Learning Bartitsu

“Where can I study Bartitsu?” is probably the #1 question asked of the Bartitsu Society.

Between 2002-2005 the Society was largely devoted to learning as much as possible about Bartitsu from the historical point of view.  We tracked down long-forgotten books and magazine articles in obscure library archives and most of our efforts were towards collating, preserving and sharing this information.

After the publication of Volume 1 of the Bartitsu Compendium in 2005, members of the Society began offering seminar classes in various aspects of Bartitsu.  These classes were held at martial arts and stage combat conferences in Canada, the USA, Italy, Germany and the UK.

Today, your options for learning Bartitsu include attending seminars or joining any of several informal study groups or regular Bartitsu classes. We strongly recommend joining the Bartitsu Forum email list with any inquiries about classes, also referring to the list below and/or to the Bartitsu Google Map.

Under certain conditions you can also consider setting up your own recreational Bartitsu club; see this article for a comprehensive set of hints and tips in that direction.

As training times and venues, etc. may be subject to change, it’s best to get in contact with the local club to confirm these details.

Also, note that all Bartitsu clubs are autonomous and almost all develop their own approach to the Bartitsu revival, including curriculum, training methods, etc. This list is maintained as a public service; inclusion does not necessarily represent an endorsement of a given club, school or instructor.

Finally, if you wish to have a Bartitsu Club listed on this page, feel free to contact us. Please note that we will require your club’s name, contact person’s email address, location (country + city/town) and a link to your club’s Facebook page or website.

EUROPE

United Kingdom

Tommy Moore offers Bartitsu training in Alcester, Warwickshire.

The Basingstoke Bartitsu Irregulars have classes in Basingstoke, Berkshire.

Battersea Bartitsu is a study group in Battersea, London.

The Bartitsu Amateur Forum Classes meet every Tuesday at the Enon Baptist Church Hall, Enon Baptist Church, Williamson Terrace, St Peter’s View, Monkwearmouth, Sunderland SR6 0AG.

The PUMA Bartitsu and Self Defence School in Sheffield “creates modern self defence from the historic work of Bartitsu”.

The Bartitsu Club – Isle of Wight offers regular training in E.W. Barton-Wright’s “New Art of Self Defence”.

The Black Boar Swordsmanship School in Scotland offers regular training in self defence with a walking stick, drawing from the Bartitsu repertoire as well as the “Cane as a Weapon” system of A.C. Cunningham.

The Black Boar Study Group in Cheshire study the use of the walking stick and cane, as well as regular looks at Defence Dans La Rue and other forms of Antagonistics

Self Defence Canterbury offers Bartitsu classes in Canterbury, Kent.

The Grange (Coventry, UK) offers experience days, with tuition in Bartitsu.

The Linacre School of Defence (Oxford, UK) offers classes in c1900
boxing (including grappling) and low kicks of savate, and may offer
further related arts in the future.

James Marwood teaches private classes throughout the U.K.

Ireland

Nathan Featherstone runs a small study group in Dublin, Ireland

Italy

Ran Braun runs occasional Bartitsu study groups in Calabria, Rome, Savona and Como.

Germany

The Alte Kampfkunst historical Western martial arts school in Wuppertal, Germany, offers regular Bartitsu training with instructor Stefan Dieke.

Alex Kiermayer offers occasional Bartitsu seminars.

Ramon Patrick Prang teaches classes in Schleswig Holstein. He can also be contacted via email.

Greece

The Bartitsu Club Athens 1900 practices Bartitsu every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the Coriolanos College of Combat and Physical Wellness in Athens.  Contact gzarma@gmail.com for details.

Holland

The Zwaardkring historical fencing club offers one two-hour Bartitsu practice session per month and the Judoclub Shizen Hontai plans to offer a weekly Bartitsu study group. Both clubs are in Veldhoven, Netherlands.

Russia

Bartitsu Club Russia, based at the Mishenev Fencing School in St. Petersburg, offers occasional public Bartitsu seminars.

Poland

Savate Warszawa offers Bartitsu training in Warsaw, Poland.

