There has been a long-standing confusion regarding E.W. Barton-Wright’s use of the words jiujitsu and Bartitsu, and the implications of how he chose to present and promote his “New Art of Self Defence”. One current take on the subject, common when Barton-Wright’s name and art appear in Internet discussions, is that Barton-Wright actually claimed to have invented jiujitsu, or at least that he mis-represented the art to the British public. The truth may be rather more complicated than that. This essay attempts to trace the practical evolution of Bartitsu as a martial art, Barton-Wright’s own definition of that art, and the sometimes ambiguous relationship between Bartitsu and jiujitsu.
NB, Bartitsu (founded in 1899) was the first MA to combine sian and European fighting styles, namely savate, jujitsu, boxing and stick fighting.