Lupita Nyong’o underwent a lot of training for her role as Nakia in Black Panther. If you’ve watched the movie then by now you’ve seen just how the fight scenes seem so technical and so realistic that it stands to reason that you should be able to believe that the actors went through an intense amount of training in order to make everything look right and gain the endurance and skill that was need to make it so. Each one of them endured a six-week boot camp that was intended to help them bulk up, learn the stunts, and bring the fight scenes to life so that fans would be blown away by the level of skill they displayed. At this point you can guess that some stunts were taken over by stuntmen and women, but the fighting scenes are all the actors.
Nakia is a street-style fighter that utilizes her surroundings and whatever she can find in order to incapacitate her opponents. While street-fighting is usually seen as less disciplined and in some cases not as honorable it is far more effective since it utilizes absolutely everything within a fighter’s scope and arsenal. It’s a way of improvising during a fight so as not to limit oneself to any particular set of movements or even ideals. In other words, street-fighting is using anything and everything at your disposal to win the fight. It’s a method getting down and dirty in order to pick apart the opponent in a way that they might not expect or be able to defend against. However Lupita was also required to learn Jiu Jitsu and Capoeira to supplement her fighting style. Jiu Jitsu is a martial art form that you see in MMA constantly as many of its fighters are well-versed in Jiu Jitsu since it’s the smart thing to do. Capoeira however is more flashy, more acrobatic, and as a form of dance as well as martial arts it’s not quite as effective. But paired with another martial arts form it can be deadly and even distracting enough to avail the user a distinct advantage.
The cast of Black Panther had to learn a great deal in order to make the film work and to insure that each fighting scene would be taken to a level that made it better than anything that had come before and yet still remain realistic in some sense. While Jiu Jitsu was introduced in its modern form by the Japanese, Capoeria was began in South Africa and then eventually became known as a Brazilian martial art. In fact Jiu Jitsu is also highly known in Brazil, and while the styles are highly different in many regards they seem to compliment each other in many ways. The fact that Lupita had to learn both to play the role of Nakia is amazing since both martial arts are quite intense in their training and can be very demanding. But for a character in Black Panther, this seems to be part for course since they had to be extraordinary in some way.