“Why do people like me, people of African descent, fight so hard to show our footprint in Europe and around the world when we have an entire continent where our presence goes without saying? There is a clear, legitimate argument as to why, but there’s also a shallow, superficial answer to the question as well; because it’s so COOL.”Milton Davis, author and publisher

African martial artsThe Asian martial arts have been made cool to the world. How? Mainly through the movies; television, comic books and novels have contributed, too.

A movie or a comic book could have an African protagonist. The creators will build an elaborate world to rival the architectural wonders and military structures of ancient Egypt, Oyo, Songhai and Timbuktu. The people will be more advanced than ANY modern society due to little contact with, thus interference from, the outside world. They will speak a traditional Afrikan tongue; wear traditional Afrikan clothes and defend themselves and their mighty nation with…kung-fu.

Really?

African NinjaSo cool are the Asian ways of self-defense to us that many will claim that we were the first ninjas to roam the shadows of Japan, assassinating the enemies of the Shogun for money and land. Damn the fact that this would be considered bad character and a taboo in most traditional Afrikan cultures because killing people for material gain is so COOL…as long as you are wearing a black ninja suit.

Also, damn the fact that most traditional Afrikan cultures would not wear black clothing in the first place – their dark color of choice was / is indigo – because black clothing – even in 120 degree weather – is COOL.

On one of my Facebook posts, an individual decided to school me on Afrikan martial arts history because, you know, my 44 years of study and training in the indigenous martial arts didn’t teach me shit. She also addressed Milton Davis, a martial artist with nearly 40 years of experience. This is what wisdom she decided to enlighten us with: “You guys DO know that Asian martial arts was heavily influence (that person’s poor grammar, not mine) by African fighting styles right?”

My response?

African martial arts“Yep, but other than the SE Asian systems (Kali, Silat, Muay Boran, Bando) they are NOTHING alike.”

Why, oh why, did I respond? This person decides to teach me a bit more: “Balogun, you might want to rethink that. All fighting styles come from Africa. The first samurai and ninja in Asia were black. You’d have to be willingly blind to deny that. But to each his/her own I say.”

Still hoping that I can teach this person a little bit and help them not look any more foolish than they already did, I responded again:

“I am well aware. I actually wrote a book on the topic (nonfiction). LOL Most fighting SYSTEMS have roots in Afrika, however a STYLE – which is most of what we see coming from mainland Asia, are an individual’s INTERPRETATION of a root system. Most of these styles are FAR from their roots.

This is what 44 years of study and practice has taught me and proven to be true.

Chinese and Japanese martial arts are as far from Afrikan martial arts as Chinese and Japanese dance is from Afrikan dance. No comparison at ALL.

The Samurai had a saying that to be a good samurai, one had to be of MOSTLY Black blood. There is no evidence that the first ninja were of Afrikan descent, though.”

And then crazy train left the station.

The person’s response confused me:

“I’m going to unfriend you now. Nothing worse than a willingly blind coon that rejects his people’s history and disrespects them as well. I’m going to make sure I take care of you as far as the other groups go as well. If you want nothing to do with us then, I can respect that and cut you off.”

“Huh?”

No, no…I actually responded with “Huh?”

I was perplexed and feeling totally disrespected. Needing clarity, I inquired about the person’s strange response:

Balogun Stick 2“Did you not read that I am an Afrikan martial arts instructor? Most of the people commenting on my videos are my students or close friends who are revolutionaries. And you call me a coon? You are waaay off sister, but do as you will.”

The person’s response was simply “You can’t and won’t be able to teach anyone anything if you, yourself are not fully educated.”

Now, of course, I can learn a lot more about the Afrikan martial arts and martial arts, in general – the master blacksmith in one town is the student blacksmith in another is one of my favorite Yoruba proverbs – however, to discount decades of experience is foolish, at best.

This person then went on to rant on their Facebook page about me. I originally thought this person was simply lying on me to save face, but I soon realized this person is nuttier than squirrel poop and probably really believes they have the power to harm me through their keyboard karate techniques. I suppose the person thinks Keyboard Karate is COOL, too.

