Glen Doyle is based in Canada; I believe that the style is just recently making inroads into the US.
Unfortunately, AFAIK the actual provenance (history/lineage) can't be proved either way; it's either a rare survival of an authentic Irish stick style or a modern invention in disguise.
Thats the tricky bit isn't it? Based on what I've seen of his stick fighitng I'm inclined to believe it is the former and not the latter. However there is no way to prove it absolutely. Seems to be a common theme in western martial arts.
Originally Posted by DdlR
Not that common, actually; the huge majority of WMA either have documentable histories/lineages or are upfont about being modern reconstructions.
I'm sorry I made an incomplete thought in that last one. I meant that while there are a few surviving WMA around it seems like many of them only have an oral lineage, like Doyles and the one mentioned in the other thread, and are thus difficult to completely varify. Especially with ones like this where they seem to just reappear. The ones that have a written historical lineage seem to mostly be reconstructions. Of course I don't know about all of them. My forte is mostly the longsword. I think developing a comprehensive list of WMA would be in and itself interesting.
I'm talking about currently-practiced WMA styles that claim unbroken lineages and that have verifiable histories via certificates, photographs, newspaper reports, booklets etc. Other than the more mainstream and obvious examples (modern boxing, G-R wrestling, fencing, savate, etc.), there are still many WMA that have verifiable lineages going back at least as far as the 19th century; Jogo do Pau, Juego del Palo, Icelandic glima wrestling, Lancashire catch-as-catch-can, various Italian stick and knife styles, la canne, and so-on.
Actually Cú Chulainn, it doesn't. I'm interested in Gaelic folk traditions, and have been learning the Irish language for a few years now, and no one I've talked to has ever heard of this.
Originally Posted by Cuchulain
There are still native Irish speaking Gaeltacht districts that have seanchas story tellers that can recite folklore&mythology, oral traditions passed down to them, but still no one I've encountered has ever heard of "Bataireacht." If Glen Doyle has a background in Kung Fu, or other martial arts, I think he just applied Irish terms to certain techniques, or it's a reconstruction based on nothing but vague references. If whatever relative took it from Galway to Canada, well no one in Connemara knows it, and Connemara is Connaght's last refuge of Native Irish culture. Surely if it survived anywhere, it would have been there. They're dying off, but there a few people there that can't even speak English, and have no electricity.
I've asked some of my mates about this as well, other Gaelic Traditionalists, and they all call this Eskrima with shamrocks.
Originally Posted by Ulsteryank
Thank you. I figured as much.
No worries, it seemed funny to me as well that no one outside of North America can vouch for it.
Originally Posted by Cuchulain
Because one group says no and another says yes does not make a definit conclusion when the martial knowledge of both sides is not clearly established. There were massive immigrations to the US from Ireland and as such much of Irish culture was transplanted. Its not all that impossible that North America would be a holdout for such traditions. His style of stick fighting does not look like any escrima styles I am framiliar with. Can you show a specific style that resembles this one? This system is being described as a family style not a wide spread method. Therefore it stands to reason that only a specific family would be framiliar with it. Are your Gaelic contacts framiliar with ANY surviving Irish martial traditions?
It has been established that the Irish had martial arts, there is some evidence that atleast some of those arts survived until recently and now the question is do any of these arts still exist. If you can clearly show that Doyles Irish martial art is a fabrication or recreation than do so but if it is possibly a surviving Irish martial art than it needs preservation.
Sorry for the kinda long post, but this is something I've spent some time looking into. I agree, we're well aware of diaspora Gaelic traditions transplanted by the emigration of the Irish to North America. There's even a Gaeltacht in Canada, Aralt Mac Giolla Chainnigh. We have frequent guests from there on our local radio station, Raidió Fáilte all the time, but there was only a fraction of people that left Ireland, compared to those that stayed.
Knowledge of family traditions and special skills within professions are well attested here as well. Smith work passed from father to son, stonemasons even had their own aura and language (béarlagar na saor). Skills and their hereditary value were attached to family names. The blood of Cahills and Keoghs were believed to cure shingles. It was a middle age belief that poetry was natural to the O'Dalys, Wards, Higgins, and Keoghs again. I know people that say members of their family are natural bone menders from family tradition.....but nowhere in this is any knowledge of bata, or stick fighting.
Preserving cultural&family traditions is still very important here. I take language classes in Ireland's biggest culture centre, An Chultúrlann, that teaches traditional arts, music, dance, customs very vibrant in the Gaeltacht in Belfast's Ceathrún na Gaeltachta. Ireland even has pre-Christian traditions and sports like Hurling that survived even when they were illegal, and yet stick fighting is unknown.
Of course Ireland had martial arts, they had the feircest reputation among the Insular Celts, and were the only nation untouched by the Roman Empire. The Gallóglaigh were the most sought after mercenaries as well. Roman accounts write of warrior schools all over Britain, vouched for in the myths, such as Cú Chulainn being trained at Scathach's warrior school in Alba (Modern Scotland). Ireland has the 2nd oldest vernacular in Europe, that lead the rest of Europr through the dark ages. Epics like The Táin make references to wrestling in training, and close quarter ford combat. The rest is in etymology of language, and archaeological finds with weapons.
I'm not saying Glen Doyle is a complete fraud, apparently he has a good reputation, but we have seen artists make up their own traditions before, and one's own heritage would be a perfect vehicle for that. I'm just highly skeptical of an "Irish art", that is non-exsistant in Ireland. I have friends that work for the Cruachan Aí Heritage Centre in Co. Roscommon, that demonstrate historically accurate Irish martial arts, utilising historically accurate dress, armour, weapons, and techniques that our ancestors actually would have used. A lot of the techniques are universal ones found in the likes of Judo, and Pankration, with disarms and attacks that were common throughout the Continental Celtic world, and Western Europe.
This is the only pic I have of a demonstration at last years Féile na Draíochta in Dublin.
I'll try to get a vid or something in the future, for those interested.
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO