Photographs of 25 year old Bartitsu Club instructor Sadakazu Uyenishi teaching soldiers at the Aldershot military training school. This may have been the first instance of Asian martial arts being offered to the British Army as hand to hand combat training.
On Monday, the 24th of April, at 9.15 p.m., Mr. E. W. Barton-Wright will give a demonstration of his system of Bartitsu, which has aheady been shortly described in these columns. Ladies will be welcomed, and, as no tickets will sold at the doors, all who desire to learn something of this most interesting and valuable system should apply at once for tickets (reserved seats are ten shillings each) to Mr. Barton-Wright, 51, Earl’s-court-square, S.W.
After giving a lecture on the various styles of close play and loose play, and the many ways in which unfair or intoxicated opponent (whether armed or not) can quickly disposed of, Mr. Barton-Wright will close his exhibition by giving a free bout with Mr. Chipchase, the middle-weight amateur champion of the Cumberland and Westmoreland style of wrestling.
The chief value of the system both to ladies and gentlemen is that it combines and concentrates the teaching of European sword-play and boxing with the secrets of Japanese wrestling in such a way that no one who knows a few of the best “tricks” need be afraid of the roughest crowd, or the most unpleasant companionship, from which even in these days of exaggeratedly careful civilization it is sometimes difficult to know how escape with any dignity.
It is interesting to notice that the Bartitsu system of physical culture, which we mentioned with approval in these columns some time since, has attracted sufficient attention to justify the formation a Bartitsu Club.
Bartitsu, it may be stated for the benfit of the uninitiated, is real self defence, comprising walking-stick play, boxing, la savate (not French savate), and a secret style of wrestling, with innumerable tricks and counters. It is a curious name, and its methods are curious also.
But the Bartitsu school does not limit itself to the instruction of self-defence. Not all of us are liable, or we hope, to the aggression of the Hooligan; but there are many of who are interested in the healthy development of physical functions. The Bartitsu Club has opened an Academy of Arms at Piccadilly-circus-mansions, and here instruction may be obtained, in fencing, sabre-play, gymnastics of all sorts, and in Behuke’s (sic – “Behnke’s”) system of midriff breathing. Behuke is a name well known; and instruction in his method for children as well as men a matter worth the consideration of parents.
We have examined the possibilities of the Bartitsu programme, and feel assured, alter reading the description of walking-stick play (which is a serious matter when it comes to knuckles), foot-boxing and other rare forms of amusement, that the prospectus is justified in stating that most of the subjects taught cannot learned elsewhere. And most of them are worth learning.
The various methods of self-defence adopted by followers of the Bartitsu system were demonstrated at their School of Arms on Nov. 23, when they were opposed by English and Continental wrestlers and boxers.
Great interest was aroused by the contest between a professional wrestler in the Cornish and Devonshire style and Uyenishi, champion light-weight wrestler of Osaka. The Japanese won each of the three throws.
A professional boxer defended himself against the school’s savate, with an indecisive result.
The Bartitsu method of wrestling was illustrated, and demonstrations were given of the use of the walking-stick as a defensive weapon.
Four members of the audience were then invited to attempt to strangle one of the two Japanese by means of a rod placed across his throat. Needless to say, their efforts were unavailing.