The ancient art of shillelagh stick fighting...
Tribute to the Celtic Warrior....
Shillelagh fighting has evolved over a period of thousands of years. Our Celtic ancestors knew a thing or two about defending themselves and their families and some of us have not forgotten this ...
By the 19th century Irish shillelagh-fighting had developed into a practice, which involved the use of three central types of weapons, sticks which were long, medium or short.
Such weapons today tend to be crafted from blackthorn, which is very hard and durable material. I make one or two myself from time to time to keep the old tradition alive.
Oak, ash and other woods may also be used.
Above: an ash knobstick that I made
Above: blackthorn in winter
Above: a short blackthorn shillelagh that I crafted
A shillelagh has advantages over a knife-wielder, especially if a longer stick is used giving the user a longer reach than a knife attacker. Try walking around a town with a big knife and you may end up in the cells, yet a stout stick is commonplace and acceptable.
Our Kyle came around today for a wee bit of impromptus practice. The pictures can speak better than words..
Right - so he's gonna pull nasty faces then - we'll see about that!
And so it starts...
Block to a head blow
Handle end throat jab
Trust drive to solar plexus
Match winner: two-handed head blow
Dust up all sorted...
Thank also to Jasmine - our photographer and local shillelagh girl...
Disclaimer: stick fighting is a dangerous game. Never mess about with sticks if you are unsure what you are doing. They can and do cause serious injuries. Kyle here knows his stuff and has been a martial artist of various styles for many years. As a kid he would practice sticks with me most nights on the local beach. Even just using hazel and wearing gloves many bruises occurred at times.
I thank Kyle for helping me to create this brief page.
Finally, never underestimate an elderly person with a walking stick or umbrella - or you could live to regret it!
The spirit of the Celtic Warrior lives on. No Surrender - ever... !