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KyungYet
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Joined: 26 Sep 2013
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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 8:31 am    Post subject: Help me design a martial art for a novel!! =) Reply with quote

Hello, everyone!

I'll skip the huge summary and boil it down for you: I'm writing a story in which the protagonist is a descendant of Ireland's greatest hero, Cu Chulainn, and he is training with the descendant of Scathach, the Scottish warrior-woman who trained Cu Chulainn. Get all that?

I'm finally at the part of the book where I'm discussing his training with this woman. It's modern day, but they'll be learning how to fight with sword and shield. But Scathach was also a barehanded fighter, so I want to incorporate that as well.

A few things you could help me with!

1) What might a brutal, combat-ready martial art style from Scotland look like in today's world? I've looked up Scottish martial arts and it basically seems to be boxing and sweeping... I need to add more than that. Is it closest to Muy Thai? Krav Maga?

2) What important lessons could my inexperienced protagonist learn about how to win his fights? Some examples I have are controlling the center of a battle; using feints; understanding and disrupting your opponent's rhythm, etc.

3) If you're feeling extra creative (I don't know how many of you consider yourself creative folk outside of the realm of the MA!), do you have any thoughts on what the studio might look like, the ceremonies might be like, the uniforms might look like, etc? I suppose this implies some knowledge about ancient Scotland you might not have. But maybe not: I just like cool-sounding ideas! =)

Well thank you for indulging me! I didn't even know where to post this - it's certainly out of the realm of our normal discussions, but who better to bring this question to than a bunch of fellow martial artists, right?

KY
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muttley
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Styles: Shotokan

PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to stereotype and put it out there, I think a flying headbut while yelling "see you Jimmy" needs to be in there.

Sorry, couldn't help myself.
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Wastelander
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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe that, aside from the sword and stick methods (I believe walking stick fighting was very common in Ireland), martial arts from that area tended to be rather like Pankration--sort of a boxing/wrestling hybrid with a few submission holds, but with only a little kicking. I could certainly be wrong, but even so, that seems like a fairly reasonable guess for most regions. Looking at old illustrations of fighting from all over the world, from Egypt to Greece to China, much of the same material appears over and over. I suppose you could take a bit of a kali approach with the stick methods, though, and make it so that the same movements work for the stick and the empty hands.
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KyungYet
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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

muttley wrote:
Just to stereotype and put it out there, I think a flying headbut while yelling "see you Jimmy" needs to be in there.

Sorry, couldn't help myself.


I understand. It was kind of the elephant in the room. I'm glad you put it out there.

And I do at least reference the "Glasgow kiss" (which is a headbutt - so you probably don't want one, even if she IS cute).
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muttley
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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KyungYet wrote:
muttley wrote:
Just to stereotype and put it out there, I think a flying headbut while yelling "see you Jimmy" needs to be in there.

Sorry, couldn't help myself.


I understand. It was kind of the elephant in the room. I'm glad you put it out there.

And I do at least reference the "Glasgow kiss" (which is a headbutt - so you probably don't want one, even if she IS cute).


I am glad that you took it with the humour it was meant.
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bushido_man96
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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2015 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wastelander wrote:
I believe that, aside from the sword and stick methods (I believe walking stick fighting was very common in Ireland), martial arts from that area tended to be rather like Pankration--sort of a boxing/wrestling hybrid with a few submission holds, but with only a little kicking. I could certainly be wrong, but even so, that seems like a fairly reasonable guess for most regions. Looking at old illustrations of fighting from all over the world, from Egypt to Greece to China, much of the same material appears over and over. I suppose you could take a bit of a kali approach with the stick methods, though, and make it so that the same movements work for the stick and the empty hands.


I agree here. I think you are going to have a mix of some bare knuckle Boxing and some Wrestling. Some research into Medieval European tactics would probably lead you in the right direction. Good luck with the book!
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Wado Heretic
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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2015 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you looked into Scottish back-hold wrestling?

In terms of culture; perhaps sword-dancing, or the rituals of the high land games. To be taken with a pinch of salt as they are revivalist traditions but might move you towards the flavour you are after.

There is plenty of material on Scottish fencing, and some sources include reference to a variety of weapons beyond the sword, but they all date from the 17th century onward. As it is modern day, you might be able to use such sources to demonstrate the evolution of the art perhaps. However, it might detract from the ancient nature you are going for.

Otherwise, I have to concur with the others, and suggest looking at bare-knuckle boxing. A good source would be "Banned from Boxing - The forgotten grappling techniques of Classic Pugilism". Another source would be, if you can find a copy, "How to fight tough" by Jack Dempsey and Frank G. Menke. It covers a very pragmatic approach to fighting, and incorporates both boxing and wrestling. Useful in that it was written by men who were taught by the last generation of professional bare-knuckle boxers and competitive professional wrestlers.
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Alan Armstrong
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Scottish woman could teach Cu about the five elements.

There is a huge amount of fighting strategies attached to them.

Wood

Fire

Earth

Water

Metal

The American pentagon is based on them belive it or not! It's a Chinese idea. Many ideas have been used from them and used in the Western cultures.

You wouldn't be short of ideas using the five elements.

If you would like me to elaborate further, I would be happy to help.

I'm of Scottish and Irish decent and my father was a professional boxer in Scotland. He worked with a traveling show in county fairs. If you could stay in the ring with him for more than three minutes you would win some cash.
He killed a person in the ring and gave up the job for another profession.

Hunting dogs (for catching rabbits) such as whippets and greyhounds were a part of the fighting cultures in Scotland, now pit bulls are the fighting breed.

Darts in todays pubs was probably a knife throwing game once upon a time. Would make for a interesting flashback idea. Throwing a dart and a knife lands in the bulls eye.

There are many interesting aspects of Scottish and Irish culture that can be used for your book.
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Tempest
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Joined: 31 Aug 2006
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Location: Tulsa, OK
Styles: Judo, HEMA

PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great topic. You may want to consider looking in to some HEMA sources. I think this is a good link to start with.

https://cateransociety.wordpress.com/books-on-the-cateran-system/

Chris is kind of a strange cat, but a good author an a fine scottish swordsman.

I would, for more martial descriptions of actions, also look at Captain Alfred Hutton's Cold Steel. It is a late period saber manual, but if you want to know what a brutal, combat ready system that can be taught to troops quickly looks like, then that is a good example.

Another good source is
The Art of Defence on Foot: With the Broad Sword and Sabre; Adapted Also for the Spadroon, Or Cut and Thrust Sword

by Roworth and Taylor.

and
A Treatise on the Useful Art of Self-Defence by Captain Godfrey

These should get you started and well on your way to understanding Celtic fighting systems.
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Nipc44
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kyungyet,

I believe we went to the same school in Studio City, CA. I also trained with Rick Prieto, Jerry Trimble and Chris/Ken? Johnson. Would like to connect, please PM me.
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