“Self Protection on a Cycle”, courtesy of Riot A.C.T.

Longtime Bartitsu aficionados are well aware of Marcus Tindal’s eccentric 1901 article Self Protection on a Cycle, which appears to have been inspired both by E.W. Barton-Wright’s articles on self defence with walking sticks and by this 1900 letter published in the London Bicycle Club Gazette. Tindal’s article included several ingenious techniques involving the use of bicycle pumps, water pistols and bikes themselves as weapons of self defence:


In this video, Canadian stunt team Riot A.C.T. offers an updated take on the same idea …

4 thoughts on ““Self Protection on a Cycle”, courtesy of Riot A.C.T.”

  1. I love the animation of the original illustrations, and especially the stunt choreography by Riot A.C.T.! It really looks convincing to those who watch the final product, but there must have been hours of practice involved. Sure, the bike lock’s a formidbale weapon, but the helmet serves as a shield (not to mention being part of very entertaining sequence).

  2. Yeah, becuase people really get attached by that. The guy swing the stick lacked any realisim at all. This action sequence was shoty at best.

  3. I wasn’t involved in the production of this clip, but I am a professional fight choreographer as well as a martial arts instructor.

    The levels of realism in any fight scene depend on the desired entertainment outcome, which may vary from naturalism to many different types of stylisation (slapstick comedy, supernaturalism as when characters have magical powers, etc.) In this clip, I think it’s simply a stunt team doing a fun technical demonstration based on the “self defence with a bicycle” theme, without any particular effort to have the “bad guys” attack realistically.

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