In Marazion, beside St Michael’s Mount, after 6 months walking in 2007, here we are in friendly amateur combat.
We discovered ankle-tap only a few weeks before, in a little town called Lostwithiel. The rules are simple: Tap the leg of your opponent beneath the knee, and stop your opponent tapping your leg. Always keep two hands on the staff.
You need space, a friendly antagonism, and a good pair of staffs.
An ancient childrens’ game, which developed into a set-piece format in the years following the Norman invasion of Britain, when Saxons were denied from carrying weapons. This is the historic context that gave rise to Capoiera in Brazil, Escrima in the Phillipines, and Morris in England.
The singing was in a family’s house in Lyndhurst, in the New Forest, 2 months earlier.