Hoplology is a science that studies human combative behavior and performance. The word "hoplology" is derived from the Greek terms "hoplos" (a mythical plate-armored animal) and "hoplite", the term for the classical Greek warrior. The word was first coined by the explorer and linguist Sir Richard Burton, in the 19th century, but it was not until the 1960s that hoplology took shape as an academic field of study under the leadership of Donn F. Draeger.

Draeger, drawing upon research and hands-on experience with classical fighting systems, defined hoplology by the 1970s as "the study of the basis, patterns, relationships, and significances of combative behavior at all levels of social complexity." (Draeger 1982)

In recent years, with the advent of the Modern Army Combatives (MAC) Program in the US Army and the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP), there has been a rapid growth in both scientific and academic research.

With Matt Larsen, the father of the MAC program, as a catalyst, research departments are growing at universities across the United States. One of the first such programs is at Kansas State University.

While hoplology is still in its infancy, it has become an accepted area of study by scholars in several related disciplines such as combative psychology, anthropology, and military history.


*Draeger, Donn F. (1979). "An Introduction to Hoplology: Part I of II," Hoplos 1:1
*Draeger, Donn F. (1979). "An Introduction to Hoplology: Part II of II," Hoplos 1:2
*Draeger, Donn F. (1982). "The Hoplological Glossary", Hoplos 4:1

External links

* [http://www.hoplology.com International Hoplology Society website]
* [https://www.ksu.edu/artsci/das198/index.html Kansas State University Hoplology Department]

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