HEMA in ireland

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HEMA in ireland

Postby nathan » 16 Nov 2010 23:14

hi everyone,
my first time posting here although i have been on many other forums for a long time. i don't know why im only here now. my name is Nathan as you can see on the group finder im one of four people based in Ireland with a background and interest in HEMA.
http://www.communitywalk.com/european_c ... map/478393
unlike many of the others my main aim are the Irish martial arts which unlike many in Europe still have a surviving tradition. my hope is to bring these to a wider audience and make the European HEMA community aware of them who i am and what i hope to do. i had hoped to attend fight camp this summer but due to other situations i couldn't but plan to next year.
currently im am training with a few people and mainly with my reenactment group though my aim is to set up a HEMA study group in Dublin or near where i live so that i may train regularly. Ireland being so small i know all other hema practitioners in Ireland and due to distance training with them is a major challenge.
i hope to have my own study group but gaining members and doing correctly and with the martial intent and everything else is my big challenge.
so to everyone at the schola forum hello and im glad to finally talk to you all. i hope i can get to know many of you and train and spar with many more.

regards
nathan
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Re: HEMA in ireland

Postby Lyceum » 17 Nov 2010 00:02

When you say Irish martial arts what do you mean? bare knuckle fighting? wrestling? shilleagh? Do elaborate chap, these things tend to be considered interesting here. :lol:
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Re: HEMA in ireland

Postby bigdummy » 17 Nov 2010 04:55

nathan,

Welcome to the forum! I know some people who do the various forms of Irish stick fighting are active on the (US) HEMA Alliance forum, you might want to touch base with them because I think they have some crossover now with HEMA events and clubs.

EDIT: ah... I think that you must be the 'nathan f' who was posting there, nevermind :) Welcome to Schola Forum anyway...

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Re: HEMA in ireland

Postby Phil C » 17 Nov 2010 10:39

You may also wish to seek out Mark Brooks in Belfast and Neville Gawley in Limerick- both do a lot of smallsword and foil (Neville is a Martinez Academy Instructor at such), with a hint of singlestick.

Mark also brings over members and teachers of the Aramis classical fencing school, based in Poland, to run lessons and study with as well as travelling to Poland and New York to study there.
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Re: HEMA in ireland

Postby admin » 17 Nov 2010 12:19

Good to see you here Nathan. Make yourself at home.
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Re: HEMA in ireland

Postby nathan » 17 Nov 2010 20:04

hi guys sorry i didn't elaborate on what areas im interested in and glad to see my influence has been spotted :lol:
right now my chief aim is the shillelagh as it is one of the oldest forms i have found and has unbroken traditions which i wish to learn and teach and continue to train in and hopefully get it recognized within the greater HEMA community in Europe. as for the bata groups abroad its a small community and its hard to find anyone i dont know at this stage but still happens and is nice when it does.
the other various forms of wrestling and boxing i would like to look into but they seem the more modern and tend to be hard to find solid information on.
if you could put me in contact with mark and Neville would be great i tried getting in touch with mark before i think but to no avail. one of my big aims is to translate and learn one of the only Irish manuals out there which is on the foil and written in the 1700s in french. so i would be very interested to train with those guys.
glad to be here and im glad of the welcome.
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Re: HEMA in ireland

Postby Hugh » 18 Nov 2010 00:07

Hooray! More HEMA in Eire!
We're based in Co Cavan and while Longsword is our main thing, it's by no means all we are interested in.
If you're ever in the area, give us a shout and we'll see what can be done.
Where are you based? And do you ever do stuff elsewhere in Ireland?
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Re: HEMA in ireland

Postby admin » 18 Nov 2010 11:35

Great to see HEMA growing in Ireland - 5 or more years ago I used to get emails occasionally from individuals asking if there were any groups near then in Ireland and I always had trouble knowing where to point them. So it's awesome to see you all.
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Re: HEMA in ireland

Postby admin » 18 Nov 2010 11:38

Actually, while I have your ears... Was backswording popular in 17th-18thC Ireland? If not, why do you think it wasn't? Was it suppressed maybe and went underground, hence leaving no treatises etc? Is that why shillelagh became popular?
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Re: HEMA in ireland

Postby nathan » 18 Nov 2010 15:18

if you ever get emails again or still have any post them our way.
hey hugh i know paul W very well and im planning to get up to train with you guys soon dont worry im always two steps ahead. problem is im still a student and being based in wicklow dublin is as far as i can comfortably get in one day. but im hoping to get things going in dublin and wicklow.

my main aim is really to have a group who study the most commonly used irish weapons even if im working off foregin treaties its ok as il keep my research on irish stuff and so on. i really need to get something going last year i was inducted as an affiliate member of the institute of martial arts and science.

il be honest im not huegly familiar with the period but from the research i have seen only certain classes were allowed carry a weapon of any kind. this combined with the relative ease of making a shilleghlagh helped them to grow from a common weapon into one of the most commonly used weapons of the poorer classes and then eventually it became so well known and blackthorn walking sticks of similar styles spread to england and abroad.
it was also a tradition that goes back to prehistory from what can be seen and there was then a tradition after the viking invasion to carry axes as walking sticks which then was outlawed and evolved into the bata. its a long and complex history but an interesting one.
i also hope to translate that irish manual from french to english and start to learn from it.
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Re: HEMA in ireland

Postby Bulot » 18 Nov 2010 15:59

Do you have a link pointing to this french treatise ? I'd be curious to read it. Do you know why it is written in French btw ?

