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Topics - Mick C.

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I don't know if this is an appropriate topic of discussion on the Martial Arts Forum, as it crosses the line over into politics so I'll leave that up to Crafty. I'm not really interested in discussing the politics involved on the MA side, but I'd be interested in hearing discussion on what we can learn from watching relatively unskilled fighters (mostly - there may be some with some training) try to wallop each other, both from the standpoint of skill sets and a new cultural phenomenon.

In the recent anti-Trump / pro-Trump riots in Berkeley, as well as fights related to the Inauguration, clips on the news and YouTube showed numerous examples of stick fights and staff fights (using "flagpoles" brought to the protests). More recently, at the melee that resulted after the confrontation between pro-Trump and anti-Trump (the "Antifa") protestors, the confrontations seem to be assuming a ritualized context of community fighting, as both sides are increasingly arming themselves with sticks and staves, as well as more modern weapons such as pepper spray which is being used indiscriminately. In response to the rising tide of aggression, you can see protestors begin to armor themselves with helmets, face masks, shin guards (I would imagine cups), and chest protectors, eye protection, and carrying sticks and wooden shields, frequently painted with insignia representing their causes.

The melee-type battles that follow look like a mix of an unskilled full-contact stick fighting meet, SCA, and African tribal ritualized combat. It's interesting to consider whether these kind of community fights stoke tensions or act as some kind of communal pressure valve, as they seem to do in third-world settings.

Here's an example of the type of protection pro-Trump fighters are sporting:

Anti-Trump: Not sure of the significance of the 3 arrows:

Technique seems to be about what you would expect:

There are some real injuries:

Even innocent bystanders are at risk:

The flags seem to be carried not only for group identification purposes but also to be used as staves/spears:

Short, heavy flagpoles may be a work-around to avoid being accused of carrying a weapon, as a stick supporting a flag or protest sign is probably a 1st Amendment issue:

Here's a pretty stout flagpole:

Sticks are carried and used more frequently:

Some Youtube videos of the melee:

Again, I hope this is an appropriate area of discussion for the forum.

Unusual historical note I ran across:

Back in the early days of the Boy Scouts (1910), there was a Merit Badge titled "Master of Arms" which required the scout to train in Single Stick and Quarterstaff fighting, Fencing, Wrestling, Jiu-Jitsu, and Boxing.

Kids were tougher then. 

Scouts can now use Judo, Aikido, or Tai Ch'i to satisfy a requirement for the Sports Merit Badge, but Karate, Tae Kwon Do, and Boxing cannot be used, for the stated reason of avoiding liability for injuries (I think I've seen more long-term injuries in Judo/BJJ and Aikido than in the striking sports...)

Martial Arts Topics / Full Contact Stickfighting on Christmas!
« on: December 20, 2010, 11:02:12 AM »
Reading through Theodore Roosevelt's Letters to his Children, I came across a letter describing Christmas in the White House in 1902.  TR had a lot more energy than I do, as after opening all the kid's presents and having breakfast, TR went for a 3-hour horesback ride with General Leonard Wood (with whom he served in the Spanish-American War, and whom the Army base in Missouri is named after) and another Rough-Rider, then came back for lunch.  TR then did some single-stick fighting:

Late in the afternoon I played at single stick with General Wood and Mr. Ferguson. I am going to get your father to come on and try it soon. We have to try to hit as light as possible, but sometimes we hit hard, and to-day I have a bump over one eye and a swollen wrist. Then all our family and kinsfolk and Senator and Mrs. Lodge's family and kinsfolk had our Christmas dinner at the White House, and afterwards danced in the East Room, closing up with the Virginia Reel.

I'm usually exhausted by noon on Christmas Day...

Aside from stick-fighting, boxing, wrestling, weight-training, and (obviously) shooting, TR trained in Jiu-Jitsu / Judo (or Jiudo, as it was spelled then), built a training hall in the White House, and even set up a MMA fight in the white house, sort of the first UFC.  Here are some of the letters on that:

Martial Arts Topics / Old, Old School Martial Arts / H2H Articles
« on: August 07, 2010, 09:57:25 PM »
A blast from the past:  An August, 1931 Popular Science magazine article on Chicago Police defensive tactics for knife and handgun disarming, or in the parlance of the times, how a weapon can be wrested from a footpad:

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