Posted On:8/26/2010 11:02am
Some newly-discovered c1900 articles on the Bartitsu Club, courtesy of Martial History Magazine (an excellent blog).
These short articles reveal the shifting definitions of Bartitsu between 1899 (when, arguably, the term referred to "Barton-Wright's jiujitsu") and 1902 (when it seemed to include almost every skill/fighting style taught at the Club).
The first article makes it very clear that the Bartitsu School of Arms and Physical Culture was not a "martial arts club" or public gym in the modern sense, but rather a sporting club in the Victorian English tradition. People had to apply for membership and to be "respectable" in order to be accepted. IMO that policy probably helped to bring about the Club's downfall, as I think that Barton-Wright over-estimated the number of "respectable" Londoners who shared his passion for exotic martial arts.
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Bartitsu: the Gentlemanly Art of Self Defence (est. 1899)
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