Gearcon and Victorian Martial Arts

This weekend there’s a gathering of steampunk enthusiasts in Portland, Oregon called Gearcon. Steampunk, like cyberpunk, is a genre of speculative fiction, a fashion trend and a community of fans with shared interests. In literature, it’s usually an alternate history of the Victorian era in which mad scientists played a much larger role. The fashion is therefore a fusion of Victorian clothing with scientific instruments and gears, as if everything could somehow be mechanized.

You can find out more at

And in conjunction with Academia Duellatoria, the Victorian Martial Arts Expo will feature our favourite mad scientist, Edward William Barton-Wright. I’ll be representing our approach as a modern and practical self-defence system.

Here’s a short article with a fun video from Jeff Richardson, the organizer:

There are plenty of workshops from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon.

These are the seminars I’ll be leading:

  • Saturday 1:00 - 3:00pm   The Cane and Umbrella for self defense
  • Saturday 5:00 - 6:00pm   Physical Culture Exercises and Feats of Strength
  • Sunday Noon - 2:00pm    Women's only Self Defense Workshop - Victorian inspired self defense for women

At Academie Duello, in my absence assistant instructor Shawn Bullock will be leading Bartitsu class from 3pm-5pm as normal. However, since this is the fifth week of the month, it’s no ordinary class. He’ll be exploring the set-plays in the Bartitsu Compendium, helping all levels to spar with our different weapons, and taking requests to practice anything you’re interested in.

As a side-note, stage combat class at Academie Duello is cancelled this Saturday.

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.