Middle East

islamic warriors fighting against the Crusaders developed Furusiyya (pp. 159-161): a style of mounted combat that combined horse archery with close-in tactics. its main practitioners were the Mamluks, who first served as soldiers in Egypt and then ruled there.

Wrestling has long been popular in iranian and Turkish culture. Legendary heroes wrestled demons. Rulers kept famous wrestlers at their courts, and sometimes wrestled themselves. A Turkish wrestling tournament, Kirkpinar, is said to be the oldest continuously running sporting competition in the world, having been held since c. 1362. Both Turkey and iran regularly send successful teams of wrestlers to international competitions.

Today, the Arab states sponsor many sporting events. One of the biggest grappling tournaments in the world is that of the Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC), which attracts competitors from all over the globe. This is no longer held exclusively in the Middle East, but grappling championships remain popular there. In addition, most modern Arab states train their special-operations forces in the martial arts.

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