Martial Arts in Arab

Have you heard anything about Arab martial arts? In general, Arab martial arts have not been widely propagated, due to the lack of systematization and the lack of a method for teaching. So do not expect any debate between two martial arts that we can usually find between judo vs jiu jitsu

The Tahtib in Egypt

However, martial arts have occurred in all the peoples of the world, and the Arab world could not have been the exception, since the Middle East has been one of the most conflictually warlike places worldwide.

Within this territory have emerged the most famous warriors in the Islamic world, who have practiced some of the martial arts that were brewed in this place.


We must first point out that when we talk about the “Arab World”, we talk about a group of countries that share the same ancestors, culture, traditions and fundamentally the Arabic language.

The name comes from the place where this language was born, in Arabia, which expanded throughout North Africa and the Middle East, both language and religion, Islam, spread through conquests.

Let’s take a brief tour from Egypt, the southern Arabian peninsula and North Africa to get to know some of the oldest Arab martial arts, as well as modern proposals.

Tahtib is one of the oldest arts that was cultivated in ancient Egypt, it could not be missing that one of the first civilizations developed their own martial art.

This ancient Arab martial art helped the pharaohs to build dynasties and maintain the Egyptian empire.

Fencing with Egyptian sticks
Engravings of the techniques of this martial art have been found on the walls of three tombs excavated at the Beni Hasan site, on the east bank of the Nile. These engravings teach attack and defense techniques with a stick.

It is believed that the ancient Egyptians carried out the fight of the stick as a form of entertainment. This type of fencing was probably based on the actual fighting systems used in combat with the shield and the sword, which then evolved into a system with its own rules and methods.


While there are not many studies on this martial art of Yemen it is important to mention it because it comes from the ancient Ottoman Empire.

Raks Al-Khanjar-Khanjar, literally means “dagger dance”, this martial art is characterized by the use of khanjar, a traditional and original dagger from Oman.

Yemen and the Raks Al-Khanjar-Khanjar

At present, both in Yemen and in Oman, men still use their traditional knives in public and some of the techniques of this Arab martial art are preserved.


The Nuba fight is an African martial system of close combat, in which they use a stick, it is practiced by some tribes of Sudan.

It is said that this traditional form of martial art originated in the mountains of Nuba, located in southern Sudan, some of these competitions are organized during sowing and harvest festivals, so this type of struggle has religious connotations.

What better offering can be given to the gods, than the blood shed in battle!


The techniques are based on grabs and takedowns, in this fighting style there are no hits like boxing or karate kicks, the objective of the fight is to knock down the opponent and take him to the ground; It is very similar to the Greco-Roman struggle.

The origin of this martial art is also related to ancient Egypt, as it is believed that the Egyptians recruited Nubian archers who were highly valued. The word “Nubia” is a common term that the ancient Egyptians used to describe all blacks who lived in South Africa.

Although the Nuba struggle is still a sport today, it is still a fundamental element of the culture of the Sudan tribes, for their religious and social purposes. Through the Nubian wrestling competitions, young people prepare for adulthood.


We have known some of the oldest Arab martial arts, such as Tahtib or Egyptian stick fencing, Raks Al-Khanjar-Khanjar or dagger dance and nuba fighting.

Although there is no great dissemination and popularization of Arab martial arts, compared to Western and Oriental, they continue to evolve and new styles such as Kowat Alrami emerge.