Realities Created, Maintained and Destroyed, WHILE-U-WAIT!

Friday, October 27, 2006

The African Knife

Those of you who have been following this blog for a while will remember my entries on knife skills I was exposed to when I was living in Africa.

If not you can read the articles here.
The Legacy of Umslopogas
African Lessons Part One
South African Knife Fighting

I have had a few adventures because of these articles. I have been contacted by various different individuals for any number of reasons, most of these people have been decent folk, and I have enjoyed the conversations. Some have been a little eccentric, and one or two have obviously had agendas that they were pursuing. It has all been in good fun though.

Recently I have been contacted by an extremely interesting group, one that I had been planning to find a way to contact myself the next time I went to South Africa.

I had heard rumors of these people on the martial arts grapevine for several years, and at one point had tried to make a connection through someone I knew, but it didn't work out.

Things have a way of working out all the same, and now I know enough on the subject to at least be able to ask intelligent questions.

A little while back I received an email from a gentleman named Nigel February, who along with his partner, Lloyd De Jongh, created Piper System, which is the only formal expression of Cape knife fighting to date.

I have been having a delightful time talking with these men and have found them to be highly intelligent, articulate, and passionate about what they are doing.

They are also the real deal. I am able to say this because what they do is close enough to what I learned from my South African friends, that it must come from the same source, but there is no connection between them and my friends. That is what we call "independent corroboration" in the biz.

Lately there have been various individuals here in the Stated that have offered opinions as to the existence of, and effectiveness of Cape Knife fighting.

Sadly, these opinions have been......... How can I say this delicately.....Hmmmm........

completely full of shit....... Foolishly asinine.......... No...

How about "ill informed", yeah, Ill Informed, that's it.

Ill informed because the people expressing these opinions have never set foot on the continent of Africa, have never had any first hand experience with Cape knife work, have based their opinions on seven minutes of video and the contents of their own egos..... Well, I could go on but you get the point.

Right now, if you have not gone to Africa and spent time with the people who actually know about this stuff, then well, you just don't know what you are talking about. (and there are only a very few people who have done this to date maybe three all told).

So I am going to be talking with Nigel, Lloyd and Jason (another of the senior instructors) and putting our conversations up here on the blog from time to time.

We will cover Piper system, Cape knife fighting in general, and perhaps, current events in Africa and South Africa. This last is of particular importance because of the distorted views of Africa that so many people in the West have.

so stay tuned to this blog for some truly fascinating material and conversation.



Anonymous said...

Looking forward to this.

The thing I find most intriguing about Piper that it's supposedly quite different from all the other knife fighting styles out there.

I'd love to see it in action, just to see if/how the African flavor sets it apart from the FMAs or silat or Western fencing.

ksmaguro said...

I, too, am looking forward to this information. I was intrigued by the stuff that you showed us in March.
Thanks, Mushtaq!

Mushtaq Ali said...

"I'd love to see it in action, just to see if/how the African flavor sets it apart from the FMAs or silat or Western fencing."

I am hoping at some point to get them to post a video clip or two, but they may be a bit gunshy after people tried to use that seven minute tape they sent here for their own gain.

Dan Gambiera said...

It would be great to get them talking to Guru Plinck or Sifu Messina.

Mushtaq Ali said...

It would be great to get them talking to Guru Plinck or Sifu Messina.

It would indeed, and I am sort of working taward exactly that. As a matter of fact I was intending to call you with the idea of getting your help in getting them an introduction to Sifu Messina.

The last time they tried to make contacts here in the States they fell in with shady people who tried to exploit them (I bet you remember what I am refering to) I would like to see this time turn out better.

Anonymous said...

I look forward to your commentary Mushtaq. I'm going to be writing quite a bit about Ghana soon myself. I think your perspective should be interesting

yusuf dean said...

Salaams Mushtaq

wow.. this seems very interesting... for those of s who are not able to see the ideas in person would it be possible to describe one or two of the core techniques or principles in piper ...

many thanks allah hafiz


as an aside i heard that there is a definite identifiable pattern of knife usage in glasgow, abother city wher blade usage is common...