Wrestling in Ancient Egypt explained

Back in high school, I love how Brendan Fraser starred in The Mummy movies. Yet after he dueled with the undead Imhotep, I came to wonder if that’s how ancient Egyptians really fight. To begin with, in The Mummy Returns, his character slug it out with the movies’ twisted version of the Egyptian 27th century BC chancellor. Whoever choreographed the fight scene, probably assumed that men used some ancient form of Kung Fu back then when they brawl, because that’s how the fight (at least how I see it) looks like. The duel was cut short, when a terrible CG animation of the Scorpion King broke free from the gates of the underworld.

Years later as I become more aware of the world around me, and as I become more exposed to martial arts, the memory of The Mummy Returns brawl came back. My curiosity on the martial arts of Ancient Egypt was reignited as soon as I learned of the existence of various forms of fighting styles. Turns out that Kung Fu and other Asian martial arts are not the only brawling skills available. I learned that Europe has its own fighting method, and if that’s the case then Egypt most likely has its own. To my surprise (and delight), one of those styles is none other than the oldest, and the most widespread. Good old wrestling.

Martial Arts of Ancient Egypt
Depiction of Tahtib stick fighting.

When training to fight, there were several forms of martial to choose from in ancient Egypt. Engravings at the Abusir necropolis shows these combative methods, which ranged from the empty handed to weapons fighting. One is stick fighting known as Tahtib. At present, Tahtib is considered as folk dance, but it was practiced differently during the antiquity. The main purpose back then is to bludgeon your opponent using a four-foot stick known as asaya with blinding speed. Getting deeper into this amazing form of combat requires a separate article, but ancient Egyptian martial arts also include marksmanship.

Archery was the primary ranged weapons training during the