Named after Somcar, a legendary general from the War of the Second Shadow Realm, Somcari is a submission based form of wrestling created and used by the Kassites of Korweyn. Practiced for both its practicality in war - a downed horseman can wrestle an armoured opponent to the ground to finish him off - and in peace, as it keeps the body - and the spirit, according to the Kassites - strong.

Description. The Kassites are a martial people, so it should be no surprise that they have developed numerous martial arts. It is a surprise, however, to learn that the art they hold in the highest esteem, is an almost purely grappling based style. Composed of a collection of takedowns, throws, locks, cranks, chokes, breaks and techniques that are grouped under the 'spicy moves' (it seems that 'spicy moves' would be any move that involves gouging, ripping, tearing, biting and other unpleasant things a soldier may think of) Somcari has the potential to be a particularly brutal form of fighting.

While the style is considered monolithic by the
Kassites, for the sake of convenience for those of us not blessed with a cultural understanding of the art, we will divide Somcari into two styles: Combat and Sport.

Sport Techniques. Below are a list of techniques used in Sport Somcari. It should be noted that all techniques listed here are also used in Combat Somcari, though not always practical (and therefore rarely used) in actual combat.

Basics. Basic techniques are the following:

Takedowns and Throws. Takedowns and throws can be summarized as follows:

Locks, Chokes and Cranks. The following techniques are joint locks, chokes and cranks, generally executed on the ground.

Combat Techniques. The following are combat specific moves. The list is short because there simply aren't that many codified techniques, most are simply made up on the spot during combat, but masters lecture extensively about these, and explain to students that combat is a dirty business, and that even if a specific way isn't taught in training, it could save a life in combat.

Spicy Moves. I would like all readers to note that this list only touches on the basics of what is taught. Students are showed a single technique, and are encouraged to do whatever is most practical in a situation.

Strikes. The Kassites teach to strike with an open hand, using either the heel or the blade, with the elbows and knees. They openly ridicule strikes with the shins and feet (unless stomping the toes, knees or neck and head of a downed opponent) and almost religiously preach to impracticality of trying to beat an opponent using kicks. These strikes are not all encompassing - fighters are expected to strike wherever is convenient, but these strikes are regarded as the most common:

Training. There are two ways of training, one that every military serving Kassite goes through and one that only the Isodebbim (masters of the art) go through. The differences are very stark and will be described separately below, after we tackle the similarities.

Physical conditioning is highly emphasised in both forms of training, and every generation it seems a new form of exercise circulates amongst the clans and becomes well established and accepted. In addition to running, pushups, situps, squats, horseman squats, scissor kicks, jumping jacks, pullups, leg raises and arm dips are heavily utilized in training. Of particular importance in conditioning is Mozgasakpali, another martial art composed of a vast collection of movements and stretches designed to increase flexibility and muscular endurance.

Popularity. Somcari has earned an enduring 'mystique' across eastern Nybelmar. Korweynite children, with a romantic image of the fearless Kassite rider, have placed this martial art above even their own tribe's fighting styles. A general rule of thumb is that any tribe that has sworn allegiance to the Empire of Korweyn has the oppurtunity to learn Somcari under the tutelage of Isodebbim, provided they willingly submit to learning under the harsh ascetics that the Kassites themselves do. However, there is heavy discrimination amongst even them. Anyone deemed to be dishonest, dishonorable, or known to reject Ghal or Paeri is not allowed to learn the art. As such, practical knowledge of the art is mostly unknown outside of Korweyn.

Naturally, there are exceptions - Kassite exiles have been known to share Somcari with foreigners, some even having made it as far as New-Santhala. It is unknown to what extent these international practitioners have been taught. It is likely that some have an incredible in depth knowledge of the art, while others have only rudimentary knowledge, and others still, perhaps, knowing basic grappling and submissions.[1] Return to the top

Uniform Somcari is unique amongst many combat arts in that it has a uniform for training and tournaments. This uniform is simple (and perhaps a bit risque to Tharian sensibilities) allowing maximum movement and little clothing to be grasped. For men it is simple a pair of short, tight briefs that reach maybe to mid thigh called ruha. For women, it is the same, but for the addition of a similarly tight, sleeveless top called ruhaga. In many tournaments - especially those that accompany festivals - wrestlers will wear a knee length, highly decorated skirt known as a zonkaya. The zonkaya will often have the Kassite coat of arms, with the Korweyn eagle rising behind, stitched lovingly on it. Higher ranked wrestlers (excluding Isodebbim, who rarely even possess a zonkaya, let alone a decorative one) will often include horse hair tassles and even beads, though this practice is often frowned upon if the wrestlers is currently serving in the military. Return to the top

Origin/History. Before the Kassites' migration into Korweyn each clan practiced their own distinct form of martial arts. Some focused more on strikes, others on throws, some were entirely concerned with breaks and chokes. It wasn't until the twilight of Korweyn, when their war against the Second Shadow Realm was sucking the life out of the Empire, that the art we now refer to as Somcari was codified into a single, monolithic form.

The great Kassite general Somcar is said to have taken the greatest soldiers from several clans to learn what they used, and compared the emphasis that they placed on the moves, to the success of the individual clans. From this, he is said to have taken the most effective moves and strikes to create a better art.

Soon after discerning the most effective techniques, he forcibly recruited a group of 33 young Kassites to teach the art to. (32 of these would go on to become the famous Kurkesh Somcar, Somcar's Vanguard. The rejected Kassite was none other than the legendary, blind warrior woman Lanyk, considered the greatest wrestler in history.) These 33 were taught personally by Somcar for a year.

They made their debut at the ill fated Battle of the Eypesh river. Here, Somcar and his Vanguard, after realizing the battle was lost, charged into the Murmillion army. Even after losing horse and being completely surrounded the Kurkesh Somcar fought on, taking several times their number before finally falling with the rest of the Korweyn Empire.

Whether or not Somcari really was made by general Somcar (who is known from both Korweyn, Kassite and Murmillion sources) is unknown. It seems unlikely that the art form was codified in such a short time, and it is more likely Somcar laid down the groundwork during his entire life. The reason he is credited with the entire formation of the art likely stems from a cultural pride in his actions during the battle of the Eypesh, and as a convenient explanation for his success in battle.
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[1] In accordance with tradition, the Kassites believe that only the Isodebbim, by warrant of their intense spiritually, can adequately teach the art. Because of this, they do not acknowledge that those taught by exiles truly know and practice Somcari. Asking a Kassite if any non-Kassites know the art will elicit a different response than, say, asking a Centouraurian practitioner in New-Santhala. For our purposes, we will include even those who've been taught by secular users as legitimate practitioners. [Back]

 Date of last edit 4th Fallen Leaf 1671 a.S.

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