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  1. littlehazey is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/24/2009 5:20pm

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: Wing Tsun, Silat Serak

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by CodosDePiedra View Post
    Cool stuff. I was helping someone clear land and I too some of the oak and manzanita to make some clubs to train with, and the one I've finished is a shillelagh style. It's been interesting adjusting my stickfighting practice to a topheavy stick.
    it is a bit different, but it opens up different opportunities. If you practice stick fighting already, I could perhaps offer some tips based on what you know already.
  2. DdlR is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/24/2009 5:44pm

    supporting member
     Style: Bartitsu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by littlehazey View Post
    I'm still kinda new too this site and have a hard time reviewing things.... I'm better at teaching than at judging. Other threads I've tried to participate in, generally become a pissing match of who's style is better... Or if a martial art is to be credible it has to prove it self in the MMA cage. I was almost losing hope for this site until thwe WMA category showed it self.
    We're still all about the "aliveness" (my God, that's an awkward word - "liveliness" works better) when it comes to claims of practical fighting skill. We also try to acknowledge that there's an intrinsic value to genuinely old stuff, which has nothing to do with how practical it is.

    By the same token, unusual historical claims are taken much more seriously if they're backed up with solid supporting evidence.

    I haven't looked into Irish stick fighting for a long time, but IIRC Mr. Doyle has a kung fu background and has acknowledged that this might have "flavored" his shillelagh style as well.
  3. lklawson is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/24/2009 6:57pm


     Style: Bowie

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by littlehazey View Post
    As to the grip and tactics used with a shillelagh as to what my Grand dad taught me, depended on the length and weight of it. If it was just a meter long stick the tactics and grip would be different than if it were more heavily weighted at one end. But generally speaking, You would take the stick into your hands as if in a boxing position (think muay thai hand position with your palms turned down and held in front of you), the stick being centered in between them (from thumb to thumb about 6 to 8 inches apart) so as too be able to use either hand to wield it with ease. Now the grip it self with the hands is as i said both hands palms down to grab it with your four fingers and your thumbs pushing from the back... much like filipino knife fighters hold their knives with the hthumb on the back of lower part of the blade....the fencing grip. From this position you could jab streight out with the stick faster than if you were to be swinging it by one end. Now the damage is decreased in this fashion, because you have less weight behind the swing. But you would either jab to keep your opponent at bay or to prepare for entering.
    This is very similar to elements of an Andalusian Cane system that I've seen taught by Maestro Loriega. The intent of this was against a knife attack from one of the "lower classes."

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
  4. littlehazey is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/24/2009 6:57pm

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: Wing Tsun, Silat Serak

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by DdlR View Post
    We're still all about the "aliveness" (my God, that's an awkward word - "liveliness" works better) when it comes to claims of practical fighting skill. We also try to acknowledge that there's an intrinsic value to genuinely old stuff, which has nothing to do with how practical it is.

    By the same token, unusual historical claims are taken much more seriously if they're backed up with solid supporting evidence.

    I haven't looked into Irish stick fighting for a long time, but IIRC Mr. Doyle has a kung fu background and has acknowledged that this might have "flavored" his shillelagh style as well.
    Just as I'm sure what I learned was flavored here and there through the generations as time went on and violence changed and by my own martial arts studies as well. The problem with dealing with old styles that arn't well documented is that through all research and what not...it will eventually either lead you to a source of the style still being practiced or it will ead you to a lot of unaswered questions.

    Those gaps tend to to not only linger but beg to be filled. So you do the best you can with what you can. I've supplemented some manuevers and movements with what I've found to be the closest described manuevers and movements. So What my grandfather taught me though had gaps, he fully told me to continue learning in order to fill those gaps.
    So after searching far and wide and finding things written/edited by John W. Hurley as well as doing the best i could to find old irish and even scottish methods of warfare, the closest systems I've found to suppplement what he taught me and what he also described to me as it was described and taught to him were a combination of Systema and Pancak Silat Serak. Just using those systems to fill in blanks that actually seemed acurate.
  5. DdlR is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/24/2009 8:47pm

    supporting member
     Style: Bartitsu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by littlehazey View Post
    Just as I'm sure what I learned was flavored here and there through the generations as time went on and violence changed and by my own martial arts studies as well. The problem with dealing with old styles that arn't well documented is that through all research and what not...it will eventually either lead you to a source of the style still being practiced or it will ead you to a lot of unaswered questions.
    Either way, it's good research.

