Sticking/Adhering in Machete Practice

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Sticking/Adhering in Machete Practice

Postby yeniseri on Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:47 am

I was watching a link about a Master Haitian machete practitioner. Interesing on the sticking/adhereing observation though it is implicit, there is no explicit mentioning of it during practice.
I am thinking of the Generals and others of prestigious Ecole Royale Militaire or some Ecole Speciale de Fence from the best of the ruling academies defeated by a horde of machete weilding men, most unschooled by and through Western uUropean models of greatness ;D ;D Just an obervation for thought.

The master practitioner makes use of the circle concept, though implicit and lacking explicit mentioning of it but it is part of the integrained learning methodology. I can see similarities of a similar concept in a former Spanish circle concept of fencing in those days ;D
https://www.theatlantic.com/video/index ... edit-promo
Last edited by yeniseri on Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sticking/Adhering in Machete Practice

Postby klonk on Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:00 pm

Professor Avril has been discussed before, https://rumsoakedfist.org/viewtopic.php ... 43&start=0 but perhaps a new discussion will bring new insight.

I see him as firmly grasping the essential tenet of Western saber, the first thing you need is a good parry.
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Re: Sticking/Adhering in Machete Practice

Postby Franklin on Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:36 am

growing up on a caribbean island
you clear a lot of bush and small trees with a machete...
and thats not even as a job/vocation..

so you already have the practical knowledge of holding the tool, swinging it, and cutting through things
i am guessing that that practical knowledge would be of benefit in a situation where you had to use one

that and I am pretty sure numbers
(being overrun by a mob with machetes would not be good odds...)

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Re: Sticking/Adhering in Machete Practice

Postby Steve James on Thu Apr 18, 2019 8:31 am

Everywhere there was sugar production, there were cane knives, and there were men who'd occasionally fight. So, systems of fighting with those tools developed on all the islands, but they were all illicit. That's why many were performed as dances, or resembled dancing.
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Re: Sticking/Adhering in Machete Practice

Postby klonk on Thu Apr 18, 2019 1:37 pm

What the method's promoters say about its origins: https://www.haitianfencing.org/#about-haitian-fencing
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Re: Sticking/Adhering in Machete Practice

Postby Steve James on Thu Apr 18, 2019 9:11 pm

Everywhere there was resistance, self-defense arts developed. The Haitian Revolution was the seminal event in the Americas after the American Revolution. But, they didn't defeat the French army with machetes. And, as the article relates, these traditions were secret. The "family" aspect is integral, and that's why there are/were many styles. Different plantations with different peoples united by a common experience, which eventually led to their unified action.

Anyway, there are also machete (empty hand, and other weapon) traditions in the Caribbean. For example, there's guazabara on Puerto Rico (Borinken). And that was really my main point: the weapon traditions developed because the tools were necessarily available. In the North, where sugar was not the major employer of labor, machete traditions did not emerge. Take the Dominican Republic on the same island, any machete art, is considered Haitian, because many of them still cut cane on the bateyes.
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Re: Sticking/Adhering in Machete Practice

Postby Taste of Death on Thu Apr 18, 2019 9:23 pm

Steve James wrote:Everywhere there was resistance, self-defense arts developed. The Haitian Revolution was the seminal event in the Americas after the American Revolution. But, they didn't defeat the French army with machetes. And, as the article relates, these traditions were secret. The "family" aspect is integral, and that's why there are/were many styles. Different plantations with different peoples united by a common experience, which eventually led to their unified action.

Anyway, there are also machete (empty hand, and other weapon) traditions in the Caribbean. For example, there's guazabara on Puerto Rico (Borinken). And that was really my main point: the weapon traditions developed because the tools were necessarily available. In the North, where sugar was not the major employer of labor, machete traditions did not emerge. Take the Dominican Republic on the same island, any machete art, is considered Haitian, because many of them still cut cane on the bateyes.


Madison Smart Bell's trilogy of historical novels about the Haitian Revolution, All Souls Rising, Master of the Crossroads, and The Stone that the Builder Refused are a must read for anyone interested in the Haitian Revolution, Haiti or matters of race.
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Re: Sticking/Adhering in Machete Practice

Postby Franklin on Thu Apr 18, 2019 11:30 pm

Steve James wrote:Everywhere there was resistance, self-defense arts developed. The Haitian Revolution was the seminal event in the Americas after the American Revolution. But, they didn't defeat the French army with machetes. And, as the article relates, these traditions were secret. The "family" aspect is integral, and that's why there are/were many styles. Different plantations with different peoples united by a common experience, which eventually led to their unified action.

Anyway, there are also machete (empty hand, and other weapon) traditions in the Caribbean. For example, there's guazabara on Puerto Rico (Borinken). And that was really my main point: the weapon traditions developed because the tools were necessarily available. In the North, where sugar was not the major employer of labor, machete traditions did not emerge. Take the Dominican Republic on the same island, any machete art, is considered Haitian, because many of them still cut cane on the bateyes.



from my experience growing up

I would say that if there is an intact martial heritage -- then it is a real treasure
(i would guess that what we have today is mostly re-imagined, compiled, and guesswork...)


most of the martial stuff that was popular in the islands was
karate and taekwando
a long time ago it was really popular...

recently -- this kind of things is not popular at all...


