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 seminar at the Academia Duellatoria (Portland, OR)

Guest instructor David McCormick (Bartitsu instructor for the Academie Duello in Vancouver, Canada) will be teaching a special class on Bartitsu on the evening of Thursday, July 28th at the Academia Duellatoria studio in Portland.

Bartitsu was one of the earliest attempts at mixing Eastern and Western martial arts. During the Victorian age in England, the system was billed as the gentleman’s art of self defense and prominently featured the use of the cane or umbrella as a weapon. E.W. Barton-Wright, the system’s creator, recognized that fights have various ranges. The cane, which no gentleman ever went into the streets without, extends one’s reach and lets a fellow defeat an opponent without dirtying his hands. At closer range the hands and feet come into play utilizing savate and pugilism. Closer still, jiujitsu and wrestling are employed.

Cost: $15.00 (all payments going towards offsetting the instructor’s travel expenses)
Time: 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Venue: 4755 SW Oleson Road, Portland, OR
Please bring a cane if you have one.

Contact via this page for all details.

Bartitsu seminar in Vancouver, Canada

Intro to Bartitsu

Saturday, February 19 – 1:00pm to 5:00pm

Learn the mixed martial art of the Victorian English Gentleman. In this four-hour workshop taught by David McCormick, you’ll acquire the essential Bartitsu skills of Boxing, Jujitsu, Savate and Cane fighting:

* the basic punches of scientific boxing and the first defensive moves of pugilism,
* the first throw from jujitsu and how to land without hurting yourself when thrown
* the foundations of walking stick self-defence, and the essential kicks of savate.

This Introduction to Bartitsu is a pre-requisite for the ongoing Bartitsu class at the Academie Duello. We want all newcomers to the weekly class to have some familiarity with the core techniques, and to get some practice in an easy environment where all of the students are learning the skills together.

So, whether you’re interested in studying Bartitsu on an ongoing basis, or if you just want to learn the essential elements, the Introduction to Bartitsu covers the fundamentals. Fun and self-defense without getting your spats dirty!

$60 (15% off for members) – see this page to sign up online.

Umbrella self defence in Vancouver


For many, the Lower Mainland’s wet weather comes with the burden of carrying around an often-cumbersome umbrella. But what if you could turn your weather-based tool into your own personal defence device?

Academie Duello offers an umbrella self-defence workshop that will teach you how to use your wet weather companion to ward off any hooligans.

The course runs several times a year and is based on Bartitsu — a stick-fighting style developed in Victorian England.

David McCormick, who teaches the course, said it’s quite popular.

“It’s very energizing because unlike some martial arts (it’s not) an exhaustive, fatiguing workout. (We) teach skills that are at the same time fun and practical so people can remember what they’ve learned.”

The course, which lasts four hours, costs $60 and is good for most ages and body types, said McCormick.

As for the satisfaction level, McCormick said students are usually laughing when they leave, “and seeing a tool they use everyday in a whole new light.”

For more information on David’s umbrella defence and Bartitsu courses, please visit the Academie Duello’s Bartitsu page.

Bartitsu Club of Vancouver

A special guest post from David McCormick, instructor of the new Bartitsu Club of Vancouver, who is due congratulations for his success!

The first month of the Bartitsu Club of Vancouver has been an unmitigated success. I would not have expected such a turnout of students in a debut course. This is thanks in no small part to Academie Duello, the school of Western Martial Arts of which we are a part. Most of our Bartitsuka are already regular students of Rapier and the other disciplines at the Academie, and the reach of Duello’s influence in the media helped bolster support. In the end, we have a core group of eight or so, with some weeks having as many as thirteen participants. But enough about our numbers… What did we do?


Each class is a two-hour session that starts with a general warm up, with some awareness and balance exercises, for the first 20 minutes, followed by a review segment for 30 minutes, including lesson recap and partner drills. Next, we move on to the meat of the class: 30 minutes of new material, which is followed by 20 minutes in which we combine the old lessons with the new techniques. The final 20 minutes we spend sparring, with special emphasis on that week’s system. For example, if the main lesson was boxing, the sparring segment will be in the form of a boxing match, whereas if the main lesson was cane, we do stick-fighting.

Our general format is to separate Bartitsu into its four major components: Boxing, Savate, Jujitsu and Cane. Each class, we study two of these components in our two-hour session. The first is a review of the previous week, and the second is new material for the other weapon. Then, we combine the two for tactics that work together.

Weekly Run-Down

In week 1 (21 August, 2010), we looked at Cane and Boxing. This was an introduction to each, in which we examined basic stances and essential strikes.

In week 2 (28 August, 2010), we reviewed Boxing and learned the basic kicks of Savate.

In week 3 (4 September, 2010), we reviewed Savate and returned to Cane for some new techniques, including pre-emptive strikes. We combined this with Savate by using the stick as a feint for a kick, and a kick as a feint for a stick.

And then the lovely new equipment arrived! We have boxing head-gear, sparring gloves and shin-protectors, and new mats for the floor that cover a huge area. We also have padded escrima sticks for cane sparring.

In week 4 (11 September, 2010), we reviewed Cane and finally got to the basics of Jujitsu. We spent some time getting used to break-falls, and then went on to the Back-Heel throw. We combined the two disciplines by using the pre-emptive stick technique into the back-heel throw, and variations on that theme.

In week 5 (18 September, 2010), we reviewed Jujitsu and returned to Boxing. We learned some in-fighting hooks and uppercuts, and we combined that with Jujitsu when we moved into chancery and the cross-buttock throw. That week’s sparring was very exciting as we really explored freeform boxing.

Special Event: Umbrella

On 25 September, we held a four-hour Umbrella Self-Defence Workshop in the place of the Bartitsu class. What a turn-out! Some of our regular Bartitsu members were there, and thanks to media coverage and our tireless marketing team, we had fifteen members of the public fill our space. We had to turn away people at the door, who will hopefully join us the next time we run it in November.

Coming Up

This weekend is the start of October, when we’ll have a demonstration at V-Con, the Vancouver science fiction convention. Since this year’s theme is steampunk, I’m sure Bartitsu will be very popular. If you happen to be there, our demo is at 6pm on Saturday.

Bartitsu seminar at the Academie Duello (Vancouver)

Advance notice of another upcoming Bartitsu seminar at Vancouver’s Academie Duello historical martial arts school. This will be an intensive 4-hour session taught by David McCormick, featuring instruction in:

* English boxing, French kickboxing and the English interpretation of Judo
* Stick fighting and self-defense with an umbrella
* Modern urban self-defense evolved from the principles of Bartitsu