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Boxing

The 200-year-old traditional martial arts in Nigeria

Dambe is a fighting martial art that has a history of 200 years in Nigeria, and has turned from a brutal martial art to a recreational sports like today.

In this martial art, boxers often use one hand to fight, the other shield, and sometimes use their feet to strike. They often try to lower the game, forcing the opponent to surrender as quickly as possible.

In the past, fighters fought for their wives, land, and other valuables. But today, boxers can make between $ 400 and $ 900 in major tournaments, which are taped and posted to payers.

Before competing, boxers will wrap “kara” to protect their hands. In the past, they even crumpled kara with glass splinters to inflict greater injuries, but today, that has been banned.

Yahaya (pictured), 28, is a Dambe boxer of the Arewa school, one of the three traditional schools, including Jamus and Guruwada. Yahaya told Reuters from Lagos, Nigeria, that he had been practicing martial arts since he was a child, and survived by fighting.

Boxers like Yahaya now make money with this profession thanks to the growing number of online followers.

A boxer is pouring water on his head during a half-time break in Abuja, Nigeria. In 2017, Anthony Okeleke and Chidi Anyina founded “Dambe Warriors” – the company that produces martial arts video programs, to promote the martial art.

Initially they had to pay for boxers, but now they have grown, organized tournaments, and collected tickets.

An audience excitedly watched the Battle of Dambe in Abuja. In the two years, the company had 100,000 registered users and received 24 million views (views) from Indonesia, Brazil, Thailand, Philippines and the United States.

After filming, the company will go back to the studio to edit and match the sound, before posting it online. In the photo, a boxer in Lagos.

They also plan to set up a separate space for martial arts matches to attract tourists, and discuss with local satellite TV channels to increase views. In the photo, a boxer smiles after the match in Lagos.