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Jogo Do Pau, Zipota, Lutta Corsa, & Jousting

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Jogo Do Pau

Jogo Do Pau Jogo Do Pau is a Portuguese staff-fighting martial art and, although its origins are unclear, it is believed the art was originally used to settle matters of honor between families and village members in the northern states of Portugal. Although there are suggestions Jogo Do Pau’s origins may lie in Indian martial arts, it is more likely to have evolved as a form of folk fighting between young men using easily obtainable sticks and canes. There is evidence to suggest

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Portuguese guerilla warfare groups used the art form against Napoleon’s invading forces during the Napoleonic wars. The advent of firearms, however, saw the art fall into decline. The sport is enjoying a reemergence in some areas of Portugal today.


zipotaDespite Zipota’s disputed origins, experts believe this little-known Basque fighting style was similar to the French sport of savate and included stick fighting, mostly with a Basque walking stick. The name probably refers to the Basque word for “shoe,” and, although literature on the subject is scarce, it is thought the art probably included a number of leaping and kicking techniques combined with throwing and punching, as seen in Savate.

Lutta Corsa

Lutta Corsa is a free-fighting martial art believed to have developed from Greek Pankration wrestling and was traditionally practiced by shepherds on the Mediterranean island of Corsica. Although little is known about the art’s exact origins, the sport is likely to have evolved among wandering shepherds who used a fighting system that included throws, kicks, chokes, and punches to settle scores, right wrongs, and restore honor.


Jousting was a medieval equestrian sport designed to demonstrate a warrior’s suitability for battle. It was originally conducted with three different weapons: the lance, the battleaxe, and the knife or sword. Although the earliest record of jousting as a sport came in 1066, it did not gain widespread popularity until the 13th century, before its decline during the 17th and 18th centuries.

  • Competitive Jousting

In its prime, regular jousting competitions were held across Europe and often involved large prizes, as well as frequent injuries. In order to win, a jouster would aim to “til” (unseat) his opponent. Common types of horse used were either agile, medium-sized horses, or heavier steeds bred for war. They would typically wear long-necked furs, a saddle with a high back so that the jouster would not easily be thrown, and armor that would often feature ornamental signs.

The armor worn by knights was interchangeable so that it could be replaced quickly and easily if damaged. Breastplates were attached to the general armor and, as they took the brunt of the blow, were heavier and stronger; the helmet was known as “The Great Helm”—a solid-metal coverall helmet with a thin strip at the front to allow vision. The lances were often painted with stripes and symbols of a knight’s coat of armor and were fashioned from solid oak.

  • Modern Jousting

Jousting is still popular around the world today and the sport’s governing body, the International Jousting Association, regulates rules and is responsible for safety in modern competition.

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