RZA To Host Hip-hop Chess Federation Panel

Wu-Tang producer and co-founder RZA has signed on as one of the hosts of the next installment of the Hip-Hop Chess Federation's Life Strategies panels.

The producer/actor, born Robert Diggs, will be joined by chess icon Josh Waitzkin and Mixed Martial Arts Champion Ralex Gracie, as they demonstrate how students of chess and martial arts are trained in numerous ways to avoid violence.

The panel, titled “Martial Arts As A Path to Nonviolence,” will take place Saturday (April 12) as one of several activities of the HHCF's Mind Over Matter Chess and Grappling Exhibition.

The afternoon event, which will held at the Riekes Center for Human Enhancement in Menlo Park, CA, will also feature appearances by Rakaa of Dilated Peoples and Causal of the Hieroglyphics.

The Hip-Hop artists will work with martial artists like Gracie and two-time Tai Chi Chuan World Champion Waitzkin to continue the HHCF's mission of providing alternatives to inner city youths by exploring the how the lessons learned through Chess and Martial Arts can be applied in the real world.

The event will be sponsored in part by Ubiosft, online chess community Chesspark.com and Hip-Hop Congress.

"Educators must take note of the rise of the HHCF," says Waitzkin. "[HHCF CEO] Adisa Banjoko is creating some of the most dynamic, innovative and empowering events for our youth and "Mind Over Matter" will raise the bar once again."

Blending chess, Hip-Hop and martial arts we are generating a dialogue about learning that begins with the love, embraces the unique flavor of each individual, and break down the divisive false constructs some have imposed on our culture, our schools, and our youth. I am honored to be part of this movement."

Past HHCF events have drawn the support and involvement of artists including DJ QBert, Immortal Technique and San Quinn.