lunes, 23 de mayo de 2011


In 1982, Eduardo Sanoja met the master Mercedes Pérez Amaro (1917-2003), a man from La Piedad, a village in the Palavecino municipality of the state of Lara. The master Pérez was given a woman’s name because he was born on September 24th, the day of Las Mercedes according to the Catholic calendar. He believed he had inherited the Curarigüeño stick-fighting method because he learned it from a friend called Gualberto Castillo who was taught by the Curarigüeño Clarencio Flores who came from La Rinconada, near Curarigua, a village in the Torres municipality of the state of Lara.    
From the first time Sanoja saw the stick fighting, he found it exciting. He came to practice various forms of fighting, Judo, Jujitsu, boxing, karate, wrestling and kunfu. He didn´t advance very far in them, but continued practice them. Furthermore, by the time he  learned the Venezuelan stick fighting method, he already had the maturity to value the Venezuelan folklore and culture. When Sanoja began to learn it, he realized that the art was dying.
On November 6th, 1983, Don Mercedes Pérez and Eduardo Sanoja created in the city of Cabudare, Lara State, a movement to give new life into Venezuelan stick fighting. The movement was called: Movement for the Rescue of the Venezuelan Stick Fighting. Since then, older masters have been encouraged to remember their techniques and teach them to groups of youths and spreaded the word through press articles, exhibitions, radio and televisión interviews.  
The Stick-Fighting Center “Clarencio Flores” was officially registered on March 12th, 1984 by the Master Eduardo Sanoja. Its current headquarters is in Sanoja’s house located in the Sector II, Las Tunas, in Agua Viva parish of the Palvecino municipality, Lara. Eduardo J. Sanoja Capriles was born in Caracas, Venezuela in 1937. He was declared a “Living Cultural Heritage” by the Palavecino municipality. He is recognized as an expert, promoter and caretaker of the Venezuelan stick fighting method, traditional practice carried out in various parts of the country. He has written articles and important books in which the research and the monitoring to its sources ensure its dissemination, knowledge and permit that its practice rises to the levels of respect that this cultural value deserves. He also worked for newpapers like Últimas Noticias and El Nacional, that were like a window to write about Venezuelan stick fighting. Also the newspaper El Imformador let him published articles about the art.   
In 1994, the Movement for the rescue of the Venezuelan Stick Fighting became the  Venezuelan Stick-fighters Association, a civil non-profitable association; which aims  to preserve and spread the Venezuelan stick fighting tradition through the formation of stick-fighting centers that try to maintain its essence. Presenting it in exhibitions, lectures, conferences and by designing and delivering courses to people interested as well as developing informational material to serve the teaching and spreading of this noble art.
For any information, please write to this e-mail address:

viernes, 20 de mayo de 2011


Perhaps you think that what I am going to tell you is a lie, but it is truth as big as the sun. Fighting with sticks has a secret music that can only be heard by those who have the art of stick-fighting in their blood. For that reason when you see two men fighting with all their strength, stay as quiet as if you were in a church. Those men are transported to another world; each time that the sticks clash, when they buzz cutting the air, swishing so close to their flesh that it scares you, finally, when one begins to imagine that the sticks themselves have life and they move alone so that instead of being two men fighting with sticks, it looks like two sticks playing men or as if those men are breathing through the sticks, those are holy moments... All of this makes the fighter feel as if he is under a magic spell, that is like an ancient mixture of war cries, waving banners, clanking of chains, and silence of dead bodies. It is an echo that resounds from the purest elements of our blood: conquest, colonies, slaveries, liberties, dictatorships, jails, guerrillas, deaths, survive, survive, survive...
It is an ancestral reminiscence of the violence that has forged the nations.
And that is holy.
Eduardo Sanoja, 1986

Translation made by Miguel Angel Cordero Chavier