New Bartitsu and antagonistics courses via the Bartitsu Club of Chicago and Forteza Fitness

A new round of open Bartitsu and antagonistics (19th century combatives) classes will soon begin at the Forteza Western martial arts studio in Chicago’s Ravenswood neighbourhood.

Bartitsu training at the 2nd annual Bartitsu School of Arms, held at Forteza Fitness during September 2012

The first event will be a five-hour introductory seminar taught by Tony Wolf, Nathan Wisniewski and Treyson Ptak on Sunday, May 25th. This seminar will provide an introduction to each of the basic Bartitsu skill-sets of circa 1900 boxing, kicking, grappling and Vigny stick fighting as well as cross-training and “combat improvisation” drills.

Bartitsu Seminar Date: Sunday May 25th from 12-5pm
Cost: $60, $75 at the door

The seminar will be followed by an open six-week training course taught by Mr. Wisniewski and Mr. Ptak under the auspices of the Bartitsu Club of Chicago.

Introduction to Bartitsu Course: starts on Thursday June 5th from 7-9pm:
Length: 6 weeks
Cost: $125 (discounted to $100 for seminar attendees!)

You can pre-register for both the seminar and introduction for $150, a $50 savings!

The six-week course will then develop into an ongoing series of open Bartitsu Club of Chicago classes starting on Friday July 11th from 7-8pm. Classes will be held on the second and fourth Friday of each month.

Cost: $50/month including on-going access to the Introduction class, providing 10 hours of training per month!

Antagonistics courses, including:

* Sabre and Bayonet Fencing
* Stick Fighting
* Bowie Knife and Tomahawk combat (most distinctly American weapons)
* Physical Culture; a truly “old school” workout regimen of calisthenics, Indian clubs, and more!

… will be held throughout the year and registered for separately.

Contact Forteza Fitness at 773.271.3988 or email for all details.

Self-Defense for Suffragettes – Free Bartitsu Class and Exhibit of Suffragette Artifacts

Have you always wanted to learn a martial art or be the kind of man or woman who is truly “kick-ass” but in a genteel and civilized way? The Bartitsu Club of New York City is offering FREE Bartitsu classes at the 19th Century Extravaganza at the Old Stone House in Brooklyn on April 27. The focus will be on turn-of-the-century women’s self-defense and how it relates to suffrage movements in Great Britain and the U.S.

The classes are not just for women – they are open to everyone, regardless of martial experience. In addition to learning the self-defense tactics practiced by militant suffragettes in early 20th-century London, you’ll also get a taste of Bartitsu, the Victorian martial art most famously (and fictionally) practiced by Sherlock Holmes but historically, one of the first martial arts in the Western world to openly teach women.

Bring a study parasol, walking stick, stick umbrella, or length of wooden dowel or PVC with the rough edges smoothed (about 36″ long, depending on your height). We have extras to loan to students. There will be two classes offered, with an intermission for a special exhibit and presentation by Denny Daniels of the Museum of Interesting Things. Mr. Daniels will talk about the Museum’s suffragette collection, which includes hundreds of rare items and epherema from the late 19th- and early 20th century women’s suffrage movements in Europe and the U.S.

Learn about history, explore these fascinating artifacts, and bring it all to life with your newly-learned “suffragette self-defense” skills!

Sunday, April 27, 2014
12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Old Stone House Museum
336 3rd Street
Brooklyn, NY 11215

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. – Defense with ladies’ accessories
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. – Suffragette presentation and exhibit
2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. – Parasol self-defense

You can also RSVP via Facebook.

Suffrajitsu! (March, 1914)

Suffragette vs. bobby cartoon

(Iterations of the following article appeared in many newspapers during mid-late March of 1914.)

It has come at last! The word for which the world has long waited, the word that will immortalise the militants, has made its appearance in the dictionary of dynamic didoes that form such a conspicuous part of the “votes for women” propaganda.

It is “suffrajitsu” and the correct way in which to pronounce it is “suffrajitsoo”.

The equal-suffrage crusaders may not be the authors of this picturesque word, but no-one who has seen them in action would doubt that they are the originators of the particular tactics that called it into being and general use in the land where they operate with most persistence.

It was the Japanese who became the most formidable man-handlers in the world by their manipulation of the pneumogastric nerve and other anatomical tricks; and their system is called jiu-jitsu. But from all accounts, jiu-jitsu is no more effective for the purposes for which it may be used than “suffrajitsu” is for withstanding the rude attacks of guardians of the public peace.

All regularly accredited members of the English militant organisation are required to take a regular course in “suffrajitsu”.

“Amazons” graphic novel at the Emerald City Comicon

Tony Wolf’s forthcoming Amazons graphic novel trilogy – an alternate history adventure story in which Bartitsu plays a major part – was discussed by Foreworld principals Neal Stephenson and Mark Teppo during two panel discussions at the recent Emerald City Comicon in Seattle, WA.

The Amazons trilogy, featuring the adventures of Miss Persephone Wright and her team of martial arts-trained suffragette bodyguards, will be released later this year, marking the centennial anniversary of the most radical English suffragette activity.