Black Martial Arts Series: Tire Machèt

0 Posted by - March 31, 2021 - Black History, SPORTS

Tire machèt–French for “pull (the) machete”) hails from Haiti and is machete fencing. The martial art has its origin in the Haitian Revolution which occurred at the end of the 18th century and the continued into the 19th (1791-1804).



This style shares origins with others in that it was formed as a necessity by the lowest class of society. When African slaves rebelled in Haiti, they took up the most available weapons at hand. This was the case with any slave rebellion whether it was in the Caribbean, the American colonies, or European-held African states.

In the case of Haiti with its sugar-based economy, the machete was readily available as they were used to cut down cane. The style came together as a result of French officers trained in the art of European fencing training the rebels who had continued practicing African martial arts.

Like most African martial arts in the New World, tire machèt was practiced in secrecy. In essence, it shares similarities with capoeira which—like tire machèt—focused on a certain flow during combat. The combination of European and African styles allowed the rebels to defeat the French army in effective fashion.


Tire Machèt Today

Up until over a decade ago, the style not available to learn like other martial arts. One master of tire machèt, Alfred Avril changed that by working with the Haitian Machete Fencing Project. Through series of videos, Avril and his students showcased the style globally. Before his death in 2014, Avril trained six students each day and passed on the martial art to his family.


-A Machete Martial Arts Master Shares His Secrets (Short Film):

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