“MASHUFAA IS A MARTIAL ART. IT IS A SWAHILI WORD, WHICH ROUGHLY TRANSLATES AS MEANING THE ‘SPIRIT OF A WARRIOR’. A WARRIOR IS A PERSON WHO CAN OVERCOME FEAR THROUGH DETERMINATION AND WILL. THIS IS THE ESSENCE OF MASHUFAA”
Firstly, if you believe my young sisters are only on this earth to reproduce with anyone who gives them the time of day and my young brothers are ravishing knife totting menaces, then you need not read on. If you believe their role models lie in MTV base or becoming future CEOs to live as far away from black people as possible, then you need not read on. If you believe there is nothing wrong with the black community and better yet no need for a black community (common unity), then let me not waste your time. Please stop here. If you do, once again, continue.
On a late Summer evening in 2009 when football fans deemed it fashionable to make monkey chants directed towards black footballers, an African family was getting their home repossessed on my estate and yet another young African was nursing his stab wounds in a dark alley conceding that tomorrow belongs to the man who prepares for it today and he did not tick either of those boxes.
On this very evening, I presented a young black boy with a flyer about Mashufaa and before I could insert a word he laughed, “Black people can’t do martial arts” so I asked him what can black people do and in a confused manner he responded “I don’t know, I’m just trying get p (money), money over b*****, money over everything”. From his shrugged shoulder and irrational response I was reminded how dangerous ignorance, selfishness and greed can be; cancerous.
From London to Lagos and Darfur to Detroit Black people are dying at a disproportionately faster rate, even worse we are killing each other at a faster rate. Black people are dying from all sorts illnesses that were not common a century ago such as asthma, cancer and AIDs. Is this the legacy we want to leave for our youths? Are we really that selfish that we would allow our irresponsible materialistic pursuits to erode and thwart any concept of community we have left? From our diets to our relationships we display a lack of discipline, consistency and self love. Generations of our people have sacrificed their lives just so we can sit at the table of humanity and this is how we repay them? Is it not just that we provide a better tomorrow for generations to come? Is not our duty to ensure that “The Circle Must Remain Be Unbroken”.
It is sad when ones only ideal of Black people engaging in Martial arts are through a Wu Tang video or Afro Samurai and even worse when they propose it belongs to , “Bruce Lee and them Chinaman, you get me(?)”. How ludicrous would I look if I said music is owned by a race of Eskimos and them alone? Exactly, NO culture, creed or race has a monopoly over martial arts despite what your TV says, because martial arts is merely a reflection of life. People who place a sense of culture on martial arts know that their culture is them and without they are nonexistent. Hence why in Japanese martial arts its common practice you use the Japanese language. They acknowledge that culture is the cement that holds together the bricks required to build a community. Culture is our DNA that respects our history and propels us to the future. Mashufaa being a conduit for our community to grow is practiced through our cultural glasses so we can see and self determine our futures.
No matter what religion, tribe or gang you affiliate with Mashufaa’s doors welcome all black people to put their minuscule differences to one side and challenge ourselves to better our selves. In practicing Mashufaa one is striving for unison with ones breathe which some call ba, ka, chi, life force, energy or spirit. It permits one to be in unison mentally, physically and spiritually. Thus the efficiency of movement, self discipline, self belief and self love should not only manifest in the class but it should manifest in all aspects of our lives. From the way we walk, talk, eat, study, work and sleep because often we get the so called simple things wrong and then act surprised when the so called complex things go wrong. Mashufaa in essence challenges you to challenge your worst enemy; yourself.
Before my gender was determined, my race was determined so regardless I am black before I am man or woman. Men and women are equal but not the same and their differences should not be ignored but embraced thus when they combine amazing feats can be accomplished. Is the nature of man and woman not taught to us when the sperm meets the egg. So I ask, does society encouraging us to ignore these differences correlate with our community’s decadence?
Like homesteads of old, that is why at Mashufaa men and women training separately yet together in one space striving for one goal. To be complete the circle and be servants to our community thus creating seeds that enable our community to grow and flourish.
Mashufaa Sessions: Mon & Fri – 7-9.30pm North London Thurs – 7-9.00pm South London Sat 2-4pm West London Visit – www.mashufaa.co.uk