Meaning “strength, power” when literally translated is an African martial art form known as Engolo or Ngolo. This “traditional” martial art form is said to have originated around the Cunene River located in Southern Angola. Apparently, this martial art form is said to be “ritualistic” in nature. Furthermore, it is also said to be a martial art form that is extremely popular with the African diaspora especially those living in the American continent.

History/origin of the Engolo:

Apparently, it was in 1960 that the presence of this form of martial art was first acknowledged via a discovery of a set of drawings. Furthermore, these drawings basically illustrated the technique used in Engolo which closely resembled the Afro-Brazilian form of combat known as “Capoeira”. In addition, this form of combat is said to be a part of a ritual known as “Omhelo”. It is in this ritual that young men compete with each other in order to find a bride to marry. It is also said that the fighting technique used by these young men in this ritual is similar to the way a group of Zebras fight amongst each other.

Weapon used in the Engolo:

Since this form of combat uses “kicks as well as punches” the weapon mainly used is the “hands and legs” of the fighter.

The technique involved in the Engolo and the training availability:

In terms of technique, the fighter in this form of combat essentially makes use of a combination of different kicks, dodges, and leg sweeps. In addition, high emphasis is also given to the use of an inverted position (i.e. a fighter balancing on one or both hands in contact with the ground) in the Engolo. As for training centers/schools, there are none available since this “traditional” form of martial art is mainly performed by tribes living around the River Cunene in Southern Angola.

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