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Thread: Bartitsu?

  1. #1

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    Bartitsu?

    Now, I freaking love Sherlock Holmes novels. In one such story, it is revealed that Holmes survived his famous plunge over the falls with Dr. Moriarty through his knowledge of "baritsu", the "Japanese art of wrestling".

    As it turns out, "baritsu" was a barely concealed rip-off of an actual Victorian martial art, Bartitsu. This was created by 19th century engineer and self-defense enthusiast Edward W. Barton-Wright. Apparently, it is fushion of jujutsu, boxing, wrestling, and even stick fighting and fencing. Apparently, Barton-Wright taught this art in London at his own school until the start of the First World War, after which it was closed, and the art never returned to prominence. Although, it has been experiencing a revival since 2002, or so I have read.

    So, bartitsu. The gentlemanly art of self-defense, it has been named. Seems to me like this revival of it might just be MMA with a Victorian gimmick about it. Anyone know anything about it? Here's a video:

    YouTube - Documentary preview: "Bartitsu - the Lost Martial Art of Sherlock Holmes"

    So, is it bullshido or is it legitimate self-defense?

  2. #2

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    Its for real.

    Why dont you hop on over to the WMA forums and do yourself some reading.

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    Gezere's Avatar
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    Bartitsu is real. There is historical documentation for this art. There are a few guys here that knowledgeable it. In the WMA section.
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    It is Fake's Avatar
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    I'm curious? I know you are new, but this is the second "search function noob" thread you have created. These are mistakes right?

    Seriously,try the google search function.
    "Bartitsu: the Lost Martial Art of Sherlock Holmes" preview trailer - No BS MMA and Martial Arts

    Bartitsu documentary DVD art contest - No BS MMA and Martial Arts

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by It is Fake View Post
    I'm curious? I know you are new, but this is the second "search function noob" thread you have created. These are mistakes right?

    Seriously,try the google search function.
    "Bartitsu: the Lost Martial Art of Sherlock Holmes" preview trailer - No BS MMA and Martial Arts

    Bartitsu documentary DVD art contest - No BS MMA and Martial Arts

    wow what a dick, how can you even suggest the search function

  6. #6

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    I don't get why something is considered "bullshido" if it's "not legitimate for self defense". If this were the case, fencing, archery and jousting would be considered "bullshido". Hell, why don't we throw out the biathlon from the Winter Olympics since it's not legitimate for self defense.

    Revivalists of Bartitsu make no outlandish claims about their art. Nobody's saying it's "t3h d34dly". All they're looking to do is have fun re-creating a historical curiosity.

  7. #7
    DdlR's Avatar
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    Some modern revivalists do tweak Bartitsu towards self defense, but I'd say the "recreational/historical martial arts" approach is more common.

    So, bartitsu. The gentlemanly art of self-defense, it has been named. Seems to me like this revival of it might just be MMA with a Victorian gimmick about it.
    Bartitsu essentially was Victorian MMA, or Edwardian Jeet Kune Do, depending on how you look at it. A big part of the revival is to balance "Bartitsu as we know it was" with "Bartitsu as it might have been/can be today" in a way that doesn't just end up re-inventing MMA/JKD/RBSD/Dog Brothers.

    By the way, the "Lost Martial Art of Sherlock Holmes" documentary is very nearly ready for release.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by atomicpoet View Post
    I don't get why something is considered "bullshido" if it's "not legitimate for self defense". If this were the case, fencing, archery and jousting would be considered "bullshido". Hell, why don't we throw out the biathlon from the Winter Olympics since it's not legitimate for self defense.

    Revivalists of Bartitsu make no outlandish claims about their art. Nobody's saying it's "t3h d34dly". All they're looking to do is have fun re-creating a historical curiosity.
    Your assumption is hugely flawed.

    With your logic, bicycle riding, computer hacking, cooking is bullshit as well.

    The thing is Bartitsu is about fighting. So we are right to expect a bartitsu practitioner to fight.

    As I would expect a fencer to fence, or an archer to use bows (considering the examples that you gave)

    And I think its perfectly ok if a bartitsu practitioner says that he just trains it for fun but he/she accepts it is not very suitable for fighting/self defence. Nothing is wrong with that.
    But If a bartitsu practitioner talks about how tough he is, then the things may change.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by DdlR View Post
    Some modern revivalists do tweak Bartitsu towards self defense, but I'd say the "recreational/historical martial arts" approach is more common.

    Bartitsu essentially was Victorian MMA, or Edwardian Jeet Kune Do, depending on how you look at it. A big part of the revival is to balance "Bartitsu as we know it was" with "Bartitsu as it might have been/can be today" in a way that doesn't just end up re-inventing MMA/JKD/RBSD/Dog Brothers.

    By the way, the "Lost Martial Art of Sherlock Holmes" documentary is very nearly ready for release.
    Frankly, this sounds exciting. One thing I've always wanted to know: how does Bartitsu compare to Defendu -- which is another British art that has a similar history (albeit a later one)?

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Necroyunus View Post
    And I think its perfectly ok if a bartitsu practitioner says that he just trains it for fun but he/she accepts it is not very suitable for fighting/self defence. Nothing is wrong with that.
    But If a bartitsu practitioner talks about how tough he is, then the things may change.
    From what I read and DdlR confirms, most Bartitsu practitioners do it purely for recreational reasons. To me, this means we can't define it as bullshido for the same reason we don't define archery as bullshido. To compare, few archers will say an arrow is more effective than a bullet.

    Those that do use Bartitsu for self defense are rarely purists. They modernize it to make it applicable to modern combat.

    IMO, Bartitsu is just good clean fun. If no one makes outlandish claims, what's the harm?

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