Culture

This Mexican Fighting Style Is Pure Indigenous Martial Artistry

Mexico is not historically known for its contributions to the martial arts world. Ahem:

Credit: Televisa
CREDIT: Credit: Televisa

But there’s a movement of dedicated people looking to change that.

CREDIT: INAMM / YOUTUBE

Since 2013, the “Wíinkilil Art of Defense” has gained popularity among martial arts practitioners, as well as advocates of Mexico’s cultural preservation.

CREDIT: INAMM / YOUTUBE

Developed by the “Human Movements in Danger of Extinction” organization, Wíinkilil’s choreography comes from traditional Mayan dance movements, which have been transformed to meet the needs of contemporary self-defense.

Credit: LermaFG / YouTube

Gervasio Cetto, one of Wíinkilil’s creators, drew from Mayan culture for a very specific reason: “The idea is to prevent these movements from disappearing.”

Credit: Cressida Danza / YouTube

Cetto added,  “(Wíinkilil) aims to highlight self-defense for what it represents artistically and symbolically in order to reflect on those elements of everyday life.”

Credit: Cressida Danza / YouTube

The Wíinkilil Art of Defense has drawn comparisons to Tai Chi for its grace, and Brazil’s Capoeira for its dance-like precision.

Credit: Cressida Danza / YouTube

Thanks to the efforts of the Wíinkilil Art of Defense, Mayan culture has a fighting chance to protect its legacy for many generations.

Credit: INAMM / YOUTUBE

Watch more about Wíinkilil:

Credit: INAMM / YouTube

Read: This Artist Gave Pokémon The Mayan Makeover You Didn’t Know They Needed

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