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The martial art in which people lost their lives and which has evolved into a dance

BarcelonaFortunately, no one has died practicing it for quite some time throne. But if it happens, the cycle of revenge begins. In fact, it is difficult to define, the throne. For some it is a martial art, a sport. Others consider it a dance. There is no doubt that it is an Egyptian cultural expression deeply rooted in the territory of the Upper Egypt area, that is to say, in the south of the country. The idea is to fight with two very long sticks. Two sticks with which you must try to hit your opponent’s head. In the past, the beatings could be so violent that occasionally someone lost their life. And if it did happen, there is an unwritten law that says the family of the deceased can take justice on their own and take revenge on whoever took the life of their loved one. In the past, a bout of throne could start a cycle of revenge with a few deaths.

But nowadays, the throne it survives especially as a dance. In fact, the most common place to see this spectacle is at weddings in the agricultural communities of the south of the country, when two men hold long sticks by the ends and swing them in the air, harmoniously, pretending who want to hurt the opponent. Movements too slow to surprise an opponent who already has the defensive movement ready. What used to be a struggle ends up becoming a dance with a seductive, harmonious rhythm. The movements of the two men follow the notes of the music playing as their bodies and sticks stage a non-existent battle. However, this is not always the case. Sports competitions are still organized today throne where there are winners and losers. Where there are blows to the head and referees who are in charge of scoring and putting peace in case of fights.

Egypt’s museums are full of archaeological pieces with images of fighters practicing throne. Its origin would be the training of soldiers before going to war. To avoid getting hurt, instead of metal swords they used wooden sticks. Pharaoh Ramses II would have organized tournaments in this discipline that evolved and became a celebration in religious festivities. Music was incorporated, the movements and the way of holding the stick were modified. And he was born fan a’nazaha wa-tahtib, full name of this discipline, which would mean the art of being honest and straight using a stick. Over the centuries, the throne it stopped being a competition to be a dance. And the chronicles speak of exhibitions where fights between women were normal, who did it dressed as men, while men fought dressed as women. Religious fanaticism cornered these currents and left the throne in its current version, with two men showing their virility by dancing while flying sticks in the air.

But in recent years many young people in Egypt have decided to recover the version of the throne as a martial art. They have never stopped fighting, in fact, and in the south of the country the veterans explain that more than once an exhibition that was supposed to be festive ends in a fight when someone does not measure the movement of the stick well and gives a blow for real. Now there are gyms in Egypt that have incorporated the throne in his program, with rules where touching the opponent’s head is valued as much as maintaining the essence of the movements. one throne modern where women can also fight, since it is about recovering the roots. And the stones, with the precious engravings from centuries ago, tell us about women who made it their home throne. In fact, little by little people from other countries and cultures have been seduced by this discipline and international tournaments have been organized. There is even a campaign to make it an official Olympic sport.

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