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English PRESENTATION Baranta

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Prepared by the Hungarian Baranta Association

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English PRESENTATION Baranta

  1. 1. Contacts and further information: International relations: biro.botond@baranta.org +36703140062 fekete.mate@baranta.org +36303659209 info@baranta.org
  2. 2. History Baranta, a continuously-developing martial art, was first created when combat and fighting techniques that had been applied throughout Hungarian history were collected, and at the same time an attempt was made to amass and categorize all the different movements and motions found in the Hungarian physical-culture. Baranta is a constantly-shaping independent philosophical movement, which gains its knowledge from the Hungarian folk-culture otherwise known as “social psychology” or “folk psychology” (Sándor Karácsony being one of its founders and most quoted writers). The uniformity within the Baranta movement is due to the fact that the source of its knowledge is the Hungarian culture as a whole, which provides a direct connection, based on traditions and heritage, to the Hungarian social structure and includes intellectual elements. Training and personality-forming methods of Hungarian warrior communities, who had compiled a great amount of knowledge of fighting skills, have been around for at least 1300 years. Hungarian social groups had to fulfill the tasks of self-defense, farming, and at the same time forms of worship. “Preparing” the members of the community was a basic task in this society. In the middle of the 19th century, the world went through a “revolution of physical-culture”. As a result of these changes the modern well-known sports, combat-sports and a new system of fighting came into existence. Three basic forms of “physical-culture” appeared: the German gymnastics movement, the Anglo-Saxon “gentlemen sports” with their ancient Greek origins, and movements, whose goal it was to develop folk-games, dancing and fighting competitions into structured sports. In Hungary the competitions, games and dances of traditional “folk physical- culture” were revived during the “Reform-age” of the late 1800’s. They were given new importance and symbolized a form of defiance against the foreign autocratic government. People like Count Miksa Esterházy, the founder of the Hungarian Athletics Club (MAC), who was also Hungary’s cultural attaché to London, his circle of friends and a few leaders of certain “rebellious” towns attempted to create an independent “physical-culture” based on Hungarian rural cultural literacy. To demonstrate their patriotism, people supported this campaign to save the folk-games, games of combat and traditional sports activities around the country by including them in county balls, national celebrations and rural festivals. Between 1848 and 1941, parts of Baranta appeared in the military rulebook. During the years 1928-1941 Hungarian military officers from the Ludovika Academy began to research earlier combat techniques to be used in the training of the newly formed special operation branch. This research was later continued and further developed by Ferenc Vukics at the Kossuth Lajos Military Academy in 1991, and the first team was organized in Szentendre in 1996. The Hungarian Baranta Association was established in 2002. Future goals Baranta aims to continue practicing, educating and researching the Hungarian martial arts and physical-culture, and the Hungarian fighting-culture found in folk-games, as well as increasing its cultural acceptance, thereby cultivating a healthy, traditional Hungarian lifestyle by reviving traditions, and developing individual personality and the communal establishment. Baranta wishes to reestablish fundamental traditions within naturally existing and interdependent communities by stimulating further development in accordance with the fundamental Hungarian culturally-based ways of thinking. By cooperating with other organizations within Hungary and abroad, the results are then shared both domestically and internationally, thereby propagating the Hungarian culture and Hungary as a whole, while evoking patriotism within the Hungarian youth and mutual respect toward foreign cultures as well. Baranta wishes to establish an independent Hungarian school model. Baranta would like to preserve and develop all the values that have been created by its ancestors. It uses traditional games as a method to involve the youth in this endeavor, and therefore takes great pains in promoting them. A modern system is being organized so that it will be easy for the youth of the 21st Century to take part in it.
  3. 3. Philosophy A person who practices the philosophy of Baranta lives, thinks, fights, dances, and sings like a Hungarian. His most important task is to get to know his own culture as deeply as possible and not to fight against but rather for something. Baranta followers live their daily lives implementing these traditions and organizing everyday-life around this knowledge. Becoming genuinely acquainted with the mindset allows them to further develop these newly found values. Baranta does not focus on one part of history, but rather considers each period of time as a process of learning. Its symbols include the historical flags of Hungary and the ancient relic of the Turul bird found in Rakamaz. The philosophy behind Baranta is not exclusive or restrictive because its followers deem the Hungarian culture and physical-culture therein to be of such value that it is worth even non-Hungarians familiarizing themselves with it. A key factor in this question is the youth. Baranta would like to inform the youth about cultural issues and raise the level of acceptance. „Truth be told, it is a lifestyle where the first and most important person is the community, with unchanged spirit; only the roles of the fathers and sons change.” Áron Tamási „ Everyone is part of our nation: those who lived before us, those working for us, everyone in the present who tries to create something and everyone in the future still to be born. We have to fight our battles in the present for the values for which we stand. We have to revise our knowledge based on our own experiences, and we have to give an ever-growing and developing world to the next generation... „Vukics National Gathering of Hungarians This annual event took place between 2009 and 2013 in Bösztörpuszta in the middle of Hungary. In its best years, this 3-4 day long monumental open-air event was attended by over 250 000 spectators, with Baranta taking on the lion's share in organization and execution. The event came into existence without any state sponsorship, solely through the cooperation and volunteer work of ordinary people, due to their dedication toward a common goal. The main objective was to bring manufacturers and consumers closer together and to provide collaboration within the civil society in order to protect Hungarian culture and Hungary’s cultural heritage. During the gathering, spectators were able to purchase products from craftsmen and food manufacturers. Inventors had the chance to show their inventions. Countless cultural and family oriented programs took place. Aside from the intellectually stimulating lectures and presentations, attendees had the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with traditional paraphernalia (such as whips, bows, saber swords, etc.) and experience many other culturally based traditions.
