From Matt: Dr. Shvets was one of my teachers at the Kadochnikov School and Academy of Personal Safety. He is an encyclopedia on Russian martial culture and history. He is also an amazing teacher and I am proud to call him a friend and mentor. He was actually the first to recommend we call our system ‘Pramek’. Here is a great article that many will enjoy – and some great examples of usage at the website for his style, MARS – Martial Art, Russian Style. We are proud to have our partnership in Russian style with MARS and Dr. Shvets. Thank you Dr. Shvets for sending this to be posted – we will feature more of his articles in the coming months!’
S. Shvets, Ph.D.
Oven-fork («uhvat» in Russian) is a tool that consists of a long wooden handle with open iron hoop at the end.
In everyday life it was used to take cast-iron pot («chugunok» in Russian) and put it into traditional Russian oven.
But oven-fork is also known as a traditional Russian weapon. It was used by those who couldn’t afford more expensive weapons. As a weapon oven-fork was used to twist enemies’ arms and legs and to disarm them. Tines of the oven-fork are not sharp so it was impossible to stab with it. But it was possible to produce shattering blows. It was possible to resist attacks of many types of cold weapons as well.
There were all-wood battle forks two. Peasant with a fork stick («rogulina» in Russian) became a symbol of national resistance movement of Russian people during French invasion of Russia in 1812 (known as Patriotic War of 1812).
Here is a picture by Prianishnikov created in 1874. The name of the painting is «In the year of 1812»
Here we can see french prisoners of war. They have been captured and now they are being escorted by a group of Russian peasants. In the foreground there is a peasant with a fork stick on his shoulder.
Patriotic War of 1812 was remarkable for the fact that people of all estates were fighting for their country. Even peasants who at that time were serfs. They started partisan (guerrilla) war against French troops. If you have read a small book «War and peace» by L.Tolstoy you probably know everything about it.
You can find some examples of usage of a fork stick against knife attacks at http://www.mars-fighting.com/adv_products/24/