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Title [Africa] Musangwe

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    156
  • Date
    22-12-2020
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Name Musangwe
Alternative Names
Origin South Africa
Main Techniques Striking
Weapons N/A
Purpose of Practice Close Combat
Type of Origination Transmitted
Degree of Sportification
Yes (Year: )      No
General Information Musangwe is a type of bare-knuckle boxing in South Africa.  Almost everything is allowed in this fighting style. There are only three major rules: the winner is decided if the opponent bleeds, surrenders or gets knocked out (Wende 2011). There are different age-categories, 9-12, 13-18, 19-34, 35-45 and older than 45. Fighters from the Nord are always paired with fighters from the South (Woodward 2019). There are no rewards for the winner, participation is for one’s own enjoyment, empowerment and staus (Woodward 2019). In current era, the sport is said to shape the character of the young boys and teach them to not get involved in crime, how to respect women and to withstand hard economic times (Woodward 2019; Wende 2011).
History/Development Historically musangwe served as a way to select the strongest men to fight for the tribe (Wende 2011). In the 1800s boys would bring their cattle to the river to be bathed. The bulls would fight each other and the boys would copy their play-fighting (Woodward 2019).
Transmission
(Policies/institutions)
Relevant Organisations - Tshaulu Musangwe Committee
Additional Materials - Documentary “Musangwe Fight Club”: https://www.journeyman.tv/film/3654/musangwe-fight-club
- Photo essay by National Geographic photographer Pete Muller (2016): http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/9387520.stm
References - Woodward, J. (2019). “Musangwe: A Ritual for Manhood”, Historical African Martial Arts. https://hamaassociation.wordpress.com/2019/03/26/musangwe-a-ritual-for-manhood/
- Wende, H. (2011). “South African boxing that ‘makes the heart strong’”, BBC News. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/9387520.stm