USA Gymnastics caught up with two-time World all-around champion Simone Biles, her parents and coach Aimee Boorman to reflect on Simone's incredible success and look ahead to the future, including Simone's 2015 debut at the AT&T American Cup on March 7.
When asked to recall a great martial artist of African descent born in the Americas, the average person is likely to mention a twentieth-century boxer such as Joe Louis, or a more recent exponent of the Asian martial arts, such as Jim Kelly. Or, those of the younger generation might name the modern mixed martial arts competitor Anderson Silva, regarded by some as the greatest pound-for-pound fighter of all time.
What many do not know is that in centuries past, some of the greatest practitioners of European martial arts were of African descent.
Although Africans brought a number of their own indigenous techniques with them to Europe and the Americas (as can be read about here), they also sometimes trained in, adopted, and excelled at European swordsmanship—also known as classical and historical fencing.
During the 18th and 19th centuries, it was even possible (albeit difficult) for a person of African descent to achieve renown to such a point that they would be revered, and even sought for instruction, by whites—and the historical record shows that such was the case for multiple individuals.
As early as the late middle ages, people of African descent began appearing in European treatises on swordsmanship and the martial arts, such as the books of Hans Talhoffer (1467) and Paulus Hector Mair (1542).
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Jean-Louis was born in Haiti (then Saint-Domingue) in 1785, the son of a French fencing master. Later, he served as a soldier in Napoleon’s army.
His most famous exploit as a duelist was a regimental “mass” duel that took place near Madrid, Spain, in 1814. French soldiers from the 32nd Regiment and Italian soldiers from the 1st Regiment quarreled. Within 40 minutes,
Jean Louis’s fencing style would become a major influence on the French school of fencing, and he is credited with the saying—now famous among fencers—“A foil should be held as one holds a little bird; not so tightly as to crush it, but just enough to prevent it escaping from the hand.” He became sought out by members of the nobility for fencing instruction.
Jean-Louis retired from the army in 1849, at age sixty-five, and began teaching fencing permanently at his school in Montpellier. Later he came to denounce dueling. He instructed his daughter in the art of fencing, and she would go on to become one of his most accomplished disciples.
Read more: https://outofthiscentury.wordpress.com/2014/03/25/the-greatest-african-american-and-afro-american-martial-artists-in-history/
Copa Lagos founder Samson Adamu has turned his passion for football into a an international sports event. Listen to his story as he tells us his inspiration for starting Copa Lagos (international beach football tournament) and how the annual event has become the brand it is today.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. celebrates the unanimous decision victory in the "richest" boxing match in history during the welterweight unification championship bout on May 2, 2015 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada
Africa's richest man Aliko Dangote, who has an estimated fortune of £10bn, is reportedly keen to buy Arsenal.
The Nigerian has been keen to take control of the Gunners for a number of years and was linked with a stake in the club when former director Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith was selling her shares in 2010.
Majority shareholder Stan Kroenke remains committed to Arsenal for the long-term while Uzbek magnate Alisher Usmanov, who controls around 30 per cent of the club, has also expressed no desire in selling any of his stock.
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Nigeria and Liverpool forward Asisat Oshoala has been named as the BBC Women's Footballer of the Year.
The 20-year-old forward is the first player to win the new award from the BBC World Service, voted for by football fans around the world.
She beat Spain's Veronica Boquete, German Nadine Kessler, Scot Kim Little and Brazilian Marta to the honour.
"I would like to say thank you to the BBC, to my fans around the world and to everyone who voted," she said.
The award is the first of its kind hosted by a global broadcaster.
Serena Williams beat Lucie Safarova to win the French Open Saturday. Her reward, at least on social media, came in the form of some of the same racist and sexist comments that have followed her for her entire career.
In the moments surrounding her win, Williams was compared to an animal, likened to a man, and deemed frightening and horrifyingly unattractive. One Twitter user who wrote that Williams "looks like a gorilla, and sounds like a gorilla when she grunts while hitting the ball. In conclusion, she is a gorilla." And another described her as "so unbelievably dominant...and manly".
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