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  1. DdlR is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/16/2010 5:24pm

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     Style: Bartitsu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Just as general reference, there is well-documented evidence of at least semi-codified stick fighting in Ireland during the 19th century, along with the wrestling and boxing you'd expect to see there at that time. There are multiple records in 19th century Irish (and other) literature to this being a practiced skill, i.e. something that was taught and learned, applied in a variety of cultural contexts from friendly games through to serious self defense and also in faction fighting.

    For about the past ten years, people (mostly in the US) have been reconstructing a generic 19th century Irish stick fighting method based primarily on two written sources from that period; Donald Walker's "Defensive Exercises" (1840) - http://books.google.com/books?id=u98...page&q&f=false and a short description in R.G. Allanson-Winn's "Broadsword and Singlestick" (c1890). Neither source goes into any great technical depth, but there is just enough recorded to offer to a decent sense of the style, which could be summarized as a fighting stance comparable to that of a boxer, with an approximately 36" stick held in a high, roughly 1/3rd grip which allows the "short end" of the stick to be used defensively.

    This reconstructed method of stick fighting is sometimes combined with (also reconstructed) bare-knuckle boxing and collar-and-elbow wrestling techniques - http://artofcombat.org/ismac/2010/20...artialArts.htm
  2. lklawson is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/17/2010 7:54am


     Style: Bowie

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ulsteryank View Post
    I've asked some of my mates about this as well, other Gaelic Traditionalists, and they all call this Eskrima with shamrocks.
    Then your mates are either ignorant about what Mr. Doyle's style looks like (or of Eskrima), or the have rushed to judgment (the word "prejudice" is appropriate but easily misunderstood). I've seen a little bit of Mr. Doyle's style and the only similar styles I've ever seen were 1) an Irish/English style recorded in a historic manual, 2) an antique Spanish gentleman's walking stick style.

    Whatever the truth of the origin of Mr. Doyle's style, it has no, as in none whatsoever, resemblance to Eskrima. It has more in common, stylistically, with Victorian era Quarterstaffing than it does with FMA.

    Am I saying it's "authentic Irish pass-down"? No, I am not. Nor am I saying it's not. I don't know if it is or if it isn't. But it ain't Eskrima.

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
  3. Chili Pepper is online now
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    Posted On:
    5/17/2010 12:08pm


     Style: Siling Labuyo Arnis

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ulsteryank View Post
    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.
    So what? One of my kung-fu brothers learned a family style of machete use from a cane farmer in El Salvador, passed down among the men in the family for who knows how long. There are probably thousands of incredibly obscure family methods that you and I will never hear about.

    People I respect, who are FMA'ers, have trained with him and shown me what they learned, and it doesn't look at all Filipino.
  4. Ulsteryank is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/17/2010 2:32pm


     Style: Sekkyoku Tai Jutsu/MMA

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Sorry for the confusion guys, but the whole, "Eskrima with shamrocks" is just a saying. They were not literally saying his style is Eskrima, Eskrima was just the lucky art randomly picked because it is a popular "stick art", and "with shamrocks" refers to anything with an Irish twist. I didn't coin it, but the two Irish martial artists that I heard say it could have got the same meaning by inserting any other name in its place. (They probably didn't think the term would end up on a public martial arts forum either.)

    Supposedly if Doyle's art is legit, then it should be advertised as specifically a family art, because the point I'm trying to make is, no one in Ireland practices it, therefore I don't think its appropriate to label it a national Irish martial art.
  5. HereBeADragon is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/17/2010 2:43pm


     Style: Limalama, Judo & BJJ

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Ulsteryank View Post
    Supposedly if Doyle's art is legit, then it should be advertised as specifically a family art, because the point I'm trying to make is, no one in Ireland practices it, therefore I don't think its appropriate to label it a national Irish martial art.
    I haven't looked up his website in a while but as I recall in the bio for this art he specificly details it as a style passed down in his family and only in his family not as a national Irish martial art.
  6. lklawson is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/17/2010 2:44pm


     Style: Bowie

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ulsteryank View Post
    Sorry for the confusion guys, but the whole, "Eskrima with shamrocks" is just a saying. They were not literally saying his style is Eskrima, Eskrima was just the lucky art randomly picked because it is a popular "stick art", and "with shamrocks" refers to anything with an Irish twist. I didn't coin it, but the two Irish martial artists that I heard say it could have got the same meaning by inserting any other name in its place. (They probably didn't think the term would end up on a public martial arts forum either.)
    Fair enough.

    Supposedly if Doyle's art is legit, then it should be advertised as specifically a family art, because the point I'm trying to make is, no one in Ireland practices it, therefore I don't think its appropriate to label it a national Irish martial art.
    He doesn't label it a "national Irish martial art." He does, however call it a family system, passed down from his pre-immigration Irish family, thus making it "Irish." But not "national Irish martial art."

    All documentation available seems to indicate that individual clans, families, and Factions would have a "system" or instructor dedicated to their group. It would not be out of line at all, given that, to assert that there was no one specific "national Irish" stick-fighting style, though it would make sense that many of them would look similar, stylistically.

    Given that, I fail to see what the big resistance is to the idea that, here and there, a family style might have been preserved from father to son.

