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  1. DdlR is offline
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    Posted On:
    10/04/2009 3:19am

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by kwan_dao View Post
    There is a general problem with such claims, as they are obviously easy to come up with and hard to prove or disprove.
    I've been making the same point in this sort of discussion for the past ten years or so. Dr. Moore also teaches American catch-as-catch-can wrestling (via Tim Geoghegan's lineage) and a form of purring (low kicking); I can't positively vouch for any of it, except that it was martially sound. FWIW it also largely matches what I've gleaned about these styles from historical sources, with some interesting variations that might be more modern innovations, or might be historical methods that weren't ever written down ... who knows?
  2. A.M. is offline

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    Posted On:
    10/04/2009 10:37am


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    Yeah there seems to be whole bunch of family taught celtic based martial arts that have popped up recently. The Appalachians being settled mainly by the Scotch-Irish or Ulster Irish (whichever term you perfer).
    There probably was a Irish mma around at some point that was a combination of collar & elbow wrestling and bare knuckle boxing that may have been around since the late 17th century (but I seriously doubt that Savate made any inroads into Ireland before the twentieth century as I've seen some Celtic martial art sites claim) it would be odd if there wasn't because the two sports were extremely popular in Ireland but I don't there was any sort of codified formal training involved. Probably just somebody's personal brawling style but if you wanted to do a reconstruction martial art that was 90% historically accurate that would be the direction to go in. I'm just sceptical when people claim they have these elaborate unarmed martial arts that there is no record of before the late twentieth century.
    Also doubt that there was any codified forms of pugilism from the Appalachians because I have seen no record of it and even the deepest and darkest hollers had some communication with the outside world there would be some documentation of it somewhere.
  3. DdlR is offline
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    Posted On:
    10/04/2009 12:59pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    All I know about Dr. Moore's lineage is that he trained with Tim Geoghegan. I remember reading about Geoghegan re. catch-as-catch can wrestling and other old-school WMA/combat sports in 1980s books by Larry Hartsell and Robert W. Smith, then writing as "John F. Gilbey".

    Again, I'm deeply alert to the whole claims vs. proof issue, the difficulties of establishing lineage without documentation, etc. On the other hand, I'm not sure that anyone has actually asked for proof of Moore's claims, or investigated Geoghegan. Might be some interesting stories, even "untold histories", there.
  4. lklawson is offline

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    Posted On:
    10/04/2009 9:14pm


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    Quote Originally Posted by DdlR View Post
    Again, I'm deeply alert to the whole claims vs. proof issue, the difficulties of establishing lineage without documentation, etc. On the other hand, I'm not sure that anyone has actually asked for proof of Moore's claims, or investigated Geoghegan. Might be some interesting stories, even "untold histories", there.
    I am fairly convinced that concerns with lineage as it is generally used now are primarily modern and not represented as a historic artifact.

    Students of a famous teacher, sure; "I am a student of the great exalted so-n-so." Yeah.

    But WMA teachers tracing their lineage back 6 generations to so-n-so in order to claim some sort of superiority? I haven't seen much of that at all.

    Maybe I'll harass the folks over at SFI on the topic.

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
  5. DdlR is offline
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    Posted On:
    10/05/2009 4:20am

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    Quote Originally Posted by lklawson View Post
    I am fairly convinced that concerns with lineage as it is generally used now are primarily modern and not represented as a historic artifact.

    Students of a famous teacher, sure; "I am a student of the great exalted so-n-so." Yeah.

    But WMA teachers tracing their lineage back 6 generations to so-n-so in order to claim some sort of superiority? I haven't seen much of that at all.
    I don't think this is what you meant to imply, but for clarity I should point out that AFAIK Dr. Moore doesn't claim superiority via lineage.

    I'll try to get in touch with him re. Tim Geoghegan's background and their training, when I have a bit more free time. Here's what I've found via quick Google search; N.B. that the first website seems a bit neo-Celtic/New Agey, but obviously, that doesn't mean that Geoghegan himself was a flake.

    http://www.apittman.com/ptt/west/wrestling.shtml - including a series of jpgs of a JAMA article about Geoghegan and his wrestling.

