Native New Zealand Stick Art?

Discussion in 'Misc. Stick Arts' started by arnisador, Aug 27, 2007.

  1. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    I just saw a brief part of a film called "Once Were Warriors" in which a native New Zealand weapon whose name sounded like "daya(k)" was used. It was about the length of a tapado or yonshakubo, but shaped somewhat like a relatively thin oar. The character spoke of it with great reverence, as a traditional weapon.

    Does anyone know what this weapon is?
  2. StixMaster

    StixMaster -== Banned ==-

    It is called a 'taiaha' a Maori weapon that has a 2 fold use in combat, here is a picture of one

    [​IMG] you can use it for striking and the top half use to stab or pierce.

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Two Māori men wielding taiaha.

    A Taiaha (pronounced as IPA: [taiaha]) is a weapon of the Māori of New Zealand. Usually between 5 to 6 feet in length, the taiaha is a wooden weapon designed to be used as a close quarters weapon for short sharp strikes or stabbing thrusts somewhat like the quarterstaff and many similar stick fighting weapons. However unlike those pole-like weapons, one end of the taiaha is flattened to a broad blade, and the other narrows to a point with a carved face defiantly sticking out its tongue.
    Mau rakau is the martial art that teaches the use of the taiaha and other Māori weapons in combat. As with other martial arts styles, students of the taiaha spends years mastering the skills of timing, balance and co-ordination necessary to wield the weapon effectively. In Hawaii the martial art is practiced as 'lua', Polynesians all had 'martial art'. My uncle Tino Tuiolosega taught a Samoan based called 'lima lama'
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2007
  3. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Ah, that's it exactly! Thanks! I'll do some reading on it now.
  4. upnorthkyosa

    upnorthkyosa New Member

  5. 408kali

    408kali Member

    I have a Samoan friend who is interested in learning Samoan or Maori style of fighting.

    I'm looking into it for him (he doesn't have a computer atm).

    Anyone with a good reference here in the South Bay give me a shout, I'd sure appreciate it. I will also refer him to these movies.

    Thanks for the thread!

  6. StixMaster

    StixMaster -== Banned ==-

    I am so glad that this thread has come about. Salamat to Arnisador for posting it. You see I am Samoan/Hawaiian & etc....raised seeing 'lua' and other Polynesian arts. You see when you go to Polynesian Cultural center in Laie,Hawaii one will see the art in the dance entertainment there. Like in FMA, the people had to hide it in dance, so as to not seem threatening but entertaining. So 'Hula' is not just 'hula' or the'knife dance' at the luau is not just a luau dance. Thanks you all for the interest in 'Poly Martial Arts'
  7. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Ah, lua! I have a book on it but don't know much about it.
  8. StixMaster

    StixMaster -== Banned ==-

    Truly the art is in the dance and as I have traveled the world I watched many peoples dance. In ancient Hawaii, the warriors, priests and Alii the Chiefs, they danced the hula, not so much the women, in Samoa, they all 'siva'-dance,as they do in NZ-Maori, as they do in Tahiti, Tonga, Fiji. Watch rugby. Thats all the 'lua' in Polynesia, bone breaking and joint dis-location, YES, but like in FMA, and especially in Derobio Escrima, 'lua' has 'healing' !!!!! Healing has to be an essential part of 'Martial Arts' period, many of the the great 'Masters' in Hawaii, in all the 'martial arts' there were also known as healers as well. So as it was said to me, if you dis-locate the joint, you must be able to to put the joint right. Then you have shown mercy to one's adversary. So many teach damge and destroy but so few now teach 'healing' any one can hurt but few can heal following this path will not be an easy one. Aloha and Malama pono.
  9. JohnJ

    JohnJ Senior Member

    For Lua, check out:

    I met this gentleman in 2004. He is very knowledgeable and skilled at the combat arts and demonstrated the use of the oar. Very brutal and effective methods.
  10. StixMaster

    StixMaster -== Banned ==-

    But yet I stress again brutal techniques for combat and healing for after the damage is done. You break it you must fix it. That is where the difference is in some arts they only destroy but their 'Masters' have no skill in healing. The 'Kahuna' knew how to heal and reset joints etc... Injury in combat is serious, thats why in'lua' is considered 'sacred' because it has the power to take life or preserve it. Aloha, Malama Pono
  11. 408kali

    408kali Member

    One art that has these elements is the Garimot system (, Gat Puno Abon besides everything else he does (he's also a Master Chef), is also a Hilot. I myself am interested in Hilot and Thai deep tissue massage. So "complete," that after the workout, and Hilot massage for bumps and bruises, he can also whip you up an awesome meal!! :p
  12. StixMaster

    StixMaster -== Banned ==-

    One has to know something to help heal some one that you may have hurt for whatever reason or if you may have to aid a person. So the complete knowledge is the ability to battle but also the ability to be healer. We all truly know from these forums is that there has never truly been peace here on Earth or there would be no martial arts. War is a reality and so is crime. Train to protect and defend and also to have courage to stand up to speak the truth. You have a good teacher.
  13. 408kali

    408kali Member

    Thx bro I'm looking into it for him.


  14. Guro Dave Gould


    Hi Guys,

    I hope that everyone is keeping challenged by their daily training.

    I saw this thread and wanted to share my experiences with the Maori Warrior Arts to which I was given an introduction on a trip to Rotorua, New Zealand in March of 1998.

    It all began in auckland where I visited the National Museum to take in some of the local Maori Culture. While there I was told that there would be a demonstration in Maori music and fighting later in the day and thought it would be interesting so I stuck around.

