Video on one of the styles of Irish stick battle
1. Characteristic style (school, direction) in one sentence
Gaelic martial arts - a complex of martial arts (martial arts) and games of gels (Celts), the indigenous population of Ireland and Scotland, which includes various styles of cane combat (or Bataireacht in Gaelic), types of folk wrestling in the rack, various types of fencing (broadsword, sword and shield, knife, dagger, two-handed sword), fist fighting techniques, kicks, fighting games of Hurling and Kamanahk, which can be seen as an element of Gaelic culture and traditions, as well as in the context of sports, as well as self-defense.
2. Style motto (schools, directions)
Each school (group) practicing Gaelic martial arts has its own slogans.
Buaidh no Bàs! - Victory or death! - the motto of my Clan MacDougall, as well as my motto.
3. The origins (beginning) of the direction (when and who founded)
I think the origins of the martial arts of any nation must be sought in the time when this nation appeared. Martial arts and games are part of his culture.
Gela is an ancient nation, respectively, its martial arts are also ancient.
According to the traditional Gaelic text “First Battle of Mitura”, the first Hörling match took place near the modern village of Kong in County Mayo of Connacht, Ireland 11 June 1897 BC between 27 players from the Fir Bolg Tribe and 27 players from the Goddess Danu Tribe.
Fir Bolgi won the match, which was quite brutal - young warriors from the Tribe of the Goddess Danu gave their lives during it.
I would like to point out that the ancient Gaelic game Iomain (Iman), existing today in two varieties - Hörling, which is popular mainly in Ireland and managed by the Gaelic Athletic Association and Kamanahk (Shinti in English), which is popular in Scotland in its mountainous part) and managed by the Kamanahk Association, is (especially in ancient times) a kind of ritual battle.
All Gaelic heroes — Cuchulin, Finn Mac Qual, Conal Gulban, and others played Hurling or Kamanahk.
The heroes of Ireland, who achieved independence for the country in the 20 century, also dropped the pawns of English tyranny from the Emerald Isle and also played the Gaelic Games.
Hurling has always been a sport of warriors, a special game.
Even in relatively recent times, in the 19 century, namely in 1821, on the Scottish island of Mull, it was Kamanahk between Clan Campbell and Clan McLean who decided once and for all who would be the victor in the internecine war that lasted more than one century between these clans. The McLeans won.
Here is what the modern Hurling looks like:
And approximately like this, the game was played 250 years ago in Scotland:
Toward the end of the 19 century, the first rules of Hurling appeared, the game itself
was much tougher than today. For example, fighting techniques were allowed (but only from the front and from the side, it was considered dishonest to grab from behind), and not only with hands, but also hooks and steps. Before 2003, Hörling was played without helmets (in Kamanahk and now most are playing without helmets).
If we are talking about the times of Hurling and Kamanahk in the first half of the 19 century before, then there were no special rules (and if there were rules, then there were no judges). Each side of the match often involved hundreds of people.
And, as one of the eyewitnesses of the matches of those days said: “In these matches, the Hurling stick changed its game purpose very often”.
Who ever held a stick in the hands of Kamanahk or Hörling, knows that in capable hands is terrible weapon.
Perhaps it was in such ritual battles that an interesting phenomenon was born in Ireland, which was called and reached its heyday in the 19 century - Faction Fighting (front-fighting game, alas, could not find the most accurate translation into Russian, since Factions can be translated as groups, gangs, but most likely, it would be more accurate to call them military alliances that united fighters, often from the same village or one clan, who primarily fought for the honor of their village or their family and not all of them were involved in criminal activities).
"Donnibruk Fair: The Challenge" (approximately 1850) by Erskine Nikola
Front Fighting was a battle between two such military alliances, where the main weapon was a stick made of strong wood (blackthorn, ash, oak and others). The sticks could be completely different in size and modifications (sticks were often used) - with or without thickening at one end, sometimes “tucked in” with lead, other cold weapons were sometimes used, but firearms were almost never. There was its own special subculture, its own code of honor - the duel between the two leaders of the detachments, insults, and there were rules for equal combat - on each side an equal number of fighters.
It was not purely stick fencing - fighting techniques (Gaelic fighting in the girth, and also, especially, fighting “collar and elbow), fist fighting techniques, kicks, knees — everything was used in such battles. Together, of course, with the work of weapons.
