A LONE quarterstaffer is trying to teach Oxford about the little-known British tradition, despite the fact no one showed up to his first training session this week.
Gwil Wright, above, has been practising the art on the wide open spaces of Port Meadow in North Oxford and is looking for people to join him.
He said: “The closest thing you can call it is a martial art.
“It’s a British stick fighting tradition, with some similarities to other martial arts but it is very different in other ways.”
Quarterstaffing, where people use a long wooden stick in formations to attack and defend themselves, is a type of fighting which used to be common among the working class in the Middle Ages.
Mr Wright, 39, added: “It does take the UK landscape into consideration with its ethos, and the movements are inspired by different animals – the stag, cat, bear, fox, boar and hawk.
“It’s about planning how to attack and defend, and how to use the staff and your body to protect yourself.”
The law librarian, who travels from Buckinghamshire to hold the classes, said: “You need to think about how to get the best use out of it as a weapon. It’s a living tradition.”
The sessions run from 8pm to 9.30pm on Wednesday evenings until September 3, except for July 30 and August 6.
They are held on Port Meadow, opposite the Perch pub at Binsey, and cost £5.
Call Mr Wright for more information on 07908 762647.
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