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.

Bartitsu workshop in Foster City, CA

Botta Secreta Productions Presents:

Bartitsu Workshop

Learn how to fend off rascals and rapscallions the Victorian/Edwardian way . . .

When: June 16, 2012, 10 AM – 5 PM

Where: Fearless Fitness
1125 East Hillsdale Blvd. Suite 108
Foster City, CA 94404

What: Founded in London, England in 1899, Bartitsu was a short-lived experiment in creating a mixed martial art system, notable because it was it was the first recorded cross-training system to incorporate elements of Asian and European fighting styles. (Neo) Bartitsu is a 21st century mixed martial art that combines Vigny cane, savate, boxing, wrestling and jiujitsu.

How much? $80.00 pre-reg via PayPal, $100.00 at the door, cash or PayPal accepted.

Contact: Guro Tom Badillo at to arrange pre-reg and payment.

Bartitsu at CombatCon 2012

Bartitsu instructor Tony Wolf (left) will be teaching an introductory class among the many attractions of CombatCon 2012 at the Tuscany Suites hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada (July 6-8).

A confluence of Western martial arts with pop-culture entertainment genres (horror, pirates, science fiction, steampunk etc.), CombatCon offers a very wide assortment of hands-on classes, demonstrations, panel discussions and vendor’s booths. 19th century antagonistics were well-represented at last years’ convention, which also included a large “museum” room devoted to steampunk artifacts … who knows what else CombatCon 2012 has in store?

Bartitsu seminar with Tony Wolf at Forteza Fitness and Martial Arts (Chicago)

A short “video impression” of the June 22nd Bartitsu seminar at the new (and still under development) Forteza Fitness and Martial Arts studio in Ravenswood, Chicago.

Instructor Tony Wolf led a group of about thirty eager participants through a combination of canonical and neo-Bartitsu drills, concentrating on blending fisticuffs, jujitsu and walking stick defense according to E.W. Barton-Wright’s precept of adaptability:

It is quite unnecessary to try and get your opponent into any particular position, as this system embraces every possible eventuality and your defence and counter-attack must be based entirely upon the actions of your opponent.

Also visible in the clip above are some items from the Forteza “gymuseum”, including original late-19th century posters, antique cast-iron dumbbells, wooden Indian clubs and an 1880s rowing machine.

The new Bartitsu Club of Chicago will be holding its first six-week term at Forteza, beginning January 31st.

Bartitsu at Forteza Fitness, Physical Culture and Martial Arts (Chicago, IL)

Tony Wolf will be teaching an intensive introductory Bartitsu seminar, with the option of an ongoing six-week training course, among the many attractions of the new Forteza Fitness, Physical Culture & Martial Arts school in Ravenswood, Chicago (website forthcoming).

What is Bartitsu?

In the year 1899, Edward William Barton-Wright devised a system of cross-training between jujitsu, British boxing, kicking, wrestling and self defense with an umbrella or walking stick.  Bartitsu was created so that the ladies and gentlemen of London could beat street gangsters and hooligans at their own dastardly game.

Promoted via magazine and newspaper articles, exhibitions, lectures and challenge matches, Barton-Wright’s School of Arms and Physical Culture quickly became a place to see and be seen.  Famous actors, athletes and soldiers enrolled to learn the mysteries of Bartitsu.

After Barton-Wright’s school closed down under unknown circumstances in early 1902, Bartitsu was abandoned as a work in progress and almost forgotten throughout the 20th century … apart from a famous, cryptic reference in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Adventure of the Empty House”.

One hundred years later, the International Bartitsu Society was formed to research and then revive the “New Art of Self Defence”.  The modern revival is an open-source, community-based effort to continue Barton-Wright’s radical cross-training experiments.

What will we learn?

The introductory seminar will begin with a discussion of the origins, loss and revival of Bartitsu.  A series of warm-up exercises will then segue into drills and games exploring several of Barton-Wright’s fundamental principles of combat, especially the skills of manipulating an opponent’s balance and of tactical spontaneity.

