General Question

Ltryptophan's avatar

After 2000 years have humans gotten better at hand to hand combat?

Asked by Ltryptophan (10341points) 1 week ago

Are today’s mixed martial artists, elite soldiers, and highly trained fighting athletes vastly superior warriors than the best gladiators, and other ancient brutal combatants from all four corners of the globe?

For this exercise please limit the weapons to handheld, no projectiles, strictly CQB.

Representing the present will be an ideal elite operator who has seen actual hand to hand combat against other nation’s very highly trained best and never lost in any battle.

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10 Answers

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I am guessing that they are if size matters within a certain discipline.
Then again, members of the Gracie family aren’t especially large people and I have see them take out larger wrestlers-Severn, I think his name was.

Ltryptophan's avatar

I would say we have a slight edge in the present at unarmed combat based on effective strategies like jujitsu.

But, with swords and other short range weapons included, I doubt it.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Ltryptophan -Today’s athletes against yesterday’s (with the same training) might have the advantage of a longer reach due to size.
My money’s on the man with the longer reach with a sword over a smaller man.

Ltryptophan's avatar

The match would be in a matrix-esque room full of all manner of sharp and blunt fighting implements. Each warrior would be given ample time to select their weapon, and also to see the selection of the other warrior and reselect if they choose.

They would also be able to understand each other in case either generations taunting skills were more psychologically effective, or they could choose to not be understood.

Vignette's avatar

From my understanding a personal experience in self defense I would say no. The training rituals and regimens of days of old where hand to hand combat was the norm, would destroy most people today. Plus warriors then were trained from childhood and lived, ate and breathed combat training and nothing else. I would even put my money on a first century woman above any modern day Rambo.

ragingloli's avatar

Anything in a sporting context, no. That includes weapon based sports.
Rules limit effectiveness. Things you are not allowed to do, you never train to do, and therefore will never know how to do effectively.
Think of the difference between Kendo vs Kenjutsu, or Olympic Fencing vs HEMA.

LadyMarissa's avatar

The gladiators of old fought to the death. Now days, it’s gentlemen’s rules. IF suddenly time traveled to the old days, I think the current crop of fighters would have a rude awakening!!!

ragingloli's avatar

@LadyMarissa
Only the slaves that were used as fodder.
The professional gladiators did not fight to the death, because nobility spent a lot of money on their training. They were pretty much the ancient version of sports stars.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Exercise?
Are we being graded?

Knowing what injuries will kill is the true test. The more we know about the human body, and wounds, the better we can be with effective fighting techniques.
It is less mysterious a skill now, but there have been skilled combatants around for quite a long time.

filmfann's avatar

I would say worse.
Warriors of old would run up to the battlefield, and swing a sword for hours.
I doubt most people could last fifteen minutes.

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