Thursday, November 20, 2008

Rince an Bhata Uisce Bheatha - The Bata

Rince an Bhata Uisce Bheatha (pronounced rinkan watta ishka vaaha) is Gaelic for Dance of the Whiskey Stick. However, Rince an Bhata Uisce Bheatha isn't an Irish dance, it's a Doyle Clan style of Irish stick fighting. This is a form of martial art most Irishmen used to settle their disputes in the 18th and 19th centuries. The first thing in learning Rince an Bhata Uisce Bheatha is how to make a bata. A bata is an Irish fighting stick and because this style of stick fighting uses both hands you will need to insure that it will be the proper size for you.

The Proper Size for Your Bata

The bata that is used in the Rince an Bhata Uisce Bheatha style is usually about three feet long. Its size is mainly dependent upon the size of the individual for whom it is being made. In order to determine the proper length, stretch your arms out from your body at shoulder level and make a fist in each hand. Then bring your fists together in a position next to each other and against the middle of your chest. Do this while keeping your elbows pointed outwards and away from your body. The next step is to measure the distance between your two elbows. The final step in determining the proper size you will need is to add six inches to the measurement obtained from elbow to elbow. This will give you the proper length of bata for you to obtain the maximum effectiveness in this style of stick fighting.

The Proper Wood for Your Bata

The bata is usually made from a tree branch or from the main portion or "trunk" of a small tree and generally includes a root knob. Most batas in Ireland were made from blackthorn bushes because they are very common in Ireland. Batas can also be made from other woods such as oak or ash. Generally most any available hardwood of good quality should be sufficient.

The Proper Finish for Your Bata

Most batas are finished in a dark stain. It is entirely up to you as to what type of stain and sealer you use to preserve your bata. Some batas also have metal ferrules or tips on the knob and on the end of the bata.

The proper length is extremely important for this particular style because stick punches are launched using both hands. If your stick is too long, it will be difficult to execute proper stick punches.

You can read my previous post on Irish stick fighting here:

Rince Bhata Uisce Bheatha

Staying above the water line!


1 comment:

ceraphym said...

Excellent article. Thanks for the info. I have just started a hobby making bata.

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