This is a folk wrestling kind of Brazilian martial arts technique of the indigenous people of Xingu, in the state of Mato Grosso, popularly performed during ritual ceremonies of Kuarup. Huka huka wrestling starts with the athletes on their knees. It begins when the owner of the fight, a male chief, walks to the center of the arena and calls his opponents by name. The fighters kneel rotating clockwise in a circle facing the opponent, until they look at each other and cling, trying to lift the opponent and knock him to the ground. The opponents work on who will lift the other and knock him to the ground. Men or women can participate in the ritual fight. This type of martial arts was initially introduced as an experiment when the Sao Pulo State Military Police was being formed. This fighting technique is still under study by martial arts practitioners.
Huka Huka featured in BBC Series Last Woman Standing. The athletes take on wrestling with the Kamaiura tribe in Brazil. For 51 weeks of the year the women of the Upper Xingu live quiet, monotonous lives, cooking, cleaning and looking after the children. But once a year this all changes, and during the Yamurikuma festival the women of the tribe assume the roles of men for a week.
The climax of the festival is the annual wrestling competition. The fighting is the Huka Huka style, using the lower body, knees, legs and feet. The village is renowned for having the fiercest fighting women in the Xingu and there is prestige and pride at stake.
This style of wrestling has also come into the spotlight when Anderson Silva recently took a propeller plane to Upper Xingu, in Brazil’s Mato Grosso region, to train in huka huka dirt wrestling with the Camaiura natives.