Seminar footage from Eugene, Oregon

Footage from the Bartitsu seminar that took place at the NorthWest Fencing Academy in Eugene, Oregon on March 13-14, 2010.

The Eugene seminar included training in both the “canonical” or classical set-plays of the art and also in neo-Bartitsu drills, which are used as a transition between the set-plays and free-sparring. In these neo-Bartitsu exercises, the “opponent” can spontaneously resist or counter the “defender’s” scripted techniques and the defender is challenged to improvise to regain to control of the fight.

The focus in this seminar was on Bartitsu as a recreational martial art, rather than purely as self defence.

Bartitsu seminar in Eugene, Oregon from Tony Wolf on Vimeo.

Partnering instructor Tony Wolf are David Borland, Provost d’armi (classical Italian fencing) in the black shirt, Matthew Lowes, aikido shodan and certified Systema instructor in the grey shirt and Maestro Sean Hayes (classical Italian fencing) in the white shirt.

Review of Eugene, Oregon Bartitsu seminar

Classical fencing maestro and historical fencing instructor Sean Hayes offers a review of the recent Bartitsu seminar in Eugene, Oregon:

We had a fantastic seminar with Tony this past Saturday/Sunday! Each day began with exercises from the Wolf system, Tony’s training paradigm for martial arts and physical movement skills. These included fully cooperative and semi-cooperative balance exercises: in the former, partners work together to form a physical system of shared balance which they then explore; in the latter, the exercises shift to deliberate attempts to explore your partner’s balance system and exploit weaknesses. All of the exercises involve warm-up and stretching components, as well as spatial and body awareness components, and safe falling exercises. Towards the end they are combined in a series of spontaneous partner drills. It’s all tightly integrated and proves to be a perfect warm-up for martial arts practice, far superior to anything I’ve experienced previously. (My students can expect to see it incorporated into our regular practice.)

Tony then segued into Bartitsu practice. He began us with canonical Bartitsu exercises, exploring the major components of Barton-Wright’s established practiced (time wouldn’t permit all the canonical materils, of course) and getting the correct practice mastered as well as limited time permits. As the day developed, and we began to integrate boxing, kicking, jiujitsu, and walking-stick, Tony then developed the transitions between the various arts and showed how they were intended for use as an integrated system.

He incorporated neo-Bartitsu in a manner that brought us directly back to the Wolf system exercises. At various points, increasing as each day progressed, we would be given one of the kata or set-pieces to perform, with one partner “breaking” the exercise and the other partner responding. The responses were derived naturally and intuitively as a combination of the balance exercises with which we had begun the day (Barton-Wright was clear that disrupting the opponent’s balance was an immediate priority) and the individual Bartitsu techniques. By the end of Sunday we were performing fairly complicated semi-spontaneous exercises with confidence and skill.

Here’s a photo from a neo-Bartitsu demonstration at the end of the weekend, where we start a drill at speed, I “break” it by changing the expected action into something unexpected, and Tony responds by countering, breaking my balance and throwing me, striking me as I fall, and then belaboring me as he sees fit:

If you’re near, or know someone near, the remaining cities on this tour, then GO! This is a rare opportunity to train with a highly skilled professional martial artist.

I’d like to thank Tony for his effort, energy and dedication – and I’d like to thank the students for the same!

Bartitsu seminar in Eugene, Oregon

Maestro Sean Hayes will be hosting a two-day Bartitsu seminar with Tony Wolf at the Northwest Academy of Arms on Saturday, March 13 and Sunday, March 14, 2010.

Both days will begin with training in the Wolf System, an integrated progression of competitive and co-operative combat biomechanics exercises. These challenging exercises foster the balance, improvisational ability, physical confidence and related skills that are fundamental to the study of any martial art.

The classes will then segue into the study of both canonical and neo-Bartitsu. The canonical material is based on E.W. Barton-Wright’s classic 1900 articles, “The New Art of Self Defence” and “Self Defence with a Walking Stick” and provides a platform for training in neo-Bartitsu, continuing Barton-Wright’s experiments in cross-training between jiujitsu, fisticuffs, low kicking and the Vigny system of walking stick fighting.

When: Saturday March 13 and Sunday March 14, 2010 at the Academy. 9 am to 5 pm each day, with lunch from 12 – 1 pm.

Space is limited!

Where: The Northwest Academy of Arms, Eugene, Oregon

Cost: Two Days – $75 One Day – $50 At the Door – add $20

Lunch: $12 additional for cold cuts, good bread, apples, coffee and tea ($8 for one day)

Equipment: Suitable exercise clothing, including shoes (we have a textured wooden floor). Sturdy cane (crook handle preferred), or strong, smooth dowel approx. 36″ long. We will have some training canes for a minimal cost at the seminar.

Fencing masks, boxing gloves and judogi jackets are useful, but are
not required. The Academy has some masks for loan, but bring your own if you can.

Water bottle (refills from on-site fountain).

Registration form PDF: Downloadable here.

Pacific Northwest Bartitsu seminar tour

Advance notice of a series of Bartitsu seminars to be held in the Pacific Northwest (USA) between March 6-28, 2010.

Each seminar will begin with warm-up exercises taken from the 19th century “physical culture” repertoire before exploring the underlying principles, skills and tactics of Bartitsu, via lessons in the unique combination of fighting styles that made up E.W. Barton-Wright’s arsenal of tricks.

Classes to include:

• a selection of the canonical combat sequences represented in Barton-Wright’s classic article series, “The New Art of Self Defence” and “Self Defence with a Walking Stick”

• experimental neo-Bartitsu drills blending 19th century jiujitsu, scientific boxing, street savate and walking stick defence

• discussions on the fascinating history and revival of Barton-Wright’s New Art of Self Defence; the “hold-up” tactics of 19th century street gangsters, and the counters developed by self defence masters of the period, and the jiujitsu training of the Bodyguards of the radical Suffragette movement.

Tutor: Tony Wolf

The itinerary includes:

March 6th and 7th in Seattle, Washington at the SANCA school of circus arts – contact wolfclass@lonin.org .

March 13th and 14th in Eugene, Oregon at the Northwest Academy of Arms – contact info@fencingacademy.net

March 17th and 18th in San Francisco, California hosted by the Botta Secreta historical fencing school – contact bottasecretaproductions@yahoo.com

March 20th and 21st in Portland, Oregon, hosted by the Academia Duellatoria fencing school – contact jeffery@mind.net

March 27th and 28th in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, at the Academie Duello historical fencing and stage combat school – contact info@academieduello.com