Enthusiastic interviewer battles tribal stick fighter
While many think of martial arts being an Asian tradition and traditional garb consisting of a gi there are other traditional martial arts with a more primal origin. Nguni stick fighting is a Zulu tradition in South Africa. It consists of two sticks and little in the way of armor or padding. One stick is designated for offense, the isiquili, and the second to block your opponents strikes, the uboko. Sometimes the warriors will have a shield for defense too, the shield is known as an izolihauw.
It is said that the discipline is more ceremonial and to keep you herdsman occupied than for battle. It wouldn’t be effective in a hunt but could help develop boys into men, accepting that they must preserver despite injury or hardships but also accept defeat when they are beaten. Useful life lessons, like in most martial arts.
In the video we see award winning South African news presenter Katlego Maboe take on a skilled warrior while a second observes and adjudicates. The young presenter is very enthusiastic and after initially appearing apprehensive he lively jumps around and engages the warrior in combat. The battle is called a draw and while they declare no one is injured both combatants are out of breath. Katlego reveals that he did get hit on the hands and it hurt him but he fought through it and survived.
Nelson Mandela, the politician who united a fractured South Africa was known to have practised the art in his youth. While it is unlikely we will see many gyms incorporate weapons training into their routines many of the skills utilized in Nguni stick fighting are strikingly similar to those honed by the increasingly popular movement drills.
The author, Nicholas Westerby, has trained boxing and kickboxing since 1995. You can watch his UFC retrospectives, predictions and fight card reactions on his YouTube channel