    Somewhere during this period Sakata encountered an Irish wrestler named Charles "Tim" Geoghegan. "Strangler Lewis managed me for two years (1949-50)," Geoghegan told Robert W. Smith years later. "Lewis liked me because of my sleeper which made weight irrelevant. It brought them all down to size. I didn’t learn my sleeper from Lewis but developed it from a choke against both carotids taught me in London during World War II by Dr. Kasutu Higami, a ju-jitsu adept in his 80’s. I blended it with a one-carotid choke I got from Indian wrestling. It was so decisive that I would sometimes have the ring full of the bodies of challengers from the audience. In Toronto once I had twenty asleep at the same time. When Harold (‘Oddjob’) Sakata of ‘James Bond’ movie fame first met me in California he couldn’t believe that I could choke him out and, when he came to, he thought he was back in Montreal the week before."
    - http://ejmas.com/jalt/jaltart_svinth_0401.htm

    MMA Forum post, take it for what its worth:

    A lesser known man that I think could have done well is Dr. Tim Geoghegan. He started out doing circus stints as a strong man, and then began taking on all comers in boxing and wrestling. He could do all sorts of strong man **** like tearing selaed playing cards in half, 2 phonebooks at a time, lift a 200 lb man ina chair using only his teeth. Aside from that he had over 100 boxing matches, as well as 30-50 bareknuckle boxing matches. Instead of going pro, he got into grappling.

    He learned various styles of shoot wrestling in the era of Thesz and Lewis. Its not clear if he faced these men or not, but he apparently was managed by Lewis in the pro wrestling circuit. By the accounts I've read, he was a very good wrestler. He had enough submission skills to be an enforcer in the pro wrestling circuit, when guys like Lebell and Thesz filled that job. He was also good at free style, defeating a AAU national heavyweight champion rather easily.

    Add into that in his prime he was a solid 230 lbs, and he was a doctor with great knowedge of the anatomy (He also went on to study and get teaching certificates in Yoga, and went onto study Ju Jitsu). Its safe to say he could **** people up six ways to sunday and would have been a good MMA fighter had he gone that route.
  6. lklawson is offline

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    Posted On:
    10/05/2009 8:22am


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    Quote Originally Posted by DdlR View Post
    I don't think this is what you meant to imply, but for clarity I should point out that AFAIK Dr. Moore doesn't claim superiority via lineage.
    Correct, that's not what I was getting at.

    It seems to me that (many) modern westerners have become convinced, for some reason or another, that if a martial practitioner can "trace" his lineage to some great founder, or even simply trace his lineage back far enough (whatever that means) then it is "more pure" or "better" or some other righteously sublime description.

    This doesn't seem to align with most of the precedent I see in historic WMA. Most of the time, "If it works, it's not wrong" seems to be the general feeling among martial practitioners in the western tradition. If it works under the context that they're in, they're perfectly willing to light-finger techniques and concepts from whatever source and not think anything about it. Wouldn't even think there was anything notable about doing so much less that it was wrong, or sullying the purity of their art, etc.

    Yet this perception is phenomenon which has become common. I know there are instructors who cater to the idea (some legit, some not). However, historically I can't find much in the way of a trend of westerners going, "Well, I trained under such-n-such, who trained under such-n-such, who trained under such-n-such, who trained under such-n-such who trained under THE GREAT EXALTED SO-N-SO. Typically, yeah, if their instructor was famous they'll make hay with that, advertise they'd been trained in The Snake Pit, or under some great Maestro, but once it gets out a "generation" or two...

    For what it's worth, I am happy to note that there's a backlash against this odd theory of precedence and purity (or whatever) as exemplified by the Dog Brother's creed of "Smuggling Concepts across the Frontier of Style."

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk "If it works-if he's dead and you're alive-it's not wrong" Lawson
  7. A.M. is offline

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    Posted On:
    10/05/2009 11:13am


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    I think the main concern is that people are creating there on martial arts and claim false histories to give them an aura of mystique. You see this a lot in Eastern European Martial Arts that claim they can be traced back to Russian Knights or the Magyars. Stav is a very good example of this. Thats the problem.
    Its not like AMAs (Asian Martial Arts) where people mythologize their martial arts founder.
    Its just taking something you made up and claiming that it orginated in a culture that is popular with the general public as a marketing tool.
  8. lklawson is offline

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    Posted On:
    10/05/2009 12:40pm


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    Quote Originally Posted by A.M. View Post
    I think the main concern is that people are creating there on martial arts and claim false histories to give them an aura of mystique. You see this a lot in Eastern European Martial Arts that claim they can be traced back to Russian Knights or the Magyars. Stav is a very good example of this. Thats the problem.
    Its not like AMAs (Asian Martial Arts) where people mythologize their martial arts founder.
    Its just taking something you made up and claiming that it orginated in a culture that is popular with the general public as a marketing tool.
    <nods>
    I'm not disagreeing with this assessment. What I am saying (perhaps poorly) is that this was never necessary before and would likely have been viewed with a bit of perplexity: "Why should I care if it's 'old' or has a 'mystique' if it works?"

