African and Caribbean Martial Arts List

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Flying Crane

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Arnisador alerted me to a recent publication, Capoeira, The Jogo de Angola from Luanda to Cyberspace. I am in the middle of it, and it is a fairly hefty volume (this is only volume 1 of 2, the second one hasn't been released yet). This is the most comprehensive work I have seen about the origins of capoeira, tracing the roots back to the African slave trade and the African cultures from which these people came. The author goes much deeper into an examination of the cultures, and who these people were, and what kind of fighting systems they had and brought with them to Brazil. This information alone is worth reading. I don't know if any of these systems are still practiced, or if they were ever codified in a similar way that the Asian arts were, but it is a worthwhile read for anyone who is insterested in this topic. Highly recommended. Thanks, Arni!

michael
 

arnisador

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Flying Crane said:
Thanks, Arni!

Glad you're enjoying it! My copy languishes on my shelves as I continue to read up on Wing Chun, which I recently started.

The 'sticklicking' link is interesting--I'd love to hear more about this.
 

shift

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http://martialtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=12661&page=1

I was excited to see this list, because I have been searching for this information for years.
I want to make a series of martial arts stories based entirely on afican arts and history similar to wong fei hong
type mythology. Frankly I am tired of seeing the chinese arts, as much as I love them.

I want to see my cultured portrayed in the same glamourous light.

I have a big concern about the validity, because I am Jamaican and I was puzzled by the list you have for Jamaica.

Let me highlight Machete. This is not a martial art. It is a tool used to cut plants. It was used during slavery to
cut cane in the fields and is still used to this day to do the same especially in south florida (Jacksonville cane fields etc.).
This would be similar to saying that sword is a martial art. So you might need to review that. As for Bangaran, it is actually Bangarang
and that is a Jamaican slang of African origin for fight, argument or physical altercation of some sort. I am not saying it isn't or
wasn't an art, because maybe the name came about as a slang as a result of the word. But then again it could have just been an African language word for fight.
I will have to research it.

Other Jamaican arts which are modern are Zendo Kai Kan based on Kyokushin Karate from Japan and taekwon do , Shi Tai kick boxing which is a jamaican kickboxing art very
muay thai, boxing and tae kwon do based. The do alot of stretching, kicking and sparring and bag work. They are both modern, created within the late 80's early 90's as break offs of other schools.

The Maroons did have their fighting system, which wasn't formalised nor passed down the generations, but as I said, I will research it to clarify the validity.

oh there is an African whip stick fighting art. I don't remember the location, but I saw it on national geographic.

By the way, I am a novice web designer...I have a site called www.martialartsjamaica.com giving information on martial arts activity in Jamaica.
 

shift

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I just read over the list and I see that Donga is mentioned.
 

arnisador

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capoeirista

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I enjoyed reading and gaining extra information on what forms were similar to capoeira..Capoeira,somehow has never been viewed as a lethal form of martial arts,but in reality,..it can be proven lethal.The techniques and movements that the public sees in a roda/demonstration are basic and just for show.There are groups that hold competitions,like Muzenza,and that is where you will find more headbutts,elbow blocks,slapping,punching and grappling..a very different view and even I,as a capoeirista,was amazed to see..Then again,I live in Malaysia,and that is remotely far from Brazil..thank you for the information.
 

andras

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I'm moving from the US to Addis Abeba, Ethiopia.

If you happen to know of some good martial arts instructors in Addis, please let me know how to contact them.
 

phatbway

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Many thanks for this info. I'm from the caribbean and did not know such arts even exist. Man, this is good stuff and i'm coming back for more.

Thanks agian.
 

Ronin74

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This is a really great list. I wanted to add to it, but I couldn't find any info on this art- not even a name- but I can give details on how it looks. Looking back, I think I was just lucky to have seen it on a visit to LA. Here's what I could recall:
  • The art is African in origin. I don't recall an actual name, but I do remember it as being roughly translated to "snake boxing" and that Senegal (or a country on that continent with a similar-looking name) was mentioned in the same conversation. Add to that, the art was supposedly part of a bigger curriculum that included things like philosophy and arithmetic (I'm sure there was more ot it.)
  • The physical motions look a lot like Capoeira, but without the dance element.
  • Also mentioned were exercises on internal conditioning.
That's all I could recall. Maybe in time I'll have the luck of seeing it again.
 

