Forteza Fitness

Historical African Martial Arts Workshop: Ethiopian Sickle-Sword and Shield!

WHEN: Saturday, July 7 (12:00 – 6:00) and Sunday, July 8 (12:00 – 5:00)

WHERE: Forteza Fitness and Martial Arts WHO: Day 1 (Saturday) – all students Day 2 (Sunday) – members of CSG’s HAMA focus group

COST: Saturday only (or one day for members of Forteza’s HAMA focus group)- $75; Weekend – $ 110. Register now!

We’re excited to officially announce that Da’Mon Stith is coming to Forteza in early July to teach a two-day workshop on East African martial arts!! Specifically, we will be looking at the double-edged sickle-sword, or shotel, of East Africa, used with a small, hide hand shield, similar to the European buckler. Da’Mon’s classes on Barbary saber and Ethiopian shotel at WMAW ’17 were a huge success, being among the most popular classes there. His classes are fun, dynamic, educational, and will also give you a great workout. Da’Mon and the shotel was recently featured on History’s Deadliest Warriors:

You can see an example of the shotel in action here:

If you already have a shotel trainer and buckler, great – bring them! If you have neither of these, not a problem. Da’Mon will be bringing some extra shotels with him, and the studio has bucklers that you can borrow. Other required gear is the usual athletic clothing and protective gear we need for any sword class at Forteza.

(Please Note that, while Sunday is only open to HAMA focus group members only, Saturday is open to everyone! Even if you haven’t touched a shotel since WMAW, or haven’t touched one at all, you are welcome on Saturday and will get a lot out of it. )


Da’Mon the president of the Historical African Martial Arts Association and is a leader in the movement to study Historical African Martial Arts. He is the Chief Instructor and Founder of Guild of the Silent Sword in Austin Texas. His martial arts training began at the age of 6 when his father gave him his first sword. He was fascinated with martial arts and warrior culture. He began his formal training at the age of 9 in Asian martial arts and progressed into African and Middle Eastern martial arts by the age of 17. He’s both a scholar and a warrior, and he devotes just as much effort to meticulous research on African martial arts as he does teaching and training in them. Undaunted by the lack of surviving martial arts manuals from the continent, Da’Mon examines secondary sources and closely studies Africa’s living traditions, including sword dances and ritualized sword fighting, that trace their lineage back to weapons such as the Ethiopian shotel. In his instruction, Da’Mon always clarifies what survives through living lineage versus what is speculative – and if it’s the latter, he will share his sound reasoning on reaching those conclusions.

When not training and instructing, Da’Mon constructs training weaponry utilizing high-density plastic, hardwood, aluminum and steel. Additionally, Da’Mon is an instructor during the summer for Book People’s Camp Half-Blood literary camp.



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