    This is why it is (IMO) so important to document the style, from as "pure" a source as possible. Basically, anyone can claim to have inherited a secret, ancient fighting tradition - that's pretty much a martial arts cliche, and when it's intended to defraud then that's one of the species of BS this site is set up to challenge.

    Generally, though not always, it's possible to document a genuine folk-level tradition back at least one or two generations, sometimes much further. There are a few people doing that in Italy at the moment; guys traveling around to train with a video record old knife and stick masters in little mountain towns, etc. Very often it's crucial work because if the local kids aren't interested, the style will simply die when the last of the old fellas passes on.

    IMO a lot of John Hurley's scholarship is very solid, but sometimes he veers off into fantasyland.
  6. Permalost is offline
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    pro nonsense self defense

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    Posted On:
    7/25/2009 1:22am

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     Style: FMA, dumbek, Indian clubs

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by littlehazey View Post
    it is a bit different, but it opens up different opportunities. If you practice stick fighting already, I could perhaps offer some tips based on what you know already.
    Well, the way I tend to practice is primarily from a stance similar to a boxing right lead. The right leg is forward with the feet shoulder width apart and the hips/torso 45 degrees to the opponent. The stick is held about two thirds of the way down the handle in a hammer grip. The left hand is up by the chin as a guard, and the right hand is positioned so the stick can defend or attack with the top or bottom third of the stick (as in hitting with the pommel). Some of the skills I work from there:
    -8 angles striking with the true and false "edges" on a desquerdes (a big hanging cross, good for developing the ability to strike a small moving target like a hand)
    -stepping in and jabbing with the pommel
    -triangular footwork while covering and countering
    -sometimes I do bagwork with the stick in my hand (not hitting with the stick, but getting used to punching, striking, kicking etc when you have a weapon)
    -a sort of padwork-esque drill I like to do with a partner goes like this- one person has a big rattan stick, and holds it away from the body with the tip straight out. It can be at head, body or knee level, and the other person is supposed to attack the stick's tip as soon as they see the target. As this progresses, the target person can incorporate footwork, feeding attacks to the other person etc until it turns into a very useful drill.
    -sometimes I use the two handed grip you mentioned, but with the thumbs wrapped around. In this grip, I work on blocking with the area between the hands, thrusting with the same part (to the face, neck, torso), striking with the points in arcing or thrusting motions

    That's basically my shillelagh method.
  7. littlehazey is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/25/2009 12:07pm

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: Wing Tsun, Silat Serak

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by DdlR View Post
    Either way, it's good research.

    This is why it is (IMO) so important to document the style, from as "pure" a source as possible. Basically, anyone can claim to have inherited a secret, ancient fighting tradition - that's pretty much a martial arts cliche, and when it's intended to defraud then that's one of the species of BS this site is set up to challenge.

    Generally, though not always, it's possible to document a genuine folk-level tradition back at least one or two generations, sometimes much further. There are a few people doing that in Italy at the moment; guys traveling around to train with a video record old knife and stick masters in little mountain towns, etc. Very often it's crucial work because if the local kids aren't interested, the style will simply die when the last of the old fellas passes on.

    IMO a lot of John Hurley's scholarship is very solid, but sometimes he veers off into fantasyland.
    I agree. Since the dawn of time people have been searching for the perfect combat form, either armed or unarmed. What I am trying to do is put together a style that has been simply lost. I'm trying, not to make the perfect the style or even say it's better than anyone elses. Just to try ot be true to what my family taught, and so I can teach it to generations to come. With out it being full of holes. I've been documenting my own knowledge o the style but have yet to film any video of it. I am aslo trying to get someone willing to be my partner on the video. My wife, though I've taught her my famy's method and she is quite good at it. She hates being on camera. Any volenteers?
  8. littlehazey is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/25/2009 12:19pm

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: Wing Tsun, Silat Serak

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by CodosDePiedra View Post
    Well, the way I tend to practice is primarily from a stance similar to a boxing right lead. The right leg is forward with the feet shoulder width apart and the hips/torso 45 degrees to the opponent. The stick is held about two thirds of the way down the handle in a hammer grip. The left hand is up by the chin as a guard, and the right hand is positioned so the stick can defend or attack with the top or bottom third of the stick (as in hitting with the pommel). Some of the skills I work from there:
    -8 angles striking with the true and false "edges" on a desquerdes (a big hanging cross, good for developing the ability to strike a small moving target like a hand)
    -stepping in and jabbing with the pommel
    -triangular footwork while covering and countering
    -sometimes I do bagwork with the stick in my hand (not hitting with the stick, but getting used to punching, striking, kicking etc when you have a weapon)
    -a sort of padwork-esque drill I like to do with a partner goes like this- one person has a big rattan stick, and holds it away from the body with the tip straight out. It can be at head, body or knee level, and the other person is supposed to attack the stick's tip as soon as they see the target. As this progresses, the target person can incorporate footwork, feeding attacks to the other person etc until it turns into a very useful drill.
    -sometimes I use the two handed grip you mentioned, but with the thumbs wrapped around. In this grip, I work on blocking with the area between the hands, thrusting with the same part (to the face, neck, torso), striking with the points in arcing or thrusting motions

