November 30, 2012
Mau rakau learners in test of skill and stamina
Māori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples has a battle on his hands this weekend.
He’ll be at Hoani Waititi Marae in west Auckland conducting the annual assessment of the region’s students of mau rakau.
Dr Sharples was one of those who led the revival of the ancient Māori fighting arts in the early 1980s, gathering together the exercises handed down from the days when use of the long club could determine whether you lived or died.
“They will have to spar against pou waru, people who have graduated completely, who will come to the wananga to test them. They’ve got to fight so many people on end one at a time, a minute at a time and then they move on to the next one, there’s no break, and they’ve got to keep their stamina, but most importantly are the moves they learn, the attacks and defences,” he says.
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