Bartitsu seminar in Spino d’Adda, Italy

An introductory Bartitsu workshop lead by Ran Arthur Braun, with the collaboration of master-at-arms and police officer Maestro Gaetano Papagni will be held on January 23rd at Spino d’Adda (about 20 km. from Milan, driving towards Crema).

Time: 11.00 – 13.30 (unarmed combat)
14.30 – 17.30 (walking stick self defence)

For details, please contact Maestro Gaetano Papagni at gaee61@yahoo.it

Theatrical Bartitsu at the Burt Reynolds Institute

Cynthia Morrison, fight director and stage combat instructor, has brought yet another unique skill to enhance acting resumes. Actors recently studied the art of Bartitsu with her at the Burt Reynolds Institute in Jupiter, Florida.

“Bartitsu is an eclectic martial art and self-defence method originally developed in England during the years 1898–1902. In 1901 it was immortalised by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes mystery stories. Although dormant throughout most of the 20th Century, Bartitsu has been experiencing a revival since 2002”

Victorian / Edwardian times found the Bartitsu club located at 67b Shaftesbury Avenue, in London’s Soho district, England. But it has now made its way to the Tropics.

The elements of Bartitsu include JiuJitsu, Stick and Cane fighting, Boxing and Savate (French kick boxing) and self defense with an umbrella. Students reported the class as interesting, very educational but most of all, fun!

Edwardian walking stick defence seminar (Edinburgh)

Edinburgh: on the 16th of October, beginning at midday and ending at 5pm, there will be a workshop in Walking Stick Defence given by Phil Crawley. The venue will be the Kirk o’Field church hall.

Although based on the Vigny/Lang system(s), the seminar will include aspects of the Andre, Renaud and Cunningham methods for comparison. The workshop will look at using the walking stick at three different ranges – long, medium and close – in order to defend with a number of different, and often surprising, techniques, and how the stick may be combined with other contemporary arts and objects in order to provide an all-round self-defence against ruffians.

Participants will require a fencing mask, stout gloves and a fencing jacket or gambeson. Forearm protection is advised.

Sticks, and other specialist equipment, will be provided.

Cost will be the small sum of £12 for the day.

Neo-Bartitsu event in Pfarrkirchen

On October 9th and 10th the Pfarrkirchen branch of the Ochs historical fencing association hosted a “challenge tournament” followed by a neo-Bartitsu seminar.

Opening the neo-Bartitsu session, Andy Damms gave a lesson on English pugilism, covering history, basic punches with an emphasis on straight punching and the falling step, followed by simple defenses and then the throws typical of bare-knuckle pugilism.

After the lunch break the seminar continued with savate low line kicks and their respective evasive motions, then basic wrist locks and defence in special situations. The latter included the defender being punched while leaning against a wall, the defender being on the ground while the opponent is standing and drills for facing multiple opponents, taught by Alex Kiermeyer.

Bartitsu seminar at Alte Kampfkunst

Congratulations to Stefan Dieke of the Alte Kampfkunst historical martial arts school in Wuppertal, Germany, for his successful Bartitsu seminar over the weekend of October 9-10.

Concentrating on circa 1900 (kick)boxing and cane fighting, the seminar was well received and Stefan plans another in a similar vein for Spring of 2011.

Bartitsu Club of Vancouver

A special guest post from David McCormick, instructor of the new Bartitsu Club of Vancouver, who is due congratulations for his success!

The first month of the Bartitsu Club of Vancouver has been an unmitigated success. I would not have expected such a turnout of students in a debut course. This is thanks in no small part to Academie Duello, the school of Western Martial Arts of which we are a part. Most of our Bartitsuka are already regular students of Rapier and the other disciplines at the Academie, and the reach of Duello’s influence in the media helped bolster support. In the end, we have a core group of eight or so, with some weeks having as many as thirteen participants. But enough about our numbers… What did we do?

Format

Each class is a two-hour session that starts with a general warm up, with some awareness and balance exercises, for the first 20 minutes, followed by a review segment for 30 minutes, including lesson recap and partner drills. Next, we move on to the meat of the class: 30 minutes of new material, which is followed by 20 minutes in which we combine the old lessons with the new techniques. The final 20 minutes we spend sparring, with special emphasis on that week’s system. For example, if the main lesson was boxing, the sparring segment will be in the form of a boxing match, whereas if the main lesson was cane, we do stick-fighting.

Our general format is to separate Bartitsu into its four major components: Boxing, Savate, Jujitsu and Cane. Each class, we study two of these components in our two-hour session. The first is a review of the previous week, and the second is new material for the other weapon. Then, we combine the two for tactics that work together.

Weekly Run-Down

In week 1 (21 August, 2010), we looked at Cane and Boxing. This was an introduction to each, in which we examined basic stances and essential strikes.

In week 2 (28 August, 2010), we reviewed Boxing and learned the basic kicks of Savate.

In week 3 (4 September, 2010), we reviewed Savate and returned to Cane for some new techniques, including pre-emptive strikes. We combined this with Savate by using the stick as a feint for a kick, and a kick as a feint for a stick.

And then the lovely new equipment arrived! We have boxing head-gear, sparring gloves and shin-protectors, and new mats for the floor that cover a huge area. We also have padded escrima sticks for cane sparring.

In week 4 (11 September, 2010), we reviewed Cane and finally got to the basics of Jujitsu. We spent some time getting used to break-falls, and then went on to the Back-Heel throw. We combined the two disciplines by using the pre-emptive stick technique into the back-heel throw, and variations on that theme.

In week 5 (18 September, 2010), we reviewed Jujitsu and returned to Boxing. We learned some in-fighting hooks and uppercuts, and we combined that with Jujitsu when we moved into chancery and the cross-buttock throw. That week’s sparring was very exciting as we really explored freeform boxing.

Special Event: Umbrella

On 25 September, we held a four-hour Umbrella Self-Defence Workshop in the place of the Bartitsu class. What a turn-out! Some of our regular Bartitsu members were there, and thanks to media coverage and our tireless marketing team, we had fifteen members of the public fill our space. We had to turn away people at the door, who will hopefully join us the next time we run it in November.

Coming Up

This weekend is the start of October, when we’ll have a demonstration at V-Con, the Vancouver science fiction convention. Since this year’s theme is steampunk, I’m sure Bartitsu will be very popular. If you happen to be there, our demo is at 6pm on Saturday.