Why Black Men Should Learn Martial Arts

“I frankly believe every Negro in America should learn karate and judo.”-Malcolm X

During a 2016 interview with Roland Martin, white nationalist Richard Spencer was exposed as an ignorant misinformed buffoon. Martin showed Spencer for what he was: a man that lives in a bubble of non-existent facts that support his narrow ass bigotry. Spencer knew nothing about politics and even less about history or anything else that matters. For some 30 minutes, he gave Spencer an intellectual drubbing behind the woodshed. The interview concluded when Martin ran down to Spencer the resiliency of black people. He also finished the interview with a warning of sorts by telling Spencer that if they (white nationalists) believed that they were going to simply dispose of African-Americans in the global race for prosperity, he’d “have a fight on his hands.” At this point in the interview, Spencer perked up. It was as though the possibility of a fight had totally re-invigorated his beaten spirit and wounded pride. I asked myself realistically, if Spencer had reached over that desk and popped Martin in the face, would Martin really be able to defend himself?

Admittedly, it would have been a public relations nightmare for the alt right conservatives, but it would’ve also shown the world black vulnerability at the hands of white male violence. And we should not underestimate the debilitating effect that this would have on the black male psyche. Because truthfully, Martin is not a very imposing figure. You see the only difference between the new Alt-Right and the old neo-nazi is an ingratiating smile, and the demeanor of the boy next door. But it’s the same rage. The same willful ignorance and the same blind obedience to demagoguery. Anybody with a modicum of intelligence saw that Spencer had no real point and that his positions were completely insipid. But to white nationalists, none of that matters because it’s emotion that moves them, not facts or logic. And in their eyes, Martin is simply just another case of an affirmative action beneficiary who owed his success to white liberal guilt. Thus, all of Martin’s efforts were ultimately for naught. There is a notable difference between them and the average Confederate historian. These guys settle things through violence. So therefore the question is really could Martin, or for that matter, any black man similarly situated, defend themselves from such an angry, mentally disturbed person.

In America, the ability to protect one’s life and family is the consummate badge of masculinity. This is why martial arts is an indispensable tool for black men now more than ever. Small sectors of our community have always understood this basic truth. Thus, from its’ inception, groups like the Nation of Islam integrated martial arts as a key tenant of FOI training. They were practicing judo and karate before most white people knew what it was. Historically, people of African descent have always been involved in some form of martial arts. From the depictions of throws, kicks and chops on pyramid walls in Egypt, all the way to Capoeira in Brazil. A Black man even shows up in 16th century Japan as a samurai for the shogun. In the 20th century, a Panamanian born martial artist in New York City would give the western world its’ first look at shinobi-no-jutsu (the art of the Ninja). Known as the Father of American Ninjutsu, Professor Ronald Duncan was a marine deployed in the pacific during the 1950’s. Learning classical Japanese martial arts from masters of various disciplines, in 1967, he gave a demonstration of his martial skill at the Manhattan Center in New York, and years later in Madison Square Garden. He founded his first martial arts school called the Bushido School of Martial Arts where he taught his students how to survive in wilds of urban America.

Master Duncan created the Way of the Winds System in New York City. Innovating the art, he taught weapons of various kinds including handguns. He also taught weapon disarming techniques. His students were intelligence agents, police officers, lawyers and people from all walks of life. While many white martial artists questioned his authenticity, the Japanese themselves have validated Master Duncan’s pedigree. The man recognized as Japan’s last living ninja master, Jinichi Kawakami, referred to Master Duncan as “The Great One.” A year before his death in 2012, Black Belt Magazine would finally give him his due as the first to teach the art in the western hemisphere.

Master Duncan’s legacy continues through his son Hanshi Gregory Duncan who owns and operates Duncan Martial Arts in Union, NJ. He teaches basic realistic martial arts techniques that incorporates the spontaneous nature of street combat. In the tradition of his father, the students endure rigorous training that equip them with the tools to prevail in almost any situation. The training cris-crosses many different traditions to give the students a well rounded curriculum. Additionally, they also emphasize a holistic spiritual basis for the art and not simply punches and kicks.

There was another black martial artist that went to his grave largely unrecognized. Dr. Moses Powell was a martial arts prodigy. The student of Filipino Martial Artist Florendo Visitacion, Dr. Powell would design his own system to deal with hardcore reality of street combat called Sanuces Ryu Jiujitsu. His resume reads like a real life Sho’nuff. Dr. Powell was the first martial artist invited to perform a demonstration in front of the United Nations. He instructed the DEA, FBI, and the Secret Service in martial arts. He was featured at the 1965 World’s Fair. Dr. Powell was also a member of the NOI. He taught the FOI martial arts for many years. So it should come as no surprise that some of the most lethal martial artists are within the ranks of the Nation.

Today, his students continue his legacy. Grandmaster Anthony Muhammad teaches urban combat in Chicago. Soke Little John Davis teaches in Sarasota, FL. And Grandmaster George Logan teaches the art of Sanuces in Connecticut.

To say that we need self-defense in the Black Community is a foregone conclusion. Unfortunately, our community has always been vulnerable to the worst forms of violence due in part to the dope game and a myriad of other causes. According to studies cited in Economist magazine, Blacks represent 13% of America’s population, yet in 2015 they represented 52% of the murder victims. Between 1980 and 2013, 262,000 black men were murdered in America. Although the crime rate is dropping in the country, the crime rate in the black community remains disproportionate to its population.

Working class black men will inevitably be sandwiched between the scourge of black on black crime and the violence of angry white nationalists like Richard Spencer. As economic times grow more intense, both groups will inevitably become more aggressive and violent. While the old “it’s the economy stupid” may seem like an incredulous reason to enact violence upon black men, there is an antecedent for this behavior.  In a Festival of Violence, author Stewart E. Tolney conducted a study of lynchings in 10 southern states from 1890-1930. This was the height of Jim Crow. Tolney’s study concluded that when cotton prices rose blacks were reasonably safe from white mob violence. But when prices fell, black men were lynched at an average of 1 every other day.  Interestingly enough, Tolney observed that the leaders of the lynch mob were usually the local business elites of the white community. Thus, violence was cathartic for whites who felt powerless at the hands of American capitalism. I guess the more things change, the more they stay the same. Either way, it’s a deplorable state of affairs for the lives of black men to swing (literally and figuratively), with the winds of the American economy. But such a reality validates a lesson that my dad taught me long ago when he said :”he who bites, shall be bitten, but he who does not bite, shall be eaten the fuck up!”

Tony Maceo is a Senior Blogger @thenegromanosphere.com. For more articles, go to power and strategy as we update new material frequently. Join the mailing list on the website and like, share and subscribe to the you tube channel as well as the FB page….till next time, i’ll holla!

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