Q&A Abir Qesheth - Question #3
Question: If Abir was an ancient Israeli system of fighting training and techniques, who passed it into the modern era?
Answer: The system that is taught by was preserved and developed by members of the Maatuf-Dohh family, who were known as the Bani-Abir. They have a family tradition that they are descendants of some of Dawidh HaMelekh's sons who were sent into Arabia during a military expedition. Since that time until about 500 years ago, all youth were instructed in combat and training in the fighting techniques took place in the open as a part of the life cylcle of living in the harsh environment of Southern Arabia.
Training often consisted of a grandfather (Aluf Abir) and father (Abir Roim) teaching their sons directly as well as cultural games that served as competition and exercises for Abir. Much of this training ceased, in the open, when relations with certain local Arab tribesmen soured and snipers would shoot at Jews in training. It was decided during that generation that the training of Abir techniques had to go underground remaining within a small circle of leaders from the community.
This is why older members of the Maatuf-Dohh family know of Abir based upon oral stories they heard from their parents and grandparents while they themselves did not directly train in Abir. Even with these setbacks, elements of Abir were kept alive in the traditional dances found among Habbanim and can be seen at various cultural events. If you view our video HERE this is explained. Further details and sources can be found on our Hebrew site HERE.