The Legacy of Irish Martial Arts

My blood began to boil, my temper I was losing. And poor old Erin’s Isle, they all began abusing. “Hurrah! my boys,” says I, my shillelagh I let fly. Some Galway boys were by, they saw I was a hobble in; Then with a loud “hurrah !” they joined me in the fray.      …

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Indian Clubs for Martial Artists

This post first appeared on VictorianMartialArts.com and is republished with permission.  Indian clubs are a quintessential staple of any (real or imagined) scene depicting a Victorian Gymnasium or training hall. As they grow in popularity due to their current revival in fitness circles, it’s easy to miss the fact that these useful tools are not…

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Why you should wrestle, and everyone throughout history thought so as well!

There is a fallacy that is often presented in martial arts (and physical culture as a whole) that for people on the outside looking in there is no point to practicing. Why learn to fight with a sword, choke a person out, or lift a heavy weight if those things do not translate to a…

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Why Front Headlocks Fail

The front headlock is a very common position that occurs in many forms of wrestling. It is so instinctual that many children use it in play fighting without ever having seen it before. Although there are two directions for “chancery” in bare-knuckle boxing, the front headlock is by far the most common. Despite the popularity,…

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Grappling from the Falsemount

In any knight’s career there is likely to come a time when you find yourself deprived of your sword.  No matter, grappling is a valid and common tactic from the saddle.  For the blue spur you need to demonstrate how to: Conduct three grapples from the falsemount at the halt and in motion The three…

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Up Close and Personal: Grappling from the Ground

Swordplay from the Ground: unarmed grapples Wrestling was a large part of knightly combat, both from the ground and horseback.  Not only did grappling provide a non-lethal method of taking hostages, it was sometimes the only option left when a knight had been disarmed, or when an opponent was too close for swordplay. In the…

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Bringing a 500 year old wrestling system back to life

A few weeks ago I was in Eugene, Oregon teaching a seminar at the Northwest Fencing Academy. The day after the seminar I got together with school director Sean Hayes and his senior student Mark Kruger to work with them a bit on an historical intepretation project of a 1537 wrestling manual written by a…

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Swordplay Videos this week: Counter-attacking, Second Assalto, Longsword Wrestling

Welcome to this week in training at Academie Duello. In our training at the studio we are looking at counter-attacking as a method of defence (Green Cord), the second assault of sidesword (Blue Cord), and how to enter into grapples with the longsword when you’ve lost the crossing (Red Cord).   On Duello.TV we have…

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