- Stick fighting
Stick fighting is a generic term for
martial artswhich utilize simple long slender, blunt, hand-held, generally wooden 'sticks' for fighting such as a staff, cane, walking stick, baton or similar.
Some techniques can also be used with a sturdy
umbrellaor even a swordin its scabbard, but thicker and/or heavier blunt weapons such as clubs or the mace are outside the scope of 'stick fighting' (since they cannot be wielded with such precision, so sheer force of impact is more important) as are more formed weapons such as the taiaha.
Although many systems are defensive combat techniques, intended for use if attacked whilst lightly armed, others such as
kendo(a Japanese discipline using a bamboo 'sword', the shinai) were developed as safe training methods for dangerous weapons. Whatever their history, many lend themselves to being treated as sports.
In addition to martial arts specifically devoted to stick fighting, certain other disciplines include it, either in its own right, as in
kung fu(various variations are part of the traditional Chinese weapons), or merely as part of a polyvalent training including other weapons and/or bare hand fighting, e.g. using the Kettukari(staff), Cheruvadi or Muchan (a shorter, also straight stick) and otta (curved stick) in Kerala's Kalarippayattutradition, where these wooden weapons serve as preliminary training before practice of the more dangerous metal weapons.
tick fighting systems and styles
Stick fights between individuals or large gatherings between sub-tribes where men fight duels are an important part of the anthropological heritage of various cultures, especially tribes such as the Nilotic Ethiopian
Surma people(where "donga" is a general obsession and the best means of showing off to look for a bride, often naked or nearly) and their more warlike neighbors the Nyangotam(who fight duels bare-chested, the aim being to inflict visible stripes on the back of the adversary, using not plain staffs but sticks with a flexible, whipping tail-end).
Traditional European systems of stick fighting included a wide variety of methods of
quarterstaffcombat, which were detailed in numerous manuscripts written by masters-at-arms. Many of these methods became extinct but others adapted and survived as folk-sports and self defence systems. Examples include Portugal's Jogo do Pau, France's bâton françaisand Italy's "scherma di bastone". Giuseppe Cerri's 1854 manual "Trattato teorico e pratico della scherma di bastone" is influenced by masters of the Italian school of swordsmanship, Achille Marozzoand perhaps Francesco Alfieri.
The French system of
la canneis still practised as a competitive sport. A self-defense adaptation of la canne developed by Swiss master-at-arms Pierre Vigny in the early 1900s has been revived as part of the curriculum of Bartitsu.
In the USA during the early years of the 1900s, fencer and self defense specialist A.C. Cunningham developed a unique system of stick fighting using a walking stick or umbrella, which he recorded in his book "
The Cane as a Weapon".
British stick fighting, known as
single stickor cudgels, was a popular pastime in the UK from the 18th to the early 20th century, when it was included in the Olympic Games. Although interest in the art declined, a few fencing coaches continued to train with the stick and competitions in this style of stick fighting was re-introduced into the Royal Navyin the 1980s by commander Locker Madden. The art continues to gain a small following amongst the martial art community in the UK, Australia, Canada and the US.
Latin America also has its share of martial arts devoted to stick fighting, like Venezuela's Juego del Garrote or Brazil's
Palo do Brazil.
Some of the most advanced stick fighting systems come from the
Philippines. Filipino martial artsare known worldwide for their combat stick fighting systems. The weapons, often used interchangeably and alongside open hand-techniques, vary in design, size, weight, materials and methodology. Baston or olisi, eskrima sticks, are traditionally crafted from rattanor kamagong. In many martial arts systems, the stick is used to substitute the sword for practice and safety purposes.
In alphabetical order:
* Arnis (Filipino)
Bartitsu(English, Swiss/French and Japanese)
* Bata (Irish)
* Baranta (Hungarian)
Canne de combat(French)
Calinda(Caribbean, especially Trinidad)
Dravidian martial arts(Dravidian)
Egyptian stick fencing
Jogo do Pau(Portuguese)
Juego del Palo(Canary Islands)
Kali (martial art)(USA - based on Filipino)
La canne(French modern)
Nguni stick fighting(South African herdboytradition)
Obnu Bilate(South Africa, Southern Botswana)
* Shillelagh (Irish)
* SCA rattan weapons (United States)
Tamil Martial Arts(Tamil)
* [http://www.free-stick-fighting.com Free-Stick-Fighting.com]
* [http://www.martialstaff.com MartialStaff.com]
* [http://www.houstonstickfighting.org The Houston Stick Fighting Association]
* [http://www.rapidarnis.com Rapid Arnis International]
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