David Weatherly

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This is a really great list. I wanted to add to it, but I couldn't find any info on this art- not even a name- but I can give details on how it looks. Looking back, I think I was just lucky to have seen it on a visit to LA. Here's what I could recall:
  • The art is African in origin. I don't recall an actual name, but I do remember it as being roughly translated to "snake boxing" and that Senegal (or a country on that continent with a similar-looking name) was mentioned in the same conversation. Add to that, the art was supposedly part of a bigger curriculum that included things like philosophy and arithmetic (I'm sure there was more ot it.)
  • The physical motions look a lot like Capoeira, but without the dance element.
  • Also mentioned were exercises on internal conditioning.
That's all I could recall. Maybe in time I'll have the luck of seeing it again.


Do you remember who you saw doing this art? A name or location may help to track it down. There's a lot of research being done now on African martial arts.

David
 

Ronin74

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Hey David. I wish I could recall the person's name. I want to say it's something like Enzazi, but I'm most likely just butchering it. As far as location goes, I believe I was around the boardwalk of Huntington Beach. He was out there practicing, and someone who I could only assume was a student filled me in on the info.

In all honesty, I'd probably remember sll those important details if I was listening more than being awestruck. Plus, I was visiting the area, and thought this would be something I could easily google when I returned home, which is an eight hour drive from there.
 

chien_fu

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Wow, there is some great information in this thread and some really intriguing people and styles I have never heard of. Thanks for the original post and thanks for the post on Yara. I have also studied Capoeira for several years, but alot of this info is new to me.
I host a new podcast on unique styles of martial arts and the history and development of different styles at www.malineage.com/podcast
If anyone here who likes to share information on unique styles of martial would like to come on the show, I would to speak with you more. I haven't had anyone on to speak about any African style yet. Please let me know if you are interested. (info @ maLineage dot com) I love to be able to share this wonderful historical knowledge with others who may be interested, and spread the good word of martial arts :)
 

ATACX GYM

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I have trained in a few of these arts...capoeira and combative riesy (Testa is an Italian word meaning "Big Knuckle" but the original hood practitioners in Eritrea called it "riesy" which very roughly translates as "head fighting" and is actually a COLLECTION of fighting methods,including and pretty much resulting in a art that looks remarkably like Muay Thai,boxing,Greco-Roman,and capoeira with liberal use of the head and traditional and modern weaponry thrown in for good measure.I saw this art decades ago in San Diego during the Kuumba festival and was instantly hooked) for the most part.Kali also has very strong African roots (through the Moors) and my Moorish fam from the P.I. have given me the first instruction I had in that art.It's remarkably beautiful and brutal and deadly,and is more simple and more brutal and more direct than most expressions of Kali that I've seen.

Now,here is an area that's really touchy as there are more legends than hard data about this matter that I'm aware of about this matter (and not many legends due to the extreme extreme antiquity of the origins of the civilization we are speaking of,which is the first civilization known on Earth) but...I have seen and learned a little "Snake Boxing". It's incredibly beautiful and the movements are sinuous smooth graceful and explosive.There are plenty of snake-like hand movements.The blade,stick,double stick and spear (and short spear similar to what Shaka would popularize millenia later as the "assegai") are favored weapons,along with (nowadays) the gun.There are some practitioners of this art that claim that their roots extend all the way back to the founding religion on the planet,and some of the priests/hierogrammats (<--that's a Greek term,I don't recall the original African term right now) followed the brother of Ausar.The Greeks called this entity SET,and largely misunderstood seminal aspects of its "character".I have zeeeerooo proof of these claims,zero data other than what I recall from years agone and have adopted and placed as part of my martial expression in THE ATACX GYM.

There are also martial arts connected directly to Ra and Ogun,but I don't know their names...
 

fitnessguy

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Wow!!!
What a great list. Very informative. I would love to know your source.
 

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