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Esau Cairn's Fighting Method


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#1 Konorg

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 08:27 PM

Ok some freinds and i where discussing the fighting method of Esau Cairn.

Now other then agreeing that his wrestling style would have been Catch as Catch Can wrestling,

Now on the other hand I contend that the method of boxing he used would have more then likely been a blend of Baxing of the 20's and 30's which would have had stances and guards similar to old Bare knuckle boxing,but would have had the more active footwork of the 20's and 30's and puching for infighting combined with the grappling/tripping and throwing methods that the old timers would have known from the older bareknuckle boxing sytles and Rough and tumble fighting methods.

My freinds disagree and think his boxing would have been strictly the boxing found in the 20's/30's meaning no trips,throws etc for infight,that the infighting he used would have been strickly puching.

How about chiming in folks and giving your 2 cents..ok i'll take the whole dollar . :rolleyes:


The aveage civilized man is never fully alive;he is burdened with masses of atrophied tisse and useless matter.Life flickers feebily in him;his senses sre dull and torpid...In devloping his intellect he has sacrificed far more then he realizes."

#2 Kortoso

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 08:43 PM

Maybe you could offer some quotes from Almuric to support this?

#3 Konorg

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Posted 10 September 2011 - 05:37 PM

Maybe you could offer some quotes from Almuric to support this?



What gave me the idea for this is on page3

"Born in the Southwset,of olf frontier stock,he came from a race whose characteristics were inclined toward violence,and whose traditions were of war and fued and battle against man and nature.The mountian country in which he spent his boyhood carried out the tradition."

Thats perrty much what inspired me along the train of thought that his method of boxing would have encompassed more then then the standard boxing of the 20's-30's,but would have for self defence purposed contained the old throwing,tripping,chanceries,etc of bare-knuckle boxing,as well as rough and tumble fighting.

Plus I have talked to oldsters when i was younger who talked about in their teens learning such things from from oldtimers .

To be honest I think younger people today know far less about effective fighting them old timers did,in part because they spend so much time learning fighting arts that have been watered down into sport forms.


The aveage civilized man is never fully alive;he is burdened with masses of atrophied tisse and useless matter.Life flickers feebily in him;his senses sre dull and torpid...In devloping his intellect he has sacrificed far more then he realizes."

#4 Brule80

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 11:45 PM

just figured Cairns was just a natural 'hard nut', instinctive born fighter. This natural talent came out in the ring, and later on almuric.

#5 Hawkbrother

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 06:11 PM

I am sure Howard used his own extensive knowledge of boxing ,and the fighting in the roughhewn rural Texas of his day, in developing the fighting technique of Cairn. I'd say other posters are largely correct .
I don't think anyone of Cairns' type would have ever referred to boxing as " the Sweet Science."

#6 Kane

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 10:31 PM

From the quote used I would have to say that Cairn learned early on to use a "catch-as-catch-can" style.
Passing phrases and descriptions used later in the story, I would have to say that he did learn some boxing and wrestling before being transported.
Although a person who tried to avoid violence as he grew, more to keep from killing or maiming then fear of a fight, I would think that Esau had more then his share of fights as a child. There is always someone stupid enough to take on the biggest kid. Especially if the biggest kid is trying to avoid a fight.
So by the time he's on Amuric he has had plenty of experience with bare knuckle fights, back alley brawls.and close quarter grappling.
However, I do not think that Esau ever had much formal training in any of the styles he uses. Instead, his life worked to combine each of these into a uniformed style that is Cairn's alone.
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#7 Malak

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 10:49 PM

just figured Cairns was just a natural 'hard nut', instinctive born fighter. This natural talent came out in the ring, and later on almuric.


That's what I think, too. Cairn is an "atavism", a barbarian born out of his time.
And Howard always made clear that fighting comes naturally to the barbarian. Think of Zaporavo not standing a chance against Conan despite his knowledge of all the intricacies of civilized swordsmanship.

