Bataireacht, the ancient art of Irish Stick Fighting
Bataireacht is a category of stick-fighting martial arts of Ireland.
Bata is the Irish term for any kind of stick. In stickfighting, the actual bata or stick used for bataireacht is a Sail Éille (anglicised as shillelagh) or, in earlier texts, a cudgel. Blackthorn, oak, ash and hazel were traditionally the most common types of woods used to make shillelagh fighting sticks. Some authors have argued that prior to the 19th century, the term had been used to refer to a form of stick-fencing used to train Irish soldiers in broadsword and sabre techniques. Upon further observations, it appears that the art might have been developed by the working class more or less independently as no technical source seem to hint at a sword fencing origin.
The style is mostly characterized by the use of a cudgel, a knobbed stick, of different lengths but most often the size of a walking stick or small club. The stick is grabbed by the third, the lower part protecting the elbow and allowing the user to maintain an offensive as well as defensive guard. This grip also allows launching fast punching-like strikes.
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