Irish Stickfighting links

Discussion in 'Western Martial Arts' started by kenpfrenger, Mar 1, 2004.

  1. kenpfrenger

    kenpfrenger sportin' a Broughton

  2. Louie

    Louie STUNT DAD Supporter

    Irish faction-fighters

    Hi Ken,

    I know there's a lot of Irish/American interest in the States regarding your research and the development of Bata....

    Perhaps Irish Mappers may have seen/heard of someone practicing a form of Irish stickplay in Ireland? (Not the Northern system of baseball to Kneecap!!)

    As in Scotland, there might be a few people who don't advertise and just do what they do.....

    Any old Cudgellers out there :D ?

  3. CKava

    CKava Just one more thing... Supporter

    I was just going to start a thread asking if anyone had any information on Irish stickfighting hows that for a coincidence. Thanks for the links!

    And sadly Louie I have never seen any Irish stickplay while in Ireland aside from the brutally efficient Northern style that you have already mentioned.
  4. kenpfrenger

    kenpfrenger sportin' a Broughton

    Baseball bat to kneecap does sound pretty efficient:)

    My experice just from dealing with people online is that it is a rare thing when you find someone who knows any of the old style of stickplay. My own personal style (That is linked witht he first URL I posted) is a reconstructed style using what I could dig through manuals and find plus a good dose of oldtimers with a tidbit here and there as well ans a serious does of practical use. I make no claims that what I do is exactly how it was done during the faction fighting era, nor do I plan on getting rich off of it...I just really enjoy it and find it to be a very brutal and effective way to wield a stick.
  5. tonymok125

    tonymok125 Valued Member

    So there's no stick art that directly relates to the Irish then?

    I've never heard of it myself, but that would be interesting wouldn't it?
  6. Louie

    Louie STUNT DAD Supporter

    Irish/Canadian Glen Doyle on his website:

    Maintains that the stick art taught to him is directly related to an old Irish style.... ?

    The art of stick fighting was passed down from generation to generation, each father passing his techniques and nuances of style on to his sons. In this way, Uisce Beatha Bata Rince was passed down through numerous Doyles to one Edward Doyle who emigrated to the island of Newfoundland around the year 1867. Newfoundland, was pretty much an isolated island with a large Irish population so many of the old Irish customs and traditions were not lost as the 20th century progressed. Edward passed on the Doyle stick fighting art to his son Christopher, who in turn passed the art down to one of his sons, Gregory Doyle who in turn taught Glen, his son. Glen Doyle began learning Uisce Beatha Bata Rince at the age of seven. Glen, now residing in Toronto.

    Louie :rolleyes:
  7. tonymok125

    tonymok125 Valued Member

    Thanks Louie!
    Just checked out that website you gave me! It was informative about the art but how do you think it differs from other stick arts? For example, I do the Phillipino, Kali. So how would the Irish art be compared to that?

    I seen some of the techniques that are used in the Irish one, and it goes on about that the person's hands are almost on the stick at all times? I don't understand that. The footwork is good though. :D
  8. Louie

    Louie STUNT DAD Supporter

    Irish Stick

    Hi Tony....

    As I've been concentrating on a form of Stick-fighting that used to be very popular throughout Scotland & England (and is very similar to some forms of FMA), I haven't had the opportunity of practicing the available material on Irish stick..... :confused:

    Ken is the man for this subject, I'm sure he'll post an answer to your queries very shortly (here's some of his pics while your waiting)

    Louie :D
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2004
  9. kenpfrenger

    kenpfrenger sportin' a Broughton

    Sifu Doyles method is indeed passed down from Ireland. Since it is a family style I am unsure of how many people have done it over the years or if it is even done by anyone who was outside of the family much....that said I will add that even though what I do was not passed down in one big hunk that everything that I do is Irish in origin. Whether it comes from an elderly gentleman in a pub passing on exploits of his youth or from someone who grabs a stick and says...."This is how my grand da showed me to swing a stick."

    So while it is a reconstructed style it is still completely native Irish in composition.
  10. Stanmore

    Stanmore New Member


    as an Irishman I'm a tad dubious about "Uisce Beatha Bata Rince" or, in english, whiskey stick dance...

    Ive never heard of any formal stick fighting arts.So far as I know, were a brawl to break out, anything goes!
  11. Louie

    Louie STUNT DAD Supporter

    Droghedy's March

    I do know that the Irish at one time had some form of formal style that was 'danced' called Droghedy's March a good historical description was recorded, which Ken has been working on.

    Combative 'dances' have survived, for instance the Highland Dirk Dance was recovered in Canada by a dance researcher in the 1950's and was recently taught to me by his only pupil who is now in his 70's :D

  12. Stanmore

    Stanmore New Member

    a combative dance is not a martial art. Surely a martial art implies some kind of formal system? There's none that I've ever heard of,(not that that disproves the existence of one!) though many a man carried a blackthorn stick alright.. there's even a few back in my parents house. Grand for whacking belligerent dogs when out on a walk!
  13. Louie

    Louie STUNT DAD Supporter

    Combative Dance

    Hi Stanmore

    By 'combative dance' I am talking about something very similar to the Indonesian martial art, Silat, in which combative techniques are practiced in the form of a dance-like kata...
    Their combative dance is part of a formal system as was that practiced by Scots, the Irish etc.

    Again, I'm not sure about how this Irish 'dance' looked, my main field of research has been Scottish... The Scots evidence is that they 'danced' set patterns with weapons, (stick, sword, lochaber axe, flail, dirk, etc)
    ....and practiced 'freestyle' against each other, in armed & unarmed combat.

    And I'm sure the Morris stick 'dance' probably originally looked like Filipino stick drills if you went far enough back in time. :eek:

  14. kenpfrenger

    kenpfrenger sportin' a Broughton

    Hi for the Whisky Dance....I really only know as much about it as anyone else with access to the site describing it.

    So that aside here is a source of info for a tradition of Irish martial arts.......Early in the 20th century the Irish Folklore Commission(I may be screwing theis story up abit sorry) sent youngsters out with a mission of talking to the oldest people in their families and taking notes. These notes sat for sometime until a man named Patrick O'Donnell went through them and looked for info on Irish stick fighting. He wrote a book called "The Irish Faction Fighters of the 19th Century". Definitely worth getting if you are interested in learning more about the history of Irish cudgel play. He discusses based on his evidence the fact there many of the faction had their own specific trainers who taught the young men how to fence with the stick and how the young man would have frequent sparring sessions with each other to keep their skills sharp. This implies that there were at least methods of using the stick if not one single martial art like we usually think of today.

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