Comhraiceoir Bata is an Irish term that means stick fighter. This page is entirely devoted to the art of Irish stick fighting in it's many forms and incarnations. From the Lorga Iarnai/(iron tipped cudgel) to the Cleith ailpi/n(cudgel), the art of the Irish stick or Bata has been overlooked for too long. What I am doing here is putting together an internet resource and gathering point for information pertaining to Irish Stick Fighting. The information is out there....the task is finding it. I ask you for your help in restoring this fading memory of times gone past. Of course, if you find any mistakes or ommisions on this page, please write me and tell me about it.
The Irish stick is often refered to as a Shillelagh. There are conflicting reports about just what a shillelagh was or is and if it was ever used to fight with. Shillelagh is the English rendition of the Irish word, Sail e/ille. For practical purposes I will refer to the stick as a bata....which is how one says stick or baton in Gaeilge. Many people refer to the popular tourist favorite Blackthorn walking stick as a shillelagh as well. I have recently found a reference to the stick being called Shillelagh as early as 1790. So I think it may be safe to use the word Shillelagh interchanged with stick and bata.
New photo page up! http://members.tripod.com/maol/photo.htm
A fellow from down under sent me these scans from an old text called Defensive Exercises, written in 1840 by Donald Walker....very interesting. A thank you toTerry Brown (visit his site the Company of Maisters) for his help in identifying this text for me.
The Boxing text scan
Here is a short history and overview of Irish stickfighting. Not much in actual technique involved...that will be in the next article. The Shillelagh, An Overview
I will be adding info as I get around to either writing it or discovering it or having it shown to me. Please if you can add anything from a good reputable source....do so. I would like to thank Seamas de Buitlear for his assistance with some of the terms found on this page. If you feel so inclined, please visit Seamas's message board for martial matters concerning the celts.
Comhraiceoiri message board
Here is a little piece written for my about various related terminology in Gaeilge by Seamas de Buitlear. Irish Combative Terms
The following link is for a mail list that I run that is used for discussion of the various Western Martial Traditions. More information on European Martial Arts
For those interested in restoring the martial culture of the Celt and all the culture that goes along on the ride. Fianna Resource Page