View Full Version : Hello, new from Ireland

4/24/2007 6:22am,
Actually, out of California now, but originally from Galway. I practice Bataireacht, specifically with the bata tríú (great/big stick; a heavy 3 foot stick), and Bata Pionsa (the use of the stick replicating the style of the backsword or broadsword), and also attempting to rework the older sword styles from paintings and such with a few professionals on that (though we're not associated with ARMA, should I maybe look into them?). Of course, we lack the niceties of a German fight-book for that, so it's far slower going. Like many stickfighters, I work out of family tradition to learn it. I know that probably sounds hackneyed or something, but the truth is most stickfighters up until the modern day were learning from family members (since stickfighting never died out like other western martial arts).

For the curious, if there are any, stick fighting in Ireland can be tied to the medieval and earlier periods (written references to it occur early in Christian Ireland), though most notably, modern styles developed out of the high-to-late medieval era, maybe earlier, drawn from the same sources that developed the games of hurling and shinty; a series of games and exercises for teaching men to fight. From there came the styles developed for faction fights in the 19th century, with many of those styles preserved as family styles, like the Rince an Bhata Uisce Bheatha of the western Doyle family, which uses the three foot walking stick in two hands (I don't practice that but sounds interesting enough).

Enjoy these forums, wished to pop on and say hello.

4/24/2007 6:23am,
We knew you could do it! Raighnaigha posted, YAY! And if a bot is this rude, just imagine harsh this is gonna be. Hope you're wearing a thick gi.

4/24/2007 6:38am,
cool another irish person, maybe one day we could meet up and create an irish person with more than half a brain (bags i get your half though)

4/24/2007 7:46am,
Odd welcome bot that. And we don't wear a gi, bah.

Alex; that'd depend, you got the left or right half? I'm a bitter, joyless individual obsessed with history and logic, so I'd say I'm running on the left.

Incidentally, anyone else here practicing bata? I imagine not, it's a bit rare these days, but the popularity of it is growing, so it's not an impossibility some one here has an interest. I imagine most stick fighters here, if there are any, would be more toward Jogo do Pau or Eskrima.

4/24/2007 8:11am,
My husband is half irish, half italian. He says that when he drinks that makes him a sentimental hothead. True?

4/24/2007 9:27am,
When I drink I get more cheerful than sentimental or hotheaded. Though, that also depends on where in Ireland. Dubs get real mad when drunk I find. Maybe it's all the tourists that do that. I imagine the fiftieth time some pretentious British ass or pissed nit makes a crack about a leperchaun to you, and you've got the whiskey and beer in you, it starts to get pretty damn agitating. And then the punching begins.

I was raised on a little island off the coast of Galway though, and spent a lot of time in Galway. We get drunk there, everyone gets very cheerful about things they probably have no right to be so happy over. "I got off work! It's a great day! So great in fact, I'm going to hammer this whole bottle of whiskey myself!" And then comes the vomiting. And pride with how much one has thrown up and is yet still alive. A lot of drinking in western Ireland turns into a contest to see how terrible a row with alcohol poisoning one can survive I think. Or, it always seemed that way with my friends. Maybe I'm too young for the sentimentality though.

Mind, when I drink here, I can get sentimental, but not all sobbing into my drink and boohooing and whining for hours. That kind of sentimentality lasts until the point when I've gone from a buzz to full on drunk, at which I begin determining random contests with my associates. Drinking games are the start usually, benign ones (card games and such), but then it gets to "Whoever throws up last wins, but anyone who ceases their drinking for more than a few seconds unless they're refilling gets kicked in the crotch". All the while laughing and shouting.

Dubliners though, as said, tend to get angry. Older folks anywhere though do get sentimental a lot more. Though, they're better at. A young guy, if he gets sentimental, what does he really have to say? Whine about his ex-girlfriends or something. Bah, good luck getting sympathy. Probably get made fun of or outright slapped for whining. An old timer though has stories, and awesome ones, that only get better as you keep drinking.

The Irish diaspora drinkers though, that is, Irish-Americans/Canadians/Brits/wherever, seem to get sentimental, though I'm never quite sure what over. Typically while drinking Guinness (overrated) and cheap Jameson (which is swill, by the way; while Red Flag and such isn't bad, typical Jameson is more or less a bad attempt at Anglicized Scotch made in Ireland; Dubliners seem to like both, but to hell with that, I think it's just cause both are made there).

4/24/2007 9:37am,
What cracks me up is every time Patrick's uncle gets hammered, he starts speaking with an Irish accent. The family is third generation Canadian, and the uncle has never actually set foot in Ireland, but get a few pints in him and well, he just got off the boat, to hear him tell it.

That **** must drive real Irish folk crazy!

4/24/2007 11:16am,
Insanely so. Mainly because most people's perception of an Irish accent is comically mistaken.

A main problem with it is that there is no Irish accent, perse. The regional accents are so incredibly diverse that few people ever imitate one accurately without a good bit of coaching. The easiest for most people are the accents out of Dublin (which has a few) and out of northern Ireland, mainly because they're the most relatively similar to (depending on region) an 'English' or stereotypical 'Scottish' accent (which is another set of non-accents; there are many many accents).

I manage to affect a kind of bland southern accent (which I actually learned from a linguist friend from Louisiana) for sake of having worked in radio briefly here. My actual voice can get very thick and difficult to understand when speaking in English. People who try and imitate an 'Irish' accent get this kind of cartoonish sound to them usually, or sound like a really drunk and slow-witted man from some part of Munster (which has some very lyrical, nice accents, until you hear some jack ass futilely attempting to imitate one).

4/24/2007 12:20pm,
cool another irish person, maybe one day we could meet up and create an irish person with more than half a brain (bags i get your half though)

Something you're not telling us Alex?

Goju - Joe
4/24/2007 12:27pm,
Incidentally, anyone else here practicing bata? I imagine not, it's a bit rare these days, but the popularity of it is growing, so it's not an impossibility some one here has an interest. I imagine most stick fighters here, if there are any, would be more toward Jogo do Pau or Eskrima.

I did an hour long seminar with this fellow here


Basicaly we put on hockey gloves and smacked each other in the hands.

It was cool.

Now wears me shelaighle !!

4/24/2007 12:47pm,
An hour? Then you didn't get the fun of temple blows and snatches/stick seizing (sciobi). Though I don't know if the latter are in Rince an Bhata Uisce Bheatha. I do know it doesn't have the limited handwork of some styles though because it's inspired in part by boxing. However, I'd also point out Whiskey Stick is very unusual, if that's what he was showing you, as far as bata goes, in that it has both hands on the stick usually. Some styles have very little handwork except using the offhand to grab or redirect a swing.

Snatches involve actively disarming the opponent of his club with a free hand though, which isn't allowed in most of those styles in a fair fight, but it's taught for the sake of history, as there was a period when stick combat was pretty common and there was a chance to get in a no-holds barred fight with another club fighter. Though, mind, that isn't faction fights (which had a number of rules; I doubt stick snatching would be allowed). Mind, the real shillelagh was intended for settling gentlemanly disputes, but not everyone was so polite as to politely ask if you'd like to fight over who got to crack open who's skull with a hardened stick.

Similarly, the lack of free-hand disarmament of the opponent isn't in every style, there are also sweeps and punches and grapples and so forth only found in other styles. Bata is fun that way I think; a lot of variety, many different styles, but really needs to get systemized better so it's easier to study individual styles.