A shillelagh , a cudgel with a strap is a wooden walking stick . Typically made from a stout knotty stick with a large knob at the top, that is associated with Ireland and Irish folklore.

Shillelaghs are traditionally made from blackthorn wood or oak. Most also have a heavy knob for a handle which can be used for striking as well as parrying and disarming an opponent. Many shillelaghs also have a strap attached.

The shillelagh was originally used for settling disputes in a gentlemanly manner—like pistols in colonial America. Methods of shillelagh fighting have evolved over a period of thousands of years, from the spear, staff, axe and sword fighting of the Irish. There is some evidence which suggests that the use of Irish stick weapons may have evolved in a progression from a reliance on long spears and wattles, to shorter spears and wattles, to the shillelagh, alpeen, blackthorn (walking-stick) and short cudgel. By the 19th century Irish shillelagh-fighting had evolved into a practice which involved the use of three basic types of weapons, sticks which were long, medium or short in length.


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