Journal of Martial Arts Anthropology

Abstract - Polish coins depicting martial arts and the art of war

Aim. The subject of the research is Polish coins which represent military or martial arts culture. The authors, using a multi-disciplinary approach attempt to show how national heritage in a specific area of culture, is promoted by the issuing of commemorative coins This is their description along with their attempts to explain the phenomenon.
Material and Methods. The research material comprises Polish coins and in addition, some selected foreign coins (issued between 1923 and 2013) excluding test coins. The content of the drawings (the graphics) and the inscriptions are discussed and subsequently interpreted. Subject literature and National Bank of Poland advertising material is also included.
Results. The use of symbolism, Polish historical military formations, weapons and armour, famous battles of the Polish army and fortifications were successively considered. Reference was also made to the presence of the theme of martial arts on ”sport and the Olympics” coins. The analysis is illustrated with photographs of selected coins.
Conclusions. Some countries promote their own traditions of physical culture, others promote the combat sports, in which they are most successful. In the case of the National Bank of Poland these traditions are mostly knightly and military. The Polish traditions of fencing and Asian martial arts, in which sports the Poles have had considerable success are still underrepresented on Polish coins.