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What types of armor were available back in the day?

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VIDEO: Watch this awesome historical outlook on ancient armor and weaponry!

Metal Armor Plates

Metal plates are the original form of modern body armor, and trace their lineage back to the Middle Ages. Metal was long the only option for those who needed protection from high-velocity and armor-piercing rounds. Metal hard armor plates are strong, durable and widely available, but that does not mean they are without their drawbacks.

It was not just Roman soldiers and medieval knights that wore armor, but the ancient warriors of China as well. Their protective clothing is known as Samurai Armor.

Soft armor can be worn like clothing, and is available in a variety of different types, including concealable body armor, and vests that are made to be worn over other clothing.

As with other militaries of the era, a suit of Samurai armor was generally reserved for the most important or high ranking soldiers who rode into battle on chariots as opposed to the common foot soldiers. This was actually a good thing, as Japanese armor was extremely heavy and prolonged marching or battle would have greatly fatigued even the most conditioned soldier in battle.

Ceramic and dyneema hard armor plates are widely available today, both in full armor solutions and as add-on plates that can help augment bullet proof vests by adding protection to vital areas.

Throughout a long period of time, archeological discoveries continuously unearth ancient Chinese weapons, some of them ancient kung fu weapons. Recently, a 2,200 year old metal and jade weapon was unearthed. While jade is considered as a decorative element, forging a weapon of this type has never been within the bounds of imagination of many archeologists, up until now.

Even ceramic plates, which are far lighter than their metallic counterparts, can be heavy if a full suit of armor is worn. Ceramic plates generally weigh close to six pounds each. It is also bulky, and makes doing things like driving difficult, which is why officers only wear it when there is a specific threat that needs to be protected against (such as during riot protection and similar actions).

As far back as 6,000 years ago, the ancient Chinese fashioned many types of weapons ranging from meteorite metal, iron, bronze, bamboo, wood, stone and jade. Because they were martial arts weapons, some of them were supposed to mimic or simulate the movements of animals and insects, whether real or in myth. Long before Hinduism and Buddhism brought Kung Fu from India, the Chinese had already mastered the art of melee weaponry and combat. The influence of Kung Fu merely improved ancient Chinese fighting styles. In actual fact, weapon fabrication, technique of usage, materials and shape greatly depended on the ruling dynasty or emperor at any period of time.

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