Wing Chun and BKB really are pretty similar in many respects. I read the slapping early on in that fight as Holmes just slap-boxing, as in toying with his opponent and testing his stuff rather than going for damage. There were some techniques that were identifiably Chun and others that may as well have been either/both. Overall, I'd say Richard Ryan did a great job of creating a believable blend.
Originally Posted by SBG-ape
Watson's fighting style was definitely closer to classic Bartitsu, even down to his throwing an overcoat into the face of at least one of his opponents. That was vintage E.W. Barton-Wright.
I'm pretty sure he used his hat too at one point.
The boxing content of Bartitsu in general is another one of "the great mysteries".
We know that E.W. Barton-Wright had studied boxing before he went to Japan, and he was adamant about including it in his definition of Bartitsu. He tried to teach it to Yukio Tani, but he said that Tani "had no aptitude for the sport"; he also said that he had modified boxing to make it better suited for street self defense, but all we know about that is that there was some change made to the guard positions, which were "more numerous" in Bartitsu boxing.
He also advocated squaring off as if you planned to box, to sucker a street opponent:
In order to ensure as far as it was possible immunity against injury in cowardly attacks or quarrels, (a student) 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 scientifically attacked. The same, of course, applied to the use of the foot or the stick.
Judo and jujitsu were not designed as primary means of attack and defence against a boxer or a man who kicks you, but were only 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.
In general, the impression is that students at the Bartitsu Club trained in a somewhat eccentric form of boxing, and that Barton-Wright was moving towards an MMA/JKD type combination of boxing and jujitsu. Unfortunately, we don't know whether he ever got there before the Club closed down.
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.
Last edited by DdlR; 12/30/2009 8:10am at .
Yeah, and Holmes used that handkerchief in the BKB fight. Using clothing as improvised weapons was a characteristic of 19th century European "antagonistics", but Barton-Wright's overcoat trick is the only recorded example of that tactic in historical Bartitsu.
Originally Posted by GenericUnique
I claim no great knowledge of Bartitsu beyond this article which mentions using the hat, and seems to have a period photo of such.
Originally Posted by DdlR
Regarding the RNC, armbar etc. in the fight scenes - while these probably come across as BJJ to most viewers today, and in fact probably were Guy Ritchie's input from his BJJ/judo experience, they were also very much a part of the pre-WW1 "British jiujitsu" blend.
As far as we can tell, the jujitsu taught at the Bartitsu Club was a combination of Barton-Wright's Shinden Fudo Ryu and (probably) judo as well as everything Tani and Uyenishi brought to the table. When the latter two wrote their books a few years later, they included a wide range of newaza locks and chokes.
Little-known fact; Mitsuyo Maeda wrestled on the same London music hall circuit as Tani and Uyenishi, before making it big in Brazil.
Close, but no cigar. That's a decent article, but it plays a bit fast and loose with its sources and with historical accuracy.
Originally Posted by GenericUnique
The picture of the elderly gentleman using his hat as a shield is actually from Andrew Chase Cunningham's book, The Cane as a Weapon, which was published in the USA in 1912 - well after the Bartitsu Club era. We don't know of any connection between Cunningham and Bartitsu; Cunningham's cane self defense style only tangentially resembles Vigny's/Barton-Wright's.
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