We will then study a representative series of jujitsu and stick fighting sequences taken directly from Barton-Wright’s original system.  Next, we’ll work on transitioning from set-play sequences into a more realistic freestyle format, referring to the principles explored earlier in the day, before a warm-down and Q&A session.

Participants who wish to follow through into the six-week, twelve lesson basic training course will find this seminar an excellent grounding in the art of Bartitsu.


Forteza Fitness, Physical Culture and Martial Arts

4437 N. Ravenswood
Chicago, IL

Patterned after a Victorian-era physical culture studio, Forteza features a 5000 square foot training area with brick walls and high timber ceiling.  The training area is equipped with mats, weapons and a “gymuseum” of functional antique physical culture apparatus including Indian clubs, iron dumbbells and medicine balls, as well as rowing and weightlifting machines dating to the late 1800s.


Sunday, January 22nd; 11.00 – 5.30 pm, with a half-hour lunch break.

How much?

$60.00 pays for your place in the introductory seminar and automatically deducts $25.00 from the cost of the optional 6-week basic training course.

What should I bring?

Comfortable workout clothing, packed lunch if you wish, and a drink bottle.  We will have a limited number of training canes available for the stick fighting portion of the seminar, but participants are encouraged to bring their own sturdy hook-handled umbrella, walking stick and/or roughly 36″ hardwood dowel, with any edges smoothed away.

I’m in! How do I register?

Email us to pre-register – we will confirm your registration and send you a PayPal link.  Alternatively, you can pay by cash or check on the day.

Cane fighting seminar in Wuppertal, Germany

Instructor Stefan Dieke will be holding a seminar on the Vigny method of stick fighting on December 17th & 18th.


* Vigny’s stick fighting concepts
* representative canonical techniques
* exploring variations
* similarities and differences between a cane and a singlestick and how this affects fighting techniques
* fundamental singlestick exercises and their adoptions for the cane
* abstract exercises building up fundamental skills

Venue: the Alte Kampfkunst historical martial arts school, Paradestr. 57 a
42107 Wuppertal, Germany

Fee: 130 Euro per participant

Details: (sorry, in German only) or contact

International guests are welcome! The seminar can be held bilingually in German and English.

Bartitsu at TeslaCon 2011

A report from instructor Allen Reed on his recent introductory Bartitsu seminar at the TeslaCon steampunk convention in Madison, Wisconsin. Allen will also be teaching a Bartitsu workshop in early 2012.

I drove up to Madison, WI Saturday morning (about a 90 minute drive) to teach my Bartitsu class. The class was scheduled for 10 AM and the room filled rapidly with steampunk fans who wanted to learn about Bartitsu. I was very lucky that Bruce and Bonnie Aller, two good friends and fellow WMA students, were there so I could use them as teaching assistants.

I gave a short introduction to Bartitsu and Barton-Wright and then started working on pugilism. We worked on the left lead and right rear punches and then got into blocking a right rear and then countering with a right rear punch. I then had the group work on blocking a right rear with a right elbow and then use a chopper as a counter. I finished the pugilism section by working on blocking a left lead punch as you go out side and punching to the kidney with what Allanson-Winn would call a “contracted arm” hit.

I demonstrated some of the similarities between throws in pugilism and jujutsu and talked about how throws were used for boxing matches vs. for self defense.

We then moved on to working on Vigny cane techniques. I did have some loaner canes but about half the participants still did not have canes so we had to work on these techniques slowly so everyone could share. I first had them work on “Guard by Distance” and then since we had so few canes I had them all finish with “The Best Way to Disable a Man who Tries to Rush You.”

Everyone seemed enthused and interested throughout the class. I gave out quite a number of flyers for the seminar in January and all of the business cards I had brought with me. I also sold three copies of the Bartitsu Compendia and one of my Bartitsu DVDs.