This time I’m introducing you a martial art which doesn’t belong to a master and his philosophy but to the culture of a nation. Baranta is a real Hungaricum which is based on the armed and bare-handed techniques of Hungarian nobles and comes from the centuries between the IX. and the XX.

Image: Pixabay, Paul Barlow

This traditional martial art was invented by free Hungarians whose privilege and obligation was to fight. Throughout the centuries they gathered knowledge that contained a special model for tactics, ways of personal development, and a philosophy alongside the techniques polished until perfection.

What Was Their Philosophy?

Those who practice baranta, live, think and act Hungarian every minute. They not only keep the traditions but live and create them by building their every days around them. It is natural for them that they acquiring learn even the tiniest details of the Hungarian culture that developped the martial values learnt by them. It pervades penetrate their way of thinking and stays with them also when the battle is over and the time of sing and dance has come.

It’s very important that baranta-warriors never fight against something but always for something. They keep their focus on the target wished to be achieved and the values wished to be protected, so it gives them strength instead of what they go against. Warriors thinking this way are determined opponents with huge power.

What Does the Word “Baranta” Mean?

Everywhere where this word is still used (mostly in the west and south borders of the country), it is interpreted in different way. It referred to armed competition, challenge, preparation for fight or war, legally usable violence and use of violence. The tradition of Somogyvár’s region attributed the most flattering meaning to the word. They saw baranta warriors as fighters who answered to the highest ethical requirements besides being excellent at armed combat. So they deserved to become the special helpers of the ancient law guradian (Horka).

Photo: Devanath

Nowadays baranta means an independent Hungarian martial art in case if it’s only about contest, preparation and practice in peacetime. The version striving for the enemy’s destruction is called “Böllön”. Elements connected to this latter can be acquired by regular soldiers and baranta warriors who already achieved the instructor level.

How Do Baranta-Warriors Fight?

Dances accompanied by different weapons and tools have a big importance in the formation of movements. Baranta includes several ways of fighting from long-range traditional weapons to direct close combat. The most important weapons are bow, sabre, sword, short and long stick, fustély (this is also a kind of stick), kelevéz, kopja, fokos, shield, battle axe, whip, throwing star and knife.

An essential element of the bare-handed techniques is spreading, asphyxiating movements ending the combat. These are usually started in a standing position and taken further during the ground fight.

Image: Pixabay, Richard Mcall

Beside the foot branch (thug) there is also an equestrian branch (ráró). The latter requires a very high level of cooperation with the horse, because control of mounts has to be carried out without any harness.

Baranta and the Kyanite Alliance

Acquiring the plenty of different ways of fighting connected to baranta is necessary for warriors who have already learnt to keep their power in line and exceed their ego. Although members of the Bellicous family come from different planes of existence as envoys of many different cultures, fighting for the common purpose and for the protection of common values have a very big importance for all of them.

Magistra Rowena encourages competitions in the case of fully-trained fire-novicias and novices who accomplished the Trial of the Elements. Individual competitions help students by assessing which areas they need to develop while team combats provide them with a great opportunity to work on cooperation in the community. These challenges take place quite often. But in contrast with the combats held at Celtic celebrations, they aren’t for the public. Participants can rely only on their physical power and intelligence and they can’t use magic at all.

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