Knocking & Kicking
I found a chapter on Gullah knocking & kicking and even mentions some African-American wrestling styles and Rough & Tumble. The book is called "Fighting for Honor: The History Of African Martial Arts Traditions in the Atlantic World" by T.J. Desch Obi. Its has the most detailed discription of knocking & kicking I have been able to fine.
Here is a link to the book. The chapter on African American martial arts starts on page 78. .
I read Dr. Desch-Obi's thesis on African MA years ago; fascinating, indeed. As a a professional academic and longtime martial artist, he's a real asset to this sort of historically obscure study and there's some great info. on gouging/R&T in "Fighting for Honor".
On that topic, it's worth bearing in mind that 17th century boxing (even in England) was a truly rough and tumble affair, only gradually being "civilized" into a punching-only sport by successive rule changes wrought by Broughton's Rules, the London Prize Ring Rules and eventually the Queensberry Rules. That process took the best part of a century.
From that POV, the R&T fighting of the American South may simply have been a survival of the earliest modern-era form of English boxing, adapted to local culture and (being geographically remote) perhaps persisting longer than it did in England.
I've heard theories that boxing was brought into England from Italian sailors during the 15th century.
I also wonder if people actually did harden there nails with fire and file teeth. If its true then guest American south is the birthplace of the most brutal martial art on Earth.
Thanks for this post! I was actually reading about this book earlier, and trying to find further readings on the article of Knocking and Kicking.
Its hard finding information on knocking and kicking. Especially since it was a very secretive martial arts and its practice is confined to the Gullah Islands. Although at one point it might have spread out across the south do to the slave trade. More research is really needed on this subject. Especially since if it is not extinct right now it will probably be extinct soon.
Originally Posted by Chaleira
Here is another book that contains a passage on knocking and kicking. It is theorized that it is related to n'golo.
The part about African-American martial arts begins on page 362
As interesting as African martial arts are (seriously), they are unfortunately off-topic for this forum. Western Martial Arts forums on other boards have frequently become miscellaneous files, when people assume that "Western" = "everything non-Asian", and we're trying to avoid that here.
The 52 Blocks (representing what may be a fusion of African and European fistfighting styles) are barely on-topic, but Knocking and Kicking per se is not, unless there's a way to tie it in with boxing, etc.
Yeah but knocking and kicking evolved in the United States and there could be European fighting methods incorporated into it. It's just that there isn't a whole lot of information on it.
Plus there is no third category for non-eastern and non-western martial arts right now and that categort would encompass a pretty large geographical area and a even larger cultural one.
But I don't won't to derail this thread with a non-martial arts topic. I just wanted to bring that one point up.
Last edited by A.M.; 6/21/2009 6:22pm at .
I hear you. The WMA forum originally came about because a couple of us were agitating for a forum where lesser-known styles could be discussed seriously. Threads on those subjects had previously ended up in YMAS by default, the problem being that because YMAS is the comedy forum as well as the general martial arts forum, those threads often devolved into LOLfests.
For a while it looked as if we were going to get a general "off-the-beaten-track-MA" forum, then a combined WMA and Russian MA forum, but this is what we've ended up with. I agree that African MA are really interesting and deserve much wider study and appreciation, but unfortunately this isn't the place to talk about them.
Maybe they should create a section for African and African diaspora martial arts??? There sure are plenty enough of them out there. The only thing is find people who know enough about them to have a desent discussion
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