Haitian Machete art
Just kind of a filler post for now. Don't actually know anything about the art yet, but I'm going to be inquiring with the fellow via youtube and posting what I do find here. I'm very interested in seeing what all kinds of training methods and classifications of techniques are used.
YouTube - Haitian Machete Fighting 01
YouTube - Haitian Machete Fighting 01
Wouldn't this clip be even cooler with, say, less of the "Blair Witch Project" camera man? And maybe with some good sound?
Cool art though, it seems :)
Does anyone know if this art dates back to Toussaint and the revolution? More importantly, do you have to perform a Bois Caiman ceremony before using/teaching it? (which would be very bad-ass)
The Haitian Fencing Project
Haitian Machete Fencing is a functional martial art forged over the course of Haiti’s more than 200-year-old struggle for independence. Exercises and drills are not choreographed, but rather a ‘living system’ of training in which the student employs core principles to stay protected and within range as the teacher strikes. In this way, the student learns to accumulate tactical advantages, much like in a game of chess, and to penetrate an opponent’s defenses without sacrificing their own. Haitian Machete Fencing has roots in both European and African martial traditions, combining aspects of Spanish Fencing with a style of footwork similar to Capoeira.
Program coordinator Mike Rogers will be leading a pilot program this summer that will travel to the Jacmel region of Haiti to study this living, functional martial art with Haitian master fencer August Avril. Interested in being one of the first adventurous foreigners to learn Haitian Machete Fencing? Or just curious about this integral piece of Haiti's cultural life? Click here
to learn more.
Didn't boxer Trevor Berbick get hacked to death with a machete in Haiti?
Edit: Nevermind. It was with steel pipes and was in Jamaica.
Last edited by Holy Moment; 6/24/2009 8:32am at .
Thats a nice... dance.
I remember having seen a similar dance performed in Saudi Arabia. Guys dancing around and clasping their sabers together more or less rhytmically. Only those dancers were wearing nighties.
The claimed connection with spanish fencing is more then higly unlikely imho (in other words I think its bullshit).
The only fencers in the spanish colonies would have been upperclass landowners. They did not teach their slaves fencing. Some of the more liberal ones taught their house slaves to read and write, but thats about as far as it went. Afaik the "persons potentially knowing at least a little bit about spanish fencing" were all either killed or expatriated during the revolution.
Even if with "spanish fencing" they really meant knive fighting techniques, such a transfer seems more then a bit unlikely. The spanish employees of a plantation owner might have known how to use the navaja or similar weapons. But why on earth would they teach the slaves? The ones they were overseeing? The ones they were torturing and maiming in unspeakable ways on a daily basis?
I have no doubt that many of the haitians knew (and still know) how to wield a machete. Anyone would, after the one or other decade of cutting sugar cane. But that does not make a codified martial art.
Codified MA, no. And btw, I can't seem to view the video here, so I may not know what I'm talking about. However, history does seem to support that Toussaint 'trained' others in preparation for the revolution. While I doubt Toussaint was formally trained in a European fencing art, he apparently did standardize something. Even if it was entirely his own invention, if he codified it for the sake of teaching it en masse, does that not constitute a martial art?
How many TMA's have mythological origins beginning with the observations of animals or being taught by gods? A guy starting his own MA, using it to prepare for a revolt, and being sucessful, shoud be recognized.
The use of the word fencing is only used because they are weilding blades. Many people used to refer to ken jutsu as Japanese fencing, even though it had no shared history with European fencing. In other words, fencing can be a catch all term for sword fighting/sport.
I grew up in Venezuela, and we have a traditional dance (performed with sticks, although sometimes with machetes and occasionally with knives) that looks very similar.
It is called tamunangue, and there is a segment called "la battalla", or the battle.
YouTube - tamunangue 2
YouTube - juego o pelea a palos venezolana
There are two ways a machete fight is going down; First, and most likely way, is you are asleep and half a dozen guys bust in and hack you to bits before you have time to say "WTF." Second way is you pull out your machete and get blown the **** away with an AK-47. Either of these ways are likely only apt to occur in Africa or South America, or in some other bug-infested tropical paradise where machetes are common and tribal warfare/military coup/drug production are the news of the day.
Machetes are inexpensive tools made from cheap steel that will be made uselessly misshapen or utterly broken at first contact with metal. They are used in murders because they are expeditious and convenient. They are not a martial weapon. This entire thing reeks of as much practicality as Capoeria.
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