Weapons & Disciplines Taught
The Scottish Basket-Hilted Sword
Our core weapon that all students start with will be the Scottish Basket-Hilted sword. We teach the Macdonald Academy Method as taught by Maestro Paul Macdonald, who both Instructors have trained under. The sword was popular among the Jacobite soldiers of the 16th - 17th Centuries, and proved to be very effective both on the battlefield and in Highland duels.
Above: Two classic examples of the Basket Hilt, one a 'Back Sword blade' (right) the other a Double Edge Broad Sword blade (left). The Back Sword belonged to Charles Stuart and the Broad Sword belonged to the famous Rob Roy. These two blades faced each other in Rob Roy's final duel which he lost.
Photo courtesy of Paul Macdonald and the Macdonald Armouries
Above: Portrait of Donald McBane from his treatise and Autobiography 'The Expert Swordsman's Companion' (1728). Donald McBane was a legend and an inspiration to this day. Keep an ear out for McBane Night.
Above: The effectiveness of the Basket Hilt with the shift of the leg.
Above: Depiction of Gillies MacBean at Culloden, 16 April 1746. Gillies was a Major in the Clan Chattan regiment who died at the battle of Culloden. His exploits that day passed into legend. The Clan Chattan is the official Clan of the Cat's Glove.
The second core weapon that all students will be taught will be the Fixed Bayonet. The Fixed Bayonet has been around since the late 17th Century when it was a 'Plug Bayonet' and used defensively. The Bayonet design has evolved as warfare tactics changed and technology advanced, yet to this day all infantry rifles are issued with a Bayonet. At The Cat's Glove, we teach a combined method from many treatises of the mid 19th Century to WW2. It is during this period that the Fixed Bayonet was being taught in a more 'fencing' style while the rifles still had plenty of length to use. After students have been taught our Bayonet method and Basket Hilt sword, students will be offered Sword vs Fixed Bayonet.
Left: 'The Thin Red Line' by Robert Gibb 1881. depicting the 93rd (Sutherland Highlanders) Regiment of Foot at the Battle of Balaclava on 25 October 1854, during the Crimean War. On mass, the bayonet was very effective in defence and against superior numbers.
Above: WWI, Bayonet Fencing was popular training for the battle field and became a sport in the military. Even though by this time, as we were seeing less Bayonet charges, it was still considered important towards moral in training.
Above: An extract from Alfred Hutton's 'The Swordsman', 1898. When opposing infantry could meet both with Fixed Bayonet, tactics were being taught for close quarters. Here we see 'locked pieces' with the Butt Stroke to the head.
Above: John Styers teaches the Fixed Bayonet in his book 'Cold Steel' during WW2. By now the rifles were not as long, and the bayonet was a Knife Bayonet, which would double as a handy field knife.
Above: Many tournaments were held which involved the Fixed Bayonet and sometimes against Sabre. At The Cat's Glove we will continue to teach the Bayonet vs Sword.
Close Quarter Combat
At the start of every class, we warm up by going through instruction and drills in Hand to Hand Combat. We take inspiration from WW2 Combatives as taught to the Commandos and Allied Forces, but introduce what we feel simply 'works'. Instructor Mike Smith has given demos to the Commando Veteran's Association, 29, 59 & 45 Royal Marine Commandos and assisted in a Combat Conditioning Course for 45 RM Cdo with the Commando D Living History Group.
Below: An example of some of the research material that we get our drills & techniques from.