Fighting With A Blackthorn

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Fighting With A Blackthorn

Percy Longhurst 1919


blowknee.jpg
Blow to the knee.
A good Irish blackthorn, Paddy's Shillelagh, is perhaps the best stick , and the work it will do in the hands of a desparate man familiar with its use is remarkable . Oak, ash and hazel also make serviceable walking sticks with which a handy man can do a lot of mischief; but they are not the equal of the blackthorn. Bear in mind , if attacked by a ruffian armed also with a stick , to hold your own weapon nearly one- third of it's length from the ferrule; the lower portion serves as an excellent guard for your arm and elbow . Also do not forget that an upwards blow may be made just as dangerous as a swinging downwards stroke, and is not so easily guarded.
wristshot.jpg
Blow to the edge of the wrist.
Once more I will remind my readers not to neglect that paralysing drive at the MARK which, delivered with some force, is even more effective than a similiar blow with the fist.
(The MARK is considered to be the solar plexus)
Stand on guard, with the feet on a line, grasp your blackthorn with a hand at either end, your arms being held across your head, blows can come from either side of your body, this depends on what hand you release the blow from, whether the blow will come from the right or left side depends altogether upon the attack of the opponent. The side of the head, elbow, throat, and knee are the usual points of attack, though perhaps the most effective stroke is a terrible upward slash at the inside of the legs.
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Bill Mattocks

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Here's a great little treatise on self-defense, circa 1835

BLACKWOOD'S EDINBURGH MAGAZINE No. CCXXXVII. JULY, 1835. Vol. XXXVIII.
What then are the best modes of self-defence against attacks, whether on the streets or on the highways and roads?and this brings us to the third part of the Baron's discourse, from which we are selecting a few characteristic specimen?. In it he draws his practical conclusions. And in the first place he directs our attention to " our tools or rather weapons." " The stick," he says well, " is an excellent weapon." " A stick," he does not hesitate to say " in able hands, is nearly as good as a sword." Nay, in the hands of an inferior broadswordsman, it ishe maintainseven better.How so 1 Because a stick inflicts nearly equal pain by a blow from any part of the circumference, wherefore it has been jocosely called a sword, having an edge all round. The best kind of sticksare oak, ash, and hazel saplings, black thorn, and sound rattan; however sound, are apt to fly; but they suit persons whose arms are deficient in muscle, for they can be recovered quickly after a cut, and they cut sharp. We have always been partial to oak, though we have done good execution with ash, but "my own fancy," says the Colonel, "is in favour of the blackthorn." Its knobs save the knuckles, and it is your true Tom Tough. Black ratans are seldom soundand most of the other canes are too springy for parrying and making true cuts. Great nicety of hand and eye are required in the telection of a well-Bhaped and sound stickand aome men, as if by intuition, will put their hand at once on the best plant in a hundred. "
 

Tez3

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I've seen these being carried around, the Royal Irish Regiment SNCOs and officers carry them rather than the pace sticks carried by other regiments. they are fiercesome looking things ( the sticks not the soldiers though maybe on second thoughts....)
 

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Yeah, Longhurst is good stuff. One of the three remaining period attempts to document Irish stickfighting methods.

The other two are Allanson-Winn and Walker. (though a lot can be gleaned from period artwork)

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 
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I've seen these being carried around, the Royal Irish Regiment SNCOs and officers carry them rather than the pace sticks carried by other regiments. they are fiercesome looking things ( the sticks not the soldiers though maybe on second thoughts....)

Yeah, they are. There was only one place in Seattle I could find that sold them, an Irish celtic store. The lady that I bought it from said "Don't kill anybody with it..." She sounded serious, I assured her I wouldn't and have kept my word.
 
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Yeah, Longhurst is good stuff. One of the three remaining period attempts to document Irish stickfighting methods.

The other two are Allanson-Winn and Walker. (though a lot can be gleaned from period artwork)

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk

A walking stick is more legal to carry on you than a sword and draws less attention, especially with my gray hairs...
 

lklawson

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A walking stick is more legal to carry on you than a sword and draws less attention, especially with my gray hairs...
It's funny, but in a lot of places (in the U.S., anyway) you can still carry a sword legally. But, yes, you'd get funny looks (and possibly LEO inquiries).

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

lklawson

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I presume everyone here is familiar with CaneMasters...?

http://www.canemasters.com/
I'm not a big fan of CaneMasters and here's why.

They go to great lengths convincing you about how innocuous appearing and easily overlooked canes are and then market products which only nominally look like canes. Every passing Joe Sixpack can look at one of the CaneMasters specials and automatically think "weapon." (Excepting their "Stock Canes" of course, which can be purchased much less expensively elsewhere).