Spain

The Bartitsu Euskadi group offer training in the Basque city of Galdakao. Contact Mikel for more details.

NORTH AMERICA

USA

ALASKA

Instructor Matt Cacy runs a Bartitsu class on Thursday nights in Anchorage, Alaska.

Malcolm Brown teaches three weekly Bartitsu classes (ages 13 and older) at Pilot Point School in Pilot Point, Alaska.

CALIFORNIA

The Los Angeles Bartitsu Club meets weekly in Burbank.

The Historic Martial Arts Preservation Society of San Diego offers classes in Bartitsu and Neo-Bartitsu.

The Bay Area Bartitsu Irregulars meet monthly.

CONNECTICUT

The Nutmeg Bartitsu Society offers bi-weekly training and regular seminars.

FLORIDA

The Bartitsu Club of Tallahassee offers regular weekly training in both canonical and neo-Bartitsu skills.

The Contenders des Tropiques is a group of actors in Florida who provide neo-Victorian/Edwardian-themed self defence displays for entertainment purposes.

GEORGIA

Neo-Bartitsu Columbus offers multiple weekly classes at Bishop’s Tae Kwon Do dojang in Columbus, Georgia.  Contact Daniel Bellware for all details.

ILLINOIS

The Bartitsu Club of Chicago offers weekly training and occasional “open” seminars at the Forteza Fitness and Martial Arts studio in Ravenswood, Chicago.

The Gallowglass Academy (Rockford, Illinois) offers occasional Bartitsu seminars and courses.

MICHIGAN

Capital City Martial Arts (Bartitsu & Historical Fencing) is based in Lansing MI. and offers training in Bartitsu, Glima, historical fencing and World Kenpo Jujutsu.

MARYLAND

The Bartitsu of DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia offers training.

NEW YORK

The Bartitsu Club of New York City is a training group dedicated to the study and revival of the Victorian arts of self-defense. The Club meets once a month in Chelsea for approximately 3 hours of Bartitsu training consisting of Vigny cane, savate, ‘scientific’ pugilism, and Ju Jutsu. For more information, contact bartitsu@nycsteampunk.com.

OHIO

The Cumann Bhata Dayton (Ohio) Western martial arts club offers Bartitsu classes on the first Monday of each month.

Columbus Bartitsu offers regular Bartitsu training via the Royal Arts Fencing Academy in Columbus, Ohio.

OREGON

The Academia Duellatoria in Portland, Oregon runs a neo-Bartitsu class every Wednesday evening at 6:00.

PENNSYLVANIA

Prof. Mark Donnelly runs the Keystone Academy Bartitsu Club in Harrisburg.

TEXAS

The Houston School of Defense offers regular Bartitsu classes with instructor Chris Amendola.

TENNESSEE

The Cumberland Bartitsu Academy offers training in empty hand defence from classic pugilism and savate, physical culture, practical and classic weapons training including walking stick self defence, cudgel and English quarterstaff, grappling and take downs from Japan, with an emphasis on combining each part to develop a workable system for the student.

WASHINGTON

The Barton-Wright/Alfred Hutton Alliance for Historically Accurate Hoplology and Antagonistics (BWAHAHAHA) of Seattle, Washington offers weekly cross-training in a panoply of 19th century antagonistics and physical culture methods.

Canada

The Academie Duello historical fencing and stage combat school in Vancouver, Canada offers a “Fight Like Sherlock Holmes” intro. course on Mondays, Wednesdays or Saturdays as well as an ongoing Bartitsu course on Wednesdays and Saturdays with instructor David McCormick.

AUSTRALASIA

The European Defensive Arts School in Brisbane, Australia offers a Bartitsu study group training experience.

The Gemeiner Academy of European Combat Arts (Gold Coast, Australia) offers regular training in Vigny/Lang stick fighting and associated skills.

The Victorian Historical Combat Academy studies a variety of 19th Century martial arts, including Bartitsu.

