Both brothers, Santos
(1.919) and Pedro (1.920), sons of Polo Acosta, are initiated
from very young in the likings of their father. That’s how they got
involved in the Canarian fight teams which he coached (Santa Cruz, the Tinguaro
of Santa Cruz) and collaborating with Polo in the pick up of Fighters,
Thus they got to into the time where there
was still suffering from the regime which took place as the result of
the Spanish Civil War (years 60), when the secretary was Mr.
Buenaventura Perez y Perez, when fighting was more a hobby than a way to
earn money, and nevertheless, the fight was considered something very
serious. It was mainly fought to revive an activity that was also seen
very affected by the political situation.
The training was almost exclusively done by
fighting. They were used to train in the privacy of the familiar clan,
correcting errors, thinking and practicing the precise techniques to
knock down every individual opponent or simply not to be pulled down.
protagonists lived a long season on splendor of Lucha Canaria, sharing
places with personages like: Perico Perdomo, Camurria, El Pollo del
Estadio, Nino Morales, etc.
Those teams never lacked of the Acosta
saga, including a very young Marino Acosta, who recognizes having his
cousin Pedro as his better fight master, as well as the stick of Santos.
Pedro and Santos remember the exhibitions
of game of the stick by the Acosta from shortly before the thirties, in
important spectacles to the public like in the day of San Cristóbal,
patron of the taxi drivers, in the bullring of Santa Cruz: When they
brought in folkloric groups from other regions, I believe they were
Basque and where masses of people joined. Or in the Football stadium,
the main square of the district named Salamanca and others not so
In those days, the Acosta exhibition group,
was composed by Maximiliano Hernández Acosta, Polo Acosta Acosta, Ramón
Hernández Acosta (son of Maximiliano), Santos and Pedro Acosta Acosta.
Who in inverted order, used to play each
others obtaining always the delight of the attending public.
Pedro, always was the favorite son to its
mother (Edelmira Acosta), he was quite serious and technical, compared
with its brother Santos; perhaps the most punished by its father, and
who had a fast game and mobility. Ramon was who came after Santos, and
showed a game whom without a doubt his father, Maximiliano, had
Polo, was the flagship that gave fame to
the game as played by the Acosta’s of being aggressive and fast, with a
mobility of legs that astonished all whereas Maximiliano was the
technique in person, sacrificing the speed sometimes, but of a plastic
beauty that enchanted to participants and spectators.
It will be very difficult to obtain again
such a compact and representative group as that that Santos and Pedro
remember form their early days.
Until the collapse of the Pro-Franco
regime, we are talking of the late 70s, we can not find a continued
activity of the family, as far as the game of the stick.
Juan Jerónimo Pérez and Pérez contacts the family and publishes a book
named "Banot: Guanche fencing with Woods "and later another book, "the
training of the Banotista ", counting with the collaboration of Mr.
Tomás Déniz for this last work; because the first book caused conflicts
between the author and the Acosta family, which have not healed.
The first contact with Juan Jerónimo were made through Tato Acosta (Anastasio,
another of Polo’s sons), who advises him to talk with his cousin Marino,
since this is most active relative by then. Nevertheless Marino takes to
Juan Jerónimo to know Polo and Santos, (his master) in person, it is
from here that the true contents of interviews were obtained, contents
that that Juan Jerónimo would change later (according to the family) to
his will and convenience.
Perhaps the best thing Juan Jerónimo did was to put in touch "Canary
Solidarity" (Cultural Association) and Marino, because they were looking
for someone capable to teach and he was known as the most suitable
person. This way, during late 1977 and early 1978, Marino begins to
teach groups of students non members of the Acosta family, whose novelty
is going to mean, in the long run, the definitive impulse that this
style of combat needed.
