THE DEADLY MARTIAL ART OF THE VIKINGS by Tyr Neilsen

Deadly martiAL ART OF GLIMA tYR nEILSEN 

Deadly martiAL ART OF GLIMA tYR nEILSEN 

Combat Glima is a deadly martial art that works in real-world conflict situations. It was created during a time when Viking warriors faced each other both on and off the bloody fields of battle. This Viking martial art has been tried and tested over hundreds of years of life and death struggles, with warriors armed with razor sharp steel weapons, or unarmed against them. Over the centuries, as the weapons of modern warfare changed, combat glima has continued to be vital when the fighting ended up as hand to hand combat. 

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Combat glima is a no-nonsense complete system that covers the use of easily available modern weapons such as knife, stick and axe, and defense against such weapons. Weapon training starts after students understand and can apply basic unarmed combat glima techniques. Working with simple modern weapons such as a stick and knife, not only teaches the mechanics and application of weapon use, it sharpens all unarmed techniques and reinforces coordination.

Weapon training with axe and machete starts when basic weapon techniques are understood and can be applied by a student. Historical weapon training is a specialized field taught in historical combat glima classes, as regular combat glima classes are geared towards realistic armed and unarmed conflict.  

Combat glima has hand, elbow and knee strikes, block and shock techniques, kicks, grappling, wrestling, throws, takedowns, groundwork, pain techniques, and locking and choking techniques. These techniques can be used seperately, or combined in fluid and lethal ways, from standing situations to fighting on the ground.  

Combat glima open hand strikes are devastating. They are fast and extremely powerful from all angles. A person can't punch a brick wall with force and expect the hand not to be damaged or broken,  but a person can hit a brick wall with force in an open hand strike without damage. The same is true in combat. After one or many punches, the punching hand can be damaged or swollen, making it useless, but an open hand strike is powerful, remains undamaged, and can quickly turn into a grappling or gouging technique. 

Combat glima elbow and knee strikes are fearsome and can be used from a variety of angles against a wide range of targets. Glima kicks are quick and destructive because they are anatomically proficient and are directed to specific targets that ensure maximum effect. All combat glima techniques are executed in such a way as to end a fight as quickly as possible. 

There is a big difference between martial arts geared towards sport, self-defense, and combat. All such training helps in conflict situations, but people who train in combat glima have an edge over someone trained not to inflict harm. Combat glima classes are divided between training techniques indoors with mats, and year round training outdoors on the hard ground, testing the techniques in combat situations. 

Most martial artists, who train for sport or self-defense, do so in a warm and safe environment. They usually train on thick mats that protect them from being hurt if they are thrown, grapple or wrestle. If a person is only trained in this way, the shock of fighting in a street, with cement or asphalt ground, can be massive. The fear of being hit by an opponent is almost as great as the fear of being slammed to the sidewalk. Making forceful contact with cement or stone can seriously injure a person, or scare the fight out of them, so the threat of hitting a cement paving stone can stop a person from fighting as they have been trained. 

Having skills is an advantage, but being great at ground techniques on fluffy mats does not necessarily convert to being great in a struggle on the street, where usual safe movements end up with bloody elbows, scraped backs, and damaged limbs. Point contact experts can fall short in a real situation after being trained for years to not connect. There are no rules on the street, which means people trained under strict rules where physical harm is avoided, are disadvantaged. 

Sport glima has advantages over similar martial arts and wrestling, because the premise, even as a sport, is to get up and away as fast as possible. This is because sport glima came directly from Viking combat situations, where a person did not want to stay long on the ground, enabling a second attacker to kill them. As it is vital to find out what works in reality, as opposed to demonstration, the last 15 minutes of every glima class is competition, where students fight to survive and check out their techniques. 

Most techniques, especially Katas, look wonderful in demonstrations, but often can’t be used in a street fight. Real fights are ugly and dangerous. An attacker might never have trained in a martial art, or have recognizable techniques, which makes such fighting unpredictable. If students never actually test their techniques in stressful and painful situations, they cannot know if their techniques work. Combat glima training creates well-rounded martial artists who understand the differences between sport, competition and real life conflict.

In all forms of glima glima training, opponents fight against all weight classes and ability levels, which leads to hard earned experience. Being used to pain, hitting hard ground, and struggling to win, is extremely important and a massive advantage in a conflict situation. By training outdoors on hard and sometimes icy ground, students quickly build a strong foundation based on reality, and learn why glima techniques have been developed and why they work. 

Year round training outdoors forces combat glima practitioners to disregard the fact that they are fighting on solid ground, and disregard the fact that there are people watching, which is also a massive advantage in a conflict situation. Having trained in stressful and often overwhelming situations, they have less likelihood of freezing up or freaking out, and have experience in dealing with their fear and other emotions.

Combat glima techniques are taught in such a way that understanding of the techniques is the prime focus. It is not repetition for repetitions sake, but rather internalizing the understanding, so that the body performs in a fluid and dynamic way as it adapts to each new movement and situation. It is combat glima principles, rather than indoctrination, that are essential, so that the practitioner understands what they can make work in a fight, and what to do next if it doesn’t work.

Training in combat glima ensures that the practitioner becomes steadily fitter and stronger, both physically and mentally. Year round outdoors training, on hard ground, and in all type of weather, makes combat glima practitioners really tough. Combat competition ends each training session, and through hundreds of such fights, practitioners create the will, ability and determination to dig deep and fight on, when most martial artists would give up. 

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Combat glima training produces fighters that are mentally and physically prepared for conflict, using lethal techniques that have been practiced and tested in hard won battles. They are trained in the use of a variety of weapons and trained to defend against armed attackers. Combat glima training gives a real understanding of appropriate techniques, timing, and correct tactics depending on the situation. This is tough reality-based training, that enhances the practitioner’s chances of surviving single or multiple attacker scenarios.

With and without weapons, combat glima is as deadly today as it ever was in the Viking Age.    

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