Bartitsu in the “Sherlock Holmes Handbook”

The Sherlock Holmes Handbook: the Methods and Mysteries of the World’s Greatest Detective is a new book in the “cleverly themed how-to” genre. Taking its inspiration from the adventures of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s iconic investigator, the book offers hints and tips on “How to Use Deductive Reasoning”, “How to Master a Dozen Disguises” and, of course, “How to Defend Yourself”.

The latter section includes a quick summary of Bartitsu lore, correctly identifying Holmes’ “baritsu” primarily with Japanese unarmed combat, although not clarifying that Bartitsu actually included boxing, savate, wrestling and stick fighting as well. However, further items in the self defence section refer to Holmes’ abilities as a boxer, fencer and singlestick fighter, and offer very basic instruction in each of these areas.

A great Christmas gift for Holmes/Bartitsu aficionados, and a great companion piece to “the Art of Manliness” (see previous post).

The Gentlemanly Art of Bartitsu

In 2008 the popular Art of Manliness website featured an extensive article on Bartitsu. An expanded version of that article appears in the new Art of Manliness book, available from



Generation X and Y is a generation of Lost Boys. We live in a Never-Never-Land where boys stay boys and never become men. More and more males today are putting off college, family, and adult responsibilities in order to play video games and do keg stands. The Art of Manliness is dedicated to helping men uncover what manliness means in the 21st century. What skills and knowledge should a 21st century man acquire? What traits should they develop? This book will have the answers.

Recommended …

Documentary update

Reichenbach Falls in the Swiss Alps, where Holmes fought Moriarty with "baritsu".

Further filming for the upcoming Bartitsu documentary took place recently in Switzerland, London and Northumberland. The Swiss shoot was managed by Ran A. Braun and Tony Wolf, while in London Wolf was ably assisted by Lawrence Carmichael.

Tony Wolf at the Sherlock Holmes Museum in Meiringen, Switzerland.
Tony Wolf at the Sherlock Holmes Museum in Meiringen, Switzerland.

Interviews were held in London with Dr. Emelyne Godfrey, and in Northumberland with martial arts historians Harry Cook and Graham Noble.

Graham Noble and Harry Cook interview.
Graham Noble and Harry Cook interview.

Additional footage was shot in Shaftesbury Avenue, the location of the original Bartitsu Club; Kingston-on-Thames cemetery, the site of E.W. Barton-Wright’s grave; Leicester Square, outside the Empire Theatre where Barton-Wright held some of his early Bartitsu exhibitions, and other locations.


Further filming is scheduled to take place in Italy, the USA and the UK over the next month. Stay tuned for details!

Bartitsu newspaper archive

The new Bartitsu newspaper archive includes over two hundred pages from the Daily Mirror and Daily Express newspapers, mostly dating from the first years of the 20th century.

Many of the references are just snippets, but there are some more substantial articles in the archive as well.

Suggested search-terms include: Bartitsu, Barton-Wright, Vigny, Tani, Uyenishi, Cherpillod, savate, jiujitsu, judo, self defence.