african martial arts

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by Longshanks31, Jun 14, 2007.

  1. Longshanks31

    Longshanks31 New Member

    does anybody know of any martial arts native/invented in africa, just curious i bet there has to be a continant that size and that diverse but ive never heard of any
  2. Burbs

    Burbs Valued Member

  3. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    Here's what appears to be a rather comprehensive listing. I can't vouch for it's accuracy... but it's worth giving a read. I've never seen much of African MA's outside of several types of wrestling. But that'd not be surprising as Africa doesn't make the newspapers or even the radar of the western world unless it's to show people starving, dieing of AIDS or involved in a civil war... oh wait... and maybe perhaps the quaint tribal person on a Discovery Channel show. :bang:

    Music travels faster than martial arts do and still tons of westerners have no idea about African music... so it'd be no surprise at all to find that they have very little info on African MA's.


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    Last edited: Jun 14, 2007
  4. Satsui_No_Hadou

    Satsui_No_Hadou Ultra Valued Member

    Wow that was loooooooooooooong! :p
  5. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    Just like African music... so many styles and variations... just mind boggling.
    Though to be honest... I seriously doubt many if any at all are taught outside of Africa and are taught in the codified way that we generally expect martial arts to be taught.

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  6. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    too bad I've never seen any of the footage that these images come from. If I remember correctly the Nubian or Yoruba wrestler images come from a National Geographic article... I pretty sure I remember the same images when I was a kid.

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  7. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    A bit more on Nuba stick fighting:

    the source for the following two bits: Vision/Vol 1 Issue 2/8 Wrestling.htm


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    Last edited: Jun 14, 2007
  8. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    A bit more on Nubian wrestling:

  9. Johnno

    Johnno Valued Member


    Do you know of any martial arts native/invented in china, just curious i bet there has to be a country that size and that diverse but ive never heard of any

    (That should keep him out of mischief for a week or two.) ;)
  10. shootodog

    shootodog restless native

  11. SiAiS

    SiAiS Moved on

    Their whole culture is based on a highly delusional egotistical game
  12. medi

    medi Sadly Passed Away - RIP

    That's what I was thinking... it's probably more along the lines of "a bunch of guys just having a fight"
  13. medi

    medi Sadly Passed Away - RIP

    I can think of several modern deadly arts that seem to be following the same strategy, in an utterly convincing way.
  14. succubus

    succubus so hot right now

    not quite.

    stick fighting is still widely practiced. i've seen it being done loads and loads of times at home. as can be seen with something like shaolin kung fu, though, a lot of the stuff you see is used more for exhibition than actual fighting.

    it isn't taken as seriously as it used to, and it definitely isn't considered a martial art at home, but it's still incredible to watch.

    and zulu stick fighting does not equal zulu impi. an impi is a fighting regiment.

    here's a video for you, though it's really not a good example. the stick fighting is only about 15-20 seconds near the end, starting at arouns 1:50.
    [ame=""]Zulu kids Dancing, Singing & Stick Fighting, Isandlwana - YouTube[/ame]

    this one is sliiightly better, but looks more like capoeira than stick fighting!!
    [ame=""]Zulu stick fighting (Kilombo Njinga) - YouTube[/ame]
  15. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    Burton Richardson was travelling to Africa for a while to train Zulu stick fighting. He can be reached through some of the JKD forums around. Might be worth an inquiry.

    And, as usual, great posts Slip!

  16. dormindo

    dormindo Active Member Supporter

    Hey, great posts, Slip!

    That blurb about capoeira in your first post is a bit incorrect, though, so I might be careful about the history involved with the other arts as well. You see, the whole 'disguised as a dance to fool the slave master' thing is largely historical myth to my understanding of it. Many African fighting arts have dance elements inherent within them from the word go. They serve ritualistic, ludic, theatrical, even strategic purposes. Furthermore, at points in Brazilian history, even dance and other cultural expressions were illegal. There was, as I understand it, some use of the game of capoeira as a dissembling mechanism to take attention away from the more threatening fighting aspects of it, but that still did not keep the art from being severely repressed in the colony (and Vargas' later 'Republic').

    As for the wrestling, I had the good fortune to see some Central African versions on video during a lecture and presentation on the history of African martial arts in general and specifically Capoeira Angola presented by a noted--and current--researcher in that field, T.J. Desch Obi. Though I'm no grappler and cannot comment on the skill of the fighters involved, they seemed quite committed and formidible to my eyes. What was of greater interest to me at the time was the fact that there were a lot of ritual aspects tied into the preparation for entering the circle in this art, much as in Angola.


  17. SiAiS

    SiAiS Moved on


    What kind of fool puts the possibility of restrictive illigaritaries into a fight?
  18. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    LOL! :D
    Nice try... but I'm on to you.

    Yeah... I've always been down with this train of thought for a long time. A punch in the face is a punch in the face. Whether or not the guys ever had social hour in angry white pajama's is irrelevant most times. :D In most of Africa, sadly, I think most people are more worried about RPG's or automatic rifles than the indigenous Kung Fu chop.

    I can't take credit for it because I didn't write it... it was only down to my Google Fu... :D... but I was hoping it'd spark a nice long conversation on the subject. It's probably one of the least discussed subjects in martial arts. :)

    Yeah like I said I can't vouch for the accuracy of the stuff... I came across it and thought it'd be good food for thought either way. It's pretty much the first time I'd seen as complete a list as this... even giving that there may be some errors in it. Massively interesting the history of the Capoeira... sigh... only so many hours in a day to read and train. :)

    What on earth is this in reference to?!:confused:
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2007
  19. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    Oh I know you didn't write it. But you're like the frigging Library of Congress for martial arts. If it exists in written word, you'll find it. It's made for some very interesting reading.

  20. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    ahh.. that's good... it means my Google Fu is improving. :)
    I've always been heavily interested in the whole African wrestling a kid seeing those images of the Nubian wrestlers.. they looked so friggen powerful it always stuck in my mind. Funny the way an image can stick with you for so long.

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