Captain Laing’s “1st Practice” of Bartitsu Stick Fighting (#3), with Additional Notes

Here is the third basic drill from Captain F.C. Laing’s 1902 article The “Bartitsu” Method of Self-Defence, illustrated with photographs adapted from E.W. Barton-Wright’s Self-Defence with a Walking Stick (1901). Follow these links to see the first and second drills of Laing’s “1st Practice” series.

Pierre Vigny (right) adopts a low variation of the front guard vs. Edward Barton-Wright’s front guard.
Vigny executes a backhand strike to the right side of Barton-Wright’s face, referred to by Laing as “hit face (sideways)”; Barton-Wright parries.
Barton-Wright prepares his own backhand strike to the right side of Vigny’s face …
… and Vigny parries …
… before riposting with a strike to the top of Barton-Wright’s head.
Additional Notes on the “1st Practice”

Captain Laing remarked that one should continue the “1st Practice” drill “on through all the hits as described already”. In the context of his article, those additional sequences would include:

* Strike to the left side of the body, parry partner’s return strike to the same area, riposte with strike to the top of the head.

* Strike to the “flank” (right side of the body), parry partner’s return strike to the same area, riposte with strike to the top of the head.

* Strike to outside (left side) of lead leg, evade partner’s return strike to the same area by either 1) drawing the lead foot back to the rear foot, 2) passing the lead foot back about 12 inches behind the rear foot (i.e., switching from the front guard to the rear guard) or 3) simply retreating both feet about 12 inches, then riposting with strike to the top of the head.

* Strike to inside (right side) of lead leg, evade partner’s return strike to the same area by either 1) drawing the lead foot back to the rear foot, 2) passing the lead foot back about 12 inches behind the rear foot (i.e., switching from the front guard to the rear guard) or 3) simply retreating both feet about 12 inches, then riposting with strike to the top of the head.

Note on the “2nd Practice”

Laing’s “2nd Practice” drill is identical to the “1st Practice” series except that it requires the practitioners to maintain a greater measure (fighting distance), so that every attack is made on a lunge and every defence is made on a recovery.

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