“Exercise With the Double-Handed Sword” (1894)

Double-handed swords

A very rare colour version of artist Percy Macquoid’s Exercise With The Double-Handed Sword, part of his Types of Old Swordsmanship series for The Graphic newspaper, dating to 1894.

The swordsmen who posed for these pictures were members of the historical fencing club established by Captain Alfred Hutton at the London Rifle Brigade’s School of Arms.  In 1900 Hutton became both an instructor at, and a Committee Member of E.W. Barton-Wright’s Bartitsu Club and several of his senior students became members of the Club.

For more on this subject, see Ancient Swordplay: The Revival of Elizabethan Fencing in Victorian London.

Barton-Wright demonstrates jiujitsu (October 1898)

A Morning Post report on one of Bartitsu founder E.W. Barton-Wright’s earliest jiujitsu demonstrations, which took place at St. James’s Hall in London on October 26, 1898.

The journalist was evidently very intrigued by Barton-Wright’s demonstrations of sutemi (sacrifice throws), which – being outside the scope of most European wrestling styles – were an extraordinary novelty.

B-W at St. James's Hall