Forteza Fitness

Historical African Martial Arts

Akwaba (Welcome)

Africa is the second largest continent, home to the single largest diversity of human cultures, languages, even genetic diversity, in the world. Not, surprisingly, it has also been home to a wide variety of martial arts, many still living, using a wide variety of weapons (swords, spears, shields, staves, knives, wrist-hooks, maces and more!), wrestling and unarmed striking. These vast collection of traditions intermingled and cross-pollinated with other traditions throughout the African diaspora, particularly in the Caribbean and South America.

Forteza is pleased to be home to an African Marital Arts program, taught under the mentorship and guidance of Da’mon Stith, founder of the the Historical African Martial Arts Association (HAMAA). HAMAA is dedicated to the research, preservation, restoration, and propagation of the martial disciplines of Africa and its global diaspora community. This is achieved through academic research, experimental archaeology, and building a global community of practitioners, historians, and enthusiasts.

Currently, the Forteza HAMA program focuses on two specific disciplines:

Ethiopian shotel (sickle-sword) and buckler

Grima: Columbian Machete fencing.

Our Sunday Study Group will be expanding in time to include:

Al Matrag: A form of stick fencing practiced in western Algeria and Morocco. The stick was used to prepare the warriors of the Maghreb (Northwest Africa) for the sword, such as the Tuareg Takouba

Tahtib: Egyptian stick-fighting

HAMA Training at Forteza

Forteza’s HAMA Study Group trains in intensive, monthly workshops, that meet for three hours, on the third Sunday of every month. Membership in the club is included in our All-Inclusive or  memberships, or you can pay a $40 drop-in fee each class.

I am new to Forteza, how do I begin?

Easy! Just sign up for one of the monthly workshops that run throughout the year and let your journey begin!