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  1. Permalost is online now
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    pro nonsense self defense

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    Posted On:
    12/30/2010 5:16pm

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     Style: FMA, dumbek, Indian clubs

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuchulain View Post
    Those cudgels look pretty deadly, and with hags throwing rocks at blokes heads, I was pretty suprised at this. Do you think this was because the participants weren't out to cause serious injury (i.e not beating on the uncontious, focusing on bodyshots etc) or are the blackthorn sticks just not as bad as they look/sound?
    A friend gave me a blackthorne shilelagh, and it seems perfectly capable of cracking a skull or breaking a bone, so I'm guessing it's the former. I've also read an account or two of Irish stickfights, and from that it seems that the guys that did that kind of thing were some tough SOBs compared to most people today. Lots of hard labor, I guess.
  2. wikidbounce is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/30/2010 6:38pm


     Style: Sticks & Jits & Fritz

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    I'm Interested in Irish stickfighting and how it relates to Filipino styles. I'm mixed race Filipino and Irish.

    It's confusing looking at Irish styles as each group (in my limited youtube "research") varies it's style of grip, range and length of stick.

    There's a one handed grip held 1/3 of the way along the stick. A wide two handed grip. A style with long (bo staff length) sticks held at one end. There was even a double stick style.

    I'm not sure how closely these relate to the faction fighting styles but they all seemed to be enjoying what they were doing.

    I don't have youtube at work, I'll try to remember to post some examples later.

    The following link has does a comparison between dual and single grip.

    http://www.oocities.com/glendoyle/bata/comparison.html

    Anyone else have info on how methods differ between Irish stick styles?
  3. Permalost is online now
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    pro nonsense self defense

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    Posted On:
    12/30/2010 6:47pm

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     Style: FMA, dumbek, Indian clubs

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    Quote Originally Posted by wikidbounce View Post
    Anyone else have info on how methods differ between Irish stick styles?
    I’d say part of the grip choice is what kind of weapon was in vogue at the time. The original shillelagh was a weapon by design, and was like a short escrima stick with a weighted wooden head. This kind wouldn’t work well in the wide two handed grip or the 1/3 grip. Later on, the shillelagh was outlawedby the British, so the Irish started taking the same basic design but lengthening it to a walking stick length. A cane is much more well suited for a 1/3 grip or a wide 2 handed grip/port arms grip, so I’m guessing those styles are more based on the later design.
  4. RichD is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/30/2010 9:09pm

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    Didn't read all the posts, but there is an Irish stick fighter instructor here in Massachusetts, and in NYC. The one in Mass is right outside Boston. They are called Cead Bua. http://ceadbuausa.com/
  5. DdlR is offline
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    Posted On:
    12/31/2010 12:59am

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     Style: Bartitsu

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    Quote Originally Posted by wikidbounce View Post
    I'm Interested in Irish stickfighting and how it relates to Filipino styles. I'm mixed race Filipino and Irish.

    It's confusing looking at Irish styles as each group (in my limited youtube "research") varies it's style of grip, range and length of stick.

    There's a one handed grip held 1/3 of the way along the stick. A wide two handed grip. A style with long (bo staff length) sticks held at one end. There was even a double stick style.

    Anyone else have info on how methods differ between Irish stick styles?
    Th one handed grip, 1/3rd along a roughly 3-3.5' stick, is described in the major historical sources and is thus used by most shillelagh revivalists working from those sources. The wide two-handed grip is characteristic of the Doyle style, which is claimed to be a living lineage system dating back to the 19th century. The single handed grip on the long stick sounds like the Modern Shillelagh Project, which is a modern Irish-themed stick fighting society but is not claimed to be a strict historical revival, nor a lineage system.

    I believe that a double-stick method is mentioned in historical sources, but AFAIK it was never detailed.
  6. DdlR is offline
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    Posted On:
    12/31/2010 1:21am

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     Style: Bartitsu

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuchulain View Post
    Watched the documentary. It was quite interesting. One thing that struck me was when they were talking about the largest faction fight that put an end to them for good. 2000 men were involved and yet there were only 20 fatalities and some of those were from accidental drowning (they were fighting on the beach). Those cudgels look pretty deadly, and with hags throwing rocks at blokes heads, I was pretty suprised at this. Do you think this was because the participants weren't out to cause serious injury (i.e not beating on the uncontious, focusing on bodyshots etc) or are the blackthorn sticks just not as bad as they look/sound?
    That's a good question and I think the answer is that faction fights per se weren't necessarily intended to be fought to the death, being somewhere between gang brawls, rites of passage and a very rough and dangerous "sport". There's no direct parallel I can think of in the modern Western world, except maybe for the melee fist fights between rival groups that apparently still happen in Russia, and possibly also football hooliganism. You could also compare it to the urban gang "rumbles" of the later 19th and 20th centuries.

    In each case, although (potentially) deadly weapons may be used, the underlying object may have more to do with giving young men a semi-ritualized "heroic" outlet - the chance to feel and inflict fear and pain, to fight alongside their comrades, etc. - than with the desire to kill their enemies (which was murder then, as it is now). These types of fights are sometimes governed by unwritten rules or codes of conduct.

