Nguni Stick fighting
NGUNI stick fighting or playing sticks is a martial art traditionally practised by teenage Nguni herdboys in South Africa. Each combatant is armed with two long sticks, one of which is used for defence and the other for offence. Little armour is used. Although Nguni/Xhosa styles of fighting may use only two sticks, variations of Bantu/ Nguni stick fighting throughout southern Africa incorporate shields as part of the stick fighting weaponry. Zulu stick fighting uses an ‘‘Isiquili’’ or attacking stick, an ‘‘Uboko’’ or defending stick and an ‘‘izoliHauw’’ or defending shield. The object is for two opposing warriors to fight each other to establish which of them is the strongest or the ‘‘bull’’. In modern times this usually occurs as part of the wedding ceremony where warriors from the bridegroom’s household and area welcome warriors from the bride’s household and area to meet to ‘‘get to know each other’’, other groups of warriors may also be welcome to join in. Warriors do this by engaging in combat with one another. An ‘‘induna’’ or war captain/ referee from each group of warriors keeps his crew in check and keeps order between fighters. Nonetheless, stick fighting is a game, and the dynamics of stick fighting are generally playful. The exceptions are when sticks are used for self-defence or in a faction fight, or when amashinga (professional stick fighters) compete. This tradition is one which arguably developed in societies, cultures and civilisations that used herding as part of their systems of survival – where there are cows there are stick fighters. Stick fighting also provides an opportunity for men to build courage and skill, to distinguish themselves as proficient warriors, and to earn respect in the community. Nelson Mandela practiced Nguni stick fighting as a child. You start in Fresh Meat, where you are taught the fundamentals of derby which is how to stop at speed – the best way is the transition stop. It’s also about learning the correct derby stance which helps if you do happen to fall as you don’t have that far to fall. You learn how to do cross overs, sticky skating which is where you skate without lifting your feet, and weaving in and out of witches hats. We also do drills that work your core not to mention other parts if your body that have been dormant. Jessie – she rocks, she has worked really hard to get the DDD where we are now. She has done a lot of ground work and research for the team. We now have a committee and a venue. We are in the process of getting a logo, most importantly we need more ‘‘freshies’’ members. Keep an eye out for our open night in December. There will be members from Tablelands, Cairns Derby Dolls and Reef City Roller Girls doing a demonstration. It’s such a great sport. There’s a stigma that it’s rough and lots of injuries. Ok it’s rough, but if you know how to stop and you’re not afraid to go with gravity and fall you will be ok. You don’t have to be awesome on skates to be a derby diva, you don’t even need to know how to skate as that will come with training. On an all girls league there are male zebras (refs) and pandas (non skating officials – NSOs). Kids are more than welcome to show their interest in forming a junior league as there is a league in Cairns.
What is the best thing about derby? The Derby Love. The atmosphere at a bout is electrifying! Being part of a team and being able to push yourself to the limit for your team. What is the worst? The smell of sweaty bodies What position will you play? Most likely Jammer. At the moment I can do 25 laps in under 5 minutes. You need to be fast on your feet and agile for this position. What does training consist of?
Do you ‘‘Whip It’’? Yes! That is an awesome move, you can get some real speed up. If you are jammer you need to whip it good. Favourite move? Double knee stops – I feel like a rock star when I do them. Any injuries? No injuries, touch wood. Sore back from derby stance, this apparently means I’m doing it right. This is why it’s important to build core strength. Embarrassing moments? Trying to talk with my mouth guard in. Favourite team mate and why?
Why should other women consider joining DDD?
Are there pos-
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