Posts tagged: bartitsu

Tony Wolf Bartitsu seminar in Colorado (May 4)

Bartitsu: the “lost” martial art of Sherlock Holmes

At the end of the Victorian era, E. W. Barton-Wright combined jiujitsu, kickboxing and stick fighting into the “New Art of Self Defence” known as Bartitsu.

Barton-Wright’s Bartitsu Club taught the ladies and gentlemen of London how to beat street ruffians at their own dastardly game. It was later written into the Sherlock Holmes stories as the method by which Holmes defeated Moriarty at the Reichenbach Falls.

Join instructor Tony Wolf in a one-day seminar exploring:

* The original or “canonical” armed and unarmed self defence sequences as presented by E.W. Barton-Wright

* The process of neo-Bartitsu revivalism; continuing Barton-Wright experiments in cross-training between circa 1900 boxing, jujitsu and self defense with a walking stick, umbrella or parasol, via “combat improv” games and exercises

* The fascinating and colorful history of Victorian-era street gangsters and pickpockets, the secret Suffragette Bodyguard Society, and more!

When? May 4, 2013, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Where? Niwot High School, Niwot, CO

How much? $60; SAFD discount $50; pre-pay discount $50

Registration contact: Terry Kroenung:

Please bring a sturdy crook-handled walking cane or minimum 36″ smooth dowel or rattan stick, a drink bottle, comfortable exercise clothing and gym shoes.

April Bartitsu seminar with Mark Donnelly in New York City

Click here for more information on this upcoming seminar with Mark Donnelly, hosted by the Bartitsu Club of New York City.

Bartitsu and umbrella self defence at the Academie Duello (Vancouver, Canada)

Click this link to watch a short video report by Vancouver Province reporter Stuart Derdeyn, interviewing Academie Duello Bartitsu instructor David McCormick.

Bartitsu featured on InnerSPACE


Click this link to watch a short demo. and explanation of Bartitsu courtesy of the Riot A.C.T. stunt team, towards promoting author Adrienne Kress’s new steampunk/girl-power novel, The Friday Society. The item was produced by InnerSPACE, an entertainment news series associated with the Canadian SPACE TV channel.

“Philosophy of the walking stick” (1899)

This excerpt from the Liverpool Mercury (Friday 5th May, 1899) may be among the first news reports in English concerning Professor Pierre Vigny, who would thereafter become a key instructor at E.W. Barton-Wright’s Bartitsu Club in Soho.

Either a walking-stick or an umbrella is now considered an indispensable part of a gentleman’s attire, but few of those who carry these articles know how to use them effectively. Carlyle dealt with the philosophy of clothes in a ponderous volume, which few people have ever finished; but it has been left to Professor Pierre Vigny to illustrate in a practical manner the philosophy of the walking-stick.

On Wednesday night, in the Salle Bertrand, Warwick-street, London, he gave an exhibition of what can be done with it as a weapon of defence as well as ornament, and gained the applause of an audience which comprised many of the best foilists and escrimeurs in London. In his hands the baton became a veritable poem, and showed a capability of development undreamt of by most people, whose chief use of either cane or umbrella is to whirl it in the hand like a windmill, to the imminent danger of their neighbours.

M. Vigny walks in with a stout oak stick, looking like a countryman on his first visit to London, who does not know much about anything. A gang of sharpers surround him as easy prey, and are considerably surprised when the cudgel falls on their heads with a force and dexterity which put them to flight. The same thing happened when M. Vigny was armed with only an elegant, neatly-folded umbrella. In fact, the possibilities of defence with even a fragile stick were shown to be unbounded.

In addition to this display, which was both clever and brilliant, M. Vigny gave exhibitions of his skill with foils, single-stick, sabres, duelling-swords, French and English boxing, and club-swinging, his opponents comprising such experts as Staff – sergeant Betts, Mr. John Jenkinson, Professor Anastasie, M. Felix Bertrand, Mr. Egerton Castle, Professor Danguy, Professor Perkins, and others. The “assault” was undoubtedly one of the best seen in London for a long time.

