Bartitsu at TeslaCon 2011

A report from instructor Allen Reed on his recent introductory Bartitsu seminar at the TeslaCon steampunk convention in Madison, Wisconsin. Allen will also be teaching a Bartitsu workshop in early 2012.

I drove up to Madison, WI Saturday morning (about a 90 minute drive) to teach my Bartitsu class. The class was scheduled for 10 AM and the room filled rapidly with steampunk fans who wanted to learn about Bartitsu. I was very lucky that Bruce and Bonnie Aller, two good friends and fellow WMA students, were there so I could use them as teaching assistants.

I gave a short introduction to Bartitsu and Barton-Wright and then started working on pugilism. We worked on the left lead and right rear punches and then got into blocking a right rear and then countering with a right rear punch. I then had the group work on blocking a right rear with a right elbow and then use a chopper as a counter. I finished the pugilism section by working on blocking a left lead punch as you go out side and punching to the kidney with what Allanson-Winn would call a “contracted arm” hit.

I demonstrated some of the similarities between throws in pugilism and jujutsu and talked about how throws were used for boxing matches vs. for self defense.

We then moved on to working on Vigny cane techniques. I did have some loaner canes but about half the participants still did not have canes so we had to work on these techniques slowly so everyone could share. I first had them work on “Guard by Distance” and then since we had so few canes I had them all finish with “The Best Way to Disable a Man who Tries to Rush You.”

Everyone seemed enthused and interested throughout the class. I gave out quite a number of flyers for the seminar in January and all of the business cards I had brought with me. I also sold three copies of the Bartitsu Compendia and one of my Bartitsu DVDs.

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