    The warriors first took the stage and did the typical maori invitation and welcome ritual which was quite intimidating as it established the boundaries that a stranger walking into a Maori village (Marae) for the first time were expected to adhere too and respect.

    After completing the welcome ritual they began with the "Haka" which is their version of the warrior dance that was quite aggressive leaving the ones who witnessed the spectacle feeling quite intimidated. Most of the warriors performed the "Haka" with "Taiaha" (Oar type weapon) and others with the "Patu" or "Wahaika" which were bush clubs made from wood, whale bone or jade.

    Everything in the Maori culture pertaining to warriorship seemed to revolve around the sacred silver fern which was carved on all of their weapons, canoes, local buildings etc... and each warrior proudly displayed numerous configurations of the silver fern on their bodies in the form of tatoos. Full body tribals to facial tatoos called "Ta Moka" seemed to be the norm. Putting the fear of god into their enemies and displaying no fear by sticking their tongues out in a very aggressive manner towards their enemy was also the norm.

    After performing the "Haka" all of the warriors started demonstrating different aspects of the "Taiaha". One would attack and the other would defend. Than they demonstrated the "Patu" and later the "Wahaika" both defending and then attacking. Their ability was very impressive and I was up on my feet while the whole thing was being performed. I could not stay seated.

    After the performance was completed I sought out one of the more impressive warriors on his way out of the museum and we struck up a conversation. His name was Taniora Maihi and he was probably in his early 20`s and very aggressive. He was the one that impressed me the most so I was really looking forward to talking with him about his indigenous warrior art.

    He asked if I had any Martial Arts experience and I had told him yes, the Pilipino warrior arts. I told him that I saw quite a few similarities in what he and I were doing combatively. This peaked his interest so he invited me to follow him to one of the back rooms of the museum and we began talking in earnest. He asked what similarities that I was speaking of and wanted me to demonstrate them to him. He offered me his "Patu" and I demonstrated knife technique with it. He was very interested and I told him that in the philippines the norm was fighting with knives and not bush clubs so witnessing similar techniques coming from the perspective of using a knife really impressed him.

    We exchanged for over an hour he than told me that he had to make an appointment that he was than running late for and that he must leave. He invited me to his house the next day to continue our conversation and I accepted. I went the next day and we trained all day comparing technique, strategy and concepts. He asked if I had time to travel to Rotorua, the central region of Maori Culture in New Zealand still in existance. I was on holiday and had nothing else to do so I accepted his invitation. We went to his Marae in Rotorua and I was able to train and share with him and other warriors of his marae for a week. The experience was unreal and something that I look back on with very good fortune.

    The similarities that I saw the most were while utilizing their bush weapons they had a leash connected to the base of the weapon and worn around their wrists to prevent disarms and they would use various powerful fore hand and back hand strokes with abanico type techniques to the head and some wetiks to not only attack but to deflect their enemies attempts on their person. Their intent with the bush weapon was simply to aggressively attack the head and jam the tip of the "Patu" into the brain cap of the skull and then pry the brain cap off bringing death to their enemy quickly.

    I was impressed with the aggression of the culture and fighting art and compare that to the aggression and technique used by GM Caballero of De Campo Uno-Dos-Tres Orihinal. After a couple of years I lost contact with Taniora Mahi but the experience will always remain with me.

    Go well guys and train well. Ciao.

    Guro Dave Gould.
    robertlk808 likes this.
  15. StixMaster

    StixMaster -== Banned ==-

    That was a great experience for you and thank you for sharing. Like I mentioned you will find a lot of info by looking at the dances through-out the whole Pacific rim. Polynesians learn to dance at a young age, which aids in their development in the tribal groups martial arts.Thats why the British always remembered the 'taiaha' because if they didn't have guns and germs they might not have taken over NZ. Please anymore replys to this thread would be most welcome. Mahalo
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2007
  16. robertlk808

    robertlk808 Member


    Check these out..

    I would love to get a copy of the show....

    A little more info

    Maori TV have a new Reality TV show to be launched tonight called TOA.
    Toa O Aotearoa invites 10 exponents of Maori traditional weaponry, hailing from the “four winds” of Aotearoa, to come together to be pushed to the limit, physically and mentally over a two week period.
    The warriors will live together, eat together, train together and fight together in an isolated area near lake Rotoiti to see who has got what it takes to claim the glory of “TOA - Toa O Aotearoa”.
    Weaponry master, Wetini Mitai-Ngatai will continually challenge our TOA in an effort to expose any deficiencies or weaknesses.
    Episode challenges will determine the two warriors who must then fight each other in a full contact duel, to claim the title of TOA - Toa O Aotearoa.
    So join “TOA - Toa O Aotearoa” Maori television’s newest and most intense reality TV programme as you are taken into the inner sanctum of Maori traditional weaponary with a 1st prize win of $10,000.
    The first series contestents are
    Terry Watts
    Tipene Rangihuna
    Jeremy Murray
    Owena Wells
    Richard Wharerahi
    Calib Pomana-Wesley
    Te Rangiparutini Haddon
    Hone Stevens
    Josh Smith
    Logan Pokai
    Maui Productions are the production company behind the series and they have a website for the production at
    It starts 19th March Monday nights at 9:30PM, on Maori Television, Channel 19
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2007
  17. robertlk808

    robertlk808 Member

  18. StixMaster

    StixMaster -== Banned ==-

    [​IMG] More Polynesian weapons and the Maori are Polynesian
  19. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Neat! What's it called?
  20. StixMaster

    StixMaster -== Banned ==-

    Its called a 'hook club' it is a Hawaiian lua weapon. I don't think that the shark's teeth lose their edge.Thanks arnisador for this sub-forum to discuss topics like this. Mahalo and Aloha

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