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  1. DdlR is offline
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    Posted On:
    12/11/2011 1:41pm

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     Style: Bartitsu

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    New New WMA/fitness gym planned for Chicago

    Located on the border of Chicago's Ravenswood and Buena Park neighbourhoods, a 5000 square foot Western martial arts and fitness training center is currently under construction. Patterned after a circa 1900 physical culture studio, it features high timber ceiling, a hardwood floor and brick walls, which will be decorated with large historical prints featuring swordsmen and combat athletes in training.

    The new gym will include a collection of antique physical culture apparatus, including Indian clubs, medicine balls, iron dumbbells, an 1880s rowing machine and wall-mounted weightlifting machine, pull-up bar and climbing ropes, forming a "gymuseum" for physical culture training. Functional replicas of other classic training equipment and a Western martial arts store may be added in the future.

    The complex will include an upstairs library/meeting/lounge area reminiscent of a Victorian era private club, with comfortable chairs and couches, a gallery of antique antagonistics images and books on all manner of Western martial arts and related topics. It will be an athletic club in the traditional sense, a place to socialise, relax and learn as well as to train.

    Beginning in February, the school will be running multiple tracks in:

    Historical fencing - Fiore de Liberi's Armizare, including two-handed sword, dagger and unarmed combat, as well as Renaissance-era rapier fencing
    Fighting Fit - a Cross-Fit type exercise program geared towards martial arts training
    Modern self defence
    19th century antagonistics - classical sabre, bowie knife, catch wrestling and both canonical and neo-Bartitsu

    There will also be a full program of special-interest public seminars and intensive courses, starting with a Bartitsu seminar scheduled for January 22nd. The seminar will roll through immediately into a progressive, experimental course of 12 introductory classes over the following six weeks, between 6.30 and 8.00 pm each Tuesday and Thursday evening.

    All going according to plan, the new school will have a web presence from early January.
  2. SBG-ape is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/11/2011 9:04pm


     Style: Jiu-jitsu & HEMA

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Congratulations! It sounds like a very exciting program. Quite a few questions:

    No mats, either of modern material or tatami?

    What sort of staffing will this center have? Who are the regular instructors? What are their qualifications? Will the seminars be taught by the regular instructors to draw in non-members or are they going to be taught by guest instructors to members & non-members alike?

    What will people be charged for membership in this club? How many members are already committed? How many will be needed for such a program to get in the black? Where did initial funding for this facility come from?
  3. DdlR is offline
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    Posted On:
    12/11/2011 9:45pm

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     Style: Bartitsu

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Good questions; I'm "involved" but I only know the answers to some of them.

    No mats, either of modern material or tatami?
    Yes, there will be mats for the catch wrestling, Bartitsu and abrazare (Medieval Italian grappling) classes. AFAIK they'll be modern.

    What sort of staffing will this center have? Who are the regular instructors? What are their qualifications? Will the seminars be taught by the regular instructors to draw in non-members or are they going to be taught by guest instructors to members & non-members alike?
    Combination of on-going courses, short-term intensives and seminars, taught by a combination of regular instructors and guests. The regular historical fencing, modern self defense and fitness instructors are senior members and affiliates of the Chicago Swordplay Guild; I will be teaching Bartitsu and various seminars there, and I'm sure many other WMA instructors will be coming in as guest tutors.

    What will people be charged for membership in this club? How many members are already committed? How many will be needed for such a program to get in the black? Where did initial funding for this facility come from?
    Can't answer about initial funding or how long it will take to get into the black. AFAIK there will be a kind of electronic "punch card" system for members/students, so that people can sign up for individual courses/classes within the four main streams, and will be also encouraged to cross-train between them. Because Bartitsu basically is a cross-training system from the outset, it will have its own position within the overall "antagonistics" curriculum.

    The CSG is a well-established and large local group covering Fiore's material and all manner of rapier/sidearm combinations, so their membership will automatically feed into the new school; other students will be coming in from other special interest groups in the Chicago area.
  4. SBG-ape is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/11/2011 10:14pm


     Style: Jiu-jitsu & HEMA

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Interesting. So is this facility going to be the new home of CSG or are theyviewing it as a satellite or collaborative side project?

    What constitutes the modern self-defense curriculum? I'd imagine thatBartitsu minus the cane work & with the addition of Fiore's dagger materialwould be quite sufficient.
  5. Petter is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/11/2011 10:54pm


     Style: BJJ, judo, rapier

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by SBG-ape View Post
    What constitutes the modern self-defense curriculum? I'd imagine thatBartitsu minus the cane work & with the addition of Fiore's dagger materialwould be quite sufficient.
    How applicable do you feel that Fiore’s dagger material is to modern knife defence?

    I’ve done very little with the dagger, so my question is fairly open; the reservation I have is that a lot of what I have seen seems geared toward different circumstances, in particular less concern about rapid, repeated thrusts, and about slashes, presumably due to the nature of the rondel, and I’m guessing also an assumption that much of the use of armizare would involve armoured combatants. The techniques I’ve learned seem great against a powerful thrust with a long dagger meant to punch through maille; less applicable to a “sewing machine” kind of attack, especially if the knife is held in the rear hand. But as I said, I’ve only seen a little bit of this stuff and I haven’t actually read Fiore myself.
    [ petterhaggholm.net | blog | essays ]
    [ self defence: general thoughts | bjj: “don’t go to the ground”? ]
    “The plural of anecdote is anecdotes, not data.”
  6. DdlR is offline
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    Posted On:
    12/11/2011 11:08pm

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     Style: Bartitsu

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Interesting. So is this facility going to be the new home of CSG or are theyviewing it as a satellite or collaborative side project?
    I'm not sure.

    What constitutes the modern self-defense curriculum? I'd imagine that Bartitsu minus the cane work & with the addition of Fiore's dagger material would be quite sufficient.
    AFAIK it's based on a modernized FMA system - knife and some barehand stuff.

    I'm a bit ambivalent about teaching Bartitsu as self defense per se; yes, it can be redacted into a decent modern self defense method, but I'm honestly more interested in preserving the historical aspects and exploring where Barton-Wright might have gone with the circa 1900 styles. Not that realism and historical recreation are necessarily mutually exclusive, especially in a long-term course format.
  7. DdlR is offline
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    Posted On:
    12/11/2011 11:12pm

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     Style: Bartitsu

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Petter View Post
    How applicable do you feel that Fiore's dagger material is to modern knife defence?
    I think it (and a lot of rondel work) would be a great method for fighting with/defending against screwdrivers.
  8. SBG-ape is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/12/2011 1:30am


     Style: Jiu-jitsu & HEMA

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    There isn't a lot of material on how to counter a slash & the "sewing machine" stab is a very bad scenario regardless of how you're trained. Having said that, the dagger fighting in the medieval manuals tends to focus on gaining control of the weapon arm through reliable basic grappling techniques. It's a strategy I believe in when running isn't an option. So, I think a lot of the common movements are as high percentage as you're going to find when talking about knife fighting...Admittedly I have more experience with the German sources that the Italian.
  9. DdlR is offline
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    Posted On:
    12/12/2011 3:41pm

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     Style: Bartitsu

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Had another planning meeting today and I asked about the mats: apparently we'll have a set of 5 5x10 black mats installed, like this one -

  10. lklawson is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/13/2011 12:36pm


     Style: Bowie

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I use similar Dolomar roll-up mats. They're decent.

    Who's running the Bowie training and what's their source? (You knew I'd ask. ;)

    I'm not interested in "Lineage Wars" or anything goofy like that, but I'm curious as to what training it came through.

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
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