shillelagh

Irish and European fighting styles and techniques, and the required Arms & Armour

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shillelagh

Postby pajo on Sat May 24, 2008 8:17 pm

o.k, heres an odd one for ya.....

I read in some random book a couple years back that the Irish shillelagh woz used in some sort of Irish "Martial Arts" anyone else read this or heard this anywhere?????
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Re: shillelagh

Postby sabrewolfe on Sat May 24, 2008 9:20 pm

Yeah I heard this too fairly sure I have the document in question saved in work. I will upload it on Monday. If i remember rightly it talked about how each village or township had a senior trainer who thought the lads whats what. Quite interesting stuff about the methods used and how lads used to pick fights at fairs by dragging their coat along the ground saying ¨who will step on the tail of my coat¨ or ¨who will say black is the white of my eye¨

Have to say I would love to get my hands on one and do a bit of training with it.
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Re: shillelagh

Postby pajo on Sat May 24, 2008 11:42 pm

thats what I woz thinking (the training bit)... from what I heard it was fought with in the same fashion as a short staff, with the added benifit of it having a very heavy end which cud easily smash a skull.... could be worth a really good laugh...
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Re: shillelagh

Postby sabrewolfe on Mon May 26, 2008 7:49 am

Ok have the document here. Cant add the blasted thing though. Ok here is a google docs link for it instead.

http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dfchnk3p_23gz689fcg
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Re: shillelagh

Postby brendan on Mon May 26, 2008 1:36 pm

My father has a book at home on Irish Faction fights which covers all the major faction fights - including the one in Killaloe which ended up with a (brief) siege of the police station which only ended with shots being fired into the crowd.
There were "fencing masters" with sticks, though AFAIK this is pretty much a lost art. There are some people who have reinvented it.
There are numeroud oriental martial arts that use similar weapons; the closest "living" European martial art is the Portuguese "Game of Sticks" which is a heavy duty full contact sport (All shots are with full intention). It primarily focuses on 2 handed staff, but has a short stick element. I tried this out in Dijon and it was pretty cool.
The staffs were weighted towards one end, which had a significant impact on use

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Re: shillelagh

Postby Ian on Mon May 26, 2008 5:05 pm

I picked up a re-print of a late 19th C weapons manual which has a section on the use of the "shillalah".
The descriptions are based on contempory use at country fairs in Cork and Kerry where "all is slashing and whacking and the hardest skull generally comes off best"

The shillelagh described is "about 4ft long" and "is a great point to get it uniform in thickness and weight throughout its entire length".
It is "held about a third of its length from the end, the shorter portion serves to guard the right side of the head and the right forearm".
And if people are training with the shillelagh rememeber "an irishman nearly always makes his left forearm the guard for the left side of his head".

Ow...

(and just for Aislinn: Broad-sword and single-stick - R.G Allanson-Winn and C. Phillips-Wolley, re-printed 2006, Palladin Press. ISBN's - 10: 1-58160-512-9/13: 978-1-58160-512-9 )
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Re: shillelagh

Postby pajo on Mon May 26, 2008 6:11 pm

Hmm.. all very interesting.. I'm glad I asked about it.. was kinda apprehensive about asking considering the modern day view of the shillelagh.....

so.. if we can find decent guides on how they were fought with, would anyone be interested...? (tho I dont think we'll go with the full contact.. lol... I value my bones!)
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Re: shillelagh

Postby brendan on Tue May 27, 2008 12:14 am

Well, from my brief exposure to the Portuguese style, I would say that you have to be willing to "go at it" in order to get the proper effect of that sort of weapon - there is a percussive effect from the impact of a parry that leads into the routine.

However. Ian's post suggests that the C19 style may have had more to do with fencing (which sort of makes sense) than staff fighting.

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Re: shillelagh

Postby Neil on Tue May 27, 2008 6:10 pm

It sounds like the style may have been somewhat similar to the french 18/19th century martial art of La Cáne (sp?) which evolved as a requirement of the wealthier classes being mugged in dangerous city areas. Basically involved using the gentlemans cane in a pretty deadly display of attacks and blocks involving a lot of spinning by the genlteman to add momentum to their moves. Saw a documentry on it on discovery once before. Was pretty cool :)
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Re: shillelagh

Postby Neil on Wed May 28, 2008 6:14 pm

I think this may be of interest. I'm not quite sure if it's exactly as the stuff I saw in that documentary but is interesting all the same
http://www.elite-fighters.com/library/r ... hting1.htm
http://www.elite-fighters.com/library/r ... hting2.htm
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