Of all of the exercises described in Captain F.C. Laing’s 1902 essay The Bartitsu Method of Self-Defence, the “4th Practice” is the most difficult to follow. It is presented as a training drill but it has most of the characteristics of a self-defence set-play. Laing’s instructions are also uncharacteristically ambiguous, so what follows is simply one of several plausible interpretations of this exercise.
4TH PRACTICE (CHANGING HANDS).
To “rear guard.”–With a circular motion of right arm from front to rear hit upwards, point of stick just clearing the ground so as to hit opponent’s ankle; as the stick rises to level of shoulder change it into left hand at the place where it was held in the right hand; hit opponent’s face, then point at his body and return to “on guard,” changing stick back to right hand.