Name of sport (game)
Name in native language
Place of practice (continent, state, nation)
Democratic Republic of Congo
Libanda is a form of Marital Arts practiced by the Mongo people of the Democratic Republic of Congo, It is believed to have originated from people trying to emulate the fighting style of the Gorilla. It is a wrestling style that involves multiple fighters positioned in a circular ring with the goal being to body slam an opponent into the ground. The grappling style of Libanda is also believed to be an ancestor of Capoeira taken to Brazil by slaves.
As in free wrestling, it is practiced in a circle and the goal is to put your opponent on the ground using the whole body and with the help of a wide variety of catches, projections, sweeps, etc.
Originally, shots were allowed (hands, feet, head ...) but these naturally tend to be forgotten during training and competitions; the two competitors will seek a fault or the right moment by swinging their arms forward in order to grab the opponent.
This fight is carried out to the rhythm of percussions, accompanied by songs of bravery and defiance, dance figures, magical practices and the evocation of the ancients. In reference to the leopard, symbol of the líbanda, the wrestlers paint their entire body with white spots of paint. More than a combat sport, the líbanda is also akin to a rite of passage: victory is a triumph over oneself.