‘In many ways the training of Mamluks can be compared to that of contemporary European knights.’
Most important, however, he was highly trained in the art of war, archery and horsemanship. Indeed, in many ways the training of Mamluks can be compared to that of contemporary European knights. Regular tournaments were held with competitive games such as polo (jawkan) designed to refine the Mamluks’ equerry skills. Once their training was complete the Mamluk was set free and given a set of weapons and a horse. Now they were free to embark on military careers that enabled the most skilled among them to rise through the ranks to serve as senior commanders, provincial governors, the sultan’s retainers, or indeed as sultans themselves.