  4. 4. Social events -Talent research Baranta takes on a leading role in the community and feels that it is its duty to strengthen it. Since this is one of the basic beliefs in the Baranta philosophy, followers of Baranta must take part in building, developing and shaping the community. Therefore, anything that strengthens the community, builds a feeling of fellowship, draws attention to the importance of cooperation and stimulates working together must be supported by Baranta. Such activities include doing ceremonial honors at national holiday events, weddings and at funerals; placing wreaths; and organizing ceremonies, sports events, cultural events and family programs. Baranta believes that everyone within a well-operating community can find the place where they can best add value to any event. Baranta also organizes a nationwide folk-talent show for children. Participants can compete in four areas: folk-dance, folk-song, folk-music and folk-tales. The evaluation is carried out by a jury of internationally renowned folk-artists. Martial Arts Baranta includes a wide range of fighting proficiencies. The disciplines vary from traditional long range weapons to face-to-face combat, from individual fighting skills to military leadership, including organizational and community leadership capabilities. It consists of two branches, infantry and cavalry. Both branches deal with many unique types of fighting. Their most important weapons are: bow, saber, short and long stick, spear, lance, axe, shield, battle-axe, long whip, throwing star, knife., etc. Bare-handed fighting methods are differentiated between ceremonial wrestling (belt-wrestling) and the more lethal type which includes kicking and punching, the so called combat wrestling (böllön). The cavalry branch demands cooperation with the horse to such an extent that it should be able to be controlled and used in battle without any equipment whatsoever. A person practicing Baranta has to develop complex and totally different skills in order to become adept at using such a wide range of weapons, not to mention that all people who do Baranta have to be ambidextrous. „Valor is not based on the deeds of one day ” Miklós Zrínyi
  5. 5. MARTIAL ARTS In 2005, Baranta gained admission into the Hungarian Martial Arts Federation. Since then the Baranta Association has built great relationships and friendships with other representatives of other styles of martial arts (Kung-Fu, Kempo, etc.) in order to share ideas and experiences. Baranta has continuously been invited to perform at their National, European, and World Cup competitions. Members of Baranta regularly take part in various martial arts competitions and appear in international competitions organized in Hungary. By competing and taking part in competitions organized by other martial arts disciplines, Baranta gets needed feedback about itself and is able to place itself in the world of martial arts. Culture - Traditions Cultures are as diverse as the people of the world. The Baranta philosophy is that people have to know their own culture as deeply as possible so that they can share ideas with others. Diversity is inevitable because cultures develop and evolve. Baranta does not think of traditions as dogmatic issues but as strong starting points that were created for a reason by those who lived before us. Culture has always been adapted to the given time to be used to overcome existing challenges. In turn, a follower of Baranta should try to gain as much knowledge of the past, its traditions and values, and adapt them to help solve present situations. Baranta revives lost or fading traditions that unfavorable history had erased, by reorganizing cultural events, such as ‘choosing the king of Pentecost’ (challenge of manhood for unwed men), whipping on New Year’s Eve instead of using fireworks, or “Regölés” (an ancient form of Christmas Caroling). Baranta’s goal is similar to the ‘Hungarian dance-house movement’ (which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List) but it would like to expand it to cover all aspects of life. „Tradition is the science of life”
  6. 6. Competitive system The Baranta competitive system is made up of different levels. On the first level, teams organize their own local contests, usually with the most popular events such as saber-fencing or belt-wrestling. Then, there are regional competitions which are suitable for gathering teams together that are in the same region. This helps them share their own experiences and ideas which keeps Baranta moving in the right direction. Next, there are two types of national competitions. The first is the National Championship which is made up of 3-5 different competition days and the person who collects the most points is the National Champion. The second is the National Cup which is a grueling one day long contest with 9-10 different competitions (running, archery, fencing, wrestling, horse-riding, etc.). It is similar to a decathlon, with a serious need of strength, stamina and will-power. Another type of competition within the Baranta system is the thematic competition (only one weapon but different tasks are given). To better explain, let’s use the long-whip as an example: first, a 1 min. performance must be given; then, two well-protected competitors fight one another; and lastly, a specially made obstacle course is timed and scored. International competitions such as the Balassi Bálint and Sudár István Memorial Competitions are organized to introduce different styles and cultures within a fighting discipline. Baranta always focuses on the children, and therefore has a similar system applicable to them. These events give them a great fun experience and avoid the feeling of being unsuccessful. Folk-games Once Hungary had a huge variety of games, almost every village had its own special game or at least they had a similar game but with different rules. Unfortunately urbanization and globalization have been having a very negative affect because the younger generations are losing touch with these games. Baranta is trying to reverse this tendency and encourage more and more children to play them actively. These games can also be used as a tool for teaching. Children learn about honesty, fairness, cooperation and teamwork, not to mention camaraderie. A special thing about Hungarian folk-games is that usually there is no winner. This means that players play just for the joy of playing which is an important message in today’s success-oriented sports life. For children, the biggest part of their Baranta workouts is all about playing these games. This is still an effective training method because while playing these games the children’s coordination, reflexes and dexterity also improve. It prepares them for the more complicated activities to come. Another special thing is that these games do not have strict rules. Rules differ according to the place or situation (e.g. people playing the game) in order to make the game more interesting and amusing. There is a really wide variety of games from the most simple “tag”, to the many different types of wrestling games, all the way through to the more complicated games needing more complex skills (“méta”, “hit-the-wall”, etc.). These games are not just for children. They are perfectly suitable for adults too. Everyone loves to play, especially Hungarians! Games are so much a part of the Hungarian life and culture. Baranta collects its folk-games the same way folk-songs were collected from the countryside. They are gathered from the older generations, and many of them can be found in our literature from a time gone by. These games date far back into the Hungarian history.

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