Indilinga: African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems

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The effect of a 10-week Zulu stick fighting intervention programme on body composition of prepubescent Zulu males

SA Nxumalo, SJ Semple


The article is based on the study that investigated the influence that traditional martial arts of Zulu stick fighting has on body composition of prepubescent males. A sample of fortyfive children were divided into an experimental group (n=22) which underwent a ten week stick fighting intervention programme facilitated by two professional stick fighters and a control group (n=23) which did not participate in the intervention programme. Data was collected at two intervals: pre- and post-intervention. Body composition measurements included the following: skinfolds, body mass index and waist to hip ratio. The results of the study showed that a 10-week Zulu stick fighting intervention programme led to reductions in the sum of skinfolds, body fat percentage, fat mass and waist-to-hip ratio for the experimental group. An increase in lean body mass, body mass and body mass index postintervention means was observed. The use of indigenous physical activities may prove beneficial for learners attending rural schools that mostly lack infrastructure.

Keywords: Zulu, Zulu stick fighting, body composition, prepubescent Zulu males, outcomes-based education.

AJOL African Journals Online