A few months ago a two page ad in some random MMA magazine I got to fritter away the 2 hour flight from Calgary back to Seattle caught my eye; Warrior Roots. According to the advertisement, with a simple mouth swab DNA test, paternal warrior roots can be determined and traced all the way back to the beginning of man. Of course this piqued my interest, and I contacted Thomas Murphy who sits on the board of directors, and he was more than happy to show the readers of The Ground Never Misses just what Warrior Roots is all about!
A simple DNA collection kit was sent to my house which contained instructions, two cotton swabs with plastic containers, and an envelope. Now back last fall (when I submitted my sample) Warrior Roots only had two types of tests they offered, the athletic test, and the Y Chromosome SNP test (which is the one I took). Their updated website shows that they offer several other tests for the prospective customer.
Basically all one needs to do is use the cotton swab and run in along the inside of ones mouth for a minute, let the swab air dry without touching the head with anything. And then you simply mail off the sample in the addressed envelope. Easy. You are asked your fathers familial name, and what ethnic origin you think he is. For me it was obviously Burroughs and most of our immediate family genes come from a high yeller mixture of Irish, Scottish, and English.
(A side note: my mother’s genetics are 1/2 Polish, and English / Scottish.)
Now, I am no genius, nor a geneticist… so how accurate is a test like this? I have no clue. I have read all of what Warrior Roots offers on their website, and frankly I have no reason to disbelieve any of it. A few people I have spoken who are involved with DNA sampling and genetics have informed me that a test that would garner those kind of results would cost much more than the $150 price tag Warrior Roots is offering. Keep in mind basic paternity testing is $500-2000 dollars!
So on New Years Eve I receive an email with several large attachments containing my Warrior DNA Roots. Essentially the attachments contained the following:
1. Certified warrior/haplogroup certificate
2. Migration Map (how your ancestors got to where your makers sprung up).
3. Migration explanation (to help explain your ancestor’s migration)
4. Historical facts on the men/warriors that carried your Marker, preserving it into the present day. They were your actual relatives.
One can opt to have this all bound up nicely in a leather casing, for extra of course.
So the results of my test were quite interesting since they did not take into account the ancestry of my mothers side. My heritage can be traced back to the Scythian warrior culture. Confederated tribesmen from the Central Steppes of Asia, the Scythian culture was nomadic explaining their expertise with archery and horsemanship.
So what does it all mean in the end? Nothing really. I am not sure how much stock to put into a test such as this, though it was fun and interesting! Prior to this test I had never even heard of the Scythian culture, so if nothing else I learned something. Now if you asked me, “Jake, would you pay for something like this?” the answer is simply “No.” But that is just my broke ass budgeting for the next martial arts seminar! If you have the extra moula and the interest, go for it! You have nothing to lose, well except money, but other than that you have nothing to lose.
All in all it was interesting and fun to see how things turned out. Thomas and all the people I dealt with at Warrior Roots were very polite, more than willing to help explain, and ran a tight ship overall. Check them out at Warrior Roots.