For my fellow Irish (whole, part, or ‘wish you were’) friends on St. Patty’s Day

I’m, admittedly, only 1/5th Irish but on St. Patty’s day in America just knowing someone Irish is enough to be part of the clan for 24 hours.

I tripped over this video of Glen Doyle and his Irish stick fighting program in Milton, Ontario.  What I really enjoyed seeing from the video was the intensity and ‘snap’ while training in a system that could be considered a ‘folk art‘ (meaning ‘home grown’ by and for the ‘people’ instead of by the institution).  Like some FMA’s (Filipino Martial Arts) and Karate styles, this looks like a ‘peasant’ art that Glen is now sharing with others.  Let me know what you think about it.


7 thoughts on “For my fellow Irish (whole, part, or ‘wish you were’) friends on St. Patty’s Day

  1. Some nice stuff. Have you seen the French stick/cane fighting? The English had a version, too. In the “old world” it was expected a man of means be able to handle himself. Usually this was with the cane or small handgun, in the waist band.

    To me the Irish stuff here seems elongated. I see hands extended far away from the body in some techniques. I see their hands as easy targets.

    Canne de France (I think) is a neat youtube vid.

    • There’s also an Italian stick fighting style I’ve watched that looks similar to the French cane fighting you are mentioning Dave. The really interesting thing is how the ‘epee’ (essentially a metal stabbing stick) and other slim blades were hidden in ‘cane swords’ and much of the stuff was ‘translated’ back and forth. The thing I do like about this style is how Glen’s style of Irish stick fighting recognizes the stick as a stick and not a wooden sword – so they freely switch hands and there is no ‘magic tip’ like we tend to do with FMA’s. Not that it’s ‘bad’ what we do, just recognizing that this style is more encouraging to flexibility.

  2. I think in FMA we’re limited only by our own lack of creativity. I like what Marc Denny said, “This is a stick, not a blade. It’s meant for smashing, not cutting or piercing.”

    • True in spirit, Dave. I don’t see this kind of flexibility in practice in FMA in general too often though, so it’s interesting to see what ideas come to mind by seeing another approach to weapons training.

  3. Hey Guys. I suspect the training methods were bled over and shared as nothing exists in a vacuum. Heck, sticks and stones were likley some of the first weapons ever. A blade stashed inside a cane on the other hand, that’s quite crafty…
    The New York rep. had jkd in his contact info. and there is a following for these arts among many initerested there in Ireland too. Typically that comes with some FMA as a vehicle for highlighting some concepts. I did see some creativity with how they gripped the stick with both hands, and attacked with each side, and transitioned to+ translated the punching mechanics from that two handed grip (dos manos). I recall seeing some guys work on that at the Symposium which I rarely saw prior to that (except maybe in hockey and lacrosse) Nice vid. Erin Go Brah Bro!

    • So true Dale. Glen himself has kung fun in his ‘toolbox’ of systems and I noticed a comment about arnis in his facebook account as well. I’m sure there is more than just “Irish-ness” in the current version of Glen’s stick fighting as well. The ‘stick punch’ striking is snappy and explosive for sure.

  4. Very nice article and find in terms of Irish Stick Fighting. I’m betting that some people will dismiss your essay and find but then you can’t possibly please all the people. I hope that more folks will visit your blog site.


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