A report on the 2015 UKBA Bartitsu Gathering

A report on the recent UKBA Bartitsu Gathering via http://ordinaryvisionary.tumblr.com:

ukba gathering

“Organised by the Bartitsu Irregulars, the Bartitsu club I (very) irregularly attend, the Bartitsu Gathering kicked off Sunday morning in Basingstoke and it included three seminars and sparring time.

The seminars were:

Kenton Clarke-Williams (Basingstoke Bartitsu Irregulars) – Everything but the Cane: unarmed techniques in cane fighting.

Peter Smallridge (Basingstoke Bartitsu Irregulars) – Punching in Pajamas: using grips to enhance striking for counter-grappling.

Sam Wigand (Metropolitan Bartitsu Club): – Beating the Unarmed Man: self defence with a cane against an unarmed attacker.

I really enjoyed all.

Hungry for unarmed knowledge as I always am, it’s no surprise I enjoyed the first two. The first looked at unarmed techniques vs an opponent armed with a cane, the second was grappler vs striker with the emphasis on the striker, which I found refreshingly unusual. You tend to hear more the other way around. Both seminars reminded me of techniques I learn in traditional Jujitsu, so that was excellent cross training for me. The third seminar was basically the opposite of the first, cane techniques vs unarmed opponent. I’m normally not so much into sticks but the cane’s the iconic Bartitsu tool so after incidentally learning a little bit here and a little bit there about it over time, it’s starting to grow on me and Sam Wigand did a good job in keeping the seminar fun and interesting.

Even the M25 cooperated to make it a good Sunday, no queues going up to Basingstoke, which might well be a first. The only downside of the day for me has been attending with a still sore big bruise I got competing in Longsword in Helsinki a week ago. It is exactly in the spot of my left arm that I need to block and break fall with. It annoyed me to no end in drilling and though I managed to have a go at sparring with sticks and a little wrestle, it really prevented me from enjoying the free sparring time more, as I would normally do.

Other than that, a good way to spend my Sunday at a well put together event. Well done to all involved!”

The Moriarty Variations at “Sherlock Seattle”

What if, during their fatal combat at the brink of the Reichenbach Falls, both Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty had been trained in Bartitsu and armed with walking sticks? What if the evil professor had, in fact, drawn a knife on Holmes, as represented in Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen?

These and other scenarios were explored by intrepid members of BWAHAHAHA (the Barton-Wright/Alfred Hutton Alliance for Historically Accurate Hoplology and Antagonistics) for the edification of the audience at the 2016 Sherlock Seattle convention:



“Barnard College Girls Becoming Experts in Jiu Jitsu Art” (Allentown Leader, Feb. 9, 1916)

Barnard College jujitsu

Have at you, Sir!


Instructor James Garvey (right) demonstrates the entry into a canonical Bartitsu takedown technique.

More on the International Pugilism Symposium (Leaf River, IL, May 2016)

The Second International Pugilism Symposium will feature two days of instruction in the art of historical bare knuckle boxing with noted English and US instructors including Martin “Oz” Austwick, Ken Pfrenger, Kirk Lawson, Tim Ruzicki and Allen Reed.


Single Time Counters in Pugilism

Using Your Elbows in Pugilism

Sparring Applications in Pugilism

The “Dirty Tricks” of Pugilism

The Use and Feeding of Focus Mitts

The Pugilism of Ancient Greece and Rome

Pugilism for Self Defense

Registration is $100 for both days and $75 for one day before May 1, 2016. The cost goes up to $150 for both days and $100 for one day after May 1, 2016 and at the door.

A seminar in fighting from the chancery position at the First

International Pugilism Symposium (2015)

Registration can be through Paypal to gallowglassacad@aol.com or by check or money order to PO Box 201, Leaf River, IL 61047. If paying by mail please include email address or phone number to confirm registration.

Dates: May 21 and 22, 2016

Location: River Valley Center, 605 Main St, Leaf River, IL 61047 (near Rockford, IL)

More information will be coming soon to www.gallowglassacademy.org

“I look forward to the debate, sir!” – a Bartitsuesque fight scene from “Q.E.D.” (1982)

Readers of a certain age may fondly recall the short-lived TV series Q.E.D. (also titled The Mastermind), which screened during the early 1980s. The show featured Sam Waterston as the eccentric former Ivy League professor Quentin E. Deverill, who becomes embroiled in a variety of adventures in Edwardian London. The character of Deverill is reminiscent of Craig Kennedy, the scientific detective who featured in a number of popular short stories written by Arthur B. Reeve during the first decades of the 20th century.

In this scene, during the course of investigating a mysterious disappearance at sea, Deverill attends and debunks a hoax seance, provoking an attack by the “medium’s” henchmen. The hero responds with a very Bartitsuesque combination of fisticuffs and jiujitsu …

“The Anti-Hooligan: Self-Defence as a Fine Art” (1902)

This short article from the London Daily News of Wednesday, October 29, 1902, offers a picturesque description of the Vigny stick fighting style in action, underscoring the central importance of agile, deceptive attacks and defences from the double-handed guard and also the frequent use of the butt end of the cane in delivering close-combat attacks.

Last night, at his School of Arms at 18, Berners-street, Professor Pierre Vigny gave a striking exhibition of the possibilities of self-defence afforded by a simple walking-stick. In these days, when the papers are full of “Hooligan” outrages, some such easy form of protection is by many considered almost necessary for late wayfarers.

Holding a malacca cane by one hand at each end, the Professor calmly awaited the onslaught of a skilled opponent with a similar stick. The spectator never knew which hand was to deal the blow, the released end moving with lightning speed, and a short hold was taken, so that the assailant, in guarding against an impending blow, often found himself hammered or prodded with the butt.

Then came an exhibition of stick swinging in which every part of the body was protected on all sides. With a perpetual loud hum, the cane made circles, in front and behind, so that no-one could reach within the guard without instantly receiving a blow that would shatter any bone to pieces.

After this the Professor showed the spectators how to take a knife or dagger from an advancing assailant. It looked so simple that one had to be assured that the trick really wanted learning.

And then, with the amateur heavyweight champion, Mr. Frank Parkes, the Professor showed his skill at boxing and the French system of boxing with both hands and feet, “la savate”.

With a sprinkling of people about who had learned Professor Vigny’s system, the Hooligan would soon find his occupation gone.

How to Deal with Undesirables

How to deal with undesirables

Advice on the gentlemanly art of umbrella combat from the late and lamented Kingsman agent Harry (Galahad) Hart.

Register now for the UK Bartitsu Gathering!

History copy

Click here for convenient registration for the Jan. 31st Bartitsu Gathering, to be held in Basingstoke, UK.

This event will be chance to meet, mingle, and mill, featuring several “mini-seminars” on different aspects of how Bartitsu blends ranges and systems, as well as lots of free time for freeplay and free exchange of ideas.

Confirmed instructors and seminar topics include:

Kenton Clarke-Williams (Basingstoke Bartitsu Irregulars)

Everything but the Cane: unarmed techniques in cane fighting.

Sam Wigand (Metropolitan Bartitsu Club)

Beating the Unarmed Man: self defence with a cane against an unarmed attacker.

Peter Smallridge (Basingstoke Bartitsu Irregulars)

Punching in Pajamas: using grips to enhance striking for counter-grappling.

Season’s greetings

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