1. #1
    DdlR's Avatar
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    New book on Victorian-era self defense



    http://www.bartitsu.org/index.php/20...an-literature/

    Now available for pre-publication order is this new book by English historian Emelyne Godfrey on Victorian and Edwardian English self defense practices, attitudes and personalities. Going by the contents list it covers everything from the "garroting" (tactical mugging) panics of the mid-1800s, through the hysteria surrounding the Jack the Ripper murders and into the Bartitsu era of the early 20th century.

    I am going to read this book ...

  2. #2
    Permalost's Avatar
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    Looks pretty cool, but pretty pricey at $80.

  3. #3

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    I always thought garotting was just to strangle someone via a garotte. Learn something new every day.

  4. #4
    Permalost's Avatar
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    a garrote is also the name of a baston/stick in some FMA styles, and is also the name of a Venezuelan weapon art:
    http://womau.com/xe/venezuela

  5. #5
    DdlR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CodosDePiedra View Post
    Looks pretty cool, but pretty pricey at $80.
    Yep. Typical of academic publishers, it's priced on the assumption that the main market will be university libraries rather than private individuals. It's worth the $80 to me, but like they say, libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries.

  6. #6
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    Hmm, maybe I'll have a look around my old college after some time has passed.

  7. #7
    DdlR's Avatar
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    "Garroting" actually was strangling, in this context. In England and the US during the 1850s and '60s, there were mass panics about street gangs using a sort of choreographed mugging tactic that involved a small gang stalking, distracting and then strangling their victims into unconsciousness before robbing them.



    In response there emerged a small industry of self defense weapons marketed to worried city-dwellers, such the "life preserver" (a short, flexible cudgel tipped with a lead weight) and the anti-garroting collar (a steel collar camouflaged as a regular shirt collar).

    My best guess is that the panic was fed by earlier stories about the thuggee gangs from India, who used pretty much the same tactics. Anyway, the newspapers sensationalized the story and the popular middle-class fear of being "garroted" was used as political leverage in the UK to re-introduce flogging as a punishment for working-class criminals. During the 1890s the same mugging tactic, and the same media-fed fear, re-appeared in Paris as the coup de pere Francois - http://www.bartitsu.org/index.php/20...-franks-trick/ .

  8. #8
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    Any idea on how effective the anti-garroting collars actually ended up being?

  9. #9
    DdlR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodlun View Post
    Any idea on how effective the anti-garroting collars actually ended up being?
    Nope.

    They also sold anti-garroting pistols, which were short-barreled and built onto a steel plate worn on a belt in the small of the back. They were fired by pulling a concealed cord that ran up over the left shoulder, so you could shoot a garroter behind you by yanking on the cord in an emergency.

    Bizarre stuff ...

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