#8 Konorg

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 04:50 AM

i can say this Iron hand is the guy i'd want watching my back,well him El Borack and Conan


The aveage civilized man is never fully alive;he is burdened with masses of atrophied tisse and useless matter.Life flickers feebily in him;his senses sre dull and torpid...In devloping his intellect he has sacrificed far more then he realizes."

#9 Sailor Costigan

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 07:55 PM

I'd say Malak has the right of it. This theme is played out over and over again throughout the entirety of his work. Atavism, as Howard understood it, is an essential paradigm toward understanding Howard's worldview. At least that's how I see it. I've always felt that Esau's "style" of fighting was essentially the learned responses his body and mind worked out to deal with specific, dangerous and often violent encounters. His body's ruggedness allowed for responses that the rest of modern humanity could not physically duplicate. So, while he may not be schooled in specific examples of fighting I think it a safe bet that what he used was still quite remarkable in form as well as substance. Unlike Tae Kwon Do - it's probably not something you'd want to teach your 6 year old.

Edited by Sailor Costigan, 30 May 2012 - 07:57 PM.

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#10 Konorg

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 07:58 PM

I'd say Malak has the right of it. This theme is played out over and over again throughout the entirety of his work. Atavism, as Howard understood it, is an essential paradigm toward understanding Howard's worldview. At least that's how I see it. I've always felt that Esau's "style" of fighting was essentially the learned responses his body and mind worked out to deal with specific, dangerous and often violent encounters. His body's ruggedness allowed for responses that the rest of modern humanity could not physically duplicate. So, while he may not be schooled in specific examples of fighting I think it a safe bet that what he used was still quite remarkable in form as well as substance. Unlike Tae Kwon Do - it's probably not something you'd want to teach your 6 year old.



If i had kids they'd not be learning TKD,but Bartitsu...google it duudes :)


The aveage civilized man is never fully alive;he is burdened with masses of atrophied tisse and useless matter.Life flickers feebily in him;his senses sre dull and torpid...In devloping his intellect he has sacrificed far more then he realizes."

#11 Sailor Costigan

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 09:35 PM

If i had kids they'd not be learning TKD,but Bartitsu...google it duudes :)


Interesting. I like the emphasis on range. Mechanically, it's what all combat comes down to - controlling the range. All the many other factors are contained in the basic ranges.
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#12 Konorg

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 01:48 AM


If i had kids they'd not be learning TKD,but Bartitsu...google it duudes :)


Interesting. I like the emphasis on range. Mechanically, it's what all combat comes down to - controlling the range. All the many other factors are contained in the basic ranges.


Another thing I like about it is that despite the fact people are having to revive it,it is a blast of fresh air in the martial arts world where most martial arts have been turned into sports!


The aveage civilized man is never fully alive;he is burdened with masses of atrophied tisse and useless matter.Life flickers feebily in him;his senses sre dull and torpid...In devloping his intellect he has sacrificed far more then he realizes."

#13 Konorg

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 02:05 AM

That also reminds me in Almuric Ironhand remarks on page 57 that the Gura's spread his hands in a curious grappling guesture,

and on page 68 he mentions the one he fights knows tricks of which he himself was ignorant

and on page 69 he states

there was no pinning of the shoulders,as in an Earthly wrestling match.the fight would continue until one or both of the contestants were dead or senseless.

Now from my research and study of Bartitsu and the varsious arts that would ahve been apart of it,I submit that the wrestling known by the Iron Hand
was mainly Catch-as-catch can wrestling,because it was THE style in the states,and one of a varity of styles found in Europe,,and unlike japanese ju jitsu strives to pin a person,where as the style of the guras from Almuric is more akin to Ju jitsu because in Ju jitsu (not brazilian ju jitsu which is nothing more then judo)there is no pin and you win they strive to make you submit by tapping out or if they are trying to finish you off well "it's say good night '


The aveage civilized man is never fully alive;he is burdened with masses of atrophied tisse and useless matter.Life flickers feebily in him;his senses sre dull and torpid...In devloping his intellect he has sacrificed far more then he realizes."