I know many of you were bewildered by the suggestions in my last post. I don’t advocate violence, but look at it this way – would you rather have a dispute nipped in the bud immediately or have a dispute drag on for centuries? You would all probably opt for the former. The thing is- if you can’t approach a man directly to talk things out face-to-face and come up with an amicable solution, why not face off in the ring? Why have a family feud or a game of vengeance that may result in the loss of life? Why lower yourself to a level where you speak ill of people or attempt to taint their reputation?

Talking things out doesn’t always yield the results we hope for, leaving many with a sour taste in the mouth. The consequence of this is that it influences their behaviour, affecting the way they act towards a particular person. Why hold onto grudges? Why allow those feelings to consume you? It’s always better to forgive and move on with your life, but when that fails to materialise, what then? Forgiveness is always the key to having peace in your life but not all people were created the same, and not all people think alike. Fighting will hurt you physically, but with time, you WILL heal. The damage you can do with your mouth is way worse and hurts people in unimaginable ways – with its effects lingering long after being uttered. On top of that, it may even end up hurting those whom you have no intention of harming (“the ripple effect”).

People tend to consider boxing or fighting as being savage and brutal. They tend to associate it with the ways of  “uncivilized”, “uncultured” people. Why though? Are you honestly telling me that there hasn’t been a time in your life where you were required to fight?  How do you know that you will never be in a situation where fighting will be the only choice you have? to defend yourself, your family or your family’s honour? Being a person who has always been a great admirer of boxing and the art of fighting, I consider this sort of narrow-minded thinking to be an insult to a truly great sport. It is artistry in motion, it is methodical, tactical and an art form based on intelligence. In all its brutality – there’s gracefulness, the fluidity of movement, respect, and a true test of resilience and strength. The above approach to dispute resolution may sound ignorant and one which lacks any practical application, but let us look at the way things are done in Peru.

Young gun putting this towering competitor to sleep in the middle of the arena. “Night night!”

When people think about Christmas, they think about Santa Claus, the Gingerbread Man, stockings being hung above the fireplace and the traditional Christmas tree that gets decorated by the family. Haha, not in Peru my friend! Each year on the 25th of December, communities gather and beat the living daylights out of each other to settle old grudges or tension that built up over the year. These celebrations are, of course, shadowed by dancing, music, bright coloured clothing and the support of family. On the day of Takanakuy, entire Towns/communities gather in sporting arenas to watch fellow members of the community slug it out. People of all ages partake in the festivities including women, children and even the elderly. Don’t judge a book by its cover, some of these old folks pack a mean punch – what did you expect from someone who lived a hard life of struggle and pain? They’re hard as nails yo. One thing I’ve noticed is that no matter how a person ages, their power is always there. They may lose stamina and speed, but give these folks half a chance and they’ll hand you a first-class ticket to Dreamland. If you don’t believe me, ask any boxer who faced George Foreman after he decided to come out of retirement to challenge on the professional stage– getting hit by this behemoth was like getting hit by a ten-ton truck! He returned to boxing at the ripe age of 40, against all odds, to reclaim the heavyweight title; battling athletes half his age. He was 46 years of age when he was crowned heavyweight Champion for the second time in his career, becoming the oldest man to hold the title; defeating Michael Moorer (aged 26) by knockout.

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH
Peruvian Dames coming out swinging

Anyway, back to the event known as Takanakuy –

Loosely translated, Takanakuy in Quechua (the local language of the region) means, “when the blood is boiling”. This word doesn’t necessarily reflect the true nature of this day of celebration. The event is mainly about family, togetherness, love and having a great time. Sure, there is aggression and flying kicks but the procession is controlled & principles, fair. As far as striking is concerned, anything goes. You may punch, kick, elbow, knee & headbutt an opponent. Although biting, attacking a person when they are on the ground and pulling hair is forbidden. The winner is selected based upon a knockout or intervention by the official, who carries a whip with him for crowd control (“Get yo ass outta here!!!”😏 ). If there is disagreement from the side of the loser regarding the decision of the match official, he/she is entitled to appeal the decision. Another fight is held soon thereafter to cast aside all doubt. Listen to this – It is tradition and mandatory for each fight to end and begin with either a hug or a handshake. How’s that for sportsmanship?

At the end of it all, everybody goes home happy having released all that built-up tension. Things mellow down, they talk, they dance and spend the rest of the day with their loved ones.

**Click the link on the top to view the initial post upon which this one is based. Let me know in the comments if you found this post informative or to add your perspective. I love seeing things from all angles. Stay safe, stay happy & keep spreading the love. Peace**

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