 for 1375 Ushkuiniki have made eight big campaigns to Average Volga, not including small attacks. So, in 1374 the Novgorod good fellows in the third time took a city of Bulgarians (near to Kazan), then have moved downwards in the river and have rushed into the Shed - capital of the great khan.
In 1375 Ushkuiniki on seventy courts under “military chief” Prokopa and Smoljanina appeared near Kostroma. The way to them was blocked by a five-thousandth Moscow host led by “military chief” Alexander Pleshcheevym. At Prokopa was all one and a half thousand Ushkuiniks, but it has divided them on two parts: with one has engaged with the Moscow troops, and another has sent it in back. Sudden blow from here has solved business. Muscovites have run up, and Novgorod break-head once again have seized Kostroma. Having had a rest here couple of weeks, they have besides moved downwards across Volga and already by tradition they have put "visits" to cities of Bulgarians and the Shed. And the governors of Bolgara taught by bitter experience, have paid off with the big tribute, but Hanskaja the capital the Shed was is taken by storm and is plundered.
The panic covered Ordincev at one message about approach Ushkuiniks. And to it absence of serious resistance and fantastic extraction have turned heads. They have gone further away, to Caspian sea. Near a mouth of Volga they were met by khan Salgej correcting Haztorokanju (Astrakhan), and has immediately paid a tribute requested by Prokopom. Besides, in honor of uninvited visitors from far Ilmen-lake the khan suited a grandiose feast. But when become tipsy Novgorod peoples absolutely have lost vigilance, at the height of a feast on them the crowd armed nukerov has rushed. So Prokop were lost, Smoljanin and almost all people, the little has had the luck to return to Russia. It was the biggest defeat Ushkuiniks.
Whether were Ushkuiniks together with the Moscow prince Dimitriem on a Kulikovo field in 1380? Alas, isn't present - didn't love free people Ivan Kality's descendants. But everyone soldier in Russian regiments knew that there is it not on an invincible horde, and on the army which has not managed twice for ten years to protect the capital.
Not recognized as Novgorod, hated by all Russian princes Ushkuiniks continued to go to Volga. In 1392 they again took Zhukotin and Kazan. In 1409 воевода Anfal has moved 250 Ushkuev to Volga and Kama...ушкуйники
Similar dashing expeditions were organized up to the seventieth years of XV century when Great Novgorod has got under the power of great Moscow prince Ivan III. But Ushkuiniks didn't remain here and for some time have located in Hlynove (subsequently Vyatka), and then - after its capture in some years the army sent from Belokamennoj - on coast of Volga where the beginning was necessary to the Cossacks. After a while these free people have got over to Don...
It is necessary to notice that the Russian historian and ethnographer Evgenie Savelyev already in the XX-th century beginning marked presence in lexicon of the Don Cossacks of many words, undoubtedly, having old Novgorods an origin.

As all began...
Fighting traditions of the Northwest of East Russia and especially the areas adjoining pools of the rivers Msta and Tvertsa, have tested on themselves strong influence of original subculture Ushkuiniks. Ushkuiniks in many respects were forerunners of the Cossacks; a camp life, attacks «behind homespun coats», constant readiness for fight, rigid discipline and the organization during operations and absolute democracy in a peace time all it has been inherited subsequently by the formed Cossacks. The continuity was caused not only similarity in the organization, but also in cultural traditions and as in territorial preferences, for example, the first have rendered habitable islands «behind thresholds», those on which subsequently has arisen Zaporozhye sech, Ushkuiniks. Ushkuiniks
As prototype such mini-sechej the branched out network Ushkuinih island parking on Mste served, to Tvertse, Volga, one of them functioning throughout three centuries, was on island, in 5 km from old Torzhok, above on a current (in 2,5 km from modern city line, nowadays in territory of a museum of wooden architecture of Vasilyovo, near to the village with the same name). Thus, it is possible to speak about Ushkuinih traditions of Russian hand-to-hand fight, at least, in territories of the rivers Msty adjoining pools, Tvertsy and the Top Volga.Ушкуйники
Certainly, the martial art had all the slavic a basis, was fostered in patrimonial and communal associations, constantly improved in military collectives, but nevertheless Ushkuiniks camp of preparation and campaigns as original examination on skill (and in campaigns took not all) have in many respects generated hand-to-hand traditions of Verhnevolzhja. Their Basic elements were absence of a rigid regulation, an absolute openness to loans of successful fighting receptions, universality (i.e. possibility to resist to opponents in various conditions in steppe, in wood, in a city, on water and on a land, in a system and individually). And as special system of maintenance of the fighting form practically without a separation from principal duties, simplicity and efficiency of receptions.
The Ushkuiniks subculture was original range for a running in of hand-to-hand skills in fighting conditions and school for training of fighters. Judging by the information, the sources which have poorly enough reached us, many combatants, members of constant city and rural home guards of Verhnevolzhja (especially an administrative board) had Ushkuinoe the past. For example, the well-known fortnight defense of Torzhok in 1238y., from the Mongolian armies, passed under the direction of Ivanko – were once Ushkuinik, and Boriso-Glebskogo of the monastery supervising defense, lasting ten days, abbot Ferapont, the same took in due time not last place in Ushkuiniks bands.
Thus, revival mstinsko-tveretskoj can serve tradition of Russian hand-to-hand fight as a source (and one of word major importances “IZVOR” is a source, a source) revival of Russian traditional culture of a historical territorial kernel where the main slavic rivers, kernels from which Russia was born have the source.



Rob © 2010