Naa: Kla

At the turn of the 12th Century, when ancient kingdoms and empires reigned supreme, the land that would later come to be known as Egypt faced a harrowing threat from foreign invaders. Desperate to protect her people, she sent an emissary to the other African kingdoms with the sole aim of gathering Africa's best martial artists in order to develop a new martial art for her people.

In order to find these masters, a tournament was organised in each region to pick out the best martial artist. Among the Ga people, Naa , a lumei (sage) of Abotri ke Tahuumo (Ga martial art) approached another lumei at the cleanest beach of the coast. The other lumei lunged at her but she used Mim Dzee (art of evasion) to dodge the attack and brought her to her knees using Akotoku (the art of fistfighting and its supporting arsenals).

'Kakla ke klante nomo (art of bladed weapon combat)' announced an even older lumei who was watching the match. Two separate mats bearing weapons were laid before them. Naa picked up an akofena (sword) as her opponent picked up an ndar (machete). Before she could react, Naa struck her opponents akodze (weapon) breaking it in half.

The opponent came at her with Akotoku but she blocked the attack and defeated her, using Intia Shomo ( the art of complex kicking and feet attacks). Beneath the hot afternoon sun, Nii faced her next opponents, twins, who engaged her using Kwasafo Nomo and Asafo Atwele (the art of free expressiona and multi-partner combat strategy) making it difficult for her to attack.

Naa held up a strong defense and as the heat and the pace of the attacks became almost unbearable, slipped into a trance like state and went on the offensive using Kakale lor (Trance-like fighting state) to defeat both opponents, taking them down with simultaneous spinning kicks to their chests the minute they began to falter.

Night fell over the beach as the old Kla (tiger) of the south greedily drunk some water from a calabash and waited for the next opponent. Another lumei walked past the flaming torches that lined the ring now and approached her using Abotri (the art of complex handstands and somersaults).

Naa studied her pattern of movement and used Adzenklulu (acrobatic arts) to draw close enough to her and deliver several ferocious double handslapsand kicks to her chest and belly, defeating her. Her final opponent used Ataalai Gbomo, the science of cartwheeling to evade Naa's punches and kicks but then Naa resorted to Gbobi hava ( the art of hunting down prey) to track her into a corner and tackle her before restraining her arms and legs in a grappling hold.

In a Hausa village, Hawa, a Hausa boxer, wrapped a tight cloth around her arms and struck her opponent first across the chest and jabbed her chest and belly. She ducked her opponent's punches and used her clothed right arm to block any punches and struck quickly with her left.

Her opponent tried to grapple her but she brushed her aside and struck her right cheek, and watched as her opponent sunk to her knees, signalling the end of the match. She took out her scroll and recorded ways of improving her fighting style. She rolled it up and drank some water.

In Nyansakrom, an asafo named Dede struck at several opponents, felling them with low sweeps of her leg. Asafo Takyiwaa from Annankrom lunged at her but Dede struck her down with one punch to the face.In what would come to be known as Angola, a tall dark mestre stood in a ring and raised her hand, signalling a call for an opponent.

Another mestre (master) wearing a blue belt stepped out fromt eh ring and assumed a fighting stance. The two capoeira (Dance of war) Angola fighters slowly moved to the rythmn of the musicians around them, performing low and high kicks at each other. As the pace of the rythmn increased, the blue belted mestre struck her opponent on the chest, belly and shin felling her with her left and right legs.

The music stopped abruptly and she extended a hand to her fallen colleague. In Dahomey, the strongest member of the Mino (female fighting regiment nicknamed 'our mothers') fought each other in armed and unarmed combat until a woman with a shaven head emerged as the winner.

In what would be known as Senegal, two wrestlers grappled with each other until the larger one floored her opponent. In what would later be known as South Africa, two former shepherds faced each other, wielding the two staffs, one longer than the other, used in what would be known as South African stickfighting.

A woman with braided hair used the longer staff to block any attacks from her opponent. She used the shorter staff to disarm her opponent before tapping her lightly on the left knee, signalling the end of the match. Two weeks later, all the victors met in the ancient empire of Ghana where a North African emissary welcomed them.

'We require an agreement from you that your kingdom will not attack the rest of us after you get your new style.' noted Naa.

'It is agreed' the emissary promised.

'We want it in writing' insisted Hawa.

Two hours later, a signed agreement was recorded and kept by Hawa. During their journey to the North African kingdom, Naa stopped by the village of Annankrom, rewarding the hospitality of Amoawa's family with their weight in gold. The old tigress of the south trained a young Amoawa, in Abotri ke Tahuumo, making her the toughest person in the village.

Once they arrived at their final destination, it took them three months to train the kingdom's armies in their various styles. Their supreme commander merged all their fighting styles into a single ultimate martial art and taught it to her people. After their return to their various homes, they agreed to hold an annual fighting competition in their various regions, which would culminate in a final battle in the northern kingdom.

Naa proposed the venues and nature of the matches. The northern kingdom successfully defeated the foreign invaders and kept their promise of non-involvement as expressed between them and the masters.