Commonly referred to as “Mani or baile de Mani” is a Caribbean form of martial art known as Juego Di Mani. This “traditional” form of combat which when literally translated means “game of war” is said to have originated from Cuba. Furthermore, the people who practice this form of martial art are known as “Maniseros”. Apparently, it is extremely similar to the Brazilian form of fighting known as “Capoeira”. Furthermore, this martial art form also comprises of elements belonging to “dance.
a. History/origin of the Juego Di Mani:
According to the cultural history of Caribbean region, it was during the 16th century that African slaves were recruited into Cuba by the Spanish who were the colonial masters. Now, these slaves recruited mainly belonged to the “Kongo-Angola” culture Furthermore, it was these slaves that created this form of combat as a form of “self defense” which was well disguised as a dance style.
b. Weapon used in the Juego Di Mani:
The weapon mainly used in this martial art form is the use of hands, legs, and even the head at times. Furthermore, a “cane staff” i.e. a form of a stick, knives, machete, and double machete may also be used by the fighter.
c. Technique involved in the Juego Di Mani and training availability:
In terms of a technique, a fighter basically uses moves such as foot sweeps, punches, head butts, and elbow strikes. In addition, forearm strikes, knee strikes, and palm strikes may also be used by the fighter. Furthermore, this form of combat also comprises of music which provides rhythm to the fight. The music for a bout of “Juego Di Mani” is usually produced by drums. As for training centers/schools, there are none available around the world since this traditional form of combat is mainly practiced in Cuba.