    That's basically my shillelagh method.
    If it works for you keep at it. Sounds like you have a very strong idea of what you seek to accomplish. The main 2 reasons we hold our hands the way we do is for 1: speed when jabing, you anatomicly use better muscle movement for the push of the thumb and pull of the outside muscles of the forearm, instead of letting the forarm doing all the work. 2: so we can drop the stick faster if we need close in for a grab disarm, or grapple or even just to make those jabs faster.

    We try to accoplish our victory through brutality, speed, and accuracy. Sp th only tip I could ask you too remember is that the stick is only stick. Don't think of it as having a "blade" edge as per eskrima or kali. The off weight at the head makes it a little different. You must seek to smash with this at any angle needed, not "cut through" in a predefiend pattern as they teach in FMA.
  9. DdlR is offline
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    Posted On:
    7/25/2009 12:33pm

    supporting member
     Style: Bartitsu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by littlehazey View Post
    I agree. Since the dawn of time people have been searching for the perfect combat form, either armed or unarmed. What I am trying to do is put together a style that has been simply lost. I'm trying, not to make the perfect the style or even say it's better than anyone elses. Just to try ot be true to what my family taught, and so I can teach it to generations to come. With out it being full of holes.
    I have a serious suggestion, then; record what you remember of what you learned from your grandfather, as accurately as possible, even if it's full of holes from the "complete fighting art" POV. That way, future generations of practitioners will have documentation of how the style was practiced by at least one member of an earlier generation.

    You're in more or less the same position as the Bartitsu Society, which has accurate, detailed records of some portions of Barton-Wright's fighting style, but only hints about other portions. The solution was to divide the modern practice of Bartitsu into two related categories; the "canonical" style, which is a known, but incomplete, historical quantity, and the "neo-styles", which represent "what Bartitsu might have been" or "what Bartitsu can be today". The canonical material is practiced out of respect for tradition, as a sort of common technical language and as a "jumping off point" for the neo-styles.

    Thus, tradition is preserved at the same time as the art is moved forward. Win-win.
  10. Phadrus00 is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/25/2009 3:14pm

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: Irish Stick Fighting

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    WOW! Great Discussion! I hope everyone enjoys the videos of Sifu Glen.

    I study and teach under Glen here in Boston (Glen is based out of Toronto) and both he and I have influences from our other Martial Arts backgrounds. The footwork you see on the videos is directly from Glen's Hung Gar Background. It enhances the original system in that the footwork allows for a quick coiling and uncoiling of the torso for the strike but it does require practice to become confortable with. We also teach the original footwork as well and let the Students decide which works best.

    My FMA background means that I usually foottrap on the way in. It is something I always point out to my students (especially the ones whose foot I am standing on!) and remind them this is not part of the original system but does provide tactical advantages. I also Check the closer arm on the opponent when I enter which is an FMA habit as well but one that also has many advantages.

    We recognize that our system is a living one. Each generation has added elements to it and it will change as we pass it on from generation to generation. It has never been formally documented because previously it was only taught within the family and considered "secret" not unlike most FMA systems originally. We are in the process of codifying the system and making sure that as we introduce it to a wider audience we can maintain the integrity and core values that served so many generations of the Doyle Family so well.

    John Hurley has spent a considerable amount of time documenting Irish and Scottish systems and has interviewed Glen several times. He is a very dedicated historian and certainly has a few opinions about the influence of the Irish and Scottish in Western Warfare! *smile* It is hard to dispute his dedication to the study of these arts however.

    You can find more about the system here: http://www.fightingfaction.com If anyone is interested in training or getting more info drop me a note. My email addy is: robert.masson@gmail.com. We are also planning some seminars here on the East Coast this summer and will post more info as we get the dates nailed down.

    Best Regards,

    Rob
    Last edited by Phadrus00; 7/25/2009 3:24pm at .
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