The revival of interest in historical Western martial arts has focused a great deal of attention on the weapons of Scotland, especially of the Highlanders. Yet, despite all this enthusiasm for the martial arts of the Highland, few of those practicing have experienced genuine Gaelic culture – and without a cultural context, no practice of martial arts can be considered complete.
Highland Martial Culture examines the nature of the Gaelic warrior class and its martial training; the Gaelic duel and how it differed from the duel in continental Europe; the phenomenon of wandering swordsmen in Highland society; the Highland conception of honor; internal aspects of martial arts practice such as mental tricks, traditional charms and spells used in warfare; unusual skills such as the fast draw; and health practices associated with the warrior class.
This is your chance to find out more about the rich cultural heritage associated with the practice of Highland weapons.
Christopher Thompson is the author of Lannaireachd: Gaelic Swordsmanship, a training manual on the use of the Highland broadsword. A resident of Portland, Maine, Thompson is the president of the Cateran Society, a national organization that promotes historical fencing with Highland weapons.