Bartitsu class/demo. at the 1900 Chautauqua (Rockford, Illinois)

Instructor Allen Reed (left), in character as a circa 1900 “Professor of Antagonistics”, teaching Bartitsu stick fighting at the 1900 America Chautauqua event at the Midway Village Museum, Rockford, Illinois.

Spectators were invited to take part in Allen’s demonstrations, which took the form of classes in basic pugilism, self defence with a walking stick and jiujitsu escort holds. The classes ideally suited the theme of the Chautauqua, which also featured re-enactments of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, ragtime music and demonstrations of turn-of-the-century sports and crafts. This was possibly the first Bartitsu demonstration in living memory in which penny farthing bicycles were to be seen cruising past in the background.