Earliest Syllabus of WMA Training in Ireland?

Discussion in 'Western Martial Arts' started by Louie, Mar 4, 2004.

  1. Louie

    Louie STUNT DAD Supporter

    From Celtic mythology we get one of the earliest records of a form of training syllabus for warriors;
    Fionn MacCumhail and his followers, the Fianna, were a band of warrior militia who travelled between Scotland and Ireland, making their home in the mountains of Glencoe. Here and along Loch Levenside, the Fianna fought Earragan, King of the Vikings and his army of Norsemen.

    Their story gives us some idea of the rigorous training of a warrior, which generations of Gaels aspired too. The requirements for joining the Fianna were vigorous, the applicants had to submit to an initiatory test of valour and skill....

    First the candidate was buried to the waist in a pit, armed with a hazel stick and a shield, he had to defend himself against nine warriors who, from a length of ten furrows, would each throw their spears one at a time. If the applicant was wounded, they were not thought fit to join the Fianna.

    The applicant's hair was then tied up and braided, then with only the length of a branch between the Fianna warriors and himself, the applicant was chased through the forest. If, during the chase, he was wounded or if his weapons trembled in his hand, or if a branch of a tree had undone a single braid on his hair, or if he had been heard to crack a dry stick underfoot, he was not thought fit to join the Fianna.

    The applicant would then be required to leap over a stick the height of himself, stoop under one of the height of his knee, and then, while running at full speed, he had to pluck a thorn out from his heel without hindrance to his flight. Only then was taken into the Fianna.

    Last edited: Mar 4, 2004
  2. Andy Murray

    Andy Murray Sadly passed away. Rest In Peace.

    Think I'd cry off with congenital flat feet Louie. :p

    Great story.
  3. Stolenbjorn

    Stolenbjorn Valued Member

    "Heimskringla" (written down by Snorre Sturlason in in 1220+/-) gives a rough insight on weaponry, tactics, mentality and feats vikings trained on, though it doesn't portray any concrete trainingpatterns or tecniqes :cry: It describes all the kings of Norway from around year 900 to 1180.
    Olav Tryggvason for example (from ca.year 990) could throw two spears simultainously, and he could run on the outside of the bow on the oars of the rowers... Close combat was wieved as most honourable, but missile engagements and yelling was often preffered, as that was less lethal and more indecicive.

    It's a must for viking reenacters!

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