136 thoughts on “Learning Bartitsu”

  1. thank you.my friend did BJJ and krav maga.and i will infer about the wrestling team.although i probably wont be able to do. I will see what works for me

  2. Hi! I’m from North Carolina and I would LOVE to learn bartitsu but I don’t think there are any ongoing classes nearby (if Im mistaken please correct me). What other styles should I look for specifically for the practical cane/hat fighting. Any advice would be great!

    Calvin

  3. Hi Calvin,

    the list above includes all of the current Bartitsu courses that we know about.

    I’m afraid that truly self defense-oriented practical cane fighting is not all that easy to find, either. I’d suggest Filipino stick fighting (marketed as arnis, escrima, kali, etc.) as the option most likely to be available to you. Note that the sticks used in Filipino styles are typically (not always) shorter and lighter than standard walking sticks, so the techniques can require some modification for that use. I’d also suggest that if you’re mostly interested in self defence, look for a style that includes close-quarters combat (use of the stick in two hands, in combination with grappling techniques etc.) and offers sparring as well as choreographed routines.

    The cane and hat combination was pretty esoteric even circa 1900. My best advice would be to gain experience in a good stick fighting method and then experiment with the hat (or similar “offhand/improvised weapon”) when you have a basis of technical and tactical skill.

  4. Hi,

    I’m actually from Puerto Rico looking for some Bartitsu classes as odd as it seems. I’m going abroad in a couple of months to Salamanca, Spain and finish up my studies there. I’m quite curious if there is anywhere close to any of the two locations I mentioned. I’ve done my research on the matter and can’t seem to find a thing. Eventually I’m gonna travel to England and I have in my plans to visit a center where they give classes at least to take a look, but it would be great if I could learn while abroad or in my hometown.

  5. Hi John Paul,

    I’m afraid that I don’t know of any Bartitsu courses in Puerto Rico or Spain. I suggest joining the Bartitsu Forum email list to keep track of training opportunities.

  6. Hi Chris,

    all of the classes that we know of are listed above. There may be an East Coast seminar tour next year; keep an eye on the main page for details.

  7. Hi! im very interested in Bartitsu. Are there any nearby full classes to me? i live very close to Chicago, Illinois. I would love any information. Thanks.

  8. How do you condition yourselves in Bartitsu. Do you utilize weights or anything because I am starting to take up kickboxing and I want to improve my kicks and my black belt friends says that he attaches weights to ankles and wrists and doe his kata like that. and he runs like that and practices in class like that. What do you recommend?

  9. It’s really up to individual preferences, but a number of members of the Bartitsu Society practice early 20th century calisthenics and swing Indian clubs.

  10. Dear sir, For the Dutch quality newspaper ‘De Volkskrant’ I am planning to write an article on the renaissance of bartitsu, with a focus on its newfound place in popular culture with the Sherlock Holmes movie and series and its upcoming sequels. Would someone from the Bartitsu Society be available to answer some questions for me by email? Many thanks in advance.
    Erik Noomen, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  11. Hi everybody. I have started a Bartitsu/Neo-Bartitsu study group in the Tampa Bay area. This group will (as well as we can) cover material presented in the Compendiums as well as other period appropriate manuals. I am having tech issues with the bartitsu forum email, but I will get on as soon possible.

  12. Good morrow, good evening and good grief.

    I currently live in Edmonton, Canada. To my knowledge there are no Bartitsu instructors in this area? Is Vancouver still the closest?
    I am also planning on moving back to Oxford, England in a few years.

    Cheers.
    Sincerely.

    Edward.

  13. Does anybody knows about any Bartitsu Club in South América? I’m argentinian, and i wish to learn how to fight with Bartitsu.
    I think that probably here wouldn’t be a Bartitsu Club in years, so… Can anybody explain me, or teach me ? Thanks!

  14. Hey guys! Quick update on Academie Duello’s Bartitsu offerings (in Vancouver, BC, Canada): We have an intro course available (Fight Like Sherlock Holmes) which runs three days a week (Monday, Wednesday, or Saturday). The ongoing Bartitsu classes are up to twice weekly: Wednesdays and Saturdays.

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