A partial class list is now on-line for Combat Con Las Vegas.
There are four ways to look at the classes based on how you study Western Martial Arts. You can view the classes along with their short descriptions or you can look at the list via System/Style or via Weapon. Lastly, each instructor’s bio page lists their classes at the bottom.
The 19th century/Steampunk classes listed so far include Manly Arts of Self Defence (singlestick, pugilism and wrestling), Bartitsu: The Martial Art of Sherlock Holmes, Radellian Sabre, Victorian Cane, Singlestick and Repelling boarders against Sky Pirates.
From the organisers:
Nearly half of the classes are online right now and the organisers will be adding more soon, so be sure to check back often. Attendees will be able to choose between more intensive 2 hr classes or a variety of one hour classes. There’s a lot to do at Combat Con so choosing between the classes and the exciting Panels, Activities and Demonstrations will be difficult! Please go to the CombatCon website to register and to see a draft schedule layout under the WMA tab.
There are still many more classes coming, along with the list of Demonstrations, Panels and Activities. More details will appear on the CombatCon website soon.
Of course, there is also much to do in the evenings. After dinner there will be tournaments, free fencing, movies, games and that’s all without leaving the hotel After all, you’re in Las Vegas!
To celebrate the class list online there is a 10% discount until April 5th, so use WMA2011 in the Promo Box and get your registration in now!
As reported in this earlier post, the Islington Borough Council recently ran a poll to determine which five of ten candidates, all former residents of, or events associated with Islington, should be commemorated with permanent memorial plaques.
We’re pleased to announce that suffragette and jujitsu pioneer Edith Garrud was among the top five candidates. The final results were:
– John Wright (founder of the Angel Theatre) – 634 votes
– Author Douglas Adams – 489 votes
– Suffragette Edith Garrud – 356 votes
– The Peasants’ Revolt at Highbury – 290 votes
– Boat club pioneer Crystal Hale – 274 votes
Edith Garrud may have been among the original female students of the Bartitsu Club in Shaftesbury Avenue. She later ran her own jujitsu school and became the chief trainer of the Suffragette Bodyguard, the group of twenty-five women who volunteered to physically protect the leaders of their movement from arrest and assault. Her achievements are recorded in the book Edith Garrud: the suffragette who knew jujutsu.
The results of the Islington Borough Council’s poll are now available online and her plaque will be unveiled later this year. We will endeavour to post updates regarding the unveiling ceremony.
Thanks to all who voted and congratulations to Edith Garrud’s descendants, who lobbied for her inclusion in the People’s Plaques scheme.
Perhaps the ultimate expression of self defence for bicyclists was the Simms Motor Scout, which rolled off the production line in 1898. While intended for wartime use, the Motor Scout would have made a fearsome first line of defence on the mean streets of Victorian London …
Thanks to the talented German graphic artist Christoph Roos, who has created these dynamic renditions of a Bartitsu street fight, circa 1900:
Steampunk applies post-modern artistic imagination to 19th century culture and technology. There is an undeniable affinity between Steampunk and neo-Bartitsu, which is likewise inspired by (and experiments with) Victorian-era aesthetics and resources; both can be appreciated as aspects of the neo-Victorian movement.
Over the past several years there have been numerous Bartitsu classes and demonstrations at science fiction/Steampunk gatherings including V-Con, SteamCon III, the World Steam Expo, StarFest, the Steam Century Mystery weekend and the San Francisco Edwardian Ball. The upcoming CombatCon event in Las Vegas will feature the interplay between 19th century “antagonistics” and Steampunk fiction as one of its major themes.
John Reppion’s article, Baritsu, Bartitsu and the Jujitsuffragettes was featured in issue #6 of Steampunk Magazine, while Nick Mamatas’ Bartitsu: the Martial Art for the Steampunk Set appeared in Clarkesworld Magazine. The Scatha Combat Guild’s forthcoming Steampunk Self Defence Manual promises to offer a light-hearted take on Bartitsu and other Victorian-era antagonistics.
In addition to providing music for the documentary Bartitsu: The Lost Martial Art of Sherlock Holmes, top Steampunk band Abney Park has produced the song Victorian Vigilante, whose protagonist “brings his baritsu” to the task of taking down his supernatural prey.
Finally, the Steam Fu discussion forum at Steampunk Empire frequently cites Bartitsu, and likewise, Steampunk (as it is related to martial arts) is a frequent topic on the Bartitsu Forum.
An interesting snippet from the August 4th, 1905 edition of the Auckland Star, describing a contest between former Bartitsu Club instructor Sadakazu Uyenishi and the wrestling champion of the Royal Horse Guards.
A tremendous struggle took place in the riding school at Windsor recently between Corporal Shoeingsmith Fraser, of the Royal Horse Guards (of which regiment he is champion wrestler), and Professor S. K. Uyenishi, the well-known instructor in the art of Japanese self-defence, of Golden Square, W.C. Mr Uyenishi, who has been appointed instructor in his art in the Aldershot Gymnasium, came over by motor-car from the famous camp to give a display.
On his request for an opponent from the audience, Corporal Fraser came forward amid loud applause. The little man certainly took on a stiff bargain, as the giant guardsman must have weighed nearly twice as much as he, but after a truly Titanic struggle he succeeded in hurling the soldier clean over his head on to the platform. Mr Uyenishi admitted that Fraser was the most difficult man he had ever had to deal with, and it must be confessed that the contest was a wonderful example of how futile the greatest strength is made to appear when pitted against the wonderful Japanese science. Two very interested spectators were Prince Alexander of Teck and Major-General Baden-Powell.
A montage of women’s parasol and umbrella self defence techniques as taught at the Philadelphia Institute of Physical Culture in 1908.
Bartitsu Club wrestling instructor Armand Cherpillod is featured in this circa 1901 postcard. “The Little Swiss” Cherpillod’s adventures in London are outlined in his autobiography La Vie d’une Champion, which is excerpted in the first volume of the Bartitsu Compendium.
Cherpillod’s post-Bartitsu Club career saw him compete (and/or perform) successfully as a professional wrestler throughout Europe. He also introduced the jiujitsu he had learned during his relatively short tenure at the Bartitsu Club to his native Switzerland, and wrote what was probably the first book on Japanese unarmed combat as self defence for women.
Bartitsu: Fight like a gentleman from Alex Zalud on Vimeo.
Thanks to Alex Zalud for these video excerpts from Alex Kiermayer’s recent Bartitsu kickboxing class at the Vienna Dreynevent.
Instructor Alex Kiermayer demonstrates a low kicking technique for students during his introductory Bartitsu class at the Dreynevent historical martial arts seminar in Vienna, Austria (Feb. 11-13, 2011).
Photographs courtesy of Andrea Maier.