Prince Boris Goliczin: Serving your Fatherland is a Noble Thing

Part II

Author: Aleksandr Paljanin

Let’s consider a bayonet combat.

– You hit with a bayonet too high, – proceeded Goliczin. – It looks like you aim at the head. Why? You should aim at the chest. If you thrust the bayonet into the enemy’s body you won’t be able to pull it out and the opponent will drag you down with him when falling. Sorry for details but you are warriors and you should know it. While you manage to get your weapon free you will be dead hundreds of times. There is one little detail: thrust the bayonet up to 10 centimeters into the body; turn the bayonet and pull it out. That’s it.

This is the Russian martial art and you should be capable to do it… My ancestors the Goliczins often fought in the bayonet combat three together and worked in the waltz rhythm: one, two, three, one, two, three. They hit in turn. The poetess Czvetaeva wrote it not for nothing: “Three hundreds were defeated by three people…”

In the old days there was another way to meet the enemy. Warriors stood in two ranks. Two men: the one standing in front and the one behind him were holding the hilt of the same sword and hit together. Can you imagine this double smashing power of the strike! In this way they crushed the enemies and attacked them.

And right here under the drizzle Boris Vasiljevich with an ordinary automatic weapon in hands demonstrated the students how you can easily and quickly beat off three enemies in a bayonet combat. You should not just beat them off but strike them down. This was an actual Russian martial art.

Then the Prince’s eyes flashed the fire of youth and he offered the tallest and the most skilled students so to say take him in hand. “I don’t care how many people will attack me. It doesn’t matter. What really matters is…” And what was it? The guys held him tight. The former geologist and soldier started to turn around like a spinning top. The ring of the opponents broke and they scattered yielding to the force of the motion. Take notice that Goliczin showed all the elements of the Russian martial art slowly. If he was actually attacked, fast and hard the Prince would have to work in earnest, for effect like in a true battle using all the power of the Russian martial art. The stronger are the holds the more fearful is the reaction: force increases the force…

The Prince was attacked by students armed with knives, guns, automatic weapons, bayonets. They tried to hit him with a fist but he always avoided the strike by some easy, elusive motions. They sneaked up from behind and tired to throw a stranglehold on his neck (the way bandits strangle a taxi driver in a cab) but Goliczin quickly turned his head away and the rope got on the side neck muscle and the rest was the matter of technique…

Applause, notes, questions from the audience. Strangely enough: despite his gray hairs and wounds he got during the war, Boris Vasiljevich didn’t pant after each element. On the contrary it looked like he never got tired. He confessed: “The Goliczins are experienced warriors and of course they had an original system of breathing of their own. Especially it refers to battle conditions”.

There was time when before a battle his forefathers raised their hands with loud battle cry: “Get stronger! Get stronger! Get stronger!” When they meet the foe in the battle out their chests escaped incredibly strong, ferocious roar that scared the opponent and sometimes put him to flight. It wasn’t an easy thing to produce such a roar. You should have sound in such a way that there was tingling sensation in your fingers and toes. The roar was produced by the whole human’s apparatus of the fearless warrior.

– In our kin boys were brought up in a special way – according to the Russian martial art, – said the Prince.

You may think that rocking a baby in a cradle is a trifle thing. Male infants were rocked in a different way: the cradle was kind of tapped. The child from the cradle was taught to stand the strike and group himself. Since two years he studied the Russian martial art.

The Prince demonstrated the students the antique dagger that his brave ancestor took as a trophy in a war in the Caucasus. Viktor Ostapovich Olefir gave him a beautiful combat knife with an engraving as a present from all the students of the Goloczin’s Institute in the memory of thas day. It was obvious that the General pleased the old warrior: according to the Prince, for the real man a weapon is everything. “I believe that you officers should always be armed. Sorry for this but you should sleep with it more often than with your wife…” In the end Goliczin said his usual: “I shall take leave of you, gentlemen!”

This is military valour and honour… In the old battle in 1812 General Raevskiy first brought his children to the battlefield. They were boys of 15 and 17 years old. They went under the shrapnel shells with sabers in their hands. They were followed by tall, moustached grenadiers. And together they smashed the enemy. The General feared for his children. But they all have to protect their Fatherland and he made this decision. The Lord saved two pale, thin boys in officer’s uniform. And the warriors saved their faces.

It was long ago. But this day when listening to the Prince Boris Vasiljevich Goliczin I thought: maybe it wasn’t so long ago. Maybe the Russian martial art will be back in our life and in our army. “Serving the fatherland is a noble thing to do…”

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