Given that military alliances were built on a territorial or kinship basis, it is not surprising that each of them had its own secrets and its own techniques.
Accordingly, there was a great variety of styles.
Facebook Fighting died in Ireland in the 19 century. Together with him, as a mass phenomenon, the traditions of the folk struggle “Collar and Elbow”, the struggle in the girth died (in Scotland, the struggle in the girth exists, and the tradition was not interrupted).
There may be many reasons for this:
- Gaelic battles fight, Gaelic types of struggle were inextricably linked with the Gaelic language and culture. The British authorities, beginning in the 12 century, since their invasion of Ireland, took a variety of measures, including by issuing official laws, to eradicate Gaelic culture.
If Ireland was Gel-speaking in the 19 century, then for the majority of its inhabitants, English has become native. A part of the culture went along with the language;
- In addition, in the 19 century there was a terrible Great Famine in Ireland from the effects of which the population of Ireland decreased by half by some estimates - from 8 with a few million in 1841 to 4 with a small of millions in 1901.
- There is also an opinion that another important reason could also be that the fighter of a stick battle in Ireland is, above all, a fighter who fights for the honor of his village, his family, the clan - one can say for his “club”, using sports terminology.
This was beneficial to the British government, which, using the policy of “divide and rule,” pushed the military unions between the geles, thereby weakening Ireland.
Irish patriotic organizations that fought for the freedom of their land, set for themselves the goal of educating a warrior of a different plan - a warrior who would fight not so much for his “club” as for the “national team” for Ireland. These organizations were also mostly against action-fighting.
Well, in a fierce fight with the vast British Empire, Ireland gained victory, but for the clan system and the associated action-fighting game and the traditions of stick fighting in Ireland, this may have meant a sentence.
We see the modern club championships and championships between the counties of Ireland in Hurling and Gaelic football under the control of the Gaelic Athletic Association, which in due time saved the traditional game of gels, and, thanks to reasonable rules, retained as an element of the traditional Gaelic tribalism, and contributed to the unification of Ireland.
Everyone fights or frantically supports his club or county, but fatal cases (as in football, rugby) are a tragic accident, and not a fairly common occurrence, as in fights fights.
And I have not heard these days about the fights between fans of the opposing teams in Hurling or Gaelic football, this is unthinkable, here the English football subculture does not work.
Variety of sticks, clubs, canes
I know that in some places in Ireland (I heard about County Antrim and County Wexford) there are several small groups that practice cane battles today, but they don’t like to advertise themselves.
More common is the Irish battleship in the Irish diaspora in the USA and Canada, where there is Glen Doyle's style. As he claims this style is part of a family and continuous tradition. He now has a lot of followers in other countries, including Germany and Russia, there is Ken Pfrenger’s group, a practicing style based on extant written sources (Donald Walker), there is a group in Canada that has its own style that has its roots in County Antrim, there is a group of John Hurley.
In any case, in my opinion, there is no single strong organization uniting various groups of Irish baton battles in the world.
4. The ultimate goal of the class (the ideal to which the student is going), the physical and mental qualities that he must acquire
The goal is to learn to control your body, maximally discover and use the physical and mental potential laid down in the fighters, develop the ability to deliver “sharp” explosive strikes, the ability to intercept and wield initiative in battle, the ability to wield a stick, cane, wooden and steel broadsword (sword), stick, knife, the ability to move, while maintaining stability and balance, the ability to maintain stability and balance in the fight against the enemy.
5. Used equipment (shock, wrestling, zalomnaya, etc.)
- As I said before, Gaelic styles of stick fighting and knife fighting, as a rule, imply the use of not only sticks, but also blows with hands, elbows, knees, legs (as a rule, not above the belt), fighting techniques in the rack. The technique of movement, in general, is similar to boxing.
Most modern styles of Irish stick fighting use the so-called “Irish grip”, where the baht (Gaelic cane, stick) holds approximately the lower third with “saber” or “hammer” grip, its lower end protects the forearm and elbow. The blows and shots are inflicted on both the upper and lower ends of the bat, the blocks (both hard and sliding) are also carried out by the upper and lower ends of the bat.