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Last edited by Franklin on Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sticking/Adhering in Machete Practice

Postby Steve James on Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:35 am

I would say that if there is an intact martial heritage -- then it is a real treasure
(i would guess that what we have today is mostly re-imagined, compiled, and guesswork...)


Yeah, well, today it's about commercialization, by which I don't mean making money. I mean that whatever traditions that existed are becoming publicized by outsiders.

Haiti is unique because its revolutionary culture became the dominant one. After it did, however, Haiti became the Enemy #1 to all the colonial powers. And, the one thing they (France, Britain, Spain, and the U.S.) all agreed on was that the Haitian "cancer of revolution" not spread to the other colonies. That's why all potentially martial practices were restricted or forbidden, and if they existed, were done secretly.

However, wherever there was resistance, whether by the enslaved or the natives, there were weapons and martial practices. It might help to think of them the way we think of Voudou.
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Re: Sticking/Adhering in Machete Practice

Postby klonk on Sat Apr 20, 2019 8:34 pm

There are certain lessons that are inherent in the sword, lessons people rediscover with each fresh investigation. Do not commit to a leg attack while your opponent's blade is free, for example. Anatomy and geometry dictate that your arm is vulnerable if you do.

I'll credit the article in what it says, French military fencing and African stick fighting were formative influences on tire machet, but there are only so many ways to do sword, or stick, that actually work and so that funnels methodology toward common ends, and similar means, regardless.

I have heard a Chinese saying to the effect that learning the dao takes a hundred days, jian a thousand days. That is remarkably close to the reason why the saber, not the thrusting sword, was the preferred Western military sidearm up until the end of the era of swords. There are more ways to screw up using the thrusting sword. I take that as an example of identical conclusions by separate paths.

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Last edited by klonk on Sat Apr 20, 2019 8:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sticking/Adhering in Machete Practice

Postby Steve James on Sun Apr 21, 2019 6:18 am

French military fencing and African stick fighting were formative influences on tire machet


Well, fwiw, there's no such thing as "African" stick-fighting. African is a big place with many cultures, peoples, and traditions of fighting ... with sticks, but let's not forget that they also had swords and spears. If the article had cited a specific style of "African" stick fighting, such as Ngoni or Zulu, there'd be a way to check --because those traditions continue.

Secondly, Haitians do not come from a single African people, tradition, or area. That's because the island (Hispaniola) was contested by England, Spain, and France; so, the culture there was extremely varied there before their Revolution.

But, frankly, the best evidence is the most obvious. Tire machete simply doesn't look like any of the African stick styles that I have seen, and I've seen a few. If you want to talk about Jamaica and Trinidad, for ex., ... hmm, I'll look for a vid. I don't know whether Tire machete looks like French military fencing, but I do think that the sensitivity aspects of it are fairly unique to the African traditions of which I am aware. If you could show some French military fencers doing something similar, it'd be appreciated, and I'd understand your point better.
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Re: Sticking/Adhering in Machete Practice

Postby Steve James on Sun Apr 21, 2019 6:25 am

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Re: Sticking/Adhering in Machete Practice

Postby Steve James on Sun Apr 21, 2019 6:33 am

Here's an older, more in-depth BBC issue on Zulu stick fighting technique. At around 3 minutes or so, I think there's a guy who'd studied an Asian ma who tries to play. Of course, the Zulu were famous for their spear, but the knobkerry stick was also an essential part of their military kit.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWkjrnUaoe0
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Re: Sticking/Adhering in Machete Practice

Postby klonk on Sun Apr 21, 2019 10:40 am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3Zf40pBUNE


This is of too late an era fully to reflect what would have influenced revolutionary Haitians. It uses the very lightweight Olympic fencing sabre, which allows faster and smaller gestures than a sabre of practical weight. The logic and geometry are similar to older French practice but distorted by the lack of inertia in the weapons.

Some lessons, as I was saying, are inherent in any workable method. It is plausible that some stylistic ideas were lifted from the French, even if they ended up looking somewhat different in Haitian iteration. French swords have hilts that protect the hand, machetes do not, which accounts for some divergence.

Haitian preference for parrying with your blade above your hand seems French, as does the emphasis on a secure parry as the sine qua non. I will look around to see if I can find materials that more fully show what I mean.
Last edited by klonk on Sun Apr 21, 2019 10:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sticking/Adhering in Machete Practice

Postby Steve James on Sun Apr 21, 2019 10:59 am

This one, like the one before last, is from East Africa, Ethiopian region, iinm. They use a long single stick that is very flexible.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AosQi3MUv9Q


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhigMD-RM8g

The Maasai, who live closer Kenya, otoh,generally use two equally long sticks, or a shorter and longer stick.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXXOc9h6MmY

Don't these remind you more of Dog Brothers gatherings.
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