Keegan Taylor & Rondel Benjamin

Photo: Rondel Benjamin (right), Keegan Taylor (left).

Throw together the words "bois" and "stick fighting" in a Trinidadian context and one would assume a history lesson is being discussed or something related to our folklore, but in this 21st century, Keegan Taylor and Rondel Benjamin have made these words a part of our modern discussion. These young men have made a piece of our cultural roots relevant again by founding Bois Academy of Trinidad and Tobago (B.A.T.T.).

Both internationally certified multidisciplinary martial artists, Keegan and Rondel re-discovered their African roots in the unique Trinidadian martial art of Kalinda or stick fighting. Since its inception in 2010, B.A.T.T. has expanded its reach and also offers training in Gatka, pulling from our East Indian roots as well as Jab, the art of the flexible weapon used by Carnival’s Jab Jab figure. Additionally, there are interactive workshops and presentations encouraging people to be a part of the traditional practice.

Keegan and Rondell are celebrating the success of a recently premiered feature documentary film by Christopher Laird “No Bois Man No Fraid” featuring the two young athletes and their art of stick fighting. A film that evokes interesting questions about the relevance of stick fighting in a modern day postcolonial society.


 

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