By Yossi Sheriff

Tahtib (تحطيب in Arabic, טחטיב) is an Egyptian martial art that focuses on stick fighting. The complete name of Tahtib is "Fan A'Nazaha Wa-Tahtib" literally: "the Art of being straight and honest through the use of stick". The word "Tahtib" is derived from "Hatab" which means "wooden stick".

The weapon

The stick used in Tahtib is a wooden one with length of 130 cm (about 4 feet). Another stick used in Thatib is an extremely long stick reaching the length of more then 3 meters (12 feet). These sticks are called Nabut or sometimes Asa. The stick is imported from Asia, it is made from a timber called WICKER (the wood is fibrous like the palm, the plant is very high up to 6 m) then cut into section of 1m30 long and 2-3cm in diameter, straightened by heat. The wood is treated with special oil to protect it from dryness.

The techniques

The stick describes a large figure of eight across the torso and over the head. The stick is held by one end. Some teachers recommend deploying the thumb along the stick, or index. The stick is held firmly by the right hand for a right. The wrist remains flexible in rotations, and is strengthened at the time of impact. The left hand slides along the stick to various defensive positions or attack. The stick is rooted in the body, it is an extension of the body through the arm.

Practices with the Egyptian stick

  • Face to face, each person lifts the stick up. The wrist that holds the stick is turned inward, the stick is slightly inclined laterally to protect the face.
  • Together, the partners are turning the stick over their heads, almost touching. This is done 4 times.
  • Hitting with the sticks 4 times. Hitting in medium force, not more.
  • Reversing the figure eight and doing the same as above - 4 times.
  • Neutralizing body movement, walking normally, the same movements for the arms in one direction then the other. Reversal of direction of movement of the body. 4 times.

The principle is to touch, to touch the head or a body part. The head is decisive. It is forbidden to hit the hand, arm, shoulder.

Video of Tahtib

الجزء الثاني من رقصة التحطيب في الاحتفال بمولد سيدي أحمد الطواب بمدينة قوص - محافظة قنا - مصر

The basics of Thatib, video clip

External links