“Old School Fitness Becomes New Trend”: Bartitsu and historical fencing featured in the Chicago Tribune

“Walking into the Forteza Fitness club in Chicago’s Ravenswood neighborhood is like strolling into a cultural time machine,” begins John Owens’ new article and video feature for the Chicago Tribune. The video highlights the antagonisticathlon event that served as a “graduation” for the Bartitsu Club of Chicago’s introductory 6-week course as well as historical fencing action from members of the Chicago Swordplay Guild and demonstrations of some physical culture exercises.

More from Forteza Fitness, Physical Culture and Martial Arts

The new Forteza Fitness, Physical Culture & Martial Arts center in Chicago’s Ravenswood area is a unique 5000 sq. ft., c.1900 facility, with classes  in historical swordplay, 19th century antagonistics and ‘old school’ fitness training.

Beginning in late January 2012, Forteza Fitness, Physical Culture & Martial Arts will offer:

* a fitness studio combining functional fitness training with modern nutritional counseling

* 19th century “physical culture” – workouts using calisthenics, Indian clubs, medicine balls, therapeutic gymnastics, body-weight exercises and games designed to create natural strength and grace with athletic performance

* the Midwest’s only full-time school for the study of traditional Western martial arts including historical swordplay – the art of the longsword, rapier, arming sword, as well as Bartitsu – the martial art made famous by  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s beloved character, Sherlock Holmes

* classes with Chicagoland’s only licensed instructor in Martial Blade Concepts (MBC) self-defense – a nationally renowned system of hand, stick and knife defense designed for modern people with limited training time

* a “Gymuseum” of antique exercise equipment and 19th century prints portraying combat sport athletes in training

* an international center for education on the rich, sophisticated martial traditions of Western Civilization

* an innovative, eclectic series of workshops, lectures and unique social events.

New to historical swordfighting? Forteza Fitness, Physical Culture & Martial Arts will offer the Chicago Swordplay Guild’s ever-popular introductory classes in the medieval longsword and the Renaissance rapier! The C.S.G. will also continue to provide Introductory Classes at the Chicago Park District-Pulaski Park location as part of the CPD Arts Partners Program.

The website is coming soon; in the meantime you can contact the organizers for updates on classes, seminars and special events!