Testa

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Testa is an Eritrean fighting technique/martial art that emphasizes headbutting. Its name comes from the Italian testa, meaning head, having been adopted during the colonial period. Its basis is on real hand-to-hand combat techniques, although it is often practiced in the open as a dance. The system as adapted by Dennis Newsome includes kicks, punches, and limited grappling, but the emphasis is on headbutting, with the other techniques being used mainly to set-up headbutts. It is not unusual for testa practitioners to use so called “dirty techniques” such as eye-gouging and biting, although these are not taught nor practiced in the open. In traditional Testa, there is a sole focus on trapping and headbutting. There is no known historical documentation pertaining to Testa, only techniques taught from generation to generation.