© Marisela Ugalde
||Xilam is a mixed techniques Mexican martial art created by Marisela Ugalde Velázquez de Léon.Xilam is mainly a self-defence martial art. Sporting spectacles and regulated combat are avoided. It lies somewhere in between a traditionalist martial arts and a self-defence system.It is composed of seven step-by-step levels taken from seven animals indigenous to the region: the snake, the eagle, the ocelote, the deer, the monkey, the iguana, and the armadillo. Movements combine qualities taken from these seven animals, which are also important in pre-Hispanic and native traditional philosophy.Xilam also incorporates weapons training using replica weapons from the Atzec warriors alongside pre-Hispanic dance rituals and elements of the Mesoamerican ball game through the use of the shoulder and hips to strike. It unifies the cosmological ideals of the Aztecs in a modern martial art indented for education, cultural expression and human development rather than conquest, violence and warfare – thereby striving to cultivate modern warriors in Mexico now troubled by the coloniality of power, violent organised crime and discrimination against its first peoples. George Jennings notes that even though Xilam is invented by a woman, in a field dominated by men, it has no strong feminist stance, but promotes a neutral modern time warrior.|
||Xilam was founded in 1986 and registered as a social association in 1992 by Marisela Ugalde. The art takes inspiration from three ancestral Mesoamerican warrior cultures: the Aztecs, the Maya and the Zapotecs. Creator Merisela Ugalde practiced different martial arts before creating Xilam, in combination with her passion for traditional Mexican culture and her own modern cosmopolitan lifestyle it led to the new system she thought out.George Jennings article Mexican Female Warrior: The Case of Marisela Ugalde, the Founder of Xilam published as a chapter in “Global Perspectives on Women in Combat Sports: Women Warriors around the World” (2015) gives a detailed overview of the history of Xilam.|
||- George Jennings, https://mastudiesrn.wordpress.com/2016/10/11/george-jennings-lecture-on-xilam/|
- Jennings, G. (2015). “Mexican Female Warrior: The Case of Marisela Ugalde, the Founder of Xilam” in: Channon, A., Global Perspectives on Women in Combat Sports : Women Warriors around the World; 119-134; London : Palgrave Macmillan
- Jennings, G. (2020). “Mexican Xilam as a gateway to (in)tangible pre-Hispanic cultural heritage” in: Living Heritage Series - Traditional Martial Arts as Intangible Cultural Heritage, Chungju: ICM and ICHCAP.