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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by DdlR View Post
    Sparring-wise we're aiming for a kind of Edwardian-era Dog Brothers, within a definite set of stylistic parameters. Beyond that, there are the classical kata and set-plays and then a level nick-named "neo-Bartitsu" which supplements what we know of the original style with old school "British jiujitsu" and a self-defense oriented adaptation of c1900 boxing and savate.
    I keep meaning to ask, to what extent is this recapturing the art from extant training materials, versus recreating what it might have been? Percentage wise? What evidence suggests its effectiveness at the time, given that it died out completely?
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  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ermghoti View Post
    I keep meaning to ask, to what extent is this recapturing the art from extant training materials, versus recreating what it might have been? Percentage wise? What evidence suggests its effectiveness at the time, given that it died out completely?
    Hard to answer definitively because there's no standard modern curriculum beyond the roughly 40 ko-ryu kata and stickfighting set-plays Barton-Wright recorded back around 1900. IMO they offer *just* enough of a sense of the whole art that we can make well-educated guesses about the blank spots, given really serious study.

    Most people supplement that material with techniques and drills from about 15 mostly "Bartitsu lineage" self-defense manuals we compiled in the second volume of the Bartitsu Compendium. Technically that's many hundreds more techniques; in practice instructors and groups tend to specialize a bit. Then there's a sub-set of enthusiasts who basically assume an anything goes approach, though in my experience they quickly move beyond the point where it makes sense to refer to what they're doing as "Bartitsu".

    Essentially, the Bartitsu revival is more of an ongoing experiment than an attempt to create (or re-create) a definitive "style". That open-endedness bugs some people, but it has its advantages.

    In terms of effectiveness, all the principals of the original Bartitsu Club were tough, skilled fighters in their own disciplines but I think Barton-Wright himself was the only one who really had a clear picture of the whole art. The jiujitsu instructors got very good at defeating European wrestlers, but there's no evidence that they ever learned Vigny stick fighting or savate - Barton-Wright said that he'd tried to teach Yukio Tani to box, but that Tani "had no aptitude for the sport". Pierre Vigny did pick up at least some basic jiujitsu and added it to his own style after the Bartitsu Club folded.

    Also, because there was no sporting venue that could test the whole art - a competition that allowed mixed boxing and jujitsu/wrestling, let alone adding stick fighting, would have been considered "brawling in a public place" under Edwardian English law - the best evidence is that the art was mostly developed behind closed doors. That's a big part of the revival, piecing together "what it might have been" by combining various sources and clues together.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by DdlR View Post

    Also, because there was no sporting venue that could test the whole art - a competition that allowed mixed boxing and jujitsu/wrestling, let alone adding stick fighting, would have been considered "brawling in a public place" under Edwardian English law - the best evidence is that the art was mostly developed behind closed doors.
    The first rule of Edwardian Fight Club...Never talk about Edwardian Fight Club! (I couldn't resist! someone had to go there...may as well be me. I still think this is a cool experiment, and have a weird fascination with it since reading through some of the material on the website)

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by DdlR View Post
    Hard to answer definitively because there's no standard modern curriculum beyond the roughly 40 ko-ryu kata and stickfighting set-plays Barton-Wright recorded back around 1900. IMO they offer *just* enough of a sense of the whole art that we can make well-educated guesses about the blank spots, given really serious study.

    Most people supplement that material with techniques and drills from about 15 mostly "Bartitsu lineage" self-defense manuals we compiled in the second volume of the Bartitsu Compendium. Technically that's many hundreds more techniques; in practice instructors and groups tend to specialize a bit. Then there's a sub-set of enthusiasts who basically assume an anything goes approach, though in my experience they quickly move beyond the point where it makes sense to refer to what they're doing as "Bartitsu".
    As far as training reference materials go, are you drawing from other resources and manuals accurate to the period, or is there a more narrow view of what is considered legitimate material?

    To rephrase the question, how broad is the spectrum of what would be considered useful or legit reference material? Are there any common reference materials outside of official "Bartitsu" manuals that are drawn from, for example...a specific manual illustrating boxing techniques, that is verified as accurate to the period, and is the go-to reference to fill in the boxing gaps?

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by DdlR View Post
    Essentially, the Bartitsu revival is more of an ongoing experiment than an attempt to create (or re-create) a definitive "style". That open-endedness bugs some people, but it has its advantages.
    How much consistency, or variation are you seeing in technique, from one club to the next?

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrouchyOldMan View Post
    As far as training reference materials go, are you drawing from other resources and manuals accurate to the period, or is there a more narrow view of what is considered legitimate material?

    To rephrase the question, how broad is the spectrum of what would be considered useful or legit reference material? Are there any common reference materials outside of official "Bartitsu" manuals that are drawn from, for example...a specific manual illustrating boxing techniques, that is verified as accurate to the period, and is the go-to reference to fill in the boxing gaps?
    The second volume of the Bartitsu Compendium compiles key excerpts from about 15 early 20th century self defense manuals, mostly from within the Bartitsu lineage, but people are free to use other sources as well.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrouchyOldMan View Post
    How much consistency, or variation are you seeing in technique, from one club to the next?
    It mostly comes down to individual training backgrounds - someone with a solid history of training, say, kickboxing, judo and HEMA sword fighting is in a pretty good place to reconstruct the canonical Bartitsu methods.

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by DdlR View Post
    It mostly comes down to individual training backgrounds - someone with a solid history of training, say, kickboxing, judo and HEMA sword fighting is in a pretty good place to reconstruct the canonical Bartitsu methods.
    I get that part. I was simply wondering how consistent the reconstruction seems to be from one group to the next.

    I would be curious to see a hypothetical throwdown between two independent groups. Not for the purposes of determining the winner, but to see if there are any marked and readily noticeable differences in style between the two camps.

  9. #19
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    Well, in a way you can see that in the winning entry in the sparring video contest. Most of the fighters came from different training backgrounds - MMA to escrima to san shou kickboxing to Dog Brothers sparring, longsword, rapier and Ringen. They're all fighting in the identifiably "Bartitsu" style required by the competition guidelines but the differences in interpretation are pretty clear. OTOH the aim of the contest was to experiment with and pressure-test the style guidelines; many of the fighters hadn't done much Bartitsu-specific training before, and obviously you also have to allow for individual athleticism, etc.

    AFAIK the second place winners (the Chilean group) all came from FMA backgrounds, so that's another opportunity to compare and contrast.

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by DdlR View Post
    Well, in a way you can see that in the winning entry in the sparring video contest. Most of the fighters came from different training backgrounds - MMA to escrima to san shou kickboxing to Dog Brothers sparring, longsword, rapier and Ringen. They're all fighting in the identifiably "Bartitsu" style required by the competition guidelines but the differences in interpretation are pretty clear. OTOH the aim of the contest was to experiment with and pressure-test the style guidelines; many of the fighters hadn't done much Bartitsu-specific training before, and obviously you also have to allow for individual athleticism, etc.

    AFAIK the second place winners (the Chilean group) all came from FMA backgrounds, so that's another opportunity to compare and contrast.
    **Mental note to self... Watch the video presented before asking stupid, inane questions.

    Thanks for indulging my laziness!

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