Sunday, August 24, 2008

Meet the Shillelagh: Irish Stick Fighting

I quite enjoy surfing YouTube for new and interesting martial arts training methods and concepts. I recently stumbled across a video demonstrating the use of the shillelagh, a stick with a slightly curved butt end, similar to a cane, around which the Irish have built a martial art. Check out the video below. The background music is so apt.

I always find it interesting to see the commonalities between martial arts systems that have developed completely independently in opposite sides of the world. You'll notice that many of the techniques used with the shillelagh are also used in cane defenses used in Hapkido and some styles of Jiu-jitsu.


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Cat Training said...

well , i learnt marshal arts some 10 years back . But i forgot everything now.

Anonymous said...

Have you trained with the cane? I just started in hanbo-jutsu and there are striking (no pun intended) similarities between this Irish art and the Japanese way. The Filipino way is somewhat similar but less so due to the length of the weapon (usually around 70cm, compared to the standard 90cm hanbo) which makes for different handling-abilities. The hanbo usually is wielded double-handed, it can deliver more punch (due the greater length of the weapon and the greater weight) but escrima-sticks are generally faster, not to mention they can be used in pairs (a huge tactical advantage).

I still prefer a longer weapon though (the jo would be my favourite since it has alot of reach yet is not as unwieldy as the bo) due to safety-issues (you can keep the attacker at bay, especially if he has a shorter weapon) plus it packs a whallop. If I remember correctly Musashi's only defeat in combat was due to a jo, this maybe just a legend but it's still a testimony to the awesome power attributed to the jo.

What's your preferred weapon?

Lori O'Connell said...

I like the cane as it is something that is more likely to be carried around, particularly in Vancouver where cane umbrellas are pretty handy 3 months of the year. I got one of those unbreakable umbrellas. It lives up to the hype, but it is a little expensive.

The jo is also fairly practical since it is about the same size as a broomstick (without the part that sweeps). It is a size of stick that is more commonplace in modern society.