Urhobo Blow (UB): A True Martial Art and Sport?

Urhobo Blow or UB, Ubi ejeh [meaning: service of punches] or Ohore r’ubi [meaning: battle of punches], is a traditional martial art developed or modified by the Urhobos for military purposes, originally, but has been witnessed in recent times as a ceremonial contest of strength by young males at annual or seasonal festivals. UB has its similarities with mainstream boxing but the differences are quite divergent. Many ethnic groups along coastal West Africa have their own idiosyncratic boxing and wrestling arts but the main distinguishing feature of UB is that the knock-out punch hand is placed by fighters on their backs just above the buttocks during fights. UB is gradually becoming extinct due to lack of both funding, organisation, and exposure but may make a glorious comeback as a mixed martial art of international importance. What makes UB special and worthy of attention?

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