    This is complicated by the confusion between more-or-less organized faction fighting (at fairs, etc.) and assassinations inflicted by gangsters who may or may not also have been affiliated with the factions. There may also be confusion with the so-called "Party fights", which were much more overtly deadly in intent and are touched on in the documentary (re. fighters using guns, scythes, pitchforks, etc.)

    I wrote an article on this a few years ago and I can dig it out if there's any interest from people on this board.
  7. Permalost is online now
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    pro nonsense self defense

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    Posted On:
    12/31/2010 6:20am

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     Style: FMA, dumbek, Indian clubs

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    Quote Originally Posted by DdlR View Post
    That's a good question and I think the answer is that faction fights per se weren't necessarily intended to be fought to the death, being somewhere between gang brawls, rites of passage and a very rough and dangerous "sport". There's no direct parallel I can think of in the modern Western world, except maybe for the melee fist fights between rival groups that apparently still happen in Russia, and possibly also football hooliganism. You could also compare it to the urban gang "rumbles" of the later 19th and 20th centuries.
    There's some similar things I can think of outside the modern Western world. The most similar one I can think of is the Suri/Surma stickfighting in Ethiopia:
    YouTube - Suri / Surma of - Ethiopia Amazing Stick fighting - Part 1

    Even though everyone has giant sticks and the two sides are big mobs of people, death and serious injury is not as high as you'd think, because they fight one on one instead of a huge melee. Given the seeminly low injury rates in faction fighting, I think an approach similar to that was a factor.

    There's some other similar non-Western examples. There's that Renaissance Italian football/streetfighting sport, and the one where small groups of guys would fistfight on a bridge. There's a fight ritual in Yanimamo culture starting by exchanging fist strikes to the chest, and escalates to exchanging strikes with long wooden poles, but that's not what's normally thought of as a fight and it's one on one.
  8. DdlR is offline
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    Posted On:
    12/31/2010 11:07am

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     Style: Bartitsu

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  9. JKD25 is offline

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    Posted On:
    1/02/2011 6:07am

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    Quote Originally Posted by DdlR View Post
    It's mentioned in the documentary that during the 20th century, the faction fights came to be widely seen as a shameful aspect of Irish history. It's understandable that re-interpreting 19th c. shillelagh fighting in positive terms is going to be a pretty strange idea for anyone raised in that culture.
    N.B. most of the major points and concepts in this video (including the above) were lifted from a book called "Shillelagh: The Irish Fighting Stick" by Joh W. Hurley, and published years ago. It's the definitive history on faction fighting and Irish stick-fighting. I'm not surprised that John McGrath of Waterford martial arts ripped this book off, he has the rep of being a major con man in Ireland.
  10. lklawson is offline

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    Posted On:
    1/03/2011 9:25am


     Style: Bowie

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    Quote Originally Posted by wikidbounce View Post
    I'm Interested in Irish stickfighting and how it relates to Filipino styles. I'm mixed race Filipino and Irish.

    It's confusing looking at Irish styles as each group (in my limited youtube "research") varies it's style of grip, range and length of stick.

    There's a one handed grip held 1/3 of the way along the stick.
    Two "groups" I know of that do this. First are revivalist/reconstructionists working from period sources. Second is one gentleman in Ireland who uses the grip and claims a direct lineage. He's believable to me but I have very little contact with him.

    A wide two handed grip.
    Glen Doyle. Nice fella. Says it is a direct lineage Family style. His style bears some resemblance to both Fairbairn stick and to a Spanish cane style I was briefly introduced to. It makes sense to me, given the Family History he purports, that this style might have been developed, particularly if there had been some influence such as a traveler from Spain or the like.

    A style with long (bo staff length) sticks held at one end.
    I know this gentleman and have worked with him once, very briefly, though not on his stick system. His stick system is not intended nor reported to be historically accurate or from a direct lineage but is, instead, a speculative system based significantly upon the "Long Stick" system of Alfred Hutton, a period English martial artist, and a fair amount of actually hitting people with sticks.

    There was even a double stick style.
    I know this gentleman as well from online conversations. His double-stick system is also not reported to be some sort of recreation or from direct lineage, but is also highly speculative. He also does work with one stick and uses both two-handed and one-handed methods. Much of his speculative work is based around a modification of the Dog Brother's method: i.e. Try it and see if it works or not against some guy also trying to bash you. He refers to his material as "The Modern Shillelagh Project" because it is his modern work and his calls it "Shillelagh" because he is Irish decent and the word "shillelagh" is not inaccurate.

    I'm not sure how closely these relate to the faction fighting styles but they all seemed to be enjoying what they were doing.
    Depends on what you consider "closely related." Doyle's stuff could be said to be unrelated because he says it was intended to be used protecting family stills. Or maybe it can be considered to be related because he reports that the system was intended to be used against typical faction styles. The two "modern" methods could be said to be unrelated because they're modern. The recreations could be said to be unrelated because they have no direct, unbroken, lineage. But they're all Recreational Violence and intended to have many of the themes that DdlR mentioned above so perhaps they're related after all. <shrug>

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
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