This website is in English in order to make the information about the Nordic martial art of Glima easily available to our international audience. Photo: T. Neilsen - B. Wemundstad
The Raven is a sacred symbol in Norse mythology. The Norse God Odin had two ravens, Huginn and Muninn. Huginn in Old Norse means "thought" or "conciousness" and Muninn in Old Norse means "memory" or "mind". These two ravens fly all over the world, Midgard, and bring information to Odin, according to the 13th century Poetic Edda. The Prose Edda also explains that Odin is referred to as "raven-god" due to his association with Huginn and Muninn.
ACADEMY of VIKING MARTIAL ARTS
The Academy of Viking Martial Arts, founded in 2009, is dedicated to teaching all forms of Glíma, and to keeping Sport Glima and armed and unarmed Combat Glima relevant.
We who train in Glíma are the guardians of an unbroken tradition which can be traced back to Viking Age Scandinavia.
Glíma is the name of the Scandinavian martial arts system used by the Vikings.
The word Glíma in Old Norse means glimpse or flash, which describes the system's techniques.
Glima is divided into two categories - Combat Glima and Sport Glima.
Lausatok (Løse-tak) is the form of glima used for self-defense and combat.
Glima as a self-defence system contains throws, blows, kicks, chokes, locks, pain techniques, and weapon techniques, and is comparable with the best complete martial arts systems from around the world.
Løse-tak Glima for combat and self-defence was the basis for the Vikings fighting expertise.
Glima was the most widespread sport in the Viking Age, and was practiced by men and women of all ages.
Glima as a sport covers several types of Scandinavian folk wrestling: Lausatok (free-grip glima), Hryggspenna (back-hold glima) and Brokartok (trouser-grip glima).
Glima was so important for Viking society that their most popular god, Thor, was also the god of wrestling.
The Academy of Viking Martial Arts is based in Buskerud County, Norway.
Buskerud has a rich heritage from the Viking Age, and it is in Buskerud where the only Viking helmet, the only complete Viking Age chain mail, and the largest Viking gold treasure were found.
The Gjermundbu Viking helmet, found in Buskerud County, Norway, is the only known example of a complete Viking helmet in existence.
The Sætrang and Gjermundbu discoveries are proof that the village of Haugsbygd (Vangsbygd/Vangsfjerdingen) in Buskerud, was a significant place in the Viking Age. The Gjermundbu burial mound (Gjermundbufunnene) was unearthed during 1943 and contained many artifacts including weaponry and equipment and the Gjermundbu Viking helmet.
The Gjermundbu helmet is made from four plates of iron in the shape of a rounded or peaked cap in the spangenhelm pattern. It has a "spectacle" guard around the eyes and nose which formed a sort of mask. As the only complete Viking helmet ever found, it is the foundation for all Viking Age helmets with 'spectacle' guard.
The only more or less complete Viking age chain mail was found in Gjermundbu, Buskerud County, Norway.
In the Icelandic sagas, Viking body protection is usually referred to as Brynja, meaning a mail-shirt. The Viking chainmail brynja was a T-shaped shirt with short sleeves and a full body down to the thigh, made up of thousands of interlocking iron rings.
Little chain mail survives from the Viking era and the only near complete Viking age chain mail brynja shirt was found in Gjermundbu, Norway. The Gjermundbu brynja is also the only Viking Age chainmail brynja to be found in Scandinavia.
Numerous sections of the Gjermundbu brynja were corroded into a solid mass, but some sections of the brynja have survived in excellent condition. The diameter of the rings in the Gjermundbu brynja average 8mm (0.3 in), and the wire diameter average is 1.2 mm (0.05 in) about 16 gauge.