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Friday, June 14, 2013

No Holds Barred: Quilombo! Brother Sadiki "Shep" Olugbala on June 15 Event on Capoeira, African and Brazilian Martial Arts, and Slave Rebellions 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with Brother Sadiki "Shep" Olugbala of the Peoples Survival Program and the Universal Zulu Nation.

Along with the the Universal Zulu Nation and the Kemetic Masters Of The Martial Arts, they are putting on an event called "QUILOMBO: The true story, origins and continuing culture of the long forgotten 'Afrikan Martial Arts Warrior Centered Slave Rebellion AKA Capoeira' and the liberated Maroon Nation that was built in the Palmares Mountains of Brasil, South America".

This event will take place this Saturday, June 15, 6-10 PM, at the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center at 3940 Broadway between West 165 and 166 Streets, New York City, NY 10032.

It will feature film, art, music, dance, and martial arts demonstrations, along with several presentations and discussions about the history of military resistance to Portuguese colonialism in Angola and Brazil, the historical origins and cultural significance of the traditional African resistance martial arts fighting styles, the connections to modern-day hip hop dance culture and martial arts, and urban street fighting skills and modern self-defense.

There will also be a screening of the film "Quilombo" about the Afro-Brazilian slave rebellion and the Maroon Nation Of Palmares, which existed in the 17th century.

All event proceeds will go to the Peoples Survival Program and the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center.

We spoke with Brother Sadiki "Shep" Olugbala by phone Thursday night about this event and its importance.

The film "Quilombo", he said, "actually shows you the picture of the rebellions and how they actually used Capoeira as a means to liberate themselves and to resist the Portuguese military, which tried to take back the land from them and recapture them."

The liberated area of Palmares, which was made up mostly of escaped African slaves and also indigenous people, "actually was a nation. It was over 30,000 people that lived in Palmares. It actually was a republic for itself that existed up in the mountains of Bahia."

The event will not only focus on this history of struggle, but also the lessons of this history for today. Martial arts are valuable because "We want people to be able to defend themselves," said Brother Shep, who is also a former member of the Black Panther Party. "Every creature on this planet has a right to self-defense."

We also discussed why this type of event is largely aimed at educating and involving the youth, the need for a healthy mind and body, the positive and negative messages that have come out of professional combat sports and martial arts events, and much more.

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