In the near, and, in some styles, and in the long range, two-handed grip is used.
The targets for punches and pricks are, above all, the arms, the temple, the chin, the nose, the elbows, the knees, the solar plexus.
Almost all styles have methods of disarming the enemy.
Leg position and body weight (in most styles), as in modern boxing (60% weight on the front leg, 40% on the back, in styles that build their technique on the use of broadswords, on the contrary, 60% - on the back, 40% - on the front).
Movement, in general, in many styles of Irish stick fights is also from modern boxing.
Boxing and wrestling, both Irish Collar & Elbow Wrestling and Highland Backhold Wrestling, are closely related to Gaelic stick fighting.
This struggle received its name “Collar and Elbow” due to a preliminary capture, which consisted of the fact that the wrestler took the opponent's goal with his right hand and the left hand for the opponent's elbow.
They fought both in a special tight jacket and without a jacket, so “collar and elbow” meant the place where the preliminary grip was taken, which later the fighters could tear off and take other grips.
The task of the fighter was to make his opponent touch the ground with three points.
In some counties, for example, in Kildare county, it was necessary to force his opponent to touch the ground with any part above the knee, in case one of the fighters intentionally or unintentionally touched the ground with his knee three times, he was defeated in this round.
Wrestling fights took place, as a rule, up to two falls (but wrestlers could agree to a different number of falls).
On the ground, as a rule, in Ireland in this kind of struggle (as in many other ancient forms of struggle in Ireland and the British Isles) did not fight.
The arsenal of this struggle included the back and front steps, hooks, leg grips, throws over the hip and other techniques, since this struggle was built not only on physical strength, but above all on skillful movements, dexterity- this style of Irish wrestling was also called Scientific Wrestling.
It is known that in the 19 century, this style of struggle, due to the large Irish diaspora, became very popular in America.
Namely, in America, the Irish wrestling "Collar and Elbow", having experienced the influence of the English wrestling Catch as Catch Can (Catch),
which itself was a combination of several English folk wrestling styles, included such new elements as wrestling in the stalls.
In America, wrestling matches began to take place, in which professional wrestlers of different styles took part — Greco-Roman, Collar and Elbow, Catch; as a result of these interactions, a certain common style developed over time, which became the ancestor of modern Olympic freestyle wrestling.
In Scotland, the Gaelic species was and still is still popular.
fight in girth (Highland or Scottish Backhold Wrestling). It was also common in Ireland at the time, at least we find references to it in ancient skeletons (sceal from Gaelic "история"), Although in the future, probably, another type of Gaelic wrestling," Collar and Elbow ", became more popular.
Among the Scottish gals, wrestling was also tied to baton fights. Until the British Government banned weapons from carrying Scotch gels and the destruction of the Gaelic clan system that followed the defeat at Culloden in 1746, martial arts schools existed in Highland Scotland, the first of which was discovered in 1400 by Donall Gruamah, Lord of the Isles, for their strong men and wrestlers.
In such a school, each of which was called Taigh Sunndais (from the Gaelic "home of joy and health"), young people were trained in fencing (battles), fighting, swimming, archery, jumping, pushing stones, running and dancing.
The fencing unit (battled fight) included the study of seven basic angles of attack and six defenses, possession of a free hand, which was used to repel enemy attacks and disarm and combat techniques.
The training weapon consisted of a one-yard-long ash wooden stick (approximately 91 cm) with a wicker wicker guard for hand protection.
As a rule, it was the only element of protective equipment.
At the Gaelic Games (Games of the Scottish Highlanders), further Gaelic youth could face off with representatives from other clans (friendly) in various competitions, including baton fighting, where fighting techniques were also allowed.
Matches began after the participants uttered a short prayer: “Lord, spare our eyes!” /
The challenge in the fight was to smash the head of the enemy. The fight stopped after one of the fighters had a broken head anywhere above the 1 inch (about 2.5 cm) from the eyebrow. Trainings and battles were quite tough, few people avoided the “kiss of an ash tree”, there were broken bones and fractured skulls. And although the cases of death matches are not fixed, it is known that some were carried away from the field, beaten to a pulp.
In Gaelic wrestling in the girth, which was a component of a stick battle in Scotland, there were also (and still are) separate competitions.
