Centuries after Naa's exploits, empires crumbled, kingdoms fell and Abotri ke Tahuumo was almost forgotten. Almost. On 1st January, 2014, the city of Nkran (Accra) experienced a heavy downpour with lightning flashing across the afternoon sky. Oblivious to the weather, a 10 year old girl sunk into an offensive stance facing an old lumei (sage of Ga martial science).
The girl took a deep breath and darted towards the lumei using Abotri- Complex use of handstands and somersaults. The lumei read her movements and struck at her using Akotoku (empty hand combat using the fist and supporting arsenals). The child used the art of evasion (Mim Dzee) to dodge her punches.
She began to use Intia Shomo, the art of complex kicking and feet attacks on the Lumei, her feet sweeping the ground and the air in long arcs. She hit the lumei's chest twice before she was given several ferocious handslaps and kicks by the old woman. The child stumbled backwards across the wet ground.
The lumei darted towards her but she cartwheeled away her left leg lightly hitting the lumei's chin before she sunk into an offensive stance. The Lumei rubbed her chin in thought with her left hand.
'Ashorkor, descendant of Naa Amarlei, the tigress of the south, step forward' said the lumei. 'The tournament begins in 5 years time. Plenty of time to prepare for it'.
10 years had passed since that rain soaked day. Ashorkor had been patient, training herself every day in all the forms of Abotri ke Tahuumo. She was now a librarian and used her spare time to note the weaknesses and strengths of her style in her diary. There had been no news about any tournament from the lumei.
She lowered her head to pack up her things at closing time when she heard the rustle of clothes in the library. She looked up to find that 8 of the Lumei were standing in the centre of the building. Lumei Naarley stepped forward. 'Its time for the tournament'.
After a brief explanantion to her boss, Ashorkor left with the lumei in town as they walked into a nearby forest, stopping at a clearing in which a large hut stood. 'Your opponent is waiting for you inside.'
She entered the large hut to meet a braided woman stretching, her inner thigh touching her chest. She turned around as soon as Naa noticed the room.
'My name is Dedoi' she said introducing herself.
Dedoi sunk into an offensive stance and used Adzenleklulu to edge towards the librarian. She leapt back, her eyes tracing the pattern of her movements. She blocked the sweeping movements of her left leg using Mim Dzee. She struck Dedoi twice with ferocious double hand slaps to the face and chest.
She lifted her knee to take her punches injuring her. She used Ataalai Gbomo first as she darted at her, Ashorkor's leg striking her in the chin and knocking her onto the mats strewn across the floor. A lumei stepped out of the shadows. 'Ashorkor, please follow me'.
They walked out of the building and further into the forest until they reached the very end, emerging into a large coastline. A circle of lumei stood facing the sea, parting aside to reveal a shaven headed woman sitting on a mat waiting for her. The lumei stepped back, widening the circle.
The muscular ,shaven headed woman stood up and her twin stepped behind her from her right. Two large rugs of weapons were laid between Ashorkor and her opponents. 'Kaklante ke Nomo' Naarley explained. 'Break your opponents' weapons or disarm your opponents'.
The twins darted towards her, synchronising their attacks and defense with Kwasafo Nomo and Asafo Atwele (the art of free expression and multi partner combat strategy), their akofenas forcing her backwards.
She studied them and waited for the interval in which one would begin to attack and the other defend and swung decisively, breaking their blades. Both of them continued to attack as one but the librarian blocked the attacks with her arms and legs.
She blocked the first twin with a swing of her right foot at her chest. As she did this, she ducked underneath the fist of the second twin, punching her on the chin. Both combatants rolled across the soft sand. Naarley left quietly this time and Ashorkor followed, barely able to keep up with her.
They reached the same compound she had fought Naarley in 10 years ago. Naarley sunk into an offensive stance as Ashorkor darted at her. The lumei sidestepped all her punches and kicks with both hands clasped behind her back. She thrusted her palm at her, forcing her to leap backwards.
The librarian approached her again using Abotri (the complex use of handstands and somersaults) but Naarley read her movements at her the moment her feet touched the floor. Ashorkor caught the leg in time and swung her right foot across the floor, tripping her.
Naarley somersaulted backwards and landed on her feet. The second she did this, Ashorkor spun towards her, her right leg striking Naarley's right shoulder.
She brushed it aside and used Intia Shomo as Ashorkor repeatedly dogdging her kicks with Mim Dzee. Naa tried to keep her distance but Naarley forced her into a corner using Gbobi hava ( the art of hunting down prey). Knowing thaat double hand slaps and kicks would be the next attack, she used them as well blocking her punch with her palm and each kick with her knees.
She then dealt a flurry of punches using Akotoku until she got herself out of the corner of the compound. She caught Naarley's outstretched right fist, braced herself against her body and tugged it,sending the lumei over her left shoulder.
Naarley brushed the dust of her dress, straightened herself and spoke, 'In five years time, you will challenge the martial artists across the 10 regions of Ghana, and then those across Africa, culminating in a final battle against the undisputed champion in Egypt. I wish you the best of luck'.