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"Bartitsu: Its Exponent Interviewed" (1901)

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    "Bartitsu: Its Exponent Interviewed" (1901)

    http://www.bartitsu.org/index.php/20...erviewed-1901/

    A recently discovered 1901 interview with E.W. Barton-Wright, the founder of Bartitsu. It offers some intriguing clues and details about the place of (kick)boxing in the Bartitsu repertoire, which has been a matter of speculation in the modern revival movement.

    #2
    I saw this a while back and it looks like something I would wanna learn

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      #3
      Liked this part of the interview:

      ...The amateur is seldom taught how to hit really hard, which is what you must
      do in a row. Nor is he protected against the savate, which would
      certainly be used on him by foreign ruffians, or the cowardly kicks often given
      by the English Hooligan...
      Foreign ruffians and English Hooligans, what's the world coming too :)

      Saying that, I wouldn't mind learning this too.

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        #4
        We've been discussing the "foreign ruffians" line over on the Bartitsu Forum. At first glance it reads like typical Victorian xenophobia, but it's likely that Barton-Wright was simply saying that since a foreign (particularly French) opponent might well be trained in savate, the Bartitsu practitioner should know how to defend against a skilled kicker. Savate was all but unknown in London when this interview took place.

        Re. learning Bartitsu, there's a list of clubs and study groups at http://www.bartitsu.org/index.php/bartitsu-today/ and a how-to guide for setting up new clubs at http://www.bartitsu.org/index.php/ba...-and-training/ .

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          #5
          Originally posted by DdlR View Post
          We've been discussing the "foreign ruffians" line over on the Bartitsu Forum[/URL]. At first glance it reads like typical Victorian xenophobia...
          I was laughing because phrases that was once acceptable now aren't or are frown upon, not really for any other reason. A bit like Australian Santas Asked Not to 'Ho Ho Ho' down under :)

          Originally posted by DdlR View Post
          Re. learning Bartitsu, there's a list of clubs and study groups at http://www.bartitsu.org/index.php/bartitsu-today/ and a how-to guide for setting up new clubs at http://www.bartitsu.org/index.php/ba...-and-training/ .
          Thanks mate, unfortunately there are no clubs near to where I live (let alone in the same county).

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            #6
            "As to boxing, we have guards which are not at all like the guards taught in schools, and which will make the assailant hurt his own hand and arm very seriously. So we teach a savate not at all like the French savate, but much more deadly, and which, if properly used, will smash the opponent’s ankle or even his ribs."

            What a great find! Are there visuals for the guards in the Bartitsu Compendiums?

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              #7
              Originally posted by MGM View Post

              What a great find! Are there visuals for the guards in the Bartitsu Compendiums?
              Barton-Wright wrote detailed articles covering some of the jujitsu and stickfighting content, but this 1901 interview is actually the most detail we've ever found on his "modified boxing and savate" - everything else on that subject is just vague hints. We're assuming that the "destructive guards" were most likely elbow blocks/shields to the opponents fists, whereas the "savate" aspect was probably kicking into the opponent's kicks. It definitely adds a new wrinkle to the Bartitsu revival.

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                #8
                Rather than start a whole new thread on this, I figured I would ask in this existing one.

                Regarding setting up a new club, how does one go about it? The article referenced earlier mentioned having sufficient experience in one of the source arts and the Bartitsu Compendium vol 1&2.

                Is that all there is to it?

                There's a club about 2-3 hours away from me in OK, however I'd like to see a group started where I am. There's a new fencing school that has recently opened here and I'm thinking about approaching them to see if there is any interest.

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                  #9
                  The Bartitsu revival is a bit unusual in martial arts terms in that it's an open-source, community experiment rather than an attempt to create a fully codified system. On that basis, the Bartitsu Society encourages interested parties to set up their own club/study group/etc.

                  Different groups go about it in different ways - some are collaborations between people who have diverse training backgrounds, others are run by individuals who have experience in all or many of the "sub-styles", etc.

                  If you get into it you should also join the Bartitsu Forum, which is where all the cool kids hang out - http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/Bartitsu_Forum/ .
                  Last edited by DdlR; 10/29/2011 8:36pm, .

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                    #10
                    If I can get interest in it and buy the compedium volumes then I am good to go so long as we follow the written material?

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                      #11
                      Pretty much, yes. The Bartitsu Society is completely non-political - we don't certify people or schools, there are no dues to pay, etc. Mainly, we're just all interested in seeing what would have happened if Barton-Wright's cross-training experiments hadn't been abandoned around 1902.

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by AMF View Post
                        If I can get interest in it and buy the compedium volumes then I am good to go so long as we follow the written material?
                        Forgot to mention that the first Compendium presents what we call the "canonical syllabus", which is all the techniques and sequences Barton-Wright himself presented as Bartitsu circa 1901. The second Compendium presents resources for neo-Bartitsu, which is basically what Bartitsu can be today, in the sense of modern practitioners continuing Barton-Wright's experiments. We all use similar historical sources (including the canonical stuff), but different people take it in different directions.

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                          #13
                          Great, thanks for the help.

                          I will be purchasing them here in the very near future and seeing if I can garner some interest.

                          Is Cunninghams' "the cane as a weapon" a good resource for cane?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            That's actually kind of hard to answer. Many of the techniques in the Cunningham system are similar or identical to those of the Vigny system, which tends to be our default resource for Bartitsu stick fighting. I think I'm right in saying that all the people who have taken a serious interest in Cunningham are members of the Bartitsu Society, but we tend to look on it as an adjunct study rather than as a source for Bartitsu per se. The consensus is that if you cast your net too widely beyond the Bartitsu "lineage" sources, you end up with a Frankenstyle.

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