In this experimental sparring match, Chilean Andres Morales (in the fencing mask with the white trim) employs the Vigny cane style opposed to the doble bastón (double stick) sub-system of Filipino stick fighting.
Made of combat-worthy rattan and featuring solid rubber ball handles, these canes effectively simulate the asymmetrical balance and handling characteristics of the fighting canes originally designed by Pierre Vigny and used at the Bartitsu School of Arms circa 1901.
Worth bearing in mind when one’s martial practice starts to become too academic; there is gently going through the motions, and then there is Extreme Stick Fighting. These two combatants demonstrate impressive toughness and courage in fighting full-contact and unarmoured, with very few apparent rules, on uneven, natural terrain.
While it can be argued that, for example, a classic Vigny cane would be expected to do more damage than a shorter, evenly-weighted rattan stick, it’s also important to note that adrenaline can allow a fighter to ignore many strikes that might be assumed to be fight-stoppers under less extreme circumstances. It follows that grappling, including ground-fighting, is a crucial skill. Endurance, luck, improvisation under pressure and will-power are all important factors in surviving, let alone winning, a combat of this nature.
In the above experimental sparring bout, Andres Morales (wearing the fencing mask with white trim) sticks closely to the Vigny style in contending with an opponent fighting in a more generic, free style.
In the second video, Andres and his sparring partner both employ the Vigny style. Note Andres’ tactical advantages in switching between the double-handed, rear and front guards, employing ambidextrous striking and even some double-handed strikes:
Andres Morales of the Santiago Stickfighters Club in Chile – a prize-winner in the international Bartitsu Sparring Video Competition – demonstrates rapid, powerful strikes from the Vigny front guard.
As Captain F.C. Laing wrote in The Bartitsu Method of Stick Fighting (1902):
Assume “first position,” guard head, then, before he has time to recover himself, hit him rapidly on both sides of his face, disengaging between each blow as explained; the rapidity of these blows will generally be sufficient to disconcert him.
The prolific Andres Morales of Santiago, Chile demonstrates the use of Vigny stick fighting against two sparring partners armed with training knives. Although there are records of similar stick vs. knife demonstrations by Pierre Vigny himself circa 1900, no such scenarios were recorded in any detail during the heyday of his style.