According to the modern rules of the Scottish Wrestling Union (Scottish Wrestlin Bond), the fight begins with a pre-seizure — the wrestlers chest each other, lay their heads on the opponent’s right shoulder and take a cross-seizure on the opponent’s back. Capture is forbidden to let go and change during the duel.
Released his capture, if it is not on the ground. and provided that his opponent has retained his hold, is considered the loser round.
The goal is the same, to make the enemy touch the earth with three points (with any part of the body except the feet), there is no struggle in the stalls. The winner of three out of five rounds is declared the winner.
In this kind of struggle, the technical actions are also quite diverse and include the front and back steps, hooks, curls, throws over the thigh.
Since the Gaelic wrestling is the Collar and Elbow wrestling
the girth was a struggle in the rack, where the task was to knock down (throw) the enemy on the ground, while remaining on his own whenever possible, it is not surprising that these types of fighting found their practical use in fighters of cane combat Ireland and Scotland, as in conditions of cane Fight (especially group) is very important to maintain stability and stay on their feet.
In the conditions of serious group stick battles (and as I mentioned earlier, in these battles not only sticks were often used, but knives, axes, swords) that fell to the ground, as a rule, they tried to finish off, and not only with their hands and feet, but also help weapons.
Fighting on the ground in the pit under such circumstances was impractical.
One of the group stick battles of the 19 of the 20th century between military alliances
6. Direction tactics
“Most of the groups (schools, styles) of the Gaelic cane combat known to me emphasize attacking tactics.
The Gaelic bat is a rather serious weapon, even with one well-placed blow of which one can break a man's bone, send him to a deep knockout, cripple, possibly kill. This is not a toy.
It is quite light compared to a steel sword, but at the same time, solid is a very terrible combination.
Accordingly, it is quite dangerous to wage a serious fight in a game manner, a missed strike can cost a lot.
Given that I did not have to use it in a real serious fight (I mean fighting without protection, when an attacker wants to kill you or seriously cripple), it is difficult for me to judge, but historical descriptions of such fights, especially group fights, allow me to conclude how terrible this weapon can be.
For example, in 1834, in County Kerry in Ireland, in one of the action-fighting games, 3 took part 000 people at the same time, after the battle was over, 200 people were dead.
Of course, we don’t know what exactly all the participants were armed with and how exactly these people were killed, but we can mean that many of them were carrying Gaelic baht as weapons.
7. The presence of training battles (sparring). In what form, according to what rules are held?
- We practice training training battles (sparring) in some disciplines.
We are fighting according to the rules of the Irish wrestling "Collar and Elbow" and the Scottish wrestling in the girth.
We practice fights on wooden hangers (using fencing masks) to 5 strikes, usually with a divorce after each hit with fighting techniques and striking techniques.
Similarly, with a knife fight, but here, as a rule, we also use body protection (vests like in taekwondo).
On shock technology, now we do not sparred, perhaps we will add them, but I want to buy a few helmets, for example, for ARB, with a grille and in the future to use them. Some of us work in the bar, some are a teacher, some are doctors, and not everyone wants to regularly go to work with a broken face. In addition, the head must be protected.
About shock technique I told above. In addition to the punching technique, punches with legs, knees, and shins existed.
8. Physical training (general and special) - including work with weights, free weights, your weight
- We pull up, push off the ground and on the uneven bars, run crosses, sprints, jump on a rope, play Gaelic fighting games, now we have made friends with local rugby players and play Gaelic football and Rugby with them (according to simplified rules, without corridors and fights).
Someone else works on himself in the gym.
9. Work against the group
- Only when we play Gaelic fighting games and Rugby.
10. Work against weapons / with weapons
- I told about the weapon above.
As for working with bare hands against weapons
an unarmed against an armed opponent has very few chances, in my opinion, therefore from time to time we practice sprint. Sometimes it is useful to be a realist.
11. Work on the ground (in the stalls)
- On the ground (in the stalls), we, as a rule, do not work, because we practice the Gaelic wrestling "Collar and Elbow" (in its Irish, not American) and the Gaelic wrestling in the girth, and both of these wrestling are in a rack, without an orchestra.
12. Work in non-standard conditions, from non-standard opponents (in water, in darkness, confined space, from a dog, etc.)
