Apparently, the old blackthorn is being plied vigorously, anywhere but Ireland…
(picture pilfered from irish-stick-fighting.com)
London (BBC)—Despite originating in Ireland, Irish stick-fighting has almost completely died out in this country.
The martial art, has however, grown in popularity in other parts of the world. So much so that there are world championships being held on 25 and 26 November in Toronto, Canada.
Using traditional blackthorn walking sticks as weapons, the sport combines the principles of fist-fighting and the motions of a stick.
Glen Doyle is a Canadian master of Irish stick-fighting after learning the martial art from his father.
He said his ancestors left Wexford for Newfoundland in the early 1800s and the fighting style was passed down from one generation to the next.
Here’s a link to Cold Steel’s bad-ass polypropylene Blackthorn… is it any wonder this is more popular in the States?
And if you want to get a good deal on a hardwood blackthorn, check out Atlanta Cutlery’s bargain model.
And of course, there’s the classic Irish Gangs and Stick-Fighting, which has precariously little on stickfighting, but provides a bit more insight into the longevity of the Catholic-Protestant conflicts of Northern Ireland…