I drew a deep breath as I mastered the contents of this momentous document. Then, just as I was about to replace it in the ingenious receptacle contrived for it, I felt a tap on my wrist, a light simultaneous pressure on my throat and knee-cap, and staggered back helpless and overpowered.
It was jiu-jitsu!
– From The Secret Treaty of Portsmouth, a short story published in Pearson’s Magazine, volume 16, issue 5 (1906).
Steampunk applies post-modern artistic imagination to 19th century culture and technology. There is an undeniable affinity between Steampunk and neo-Bartitsu, which is likewise inspired by (and experiments with) Victorian-era aesthetics and resources; both can be appreciated as aspects of the neo-Victorian movement.
Over the past several years there have been numerous Bartitsu classes and demonstrations at science fiction/Steampunk gatherings including V-Con, SteamCon III, the World Steam Expo, StarFest, the Steam Century Mystery weekend and the San Francisco Edwardian Ball. The upcoming CombatCon event in Las Vegas will feature the interplay between 19th century “antagonistics” and Steampunk fiction as one of its major themes.
John Reppion’s article, Baritsu, Bartitsu and the Jujitsuffragettes was featured in issue #6 of Steampunk Magazine, while Nick Mamatas’ Bartitsu: the Martial Art for the Steampunk Set appeared in Clarkesworld Magazine. The Scatha Combat Guild’s forthcoming Steampunk Self Defence Manual promises to offer a light-hearted take on Bartitsu and other Victorian-era antagonistics.
In addition to providing music for the documentary Bartitsu: The Lost Martial Art of Sherlock Holmes, top Steampunk band Abney Park has produced the song Victorian Vigilante, whose protagonist “brings his baritsu” to the task of taking down his supernatural prey.
Finally, the Steam Fu discussion forum at Steampunk Empire frequently cites Bartitsu, and likewise, Steampunk (as it is related to martial arts) is a frequent topic on the Bartitsu Forum.