6/10/2009 12:53pm, #1
The function of boxing/savate in Bartitsu
E.W. Barton-Wright's Bartitsu was the first known self defense system to combine Japanese and European martial arts/combat sports. The fact that it combined several styles of jujitsu together with Pierre Vigny's walking stick system, English "scientific boxing" and French savate has been well-established.
However, although Barton-Wright detailed a number of his jujitsu and stick fighting techniques in magazine articles, etc., he seldom specifically addressed the places of boxing and savate in the overall Bartitsu curriculum.
I've been carefully re-reading B-W's own words on this subject and have reached the tentative conclusion that neither boxing nor savate were intended to be used "as is", in the sense of academic or sporting "trading of blows". I'm taking for granted that, with his strong orientation towards street self defense, Barton-Wright would not have had much time for the balletic high kicks common in middle-class Parisian salles de savate at the turn of the 20th century.
Rather, on the assumption that pugilism and street-kicking represented common forms of attack in the streets, it seems likely that Bartitsu practitioners were encouraged to become familiar enough with both styles that they could use Vigny canne and/or jiujitsu against them.
That would have necessitated learning at least the basic attacks and, perhaps more thoroughly, the defences of both savate and boxing, primarily for training purposes. However, there may not have been any intention of using, say, a left lead-off punch or a coup de pied bas kick in self defence; they may have been studied so that a Bartitsu practitioner could practice guarding against these sorts of attacks, so that members of the Bartitsu Club could "role-play" as boxers and savateurs for training purposes.
Barton-Wright evidently saw the advantages in sparring (boxing and savate) for purposes of conditioning and learning realistic timing, etc. However, Bartitsu as a self defence art may have deliberately downplayed boxing punches and savate kicks. It may have been more a process of training in how to use the defensive techniques of boxing and savate, in conjunction with the defensive and counter-offensive skills of jiujitsu and Vigny canne, against attackers using jj, savate, boxing, stick fighting, etc.
Bartitsu therefore resolves itself into this: if one gets into a row and plays the game in the recognised style of English fair play � with fists �the opponent will very likely rush in and close, in order to avoid a blow. Then comes the moment for wrestling in the secret Japanese way. Instantly the unwary one is caught and thrown so violently that he is placed hors de combat, without even sufficient strength left to retire unassisted from the field.
Again, should it happen that the assailant is a better boxer than oneself, the knowledge of Japanese wrestling will enable one to close and throw him without any risk of getting hurt oneself.
in the first instance? He seems to be saying that, in a real fight, the opponent may force his way in to close quarters anyway, and that if the opponent is a better boxer then it makes good tactical sense for the Bartitsuka to close in and use jiujitsu against him. The question of whether the Bartitsu student should initiate the attack by punching or kicking, or wait for the opponent's attack, would presumably depend on the situation.
In his lecture to the Japan Society, B-W said:
In order to ensure as far as it was possible absolute immunity as against injury in cowardly attacks or quarrels, they must understand boxing in order to thoroughly appreciate the danger and rapidity of a well-directed blow, and the particular parts of the body which were specially liable to bring
about absolute collapse if scientifically attacked. The same remarks, of
course, applied to the use of the foot or the stick.
Ju-do and Ju-jitsu were not designed as primary means of attack and defence
against a boxer or a man who kicks you, but were only supposed to be used
after coming to close quarters, and in order to get to close quarters it was
absolutely necessary to understand boxing and the use of the foot. Ju-do and
Ju-jitsu, however, were very reliable means of self-defence against Japanese
arid all foreigners who did not understand the scientific use of the fist or
best form of defence but that it was necessary to understand enough of the
other styles to be able to counter them; �to get to close quarters� when
facing a stick fighter, a boxer or a kicker, who may attack in ways that are
not accounted for in the jujitsu curriculum. That is literally bridging
the gap, so the question is, was he advocating learning boxing and savate
attacks or defenses to get in close?
The answer is almost certainly "all of the above", but it's an interesting exercise to try to divine some preferred tactics and a sense of proportions from what Barton-Wright wrote.
Last edited by DdlR; 6/10/2009 1:27pm at .
6/10/2009 1:17pm, #2
Man, I fucking LOVE your WMA threads.
Partially, its the good info.
And also, I find the florid period prose of the articles hysterical.
"And one may then provide the Rapscallion with a Fair Throttling, if that is pleasing to One's Fancy", etc etc."You know what I like about you, William? You like guns AND meditation."
6/10/2009 1:19pm, #3
6/10/2009 1:37pm, #4
Incidentally, I recently read some great stuff about what a Stone Cold Badass Jim Bowie was."You know what I like about you, William? You like guns AND meditation."
6/10/2009 10:32pm, #5
- Join Date
- Mar 2004
- Dayton, OH
His legend is that of an American Hero. I'd rather hang out with the Legend than who historians tell us the real guy was.
And I consider myself a Bowie Knife fella.
Peace favor your sword,
6/11/2009 3:39am, #6
- Join Date
- Oct 2006
- windsor UK
That the way I understand it as well
As far as bridging well do we know what JJ style he studied?
For example, the aikido I practice every thing starts with a punch or a kick, and I have been in JJ courses where they start up with an atemi.
So may be there is a bit of crossover there as well, if you are to strike, you might as well use savate and boxing to set the whole gag up.
6/11/2009 3:49am, #7
- Join Date
- Oct 2006
- windsor UK
O tempora o mores.
That was the way things were at the time.
You know Joffroy de Charny, the epitome and the embodiment of chivalric virtues, as per 14th century standard, was a right bastard.
He wrote a book on being a knight and it is how to be the perfect right bastard manual.
William le Marshal, a famous and praised anglo-norman knight got rich and famous by ganging up with his how little troupe and by breaking deal with other knights to gang up on a given knight at tournaments and share the profit.
6/11/2009 10:11am, #8