18 Jul 2017

English Martial Arts


Tonight I visited a group in my home town who run an English Martial Arts club. It was so awesome! I've sort of heard of bits and bobs about indigenous fighting arts, for example Cornish wrestling or Catch Wrestling. But there are guys who have looked at the historical side and tried to bring these arts alive by training them.

I got to play with medieval weaponry, tried some bare knuckle boxing, grappled a few old English wrestling moves. We even did a bit of an old English art called shin kicking (it's a real thing, or it was). It was hilarious fun and real eye-opener. Plus it was so much fun whacking, strangling, kicking, hitting and punching without having to worry about RULES!

Chatting with the school owner, Frank Docherty, he explained that a lot of their system stems from texts written during the 15th Century. Every country around Europe developed their own indigenous fighting arts. More than just learning how to hold and swing giant blades around, the system he teaches is based around core fighting concepts - especially those around distance management and angles of attack and defence. Even in our short conversation tonight, I realised there was a lot more in common between the old and the so-called new combat arts.

It was a great eye opener for me. If you get the chance to check out the gang or other local indigenous fighting arts, I really recommend you check them out too.



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About the Author

Meerkatsu

Author & Artist

Meerkatsu is the artist name for BJJ black belt Seymour Yang.

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