From Peter Smallridge of the Waterloo Sparring Group:
“I was immediately excited by the prospect of the contest. I’ve been training (and sometimes teaching) at the Basingstoke Bartitsu Irregulars club for years. I’m also a founding member of Waterloo Sparring Group, which exists to give HEMAists of all stripes a venue for extra sparring. I strongly believe that if you want to be able to develop real skill with an art, then alive training is necessary. That means sparring against fully resisting opponents.
Everyone in the video has, thanks to WSG, had plentiful experience sparring with swords. Many also have experience in “modern” martial arts from MMA to escrima to san shou kickboxing to Dog Brothers Gatherings. In that video you see longsword champions, rapier champions and Ringen champions.
Whatever their backgrounds, they’re fighting “Bartitsu”, some with zero training. How? By handing them the ruleset for the competition! We cut some of the more fumbling efforts, but things which work, work! Giving a handful of smart guys with different martial backgrounds the same weapons and ruleset, and they fought in fairly similar ways.
I’m looking forwards to investing the prize money in some loaner gear to help those new to the hobby, and also to getting another UK Bartitsu Alliance gathering event off the ground before too long!”
From Andrés Pino Morales of the Santiago Stickfighting Club (translated from Spanish):
“Last year we became interested in the Bartitsu stick method (we are stickfighting practitioners and wanted to try something different, without a Filipino martial arts basis), so we started to investigate and experiment. We found your website (Bartitsu.org) and your YouTube videos.
From there we started looking for further material and basically we used H. G. Lang’s book (“The Walking Stick Method of Self Defence”), the articles published on your web site and (Craig) Gemeiner’s instructional videos. Since we do not speak English we made much use of online translators and images. We learned about this contest from a member of your Society who participates in a Facebook Bartitsu group.
We enjoyed taking part in the contest and found that the sparring guidelines allowed us to stay true to the system. We feel that you are doing a very important job to give life to Bartitsu and really prove it as it should be, via sparring.”