    Heck, there was a brief time when "new" and "recently invented" was nearly synonymous with "better." Barton-Wrights "New Art of Self Defense" is an example as with the general sentiment reflected in all the methods which are referred to as "Scientific" such as "Scientific Wrestling" the "Scientific Boxing" which Corbett is credited with developing, or Lang's manual which describes it as "Scientific" and it's competitor (Lathi) as "unscientific."

    All I'm really saying is that this desire to have an "unbroken lineage" stretching back to some founder or master is a fairly modern phenomenon.

    The origin of this desire is a different, but very interesting, topic which I'd be happy to speculate on. :)

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
  9. willaume is offline

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    Posted On:
    10/05/2009 5:05pm


     Style: aikido, medieval fencing

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    Quote Originally Posted by lklawson View Post
    <nods>
    I'm not disagreeing with this assessment. What I am saying (perhaps poorly) is that this was never necessary before and would likely have been viewed with a bit of perplexity: "Why should I care if it's 'old' or has a 'mystique' if it works?"

    Heck, there was a brief time when "new" and "recently invented" was nearly synonymous with "better." Barton-Wrights "New Art of Self Defense" is an example as with the general sentiment reflected in all the methods which are referred to as "Scientific" such as "Scientific Wrestling" the "Scientific Boxing" which Corbett is credited with developing, or Lang's manual which describes it as "Scientific" and it's competitor (Lathi) as "unscientific."

    All I'm really saying is that this desire to have an "unbroken lineage" stretching back to some founder or master is a fairly modern phenomenon.

    The origin of this desire is a different, but very interesting, topic which I'd be happy to speculate on. :)

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
    Hello

    Personally I would argue against the “lineage tracing” being something new.
    The lichtanauer tradition is an example of that. It carried through 2 centuries, The “old art of fencing” galore.

    In the period you mention or equally with the rapier and geometry based fencing, there was time where newer was better. And it is and was a different way to get credential.

    Not that I want to plagiarise Marx history repeating itself like point on a bicycle wheel moving forward but in that case I think we have precedents on both accounts.

    Regardless of that, I think the old tradition lineage is a good band wagon in our period, there is regain of interest in the HEMA. And we can see the parallel with 80-90 where master X trained 10 year under the old sage in the mountains (just like the hashissin) at that taught him the lost secret of krav fu do.

    The scientific approach is much harder to pull, now days, as you are bound to have to someone asking for vid or telling you to make it work them.
    Historically the proponents of “modern” method were quite keen to do just that.

    and usualy phoney use the path of least resistance.

    phil
  10. DdlR is offline
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    Posted On:
    10/06/2009 2:38am

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    Quote Originally Posted by lklawson View Post
    <nods>
    I'm not disagreeing with this assessment. What I am saying (perhaps poorly) is that this was never necessary before and would likely have been viewed with a bit of perplexity: "Why should I care if it's 'old' or has a 'mystique' if it works?"

    Heck, there was a brief time when "new" and "recently invented" was nearly synonymous with "better." Barton-Wrights "New Art of Self Defense" is an example as with the general sentiment reflected in all the methods which are referred to as "Scientific" such as "Scientific Wrestling" the "Scientific Boxing" which Corbett is credited with developing, or Lang's manual which describes it as "Scientific" and it's competitor (Lathi) as "unscientific."

    All I'm really saying is that this desire to have an "unbroken lineage" stretching back to some founder or master is a fairly modern phenomenon.

    The origin of this desire is a different, but very interesting, topic which I'd be happy to speculate on. :)
    Go for it!

    Echoing Willaume, I'd take issue with the idea that respect and even reverence of lineage back to (the founder, such-and-such great fighter, etc.) is a recent phenomenon in WMA, though. Liechtenauer got more than his share of kudos from the following couple of generations of German swordsmen, and the "lineage wars" associated with Spanish rapier fencing were legendary.

    IMO, specifically re. Les Moore's BKB, purring and catch wrestling (but likewise any similar claimed lineal tradition); if it can be proven, there's a level of historical and cultural value there that is completely independent of how well it works in a fight.
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