Solidarity demands, even from its base in the Island of Great Canary,
exhibitions of game of the stick of which Polo, Santos and Tato are in
charge; that has been brought there for the occasion, like the spare
wheel that Polo needed. He did not trust his son Santos, in whom he
finds the partygoer used to going missing for days. Nevertheless, Santos
is the one in charge to initiate it, although by desire of Polo.
Acosta con su hijo Anastasio (Tato) en un momento en que
práctica sus conocimientos de ataque y defensa del BANOT.
We also know that the family is asked for
to run an exhibition in the Majorera capital, in the year 1,980, in the
occasion of the celebrations of the Rosario. Marino, in spite of having
initiated with Santos and of having the luck of to have seen other
members of the family play, demonstrates a restlessness that takes to
him to visit "Los Verga de la Esperanza” assiduously, with who he’s also
joined by family bows.
That contact is passed
onto the students at the time, and is still getting to those learning
today as a way of affection and esteem by the players or another style,
which is an exemplary way of relation between styles.
Players like Carlos Darias stand out in those days, who became one of
the most important transmitters. But the training in the premises of
Solidarity would end soon, same as those at the Salesianos. That favored
the birth of the "Banot Group" from Los Campitos from which players
like: Ina, Toba Nene, etc. excelled, getting even to do exhibitions in
Great Canary, where a tour was carried out by Canary Solidarity through
the peripheral districts of the capital and municipalities, having to
move the group for four consecutive week ends.
In these days, a young person joins up, who having been caught of these
practices during one exhibition by Saints and company, to which he took
his brother so that he took photos of a sport he had been told it looked
like Lucha Canaria, but with sticks, as himself testifies.
This young person, named Jorge Dominguez (currently, President of the
Federation of Fight with Stick), demonstrates his interest moving weekly
to Tenerife for six or eight times (Saturdays or Sundays), with the
intention to learn how to play.
important part of the training of the players coached by Marino was the
visit to the Guerra Valley to know and to be advised by Polo and the
rest of the family. And although, among them many visits are remembered,
Jorge’s is specially remembered. Jorge later narrated:
"I had seen, and it was alert, of the hard game of the Acosta’s. But it
was such an important day for my investigations that I did not think
about it at all.
soon as I arrived I met Polo, and soon alter Santos came too.
When I saw myself in front of Santos with a stick in my hands, I was
wearing a slightly large army coat, it came down up to my knees. I had a
small recorder that helped me remember in one of the pockets in one
side. And still with that coat, and the recorder, when I arrived at Los
Campitos, I remember asking Marino to touch with his hand the outside of
my thighs so that he felt that kind of stone throw effects that the
lambriasos (hits with the stick) Santos gave me without mercy."
But Jorge Domínguez did not get smaller, who, in spite of the brief
received knowledge transfer, dares with the education and ends up
creating the Group "Altahay", of very short history, being of the first
experiences that worked in Great Canary as an activity organized during
the past century, Acting totally to the margin of the family, whose
behavior becomes characteristic of this personage, according to
references of other styles.
The greater exponent of the family at the time of transmitting this
style outside the familiar core was Marino. So was him the one who
recovered forgotten points by the young practitioners and that almost
exiled side of the Acosta game, known as Game by above, and it is not
that the old masters (Polo and Maximiliano) did not know them, but
because they were developing a game from underneath, left by one. But we
should never ignore that it was previously played by all of them,
although each one of them customized his preferred techniques to the
point to try to monopolize them like their own. But even so, the words
of Pedro when echoing of Polo saying, talking about to the game from
underneath: "That (the game underneath), is not anything but a whim
of mine", grabbed our attention.
The followers of the school of Marino Acosta, and we include anyone of
the relatives who play today, learn from the beginning the respect debt
that exists with Santos, Pedro Anastasio Acosta, together with
Marino and with whoever, like them, have dedicated great part of
their lives to the conservation or transmission of this native modality
which we will not stop to recognize like a jewel of the Canary culture.
“Although the Stick is played with the hands, it is always carried in