Bartitsu Highlights 2015

It’s both emotionally satisfying and productive to summarize the previous year and take stock. In this blog, it can also have a benefit to the reader to gather the links and events from the previous year in one place. So, I hope this retrospective benefits you as much as compiling it benefits me.


In chronological order, here’s articles I wrote this year:
How to Escape Any Hold or Lock
Gentleman Scholar on Umbrellas
Why Front Headlocks Fail
Suppleness in Bartitsu
Feats of Strength
Suffragette Movies
Indian Clubs and Maces
Punching: Vertical Fist or Horizontal?
Technique Fusion in Self Defense
Gearcon and Victorian Martial Arts
Boxing and Moving
Bartitsu for Policing and Security
Punching Tips
Gimmick Self Defence Umbrella
Single Leg Takedown
Follow Through
It Can’t Happen Here
Mastering Savate
Bartitsu Stance

And here’s some articles from prior years that I’ve had requests to repost:
Bartitsu Reading List
5 Strategies of Bartitsu (Required for Blue Sash test)


This year, we began holding a Bartitsu-focused Open Floor on the second Friday of the month. Of course, Bartitsu students are encouraged to spar on any other Friday’s Open Floor time, but once a month it’s nice to reserve part of the floor and get some dedicated time in.

In March, we held two workshops at VISS, the Vancouver International Swordplay Symposium. Powerful punches was the topic of one and the other explored aspects of Victorian physical culture: warm ups, Indian Clubs, kettlebells and feats of strength.

The first weekend of July was Gearcon in Portland, at which I reprised my Victorian physical culture workshop, and taught and assisted at a few Bartitsu seminars, including a women’s only class.

Besides our Umbrella Self Defence workshops throughout the winter, we also added a Multiple Attackers workshop in August that was very successful. And although not strictly Bartitsu, we had a great time at bullwhip cracking workshops held in November.

This year, we’ll have repeats of our most successful offerings, and some new ones too. If you have requests for specific workshops, please let me know, or tell the Front Desk at Academie Duello.

Leveling Up

Throughout the year, the following students earned their Blue Sash:

  • Winston Ho
  • Erika Miles
  • Sylvie LaRiviere
  • Connor Fitz Patrick

In November, Shawn Bullock became our first Red Sash student.


I’m looking forward to a great 2016, with more workshops in umbrella and bullwhip and other skills, teaching over 250 hours of ongoing classes, and seeing you gain both the skill and confidence to fight like Sherlock Holmes.

Which reminds me — we don’t call it Fight Like Sherlock Holmes anymore; it has been rebranded to “Bartitsu Fundamentals” to stay in keeping with Academie Duello’s new unified introductory course naming scheme. (For those interested, Academie Duello’s beginner classes are now called Longsword Fundamentals, Rapier Fundamentals, Bartitsu Fundamentals and Stage Combat Fundamentals.)

See you in class. Stay safe in 2016.

David McCormick Head of Stage Combat at Academie Duello and certified Instructor with Fight Directors Canada. Head of Bartitsu at Academie Duello, the longest continuously running Bartitsu program in the world.
Read more from David McCormick.