As I continue on my Martial Arts journey I continually reach out to different individuals in the arts for broader exposure. Through my connection with the UCONN Fencing Club I was able to meet Cap'n Green of the Pirate Dojo. Yes I said "Pirate" and "Dojo" in the same sentence. But don't worry, this is a totally unique and friendly group of Pirates. Cap'n Green reached out to me on Facebook and invited me down to train, I gladly accepted.
When I arrived at the "Dojo" it was like nothing I was used to. An ancient building by New England standards, a white church like building with glass windows dating back to the late 1800's, early 1900's. As I walked through the door and turned the corner the room opened up to a room roughly 25'x50' with old hard wood floors and what looks like a stage. Not sure what the stage is for but it's a great place for spectators. Members of this little known school would change my perspective of the Western Arts forever. I was introduced to a whole new realm of weapons I was not accustom to. A Cudgel, which is approximately 30" in length, made of hickory and has a leather hand guard. The next weapon was the heavy Sabre (which you will see in the video). This sword is your classical European style with the sprawling hand guard and long curved blade (not sharp). The last weapon was what they call "The Great Stick". It is a simple broomstick that is about 5' in length. The stick is held like a 2 handed sword and the techniques are similar in nature. I tried all 3 weapons but the one that really caught my attention was the heavy sabre. My words would never due the sword justice so you will have to check out the video.
In the video Cap'n Green is the patient technical practitioner on the left. Using his 20+ years of experience to expose my weaknesses and create openings. I am the squirrely one on the right. Using my experience in Kali and the different Martial Arts to try and compensate for his experience. What you will witness in the video looks to be a draw but the strikes delivered by the Cap'n were much more lethal. My experience with this group has greatly impacted my weapons skill level and I look forward to passing on the knowledge to my students.
In closing, I have a new found respect for western martial arts. The movies have pigeon holed the martial arts as “Asian Only”. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Boxing, Pankration, Fencing and Wrestling all have a storied past in Europe. Europe has a thick history in the martial arts and should be recognized as such. Hope you enjoy the video.
Todd T Jensen is a local Martial Arts instructor, his studies include Boxing, Kickboxing, Jiujitsu and Kali. For more information visit www.facebook.com/IntegratedPersonalDefense