Bartitsu Workshop Wrap Up

I taught bartitsu and neo-bartitsu this past Sunday at Academie Duello. This was an all-day workshop from 10am to 5pm. Although the day was hot, and we had to share the salle with the secondaries workshop happening concurrently, I consider it a success.


We had 6 participants, which was an ideal number for this workshop. Next time, I’ll aim for a larger group only if we have the whole space. As it stood, neither group was cramped, and on a sweltering day, that’s important.


10 am: Warm up, introduction to Bartitsu

  • Meet attendees
  • Discuss context and history
  • Physical warm up
  • Tactics: avoidance (e.g. walk in middle of street)
  • Tactics: effective action – equilibrium (stance, opponent’s)
  • Tactics: effective action – distance (weapon danger zone)

11 am: Self-Defence in 19th Century

  • Thrown overcoat
  • Backfall/Breakfall
  • Arm lever (from lapel grab, from overhead attack)
  • Jiujitsu/Judo throws (from grab, from overhead, from bear-hug)

12 pm: Walking Stick

  • Stances and Grips
  • Cuts and Thrusts, with footwork
  • Guard by distance (step back)
  • Guard by distance (step in)
  • Invitation to head

1 pm: Lunch
2 pm: Scientific Boxing, Savate

  • Stance
  • Striking: lead, cross
  • Defense: guard right (inside), guard left (outside)
  • Kicks: chasse-croise, coup de pied bas

3 pm: Modern Unarmed

  • De-escalation posture, reaction to grab
  • Psychological dominance (rapidity, direction, initiative)
  • Saving the knuckles (palm strike, elbows)
  • Systema punch
  • Sticky hands/chi gung flow
  • Reintegration with Neo-bartitsu: principles.

4 pm: Modern Umbrella

  • Umbrella weaknesses (not a “stout stick”)
  • Grip(s)
  • “Lighter stick” drills (preemptive strike to head, throw/kick/hook/figure-4)
  • “vs boxer” drill (jump to outside, turn 180, strike knee/shin)
  • Open umbrella as cloak for leg attack


Here is a 6-minute clip from the workshop. This is towards the end (after 4pm) when I was discussing Neo-bartitsu. We had already done umbrella, and added comments about knife defense.


If my participants would like to use the comment section below, I’d love to hear your reactions to the workshop. Did anything surprise you? What was your favourite section? Did you think of any questions afterwards?


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