Hidden History of Martial Arts
The oldest evidence of martial arts dates back to 2800 B.C. in Africa in ancient Kemet (Egypt). On the walls of the tombs at Beni Hasan are over 500 fighting figures demonstrating the ancient African Kemetic advanced knowledge of weapons, kicking, striking, joint locks, and throws. It was a complete system of combat.
Also, Nubians (of present-day Sudan) were known as fierce warriors in the ancient world of the Nile Valley of Africa. Nubia was also referred to as Ta-Seti, "land of the bow."
According to Balogun Abeegunde in his book Afrikan Martial Arts, "In 776 B.C., the Greeks began the practice of wrestling in honor of the African god Amon, whom the Greeks called Zeus. All scholars of Greco-Roman wrestling attribute the origins of the art to illustrations discovered on the walls of tombs at a site in ancient Egypt called Beni Hasan."
Abeegunde further explains, "Asia's link to the African martial arts dates back to the Dravidians of India and the Moors of Africa. The Dravidians were desciendants of India's older Black civilization, the Harappan, who migrated from Africa to India. Around A.D. 320, a Buddhist disciple named Bodhidharma - Ta Mo, or Buddha--left southern India for China to redefine and spread the teachings of Buddhism, a religion founded on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, a Dravidian with strong African Ancestry. A set of exercises described by Bodhidharma for the health and fitness of the Shaolin Temple monks of China, became known as the 18 hands of Lo Han and formed the foundation of Chinese Shaolin Kung Fu, the precursor of Okinawan and Japanese Karate" (Abeegunde, 2008, p. 28).
Abeegunde also explains the tremendous role Moors played in the development and widespread circulation of martial arts: "The Moors--African warriors and scholars who adopted Islam as their way of life--brought the martial arts to Indonesia and the Philippines over 1000 years ago, giving the indigenous people the arts of Eskrima, Kali, Arnis, and Pencak Silat. In fact, the Filipino martial arts are still referred to as "Moro-Moro," in recognition of the Moorish contribution" (Abeegunde, 2008, p. 28-29).
The NMAFI Blend System celebrates the contributions of traditional African martial arts while blending it with the best of the Asian arts.
Source: Abeegunde, Balogun, (2008). Afrikan Martial Arts: Discovering the Warrior Within. Atlanta, GA: Boss Up, Inc.