The 2017 Ken Pfrenger Memorial Pugilism Symposium

Announcing the Ken Pfrenger Memorial Pugilism Symposium, a historical pugilism workshop to be held on Saturday June 17 and Sunday June 18, 2017 in Arlington Heights, IL., USA.

Background

Ken Pfrenger was a well known researcher, interpreter and instructor in historical pugilism, amongst other martial arts. He taught at ISMAC, CombatCon, Gallowglass Academy, the Recreational Violence Weekend(s) and at his own school in north-eastern Ohio.

Ken passed away unexpectedly last year, leaving his wife to raise his young son. A portion of each registration from this event will go to help out his wife. A silent auction is also planned that will include a gift certificate for a full scholarship to the 2018 Pugilism Symposium and numerous other items. All proceeds from the auction will go to Ken’s wife.

The Event

Instructors for the symposium include Martin “Oz” Austwick (UK), Kirk Lawson (USA), Allen Reed (USA) and Tim Ruzicki (USA).

Classes currently scheduled include:

Col. Monstery’s Boxing for Self Defense

Principles of Power Generation

Frowned Upon – Perfectly Legal Dirty Tricks

Counter Attacking in Single Time

Using your Elbows in Pugilism

For all classes CLOSED face martial arts head gear, MMA gloves and mouth guard are required. Men should also wear groin protection.

Registration, etc.

Participants must be 18 years of age or older to take part in the Symposium.

Registration until May 1, 2017 is $200 for both Saturday and Sunday or $125 for either Saturday OR Sunday.  After May 1st, registration goes to $300 for both days or $175 for either Saturday OR Sunday.

A block of rooms at the Double Tree Hotel is being held until May 17, 2017.

A shuttle can be arrranged from O’Hare Airport by calling the hotel once you are at the airport.

To make reservations for the symposium and/or to reserve a room at the hotel, please go to the Gallowglass Academy Ken Pfrenger Memorial Pugilism Symposium site.

Comments from the winners of the Bartitsu Sparring Video Contest

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.”

Congratulations to the winners of the Bartitsu Sparring Video Competition!

The Bartitsu Sparring Video Competition was initiated in November of 2016. The object was to encourage experimentation with a set of sparring guidelines inspired by the styles practiced at the original Bartitsu Club in London, circa 1901.

The Sparring Video Competition was open to martial artists and combat sport athletes of all styles and received entries from the UK, USA and Latin America.

We are now pleased to be able to announce the winners:

The second prize of US$500 is awarded to the Santiago Stickfighting club based in Santiago, Chile, for the following videos:

 

 

 

The first prize of US$1000 is awarded to the Waterloo Sparring Group based in London, England, for the following compilation video:

The winning videos were judged to have met the conditions imposed by the guidelines and to have best represented both historical/stylistic accuracy and martial intent.

Congratulations to the winners and our thanks to all who entered the competition!

Bartitsu workshop at Sherlocon 2017 (Rome, Italy)

Moments from the Bartitsu seminar at the recent Sherlocon 2017 Sherlock Holmes fandom event, which took place at the Nuovo Teatro Orione in Rome, Italy.  Aimed at interested novices, the workshop included examples of Vigny walking stick fighting, self-defence with an overcoat and several canonical jiujitsu set-plays.

“Self-Defence with a Bicycle” teaser video for the 2017 Dreynevent

A fun taste of the “Self-Defence with a Bicycle” class to be offered at the upcoming Dreynevent 2017 historical martial arts workshop in Vienna.

The video and class draw from Marcus Tindal’s highly eccentric article, “Self-Protection on a Cycle – How you may Best Defend Yourself when Attacked by Modern Highwaymen, Showing how you should Act when Menaced by Footpads, when Chased by another Cyclist, and when Attacked under various other Circumstances; showing, also, how the Cycle may be used as a Weapon”, which appeared alongside E.W. Barton-Wright’s Bartitsu articles in Pearson’s Magazine during 1901.

Frequently and incorrectly assumed by casual readers to be part of the Bartitsu curriculum, Tindal’s bicycle defence techniques were, in fact, probably inspired by this 1901 letter to the editor of the London Bicycle Club Gazette and have no direct connection to Bartitsu at all, apart from the coincidence of when and where they were first published.  Tindal’s article created a bit of a media stir at the time, and in turn inspired yet another article, complete with a different set of photographs, in a 1905 edition of the Italian journal La Sportiva Stampa.

“Self-Protection on a Cycle” also formed the basis of an amusing and educational seminar at the 2009 ISMAC historical martial arts event in Detroit, USA:

“We don’t strictly train in Bartitsu – can we still enter the sparring video contest?”

sparring

Feedback in the wake of our announcement of the international Bartitsu sparring video contest has included this question, both from groups who practice their own forms of neo-Bartitsu and from groups who train in comparable styles of Filipino, French, Italian and other martial arts.

“We don’t strictly train in Bartitsu – can we still enter the sparring video contest?”

The objects of the contest are to pressure-test the sparring guidelines themselves and to generate sparring video footage of the “canonical” method described by E.W. Barton-Wright, circa 1900.

With that in mind:

  1. We’ve allowed a three-month period so that martial artists can train for their entry (or entries) if they wish.  We anticipate that many people who are already skilled in comparable styles will find that is plenty of time to adjust their regular practice towards the style suggested in the guidelines.
  2. The rules allow videos to be edited and note that a single video can include footage from multiple sparring matches.   “Highlights videos” are just as welcome as are unedited videos of single matches.  Therefore, if, in the heat of sparring, you perform techniques that are outside the style guidelines, you are welcome to edit those techniques out of your video.

If you have any further questions regarding the contest rules or sparring guidelines, feel free to ask in the comments below or by contacting tonywolf(at)gmail.com.

We look forward to seeing your videos!