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
  7. Ulsteryank is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/17/2010 3:00pm


     Style: Sekkyoku Tai Jutsu/MMA

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by DdlR View Post
    Just as general reference, there is well-documented evidence of at least semi-codified stick fighting in Ireland during the 19th century, along with the wrestling and boxing you'd expect to see there at that time. There are multiple records in 19th century Irish (and other) literature to this being a practiced skill, i.e. something that was taught and learned, applied in a variety of cultural contexts from friendly games through to serious self defense and also in faction fighting.

    For about the past ten years, people (mostly in the US) have been reconstructing a generic 19th century Irish stick fighting method based primarily on two written sources from that period; Donald Walker's "Defensive Exercises" (1840) - http://books.google.com/books?id=u98...page&q&f=false and a short description in R.G. Allanson-Winn's "Broadsword and Singlestick" (c1890). Neither source goes into any great technical depth, but there is just enough recorded to offer to a decent sense of the style, which could be summarized as a fighting stance comparable to that of a boxer, with an approximately 36" stick held in a high, roughly 1/3rd grip which allows the "short end" of the stick to be used defensively.

    This reconstructed method of stick fighting is sometimes combined with (also reconstructed) bare-knuckle boxing and collar-and-elbow wrestling techniques - http://artofcombat.org/ismac/2010/20...artialArts.htm
    Cheers for the input DdlR, that was a very informed post.I have actually came across that first source before when looking into this. I'm aware of the stick fighting references in faction fighting, which I believe is different to being a living cultural tradition.

    19nth century Ireland was a much different time, back when the whole island was part of the United Kingdom. Many Gaelic traditions were illegal, and banned. People faction fought with Hurley sticks before that(still do actually), however even if the methods in doing such were broken down into specific systems, they never flourished or were accepted as an elaborate cultural tradition. I would agree that these are reconstructions of fragmented sources, currently active in North America.
  8. Ulsteryank is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/17/2010 3:17pm


     Style: Sekkyoku Tai Jutsu/MMA

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by lklawson View Post
    Fair enough.

    He doesn't label it a "national Irish martial art." He does, however call it a family system, passed down from his pre-immigration Irish family, thus making it "Irish." But not "national Irish martial art."

    Kirk
    And I apologise if this is some of my own doing. It seems I've taken a lot of what I've seen written about Bata, and Irish Stick Fighting elsewhere, and lumped it all into this one thread. Most of it based on what I've seen stated by adherents, and not by Mr. Doyle himself. I deal with a lot of "Celtic Reconstructionists" on a regular basis(mostly in the world of paganism), that choose to favour romantic ideas over actual contemporary Irish culture....with this subject being one thing glamorised as a national Irish art.
  9. DdlR is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/17/2010 3:44pm

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     Style: Bartitsu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Modern Irish stick fighting often seems to be tied in to various nationalistic/romantic/religious/political agendas. Again, it would be great if there was some way to prove the claims that some traditional styles have been passed down to the present day. Otherwise, for people who are into it, it's fortunate that there was just enough technical detail written down back in the 1800s to offer a sense of what it was like.

    The rule of thumb with martial arts reconstruction is "the less detailed the source, the more speculative the result", but as long as that's clear from the outset, it does no harm and may well do some good.
  10. Ulsteryank is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/18/2010 12:39am


     Style: Sekkyoku Tai Jutsu/MMA

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by DdlR View Post
    Modern Irish stick fighting often seems to be tied in to various nationalistic/romantic/religious/political agendas. Again, it would be great if there was some way to prove the claims that some traditional styles have been passed down to the present day. Otherwise, for people who are into it, it's fortunate that there was just enough technical detail written down back in the 1800s to offer a sense of what it was like.

    The rule of thumb with martial arts reconstruction is "the less detailed the source, the more speculative the result", but as long as that's clear from the outset, it does no harm and may well do some good.
    I whole heartedly agree again, and I, along with many people in Ireland, never get the nationalistic and political agendas attached to people's interest in Irish culture. The amount of heritage, literature, famous poets, writers, and musicians the the island has produced, and it seems people would rather associate with old stereo-types.

    My wife honestly took one look at the title, "Whiskey Stick Dancing", along with pics like these...


    ...
    and just rolled her eyes. Now fair play to Mr. Doyle if is family tradition is legit, no disrespect there, but even taken straight from wikipedia.....
    "In modern usage, the shillelagh is recognised (particularly in an Irish-American context) as a symbol of Irishness"
    "the shillelagh eventually became a symbol of stereotypical violent Irish behavior, and has thus become nearly a tabooed topic of discussion for some Irish people"
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shillelagh_%28club%29

    The iconography behind the way this stick-fighting is approached, and even the faction fighting past alone, is something many Irish nationals would be more inclined to be embarrassed about, than take pride in.

    For the sake of the combat techniques themselves, and those putting their time into the reconstruction, I agree a lot of good can come from it, and they're lucky to have enough sources to be able to work from. To be fair it was his hurley stick Cú Chulainn was said to slay the hound with to get his name....and Foclór Gaeilge-Béarla by Niall Ó Dónaill is regarded as the "Irish Bible" dictionary when it comes to the language, in which we do find....
    "bataireacht, f. (gs.~a). (Act of) stick-fighting."
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