Bartitsu clubs on Facebook

Although the venerable Bartitsu Forum remains the most active online venue for Bartitsu discussion, a number of Bartitsu clubs have set up their own Facebook pages as well. Here’s a list of links:

The Bartitsu Club of New York City
Botta Secreta Productions (San Francisco)
The Bartitsu Club of Chicago
The Bartitsu Club of Tallahassee
The Bartitsu Club: Isle of Wight
The Battersea Bartitsu Study Group
The Copenhagen Monday Bartitsu Club
Fight Like A Gentleman (Academie Duello Bartitsu, Vancouver, Canada)

Bartitsu information in Italian/Bartitsu informazioni in lingua italiana

Roberto Munter has generously made available an extensive Bartitsu PDF for Italian readers.

The first third of the document presents a thorough history of Bartitsu as well as sections on la Belle Epoque, physical culture, the street gangs of London and Paris and the Suffragette movement.

The booklet also includes complete Italian translations of the New Art of Self Defence and Self-Defence with a Walking Stick by E.W. Barton-Wright, two articles about Pierre Vigny’s system and Self Protection on a Cycle by Marcus Tindal.

You can download the PDF by clicking this link.

Roberto Munter ha messo a disposizione dei lettori italiani un ampio documento PDF sul Bartitsu. La prima parte espone una storia completa del Bartitsu e delle sezioni su La Belle Epoque, la cultura fisica, le bande di strada di Londra e Parigi e il movimento delle suffragette.

Il libretto include anche le traduzioni complete in italiano de La Nuova Arte della difesa personale e L’autodifesa con un bastone da passeggio, di E.W. Barton-Wright, due articoli sul sistema di Pierre Vigny e Auto-difesa con la bicicletta di Marcus Tindal.

È possibile scaricare il PDF cliccando su questo link.

Bartitsu course to commence in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Mark Donnelly is offering a 10-week Bartitsu course between January 8th – March 26th in Harrisburg, PA. The course will be hosted by the Keystone Academy of Dueling and Swordsmanship (KADS) and held between 8-10 p.m. on Tuesday nights at the Appalachian Brewing Company, 50 North Cameron Street. All inquiries should be directed to Mr. Donnelly via 717 829 5534.

Another “Mansome” Bartitsu lesson with Mark Donnelly

Bartitsu Club instructor Yukio Tani in action?

This newsreel clip was shot at a gala day at London’s Kensington Palace Field in the year 1928. The first half features a boxing exhibition by Alf Mancini, who was scheduled to fight Jack Hood at Birmingham for the British Welterweight Championship.

Of particular interest to Bartitsu and British jujitsu/judo history buffs, though, is the second half of the clip, which features an exhibition of judo (described as “advanced ju-jitsu”) as demonstrated by members of the “Bodokwai” (sic – should read Budokwai).

Although it’s impossible to be certain, the tori (executor of the techniques) in the judo demonstration bears a very strong resemblance to former Bartitsu Club instructor Yukio Tani, who was the first professional instructor employed by the Budokwai.

Tani aged about 40 (left), about 20 (centre) and executing a restraint technique against Budokwai founder Gunji Koizumi (right). Note the distinctive bald spot on Tani’s head in the latter picture, and compare with that of the tori in the newsreel; the photograph was taken circa 1932.

Eight years before this newsreel was shot, Tani had been formally awarded the second dan black belt rank in Kodokan judo by Professor Jigoro Kano. That recognition built upon Tani’s already vast experience as a jujitsu instructor and challenge wrestler, which dated back to his arrival in London during 1900 at the invitation of Bartitsu founder E.W. Barton-Wright. Tani would have been about 45 years old when the newsreel was shot.

If this is film footage of Yukio Tani, it represents one of only two such films known to exist, the other being a two-second shot of the then-56 year old Tani that appears at 00.25 in this 1937 newsreel:

Yukio Tani suffered a severe stroke in 1937, but he continued to teach from the sidelines of the Budokwai mats until his death on January 24th, 1950.

The only other film known to depict a former Bartitsu Club instructor in action is this re-animation of cinematographic film frames that were used to illustrate Sadakazu Uyenishi‘s “Textbook of Ju-Jitsu”:

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