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Topics - oldboy

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Martial Arts Topics / Donga ( Nguni Stickfighting )
« on: February 10, 2008, 10:54:42 PM »
For anyone who is interested in some info.

Zulu Stickfighting or Nguni Stickfighting or Donga, is the traditional MA of Nguni herdsboys in the Kwazulu/Natal region of South Africa ( a lush green area filled with rolling hills and beautiful beaches ). The Nguni boy will typically start his training at the age of 3. At the age of 15 the boy will choose his own pair of sticks.

Typically the weapons will be either double sticks ( normally one for offensive and one for defensive ) or double sticks with shield. The longer defensive stick is held in the same hand as the shield while the shorter offensive stick is in the other hand. Full contact shots to any part of the body is allowed and no protection is used. Most shots are aimed at the head. Because of this, serious injury and death have been known to happen. Since the abolishment of Apartheid in SA, there has been an effort to make Nguni stickfighting into a regulated sport with rules and regulations, so that it will be more acceptable in today's society, as well as to preserve African traditions.

Using sand on that guy's wound is typical, since as a man in a traditional Zulu tribe, you are expected to be tough as nails. For example, under Shaka Zulu, his soldiers would have to trample what we call "devil thorns" barefoot, and were beaten to death with a Knobkerrie ( a strong, short wooden club with a heavy rounded knob or head on one end ) if they showed any sign of pain. They would trample the thorns into dust so that their feet were tough enough to run through African Veld.   

Someone mentioned the shields, and I just thought I should point out that, like in FMA, the way a stick can also represent a bladed weapon, in Nguni stickfighting, their attacking stick would be replaced, in a real war situation, by the Assegai ( ). on top of that they liked to throw spears to soften a target and to close the distance needed to use their Assegai, so a shield was very important.

Nelson Mandela actually practised Nguni stickfighting as a child.

As far as my understanding goes, there is no specific "system" or standard of techniques. The more experienced older fighter will usually be the one to train the young, therefore they will take on his characteristics and strategies.

Hope this is of interest to anyone who wanted to know more about South African Stickfighting.

Martial Arts Topics / Hello from SA
« on: February 10, 2008, 02:10:39 AM »
Hi to all,

My name is Kevin. I live in Johannesburg, South Africa and I am 26 years old.

I have been practising mainly JKDC with mainly Inosanto Blend and Lameco Eskrima, Muay Thai, Western Boxing and Greco Roman grappling/wrestling. This has been for the last 8 months.  been in MA in general for about 10 years so I'm still a baby  :-D .

There are no Kali or JKD schools in my area, so I have had to learn as much as possible from videos. I was given a beginners session in person by my good friend's two older brothers, who learned Kali from a guy here, who learned it from Paul Vunak. Fortunately,I have a very open attitude towards MA I know nothing about, and when they mentioned Kali in a conversation about MA, I said "please show me". In the very short time we had, they at least taught me a few basic attacks and blocks, pointed out any major mistakes and gave me a feeling of how the "energy" of Kali feels.

Since then I have been learning from the training videos of Guro Dan Inosanto, Guro Edgar Sulite, Paul Vunak, Randy Couture and Bas Rutten. I have been planning on getting some DBMA dvds for a while now since I consider it some of the best training on the planet.

For the last 3 months I have been stickfighting regularly ( at least once a week ) with a good friend. We only have hand protection at the moment so some of it is fullcontact ( to the arms ) but we go easy near the head and medium shots everywhere else. It has been an awesome experience in so many ways. I am buying some new equipment at the end of the month, Yay !.

The name Dog Brothers also really appeals to me because I have always had a great love for dogs. I have a 1 and a half year old Staffy girl, who loves to lie in the grass and watch the stickfighting.

I think it is truly an amazing thing that through learning violence we can become more peaceful and gentle to others.

I look forward to us all learning from each other.

Best Wishes,

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