In the history of human beings, sticks have been indispensable instruments for the preservation of life. The usage of the stick improved the chance for survival in an environment inhabited by animals with fangs, claws and greater bodily strength. The use of the stick increased the capability of early humans to cope with their environment, as weapons and as a means of providing food and fire.
African hunter-gatherers realized that the stick extended their range of power in attack and defense applications, and in time the simple stick would evolve into spears and arrows, the fore-runners of the modern day long range missiles.
In particular, African warriors have made ample use of the stick within the scope of combat systems, and utilized various lengths of stick in the following tasks:
- Fire sticks(transporting fire to various locations).
- Fighting sticks.
- Poles for transporting possessions.
- Bows and arrows.
- Blow guns.
- Axle for wheels (providing mobility for logistics).
Sticks proved to be highly efficient in close quarter combat, when used to to deliver blows that stunned and incapacitated opponents. Fighting sticks range in a variety of lengths, materials, and degrees of density.
The length of the gongo ranges from six to twelve feet, made of rattan (a strong and flexible wood) grown in Africa and Asia. Blows delivered with the gongo are whip-like in contrast to rigid wood such as oak. Blows delivered with the gongo are designed to neutralize the assailant in the following ways:
- Break bones.
- Damage internal organs.
- Disruption of nervous system.
- Render the assailant unconscious.
- Cause death.
Blows are delivered in the following manner:
- Jabbing (thrusting to strike vital points).
- Striking horizontally.
- Striking vertically.
- Striking obliquely.
- Smashing (butt stroke).
- Slashing (circular striking).
- Crushing (power striking).
- Whipping (snapping blows).
The entire body is vulnerable to the blows of the stick, however the major targets are :
- Crown of the head.
- Arms, legs, hands, feet.
Many of the stick fighting skills were developed by African herdsman to protect their herds from scavenging animals and marauders.
Part 4 principles of movement coming soon.