Bayonet Thrust

Members of the Aisle O’Var Backswording Club experiment with the “bayonette thrust” of Bartitsu cane fighting during a recent seminar.

As described by E.W. Barton-Wright in Self-Defence with a Walking Stick (1901):

It will be understood that it is quite impossible to swing a stick in a crowd, owing to want of elbow room; and so, in order to get elbow room and free scope to hit, you proceed as follows: —

Hold your stick, more or less in a line with your hips, and proceed, as in the second photograph, to lunge to your left, holding the end of the stick in your right hand, and letting it slide through your left, in order to be able to guide it with certainty.

Lunging at the body of the nearest man on your left, you disable him, and cause him to retreat precipitously. In doing so, he involuntarily forces back those in his immediate neighborhood. You then turn on your heels, and bayonette the nearest man on your right, this time holding the end of your stick in your left hand, and guiding it through your right. Directly you have bayonetted him, and caused him to force back others in his attempt to escape, you make a quarter turn on your heels, and bayonette the man behind you.

After this, seeing another man close to him with his legs slightly apart, you make a dive with your stick between his legs, and upset him. Take one step backwards, and you should now have sufficient room to swing your stick to right and left across people’s faces and heads until they disperse.

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