Basic Bartitsu Questions

I recently received another inquiry about Bartitsu by email. There are no bad questions. This was the question, which is very common, reasonable thing to ask when deciding where to put your time and effort: Hello David, I’m interested in learning Bartitsu. I’m wondering if you could tell me how effective it is compared to […]

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Martial Arts Students in a Line

Failure and the Journey of Success

This past Friday, Academie Duello held a rank exam with 14 students across both adult and youth programs examining for Scholar and Free Scholar levels. We had a tremendously full house with somewhere between 60 and 70 fighters on the floor and dozens of observers. Exams are challenging affairs and we are not afraid to put […]

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Bartitsu Strikes to Destabilize

Bartitsu’s fusion of martial arts has jujitsu at its core. “Jujitsu” mean “The art of suppleness” in Japanese, and focuses on core “soft” techniques such as: Joint locks and chokes Takedowns Ground fighting However, there are strikes in jujitsu which are called “atemi” in Japanese. These strikes are almost identical to the techniques in katate, […]

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Bowing Isn’t Respect

The mere act of bowing isn’t a show of respect for your instructor if your other behaviours are not equally respectful. Although my classes are fairly informal, that doesn’t mean that respect does not exist. A Low Threshold In my Bartitsu classes (as well as my stage combat classes), we do not have many explicit […]

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Bartitsu Video Research

  I frequently shared videos with my Bartitsu students through this blog. Personally, I subscribe to a lot of YouTube channels that share techniques and enjoy learning from their video demonstrations. There aren’t many Bartitsu instructional videos out there, so I know I will have to start making some. But while you wait for my […]

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Bartitsu Links and Llamas

As a public service to those who read my blog, but don’t visit every other Bartitsu source, I like to offer a digest of recent Bartitsu-related content from time to time. Bartitsu.Org The first article, The Original BJJ: New Discoveries and Speculations re. the Submission Grappling of British Jiu-Jitsu, is a longer piece for those […]

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Is Boxing Without Headgear Safer?

Dr. Julian Bailes is a neurosurgeon and a founding member of the Brain Injury Research Institute in Pennsylvania. This year, the International Boxing Association, or AIBA, interviewed him on the topic of concussions and brain injuries in boxing, as it relates to wearing protective headgear. Boxing is one of the four component martial arts of […]

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Is Focus Stressful?

Do you find it stressful to keep trying the same combat movement again and again, knowing with each pass that it still needs improvement? When working with a partner, does it raise your blood pressure when things go wrong? And as soon as it goes correctly, do you want to stop? Alternately, in some cases, […]

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Holmes and the First Private Detective

Bartitsu owes a lot to the stories about Sherlock Holmes written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Holmes is described as practicing Bartitsu, and makes use of that combat skill in several confrontations. The popularity of the series spread the fame of Bartitsu at the time, but more important is that their longevity was the only […]

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Protect Yourself in a Riot

What do you do if caught in a tightly packed group of people, some of whom become violent? You may watch the news and see a group of people gathered in a festival who are attacked from the outside, such as the tragedy in Nice on Bastille Day. You may be a peaceful protester who […]

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Science, Fun, and Martial Arts: Bartitsu Addendums

This week, we’re adding to our appreciation of Bartitsu from all angles: more fun, more science, and more people! Additional Fun Tony Wolf, editor of The Bartitsu Compendium, the author of the Suffrajitsu graphic novel trilogy, manager of Bartitsu.org, and awesome guy, has converted a board game from 1909 that pits Suffragettes against Police into […]

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The Science of Bartitsu

Bartitsu is a historical practice, but it is stimulating to study because it is a scientific approach to self-defence from an age of Western science. I don’t seek to impose a scientific analysis on top of an ancient tradition, because Bartitsu was founded on the two pillars of sound engineering: Employ proven principles from established […]

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Canne de Combat Video

La Canne de Combat is French for “combat cane” and is distinct from Bartitsu’s walking stick self-defense. La Canne Francaise (“French cane”) was a branch of savate, and remains a part of some savate schools. Pierre Vigny brought some of the aspects of La Canne to Bartitsu, with his own interpretations and modifications for the […]

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Bullying Kids and Grownups

The use of violence and the threat of violence to force someone to do something they wouldn’t ordinarily do is not only universally regarded as wrong, it is also universally regarded as unavoidable. I just read a great article on Kotaku about the short series in Calvin and Hobbes that featured the bully Moe: http://kotaku.com/a-string-of-upsetting-calvin-hobbes-strips-told-a-bol-1777424191 So […]

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Punching and Rapier

Although Bartitsu does not draw from the Italian traditions, the four hand positions clearly match. Especially for the rapier students at Academie Duello who are also Bartitsuka, I present “Boxing Interpreted as Italian Sword” without further commentary: Prima This pairs with what I call “over-pronated” punches, and what some mistakenly call “the chopper”. Seconda This […]

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Hit the Homunculus

I love taking workshops with experts who have a lot of experience like Marco Quarta. The value of their coaching is immense, but I get even more from their explanations, their unique perspectives and the insights about why we choose certain movements. Maestro Quarta is an expert in Italian martial arts, especially traditional and modern […]

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Where Bartitsu Fits by Comparison

In speaking generally about kinds of martial arts and how to compare Bartitsu to other more familiar systems, sometimes we have to clarify our terms and classifications. One way to think about combat practice is to consider where the philosophy that underpins its rules and methods fits on a spectrum. Abstraction vs. Pragmatism One spectrum […]

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