Barton-Wright’s Bartitsu in the Sherlock Holmes Collection

On Thursday, June 28th, a wall display commemorating Bartitsu founder E.W. Barton-Wright was unveiled as part of the Sherlock Holmes Collection at Marylebone Library in London. The display consists of a large framed print of Sidney Paget’s illustration of Sherlock Holmes’ “baritsu” struggle with Professor Moriarty, and a companion print offering a summary of Barton-Wright’s Bartitsu and its connection with the Holmes mythos. The display was designed by Tony Wolf and was donated to the Collection on behalf of the Bartitsu Society, towards the mission of memorialising Barton-Wright’s life and achievements.


Above: Emelyne Godfrey, author of the book Masculinity, Crime and Self Defence in Victorian Literature outside Marylebone Library.


Above: David Jones of the Sherlock Holmes Society strikes a pose inspired by Paget’s famous illustration. You can click on the picture to enlarge it and see the detail of the display.


Above: Bartitsu instructors James Marwood (left) and George Stokoe demonstrate the Bartitsu method of self defence with a walking stick as part of Mr. Marwood’s lecture/demonstration.

2011: the Bartitsu year in review

January – Emelyne Godfrey’s book Masculinity, Crime and Self Defence in Victorian Literature hits the shelves.  Bartitsu is given a shout-out in a new television superhero series, The Cape.  We also receive our first glimpse of “baritsu” action from Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Bartitsu demos and seminars are offered in Pilot Point, Alaska and in Spino d’Adda, Italy.  We help vote for female jujitsu pioneer Edith Garrud to be commemorated with a street plaque.

FebruaryAlex Kiermayer presents a well-received Bartitsu seminar at the annual Dreynevent historical martial arts conference in Vienna.  Chris Amendola‘s Bartitsu classes get underway again in Houston and Robert Reinberger makes a copy of William Garrud’s Combined Self Defence available online.  Wellington, New Zealand hosts the world premiere of a new play, The Hooligan and the Lady, a dramatised biography of Edwardian-era jujitsu and self defence advocate Florence LeMar.

March – We receive a green light to proceed with the memorial wall display at Westminster Library.  Jujitsu pioneer Edith Garrud gathers enough votes to be among the historical figures to be honoured with a street plaque in the London borough of Islington.  Announcement of three separate media projects based on the premise that Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini teamed up as detectives.  March 27th heralds the long-awaited release of the feature-length documentary, Bartitsu: The Lost Martial Art of Sherlock Holmes.  Terry Kroenung and friends perform a Bartitsu demo. at the Anomalycon steampunk event in Denver.

April – Bartitsu instructor Stefan Dieke is interviewed by reporter Nico Rau for a story on Bartitsu featured on Germany’s DRadio Wissen.   Instructor Allen Reed teaches a Bartitsu seminar at the Oklahoma Steampunk Exhibition.

May – Instructor Tom Badillo teaches a Bartitsu seminar at the Gaslight Gathering in San Diego.  Ran Braun teaches a baritsu-inspired seminar for the Red Crow Stunt Team in Reggio Emilia, Italy and Mark Donnelly offers three classes at the Steampunk World’s Fair convention in New Jersey.  The first ever Bartitsu lecture and demonstration is offered in Zagreb, Croatia.

June – A new Bartitsu study group is formed in Battersea, London. Allen Reed offers a class and demonstration at the 1900 Chautauqua at Rockford, Illinois.  A new interview with Bartitsu Forum founder and novelist Will Thomas appears online.  An extensive article on Bartitsu is featured in the German magazine, Schwert & Klinge.  The Bartitsu Club of Tallahassee, Florida creates a new web page.

July – The new trailer for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows promises a great deal of exciting baritsu action.  Publication of the book 100 Years of Judo in Great Britain, written by the late scholar of British judo and Bartitsu history, Richard Bowen.  Mark Donnelly teaches a seminar for a recently founded  Bartitsu study group, the Bartitsu Club of New York City. Tony Wolf teaches Bartitsu seminars and presents a public screening of the Lost Martial Art documentary at CombatCon (Las Vegas, Nevada).