I admit, here, that Im something of two minds on the subject. I firmly believe that everyone who has the authority to make life hard on you for having weapons (i.e. LEOs) ALREADY knows that canes can be used as weapons. Theyll profile you based on more than just your cane; your dress, demeanor, location, etc. So dont worry about them. Its Joe Sixpack that you are trying to not spook.

What I've seen of their system, I'm not a fan of. Way too complicated. It's a stick. Hit 'em with it. But, I'll be honest, if that stuff is your cup-o-tea, then more power to you, I'll not argue with you about it.

I will say that the CaneMasters canes are good quality and well made. I wish them luck.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

jarrod

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It's funny, but in a lot of places (in the U.S., anyway) you can still carry a sword legally. But, yes, you'd get funny looks (and possibly LEO inquiries).

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk

several years back there was a homeless guy in lawrence who always carried a longsword with him. honestly i don't know the exact difference between a broadsword & a longsword, but it was a big-*** sword anyway. a girl i knew knew him & said he just carried it to see if he could. i still see him around town now & then but i haven't seen the sword in a while.

jf
 

Bill Mattocks

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several years back there was a homeless guy in lawrence who always carried a longsword with him. honestly i don't know the exact difference between a broadsword & a longsword, but it was a big-*** sword anyway. a girl i knew knew him & said he just carried it to see if he could. i still see him around town now & then but i haven't seen the sword in a while.

jf

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Martinez
 

lklawson

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honestly i don't know the exact difference between a broadsword & a longsword, but it was a big-*** sword anyway.
Depends on who you talk to, but the current general consensus among WMA researchers runs along these lines:

Longsword:
A two-handed medieval, cruiciform, double-edged, roughly symetrical sword. (D&D's "Greatsword")

Broadsword:
A group of swords primarily from the 16th through 19th Century that were designed and intended to be used single-handed with either a basket-hilt or a knuckle-bow. The blade could be straight and symectrical, double or single edged, or curving blade, generally wider in cross-section than a Rapier (which also has a rather variable definition). Examples include the Scottish Basket-hilted Broadsword (aka "basket-hilted claymore"), Military Saber, Schiavona, and the "Backsword."

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

jarrod

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ah, that would have been a longsword then.

bill, i heard of that guy some time ago, but didn't know he died. that's a shame.

the wiki says he trained judo in europe, i wonder if he pioneered no-gi judo? :D

jf
 
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It's funny, but in a lot of places (in the U.S., anyway) you can still carry a sword legally. But, yes, you'd get funny looks (and possibly LEO inquiries).

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk

There was a guy in Seattle back in the 1980's who used to carry a broadsword across his back. The first time I saw him I thought he was likely a lunatic, so I kept away with a clear path to exit the scene. I thought of telling him it's illegal to carry a sword in Seattle but thought better of it. He wsas very muscular. Well, I later read an article about the guy in a Seattle newspaper. He called himself Conan, and was really obsessed with mastering a certain type of Japanese swordsmanship. He already had a blackbelt, and was trying to get to the level in which your able to strike an opponent while taking the sword out of its scabbard in one smooth motion. The police had checked him out and he had gone to court. Turns out you can carry a sword in Seattle as long as its not concealed. He was very friendly, I just thought anybody carrying a sword in a big city must be crazy. but an Irish blackthorne walking stick arouses no looks at all and makes a fine weapon.
 
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I'm not a big fan of CaneMasters and here's why.

They go to great lengths convincing you about how innocuous appearing and easily overlooked canes are and then market products which only nominally look like canes. Every passing Joe Sixpack can look at one of the CaneMasters specials and automatically think "weapon." (Excepting their "Stock Canes" of course, which can be purchased much less expensively elsewhere).

I admit, here, that Im something of two minds on the subject. I firmly believe that everyone who has the authority to make life hard on you for having weapons (i.e. LEOs) ALREADY knows that canes can be used as weapons. Theyll profile you based on more than just your cane; your dress, demeanor, location, etc. So dont worry about them. Its Joe Sixpack that you are trying to not spook.

What I've seen of their system, I'm not a fan of. Way too complicated. It's a stick. Hit 'em with it. But, I'll be honest, if that stuff is your cup-o-tea, then more power to you, I'll not argue with you about it.

I will say that the CaneMasters canes are good quality and well made. I wish them luck.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk

I have never so much as gotten a hard look from carrying my Irish blackthorne walking stick. Once a bus driver waited for me when he stopped at a bus stop and looked a little peeved when I ran to the bus. Hey, you can carry a walking stick even if you can run.
 

Dwight McLemore

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