- We do not practice any of this.
13. Psychological training
- the fighter develops during sparring, battles (bouts) at competitions, matches. In the old days before the battle, the clan bard to the accompaniment read certain verses of Brosnachadh catha (the urge (call) to battle), some of them survived to the present days (for example, from clan MacDonald), in which he reminded of the feats of the ancestors of the current warriors and urged the current generation to be like its great ancestors in battle.
Since childhood, future warriors, sitting on long winter nights, absorbed the family stories colorfully told of the exploits of both their fathers, grandfathers, great-grandfathers, and numerous stories about Fenians, legendary Gaelic warriors, Kuhulin, Konal Kernach and other heroes of the Gael .
The first match on Herling before the first battle at Moytur
One of the sections of Gaelic martial arts was na cleasan (with Gaelic techniques, stunts), and each character had a set of these techniques, apparently, his own (although for example, the main warrior-maiden Skachach taught not only Cuchulain, but also other Gaelic heroes who arrived with him).
Gaelic skeles (traditional stories), in particular, describe techniques used by the Gaelic hero Kuchulin, whom the warrior maiden Skahah and his other teachers taught him.
Some of them are amenable to translation, “taking the apple,” “taking the wheel,” “taking the battle cry,” “jumping the salmon,” “taking the cat,” but what exactly they meant and how exactly they worked is a difficult question.
Some of them are described: for example, one of these techniques, which Kuchulin learned, included the following: it was necessary to balance the chest with the point of a spear stuck in the ground.
Other methods, for example, of one Gaelic hero included jumping over a fortress wall with a spear stuck into the ground. It looks like modern pole vaulting, isn't it? Or throwing logs in modern games of the Scottish highlanders?
There were certain techniques (possibly psychotechnics), which apparently allowed the Gaelic warriors to transform (possibly internally) into a terrible kind of monsters, as well as dragons, lions, deer, eagles, hawks and other animals.
And also in battle, to experience the so-called state of mire catha- (c Gaelic, rejoicing of the battle), which allowed us to act at ease and without fear, to maximize their potential, however, in Christian times, to such psychotechnics, I think they were not very friendly and cautiously, associating it with the "dark school", black magic.
In general, by na cleasan (Gaelic techniques) it is necessary to understand any non-standard individual techniques and actions of a fighter, which in battle could give him advantages, starting from the ability to jump over pits with snakes, water (what is not modern parkour?), Own special types of weapons, quickly to run, to balance on a tight rope, and to a rather mystical one — to turn into this or that monster, to attract supernatural creatures to help in the battle and others.
In a serious battle, any tricks (tricks) are suitable for defeating the enemy.
In the Gaelic text describing the duel between the two Gaelic heroes, Cuchulin and Fer Diad, it is said that before the battle, each of them invented his own techniques for battle, which their former teachers had not taught them.
Thus, Gaelic martial arts is also a way of knowing oneself, discovering one’s individual fighting qualities and using them in battle.
But, reading the same text, we understand that each of these 2 great warriors of the Gaelic World, before they began to invent their own techniques, first learned martial arts from various teachers in other countries, in particular, in "Cuchulin Training" Scotland and Scythia are mentioned.
These heroes wanted to learn martial arts from the best teachers and understood the need for this.
14. Other effects from occupations (improving, developing and etc.)
- Wellness effect, of course: we often train in the fresh air.
Although injuries, alas, are inevitable.
15. Unique features of the direction (style, school)
- This is a difficult question, but, most likely, features — in the historical path of development, perhaps in the individual features of training weapons and sports equipment, in the rich folklore that surrounds Gaelic martial arts and games.
Technique and tactics, I think, will have parallels with other styles.
16. Use in life (a case of self-defense, when the student was able to protect himself in this area)
Actually, I had to use the styles of the Gaelic stick battle only in competitions and matches.
Although other elements, such as percussion techniques and techniques of the Gaelic struggle, I had several times to successfully apply in life.
17. Why did you become involved in this particular area?
I have Russian and Gaelic roots, for me Gaelic martial arts is a tradition in which I draw strength for myself.
Russian martial arts are also close to me, at one time I was engaged in combat sambo and hand-to-hand combat.