AugustBartitsu fight scenes are featured in the Mercury Player Theatre’s production, You’ve Ruined a Perfectly Good Mystery10th anniversary of the Bartitsu Society’s official online communication venue, the Bartitsu Forum.  The 1st annual international Bartitsu School of Arms and Physical Culture conference is held in London – a resounding success!

September – Bartitsu receives an extensive write-up in Holland’s Volkskrant newspaper.  The Lost Martial Art of Sherlock Holmes DVD becomes available via Amazon.com.  At the 2011 WMAW Western martial arts conference (Racine, Wisconsin), instructor Tony Wolf offers Bartitsu seminars and a demonstration as part of a 19th century style Assault at Arms display.

OctoberPhil Crawley commences a new antagonistics course via the Black Boar Swordsmanship School in Fife, Scotland.  A new interview with Bartitsu founder E.W. Barton-Wright is discovered.  A second trailer for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is released.

NovemberAllen Reed teaches Bartitsu at the TeslaCon steampunk event in Madison, Wisconsin.  The  Barton-Wright/Alfred Hutton Alliance for Historically Accurate Hoplology and Antagonistics (Seattle, Washington) goes public.

December – DVDs of Bartitsu: The Lost Martial Art of Sherlock Holmes go on sale via the Freelance Academy Press, coinciding with the long-awaited release of Game of Shadows, which does indeed include plenty of baritsu actionAnnouncement of a new Western martial arts and physical culture school (Chicago, IL), to feature Bartitsu instruction from Tony Wolf.  Phil Crawley releases his new translation of Emile Andre’s  The Art of Self Defence in the Street With or Without Weapons.

 

In memoriam:  We record the sad passings of classical savate master Roger Lafond and American martial arts pioneer and author Robert W. Smith.  May they rest in peace.

10 years of the Bartitsu Forum

August 14th marked the 10th anniversary of the Bartitsu Forum, established by author Will Thomas in August of 2002. Back then, the Internet was largely a Bartitsu-free zone, and the subject was obscure and esoteric. As of today, Google searches pull up over 198,000 Bartitsu references and the revival is well and truly underway, to a degree that was almost unimaginable even a few years ago. The Forum membership currently stands at over six hundred and fifty.

The Forum is the main conduit for Bartitsu research and communication between the informal coalition of enthusiasts known as the Bartitsu Society. As such, it has been the driving force behind much of the modern revival of E.W. Barton-Wright’s “New Art of Self Defence”. Via over 14,000 posts to date, Forum members have discussed a panoply of topics relating to Bartitsu and the milieu of self defence at the turn of the 20th century. At any given time, typical conversation subjects might include the jujitsu-trained Bodyguard society of the Suffragette movement, training methods being developed for the modern practice of Bartitsu, martial arts content in upcoming media projects such as the Sherlock BBC TV series and Sherlock Holmes: A Games of Shadows, the selection of training canes and plans for upcoming seminars.

Volunteers from the Forum collaborated on the production of both volumes of the Bartitsu Compendium. The first volume (published in 2005) is consistently the best-selling martial arts title available from Lulu.com, and volume two (2008) is currently the seventh bestseller in that category.

The Bartitsu Forum is a notably active and positive venue. Inspired by the genteel ideals of our period of interest, we have never even experienced a “flame war” – surely some sort of record for a martial arts forum!

Here’s to the next ten years –


(Image by Free-StockPhotos.com)

Welcome!

After a long hiatus I am pleased to welcome you to the revamped webpage for the Bartitsu Society.

If you are new to Bartitsu then please browse the pages on the right or feel free to join in the discussions on the email list.

This new site is basically a blog, and to keep it current and vibrant it needs your input. Initially feel free to email me any queries, although I hope to add to the site team soon. Please do comment on any articles and if you have anything you feel should be up here then please do let me know.

I know the site layout is currently very basic, and I would appreciate any feedback on suitable wordpress themes. Do you know of a good theme that is evocative of the Edwardian era or fin de siecle martial arts? Are you a whiz with css? Do you have a great idea for a site logo? Please do let me know.

Finally, thanks for taking the time to stop by. Come back soon!