Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Redeeming the Shillelagh

May 7th, 2009 · 1 Comment

The 1988 B-movie “classic” Bloodsport is notable for three things: Forest Whitaker’s nuanced supporting performance, Bolo Yeung‘s ‘roided-out pectorals, and the novel highlighting of non-Asian martial arts. Microkhan, for one, was first introduced to capoeira through the film, and has been a fan ever since (which meant that his time in Salvadaor de Bahia was a little slice of heaven).

But Bloodsport fell short by not including an Irish martial artist among the kumite competitors. It turns out the Emerald Isle has its own rich tradition of skilled hand-to-hand combat, a tradition that may well have vanished into complete obscurity without the efforts of John W. Hurley. The noted author has dedicated years to popularizing the art of Shillelagh fighting, which centers around a knobbed stick once integral to ant-Irish cartoons. Hurley has labored to salvage the Shillelagh’s reputation.

Get involved in the controlled mayhem by taking an online lesson. Please note that Microkhan cannot be held responsible for any injuries incurred; our insurance won’t cover it.


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