There's a group working on irish Bataireacht in Québec, too. I plan to attend a workshop they'll present at the next Hema symposium there.
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Re: HEMA in ireland

Postby admin » 18 Nov 2010 16:10

I'm curious about this also.
It should not be surprising if a text on the smallsword were in French, given that the predominant system taught for the smallsword was the French method.
Mahon of Dublin (1734) published an English translation of l'Abbat:
http://www.skynet.ie/~nvl/cfi/resources/index.php
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Re: HEMA in ireland

Postby Hugh » 18 Nov 2010 16:31

regarding the backswording, it may be a case that any surviving treatises were written by English/protestant landowners and therefore are not often connected with Ireland. Or possibly anything written by Irish swordsmen (who would have to have been wealthy enough to be pretty much anglicized anyway) might have been "adopted" by English masters. The level of censorship and oppression toward the Irish in that period is quite unbelievable. I'm not going to go there now - It's a huge can of worms and a forum all of it's own!
Finding out a bit more about some of the people who wrote any English treatises and their links to Ireland could yield some interesting results. I wouldn't be surprised if there were underground schools running since Cromwell came and caused all that trouble. Possibly all the way up til the Easter rising. Or even "the emergency".
I believe modern fencing came to Ireland around 1906, but digging might be required to find out more detail.

@Nathan - there was some talk of trying to get to Dublin once a month for training sessions with a few of the lads. We'll have to see what comes of it ;-)
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Re: HEMA in ireland

Postby Fab » 18 Nov 2010 17:27

Bulot wrote:Do you have a link pointing to this french treatise ? I'd be curious to read it. Do you know why it is written in French btw ?



If it'zs Daniel O'Sullivan's treatise, you can fin it here :
http://ensiludium.free.fr/
Lionel Lauvernay posted the link onn our forum a while ago. And it's indeed smallsword.
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Re: HEMA in ireland

Postby Bulot » 18 Nov 2010 17:39

Ah, yes, in this case I've already took a quick look at this. A good occasion to read more toroughly, then. Thanks Fab.
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Re: HEMA in ireland

Postby admin » 18 Nov 2010 18:05

Aha! I should have thought to look on this very forum....
viewtopic.php?f=21&t=14307
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Re: HEMA in ireland

Postby nathan » 18 Nov 2010 19:44

yep thats the one Daniel O'Sullivan's is the one i mentioned. now as for his system for whatever reason he ended out in France and has a very interesting back story. he was not liked due to his teaching methods and thoughts that it should not take a student longer than a year to become a master at the smallsword. the interesting thing i found was that he was arrested for this and later released by order of the king and set as his local regions official instructor with approval from the king.
it was written in french because he was living and teaching there i know nothing of his earlier life however.
another very interesting man is Alexander Doyle he was Irish and moved to Germany writing two treaties while there one on fencing and one on gymnastics i have seen pictures from the later but it is incredibly difficult to find a copy of it.
my mission is to try get mr O'Sullivan's translated soon to work from.
as for the reasons why the shilleghlagh spread my best thought is the same reason the longbow spread any country person would have the basic knowledge and only the landed classes were allowed use swords etc so during the Flight of the Wild Geese in 1607 on irish fighting men turn up on the mainland and we here more about their sword play while at home it was not allowed for commoners. as you can even see by mahon he was from the pale no work seems to come from outside there.

@bulot yes i know the founding member of the group very well he is a very nice guy and we talk regularly. his style is perhaps the oldest i know of and also the most fraught with issues but thats a topic that i dont want to get into suffice as to say Irish ma has a very troubled history for many reasons.

@hugh yeah i have been pestering Paul for a long long time for that i think the plan is for me to stay up the odd weekend and train intensively with you guys work on it at home and eventually become one of you and another step closer to getting more training and being a part of things.
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Re: HEMA in ireland

Postby Phil C » 18 Nov 2010 20:40

I have family in Dublin (my Brother-in-Law is the manger of Ikea there) and so have free floorspace. If you can get the space to train I am happy to run some smallswordy stuff, among other bits I can offer, on occasion.

I'm sure I can persuade Mark B to pop up too.
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Re: HEMA in ireland

Postby nathan » 18 Nov 2010 20:48

that would be immensely helpful im still really only taking baby steps towards getting a study group then a fully fledged group together but that would be a huge help and a great contact to have. again thank you.
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Re: HEMA in ireland

Postby benmiller » 17 Oct 2017 20:04

Was backswording popular in 17th-18thC Ireland? If not, why do you think it wasn't?


In a nutshell: backsword was indeed taught and practiced in 18th century Ireland. "Prize fights" on the stage, in which the contestants used the backsword, also took place in Dublin and its environs. However, the small-sword seems to have generally been a more popular weapon (certainly among duelists, and as a sidearm) in eighteenth century Ireland. The broadsword was also used to a great degree by members of the Irish Volunteers (between the years 1780 and 1798), who frequently took part in contests of swordsmanship, practiced the broadsword exercise, and who would go on to serve in opposite sides of the 1798 United Irishman rebellion.

This is written about in great detail in the book "Irish Swordsmanship: Fencing and Dueling in Eighteenth Century Ireland":

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Irish-Swordsma ... 999056700/

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