The Cateran Society

An Comunn Ceatharnach

Scottish Quarterstaff

Both Donald McBane and Archibald MacGregor discuss the quarterstaff briefly in their works on swordsmanship. Based on MacGregor’s description the staff in Scotland was often used as a weapon of urban self defense, allowing the user to fight his way to safety in one of 18th century Edinburgh’s frequent riots. McBane also mentions its use by “rustic fellows” such as gamekeepers. As you can see, the staff has a huge advantage over the sword in single combat, although we had to keep it light and slow for safety reasons.

We’ve attempted a preliminary interpretation of McBane’s quarterstaff advice here:Donald McBane’s Quarterstaff Exercise

And of MacGregor’s advice on the staff here:

MacGregor’s Quarterstaff Exercise

If these look a little slow and awkward, it’s because we were working from written notes and don’t have these sequences memorized. However, they should be enough for you to get an idea of the Scottish approach to quarterstaff.

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One thought on “Scottish Quarterstaff

  1. Personally I find the 6 foot staff too cumbersome. Great reach and power, yes, but it rapidly becomes unusable in tight places and it’s slower to maneuver. I favor the five foot staff’s greater nimbleness. Still, much respect for the quarterstaff. 🙂

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