Nijel Binns the author of the 1990 book “Nuba Wrestling: The Original Art, ” which presents his theory that martial arts originated in the ancient northeast African kingdom of Nubia.
Here I share a few excerpts from his book.
-excerpts from “Nuba Wrestling™: The Original Art.”
Millions of African-Americans, Black and people of color from all over the world study Kung-Fu, Taekwondo, Judo, Karate, or some other form of martial arts. Many of them will tell you that it has transformed their lives. For this reason, books, videos, magazines, television, and films will continue to depict the martial arts. There are even comic book characters such as Karnak, 1960’s Marvel superhero, and a member of the mutant group known as the Inhumans. Karnak is a martial arts master who is able to discern the stress point of any solid object, no matter how large, and shatter that object with one powerful and well-placed karate chop.
As popular as the martial arts was and continues to be. Less than one percent of Africans in the diaspora and only a slightly higher percentage of Asians and Europeans are aware that the real origins of these magnificent arts are, in fact, African! Many African teens fantasized about becoming the powerful Karnak will be surprised to learn that he was actually named after an ancient African temple in Egypt and that the very name of his old discipline bespoke its origin. It is only recently that modern science and anthropology have agreed to admit that all human life shares a common point of origin in Africa. It was a watershed day. For this reason, when the untold origins of the oldest martial arts on Earth were explored and documented in the book entitled “Nuba Wrestling™: The Original Art”. While not in general circulation, it is heralded as a landmark publication because it was the first global acknowledgment of Africa as the birthplace of the martial arts and sciences.
In the year 2000 of the Olympic Games, there are many people who would argue that Greece contains the oldest records of combative arts such as wrestling, boxing, and Pankration. While the western world can quickly identify with Greek art, literature, philosophy, sport, military arts, and sciences. As well as other significant aspects of Greek thought such as astronomy and mathematics; these arts above and sciences did not originate in Greece. There is ample evidence and testimony by acclaimed philosophers and historians of ancient Greece such as Herodotus in 500 BCE, Pythagoras, Plato and many others to support this fact. Many of them were put to death for the knowledge they imported into Greece. So significant was the source of Greek knowledge and culture, that the earliest inhabitants of the land derived their very name Greece from an ancient name for Africa, “Nigrecia”!
The year was 776 B.C. at a time when Egypt was already ancient, that the Greeks began the practice of wrestling in honor of the African God Amon, whom they renamed Zeus. The entire Greek pantheon of Gods and Goddesses are based on African deities that were just renamed. Despite all of this, however, it is significant to our study that Greece provides one of the first instances of a martial art and religious tradition being combined in the west. However, it was a tradition based on older African practices that the Greeks adopted, but never fully applied.
All present day scholars of what is commonly known as Greco-Roman wrestling attribute the origins of their sport to illustrations discovered on the walls of tombs, in a region of ancient Egypt called Mahez. Which has been renamed “Beni Hasan”, or “hill of the son of the Hasan family”. Although considered just a sport today, these illustrations point to a well-developed science that actually developed in Nubia but reached the zenith of expression in Egypt.