Here’s a taste of what this squirrel-food said– just a taste; too much consumption of crazy causes TRUTH decay:

“I’m so tired of these fake pan-African Negroes, faking the funk and yet when you catch them talking shit about black people, suddenly, they want to delete the thread and become teachers on African knowledge. Don’t fake the funk now; if you don’t like who you are and where you came from stick to it. You can’t hate me and be my friend at the same time. If you hate your own people just be up front about it so people can decide if they want to be bothered with you or not.”

“…when you catch them talking shit about black people, suddenly, they want to delete the thread…”

The thread is still there. It was there when this troll was ranting on it, too. Nothing was erased…not even this person’s madness.

“Don’t fake the funk now; if you don’t like who you are and where you came from stick to it.”

This person has no idea who I am or where I came from. We don’t know each other. In fact, I didn’t know anything about this person before today, other than their name and the fact they like to draw elves. By the way: I love who I am – father, teacher, husband, son, brother, student, priest, author and filmmaker – and where I came from – Chi-Town! West Sayeeeeed!

“You can’t hate me and be my friend at the same time.”

I don’t hate you and you have never been my friend, except on Facebook – e-buddies don’t count – so you really get the side-eye for this one.

“If you hate your own people just be up front about it…”

I don’t hate my people. I love them. My work says so…so chillax.

The crazy train totally derails when she concludes with: “Plus, if I hear one more black dude who is suppose to be pan-African talk about how we as black women wear fake hair and how fat we are, I will scream. I’m like: you are supposed to be a teacher so talk about some real issues that are going on in the black community, not this simple minded BS.”

And, once again, I can only respond with “Huh?”

I now understand what my mother means when she says “There is nothing more dangerous than a made up mind.”

So hop off that crazy train and join us for the ride of your life on the airship Sweet Chariot, your Funky LoCOOLmotive, where we make all things Afrikan COOLer than a polar bear in an air conditioned igloo with wet socks on. 2017 will see the production of the Science Fiction Afrikan Martial Arts feature film, Ngolo, from the award winning screenplay by Balogun Ojetade and Milton Davis.

Ngolo

 

 

About Balogun

Balogun is the author of the bestselling Afrikan Martial Arts: Discovering the Warrior Within and screenwriter / producer / director of the films, A Single Link, Rite of Passage: Initiation and Rite of Passage: The Dentist of Westminster. He is one of the leading authorities on Steamfunk – a philosophy or style of writing that combines the African and / or African American culture and approach to life with that of the steampunk philosophy and / or steampunk fiction – and writes about it, the craft of writing, Sword & Soul and Steampunk in general, at https://chroniclesofharriet.com/. He is author of eight novels – the Steamfunk bestseller, MOSES: The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman (Books 1 & 2); the Urban Science Fiction saga, Redeemer; the Sword & Soul epic, Once Upon A Time In Afrika; a Fight Fiction, New Pulp novella, Fist of Afrika; the gritty, Urban Superhero series, A Single Link and Wrath of the Siafu; the two-fisted Dieselfunk tale, The Scythe and the “Choose-Your-Own-Destiny”-style Young Adult novel, The Keys. Balogun is also contributing co-editor of two anthologies: Ki: Khanga: The Anthology and Steamfunk. Finally, Balogun is the Director and Fight Choreographer of the Steamfunk feature film, Rite of Passage, which he wrote based on the short story, Rite of Passage, by author Milton Davis and co-author of the award winning screenplay, Ngolo. You can reach him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Afrikan.Martial.Arts; on Twitter @Baba_Balogun and on Tumblr at www.tumblr.com/blog/blackspeculativefiction.

One response »

  1. Fujimoto says:

    What a bizarre conversation…You have such a knack for turning bad or weird moments into great pitches for upcoming work. It certainly brightens posts like these up. I look forward to the release of Ngolo and Redeemer. Sounds like it will be a busy bunch of years coming up.

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