Goshin Ju-Jitsu Spain wrote:Catch wresling is one of the few that have survived. There was once many different styles both unarmed and armed that have all but died out.
I'm obviously more familiar with the a couple of the Scottish ones, not that I have studied them but I did meet a group from near Glasgow who were researching the subject and came to a seminar I was running to demonstrate a form of grappling and sword play that had died out in Scotland around the time of the Highland clearances and only survived through a set of treatises that were discovered a few years ago in Canada.
The guys I met were trying to piece it back together as it turned out that the entire Highland dancing system was in-fact created as a method of hiding the practice of the fighting arts from the English sort of a musical Kata if you like. problem was nobody knew that was the case.
I'm by no means an authority on this but as I understand it the same situation is reportedly present within all parts of the UK (and in Europe) e.g. Irish Shillelagh fighting. Arts like these generally died off or went so far underground that they eventually became folklore or worse were completely forgotten through oppression by the established government of the time, and finding solid information on them is now extremely difficult.
It's getting easier - the BFHS is in the lead (although by no means alone) in promoting learning of traditional European martial arts. As one of their students (albeit a very junior one as yet) I find this stuff absolutely fascinating and it's a privilege to finally get the chance.
For those with an interest who fancy an Autumn trip to Edinburgh, this looks promising.