Photo Credits: A matrag training session at the sports complex near Ghriss by Djino
El Matrag is a stick fighting martial arts from Algeria. Using single one handed stick, double sticks and two handed stick. Although it is mostly taught as a stick fighting art in modern times that was not it’s true goal. This is a medieval African military boot camp art used to teach and prepare warriors/soldiers for single sword, double swords, double weapons, weapon & shield and two handed polearms/weapons. Many North African swordsmanship use Matrag as their training template. Examples of this advance African swordsmanship training was responsible for the Moorish Knights occupying and maintaining control over Spain for approximately 300 + years. Also, the Egyptian Mamluks (enslave soldiers) were on the other side of the fence and gave the European Crusaders a run for their money with their fighting prowess and swordsmanship skills.
Photo Credits: Source: Westcapenews.com by Sandiso Phaliso
Nguni Stick Fighting
Nguni Stick Fighting is a martial arts traditionally practiced by Nguni herd boys in South Africa. Each practitioner with minimal to no armor are armed with 2 long sticks, one used for defense and the other stick for offense. Generally there is hand protection on the hand holding the defense stick. The Zulu tribe include a shield as part of their stick fighting arsenal. Sometimes the art is used as a rights of passage to manhood, sport or to settle disputes. However the common objective is for 2 warriors to fight each other to determine who’s the strongest or the “Bull”. This is as old school as it gets African gladiator style fighter. In the current modern martial arts stick fighting arena, very few practitioners are willing to go toe to toe with an opponent with sticks and zero body protection as standard practice. A sure fire way of controlling your fears & not letting your fears control you. This art was also used as a training tool for the Zulu Shield and Spear made infamous by Shaka Zulu. As for the millennial, it was featured in the waterfall weapons duel in the 2018 Black Panther movie.
Photo Credits: Moraingy, a traditional sport in Madagascar | Source cropped from Flickr by Hery Zo Rakotondramanana
Photo Credits: Altered coloration of Da Vinci Human clip art found on Dumielauxepices.net by unknown author.
Martial Science Street Self Defense
No matter what martial arts you practice they all have one thing in common, the Human element. We are all human beings & have at least two arms and legs. Therefore just by simple body mechanics we will all move with certain commonality. There is just so many ways we can attack & defend. A kick is still a kick & a punch is still a punch. This class will teach you basic fundamentals that works in most combat/defense scenarios & teaches one combat awareness that is needed for survival. This art is integrated as a fundamentals class with the other martial arts taught at this school.
“Anyone can name off 10 physical exercises on both hands to strengthen the body. Yet, many cannot even think of at least one mental exercise on one hand to strengthen the mind.”
Africa & Diaspora Culture & History
“I am not trying to create a better warrior, I am trying to create a better human being”.