Review of Eugene, Oregon Bartitsu seminar

Classical fencing maestro and historical fencing instructor Sean Hayes offers a review of the recent Bartitsu seminar in Eugene, Oregon:

We had a fantastic seminar with Tony this past Saturday/Sunday! Each day began with exercises from the Wolf system, Tony’s training paradigm for martial arts and physical movement skills. These included fully cooperative and semi-cooperative balance exercises: in the former, partners work together to form a physical system of shared balance which they then explore; in the latter, the exercises shift to deliberate attempts to explore your partner’s balance system and exploit weaknesses. All of the exercises involve warm-up and stretching components, as well as spatial and body awareness components, and safe falling exercises. Towards the end they are combined in a series of spontaneous partner drills. It’s all tightly integrated and proves to be a perfect warm-up for martial arts practice, far superior to anything I’ve experienced previously. (My students can expect to see it incorporated into our regular practice.)

Tony then segued into Bartitsu practice. He began us with canonical Bartitsu exercises, exploring the major components of Barton-Wright’s established practiced (time wouldn’t permit all the canonical materils, of course) and getting the correct practice mastered as well as limited time permits. As the day developed, and we began to integrate boxing, kicking, jiujitsu, and walking-stick, Tony then developed the transitions between the various arts and showed how they were intended for use as an integrated system.

He incorporated neo-Bartitsu in a manner that brought us directly back to the Wolf system exercises. At various points, increasing as each day progressed, we would be given one of the kata or set-pieces to perform, with one partner “breaking” the exercise and the other partner responding. The responses were derived naturally and intuitively as a combination of the balance exercises with which we had begun the day (Barton-Wright was clear that disrupting the opponent’s balance was an immediate priority) and the individual Bartitsu techniques. By the end of Sunday we were performing fairly complicated semi-spontaneous exercises with confidence and skill.

Here’s a photo from a neo-Bartitsu demonstration at the end of the weekend, where we start a drill at speed, I “break” it by changing the expected action into something unexpected, and Tony responds by countering, breaking my balance and throwing me, striking me as I fall, and then belaboring me as he sees fit:

If you’re near, or know someone near, the remaining cities on this tour, then GO! This is a rare opportunity to train with a highly skilled professional martial artist.

I’d like to thank Tony for his effort, energy and dedication – and I’d like to thank the students for the same!

Bartitsu seminars in Seattle

The first of the Pacific Northwest Bartitsu seminars was held over the past weekend in Seattle, Washington. The venue was the SANCA school of circus arts and the seminars attracted an enthusiastic group of fencers, boxers, martial artists and interested bystanders.

Led by Tony Wolf, day one included a three hour introductory class covering each of the core skills of the Bartitsu repertoire and day two followed that theme into the “Bartitsu blend” process of spontaneously combining jiujitsu, low kicking, fisticuffs and walking stick fighting.

Photographs courtesy of Kathrynne Wolf.

Bartitsu in Milan, Italy

Some pictures from Ran Braun‘s recent Bartitsu workshop at the Ludosport Combat Academy in Milan, Italy. Forty participants signed up and there was only room for twenty, so there are plans to repeat the seminar for those who missed out!

The next seminar in Milan will be in collaboration with a savate instructor.

Thanks to Ran and to photographer Ugo Cesare Tonelli for these images.

WMAC Gathering Bartitsu seminar

Instructor Chris Amendola will be offering a Bartitsu class at the upcoming Western Martial Arts Coalition Gathering in Houston, Texas between March 19-21.


A blend of the “Antagonistics” of Europe (Boxing, Savate and Walking Stick Fighting) with the JiuJitsu of Japan, Edward William Barton-Wright’s Bartitsu was a surprisingly modern approach to personal protection created in 1898. For today’s mainstream martial artist, the idea of being functional at all ranges and cross-training in different systems may seem like “old news”. However, these ideas are old – much older than commonly thought today and Barton Wright’s system provides great insight into just how old.

In this section we will explore the rudiments of unarmed striking from period Boxing (and possibly Savate) and basic techniques of JiuJitsu from the Bartitsu Club (1899-1902), with an eye towards integrating these systems based on underlying mechanical concepts of movement/body-mechanics. “Translations” of these techniques will also be presented for use with the walking-stick or cane. The emphasis in this section will be on Bartitsu as a personal protection system, as opposed to other sportive/recreational applications.

Equipment: Mask, 36″ training dowel, cane, or walking-stick.

Vancouver Bartitsu intensive

The Academie Duello historical fencing and martial arts school will host Tony Wolf teaching a two-day Bartitsu intensive on March 27th and 28th, 2010.

Each class will include the study of both canonical and neo-Bartitsu. The canonical material is based on E.W. Barton-Wright’s classic 1900 articles, “The New Art of Self Defence” and “Self Defence with a Walking Stick” and provides a platform for training in neo-Bartitsu, continuing Barton-Wright’s experiments in cross-training between jiujitsu, fisticuffs, low kicking and the Vigny system of walking stick fighting.

Details are available here at the Academie Duello website and prospective attendees can make inquiries and bookings via this page.

New Beginners’ Class In Farnborough, UK

On March 21st I’ll be starting a 6 week beginners’ course in Modern Bartitsu. Details can be found here.The course will run every Sunday for 6 weeks, and will cover the basics of punching, kicking, grappling and stick work, as well as some skills for dealing with aggressive behaviour and looking at the historical context of the art.

Bartitsu seminar in San Francisco

The Botta Secreta historical martial arts school will be hosting a Bartitsu seminar in San Francisco from 6:30 PM to 9:30PM on Thursday, March 18, 2010. The venue will be at Lowell High School:

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This seminar, taught by Tony Wolf, is open to both beginners and advanced martial artists and will introduce the study of both canonical and neo-Bartitsu. The canonical material is based on E.W. Barton-Wright’s classic c1900 articles, “The New Art of Self Defence” and “Self Defence with a Walking Stick”. These sequences provide a platform for training in neo-Bartitsu, continuing Barton-Wright’s experiments in cross-training between jiujitsu, fisticuffs, low kicking and the Vigny system of walking stick fighting.

Equipment: Please bring suitable exercise clothing, including shoes, and a sturdy cane (crook handle preferred), or strong, smooth dowel approx. 36″ long.

Fencing masks, boxing gloves and judogi jackets are useful, but are
not required.

Please contact for all other details.

More from Bartitsu Club Russia

Two new articles published in the January and February issues of Kalashnikov Magazine, courtesy of our colleagues in Bartitsu Club Russia. The first article details an introductory training session led by Ran Braun in November of 2009, and the second is on Bartitsu with particular reference to the Sherlock Holmes connection.

Bartitsu Club Russia is planning another seminar in April of 2010.

Click on the images below to view the articles (in the Russian language).

Bartitsu Club Israel

Announcing the formation of Bartitsu Club Israel, a collaboration between Ran Arthur Braun (Israel/Italy) and Noah Gross (Israel/USA, Co-Founder of “ACT – Armed Combat and Tactics”.)

Training sessions are planned for Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa with courses given in both Hebrew and English. There will be an introductory class offered on the 13th of March in Tel Aviv.

For background information on the historical links between the Vigny method of stick fighting and close-combat training in Israel, please see Noah’s article, The Walking Stick in Madatory Palestine and Israel.

Contact for details.