UFC Women’s Division: Shallow Talent Pool?

Is there a lack of top competition at the highest levels of Women’s MMA? Forum Bully “Devil” opines on the situation in the following discussion thread. What do you think?

What a waste of talent. On what planet does a fighter who has gotten massacred by the champ in two title fights get another shot at that same champ? Not close fights. Not controversial decisions. Massacres. With a broken arm to boot.

This matchup shows three things….

1. The talent pool in women’s MMA is complete garbage…

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  1. The Bartitsu Compendium (Lulu Publishing, US$25.00, 280 pages) is the ultimate guide to everything you never knew you wanted to know about Bartitsu, which was perhaps the first modern, eclectic martial arts system. Think “old-timey Jeet Kune Do”, or the gentlemanly umbrella fighting style of John Steed in the TV series “the Avengers”, and you’re on the right track.

    Bartitsu was founded in the late 1800s by E.W. Barton-Wright, who was almost
    certainly the first Westerner ever to teach Asian martial arts, having studied several traditional jiujitsu ryu while working as an engineer in Japan. However, as is detailed in the Compendium, Barton-Wright went several steps beyond that and actually created his own eclectic martial art (named after himself) when he returned to England.

    Bartitsu was a combination of the Shinden-Fudo Ryu and Tenshin-Shinyo-Ryu forms of jiujitsu along with early Kodokan judo, with additional elements drawn from street savate (French kickboxing), English “scientific boxing” or pugilism, and a style of combat using a walking stick that had been developed by one of Barton-Wright’s collaborators, Pierre Vigny.

    The first half of the Bartitsu Compendium comprehensively details the history of Bartitsu, with numerous chapters devoted to biographies of Barton-Wright, Vigny, the Japanese jiujitsu expert Yukio Tani, and other key figures associated with Barton-Wright’s “Bartitsu Club” during the early 1900s. There are also several extensive articles detailing the self-defense and martial arts genres of that period, with information on such topics as “purring” (a brutal shin-kicking sport), the revival of quarterstaff fighting in the English army, and much more, as well as reprints of old newspaper reports on Bartitsu displays and tournaments.

    One of the most entertaining sections is an excerpt from the autobiography of Armand Cherpillod, a Swiss wrestler who was an instructor at the Bartitsu Club and who fought numerous MMA-style challenge matches in London. Another interesting chapter deals with the association between Bartistu/jiujitsu and the Suffragette (early feminist) movement. About half of these chapters are modern and the other half are reprints of hundred-year-old magazine and newspaper articles.

    The second half of the book includes what is called the “canonical Bartitsu curriculum”. This amounts to about sixty self defense sequences drawn mostly from ko-ryu jiujitsu and the Vigny stick fighting system, with traces of savate and boxing thrown in for good measure. Once you get past the comedy appeal of the straw boater hats and handlebar moustaches, Bartitsu looks to have been a pretty practical method of self defence, geared towards combat against both street attackers and skilled boxers, savateurs, etc.

    Three appendices include a bizarre 1901 magazine article on how to protect yourself against attackers while riding a bicycle, an article by Barton-Wright on how to perform “strong man tricks” and a short essay on the connection between Bartitsu and Sherlock Holmes.

    Finally, the Bartitsu Compendium also includes a detailed bibliography and index, which come in very handy given the book’s size (280 large pages).

    In all, the book is a very interesting read. A certain amount of information is repeated several times by different writers, but that is forgivable in an anthology of this size, when different writers are using the same historical source material. The illustrations (photographs and drawings) are mostly re-printed from old books and newspaper articles but are generally clear and easy to follow.

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