Bartitsu & Neo-Bartitsu

Victorian Self-Defense for the Modern Citizen


Written by David McCormick on July 10th, 2016 6:49 pm in Blog
This week, we’re adding to our appreciation of Bartitsu from all angles: more fun, more science, and more people! Additional Fun Tony Wolf, editor of The Bartitsu Compendium, the author of the Suffrajitsu graphic novel trilogy, manager of, and awesome guy, has converted a board game from 1909 that pits Suffragettes against Police into […]

The Science of Bartitsu

Written by David McCormick on June 26th, 2016 6:22 pm in Blog
Bartitsu is a historical practice, but it is stimulating to study because it is a scientific approach to self-defence from an age of Western science. I don’t seek to impose a scientific analysis on top of an ancient tradition, because Bartitsu was founded on the two pillars of sound engineering: Employ proven principles from established […]

Canne de Combat Video

Written by David McCormick on June 12th, 2016 6:39 pm in Blog
La Canne de Combat is French for “combat cane” and is distinct from Bartitsu’s walking stick self-defense. La Canne Francaise (“French cane”) was a branch of savate, and remains a part of some savate schools. Pierre Vigny brought some of the aspects of La Canne to Bartitsu, with his own interpretations and modifications for the […]

Bullying Kids and Grownups

Written by David McCormick on May 23rd, 2016 1:17 am in Blog
The use of violence and the threat of violence to force someone to do something they wouldn’t ordinarily do is not only universally regarded as wrong, it is also universally regarded as unavoidable. I just read a great article on Kotaku about the short series in Calvin and Hobbes that featured the bully Moe: So […]

Punching and Rapier

Written by David McCormick on May 8th, 2016 5:40 am in Blog
Although Bartitsu does not draw from the Italian traditions, the four hand positions clearly match. Especially for the rapier students at Academie Duello who are also Bartitsuka, I present “Boxing Interpreted as Italian Sword” without further commentary: Prima This pairs with what I call “over-pronated” punches, and what some mistakenly call “the chopper”. Seconda This […]

Hit the Homunculus

Written by David McCormick on April 24th, 2016 12:54 am in Blog
I love taking workshops with experts who have a lot of experience like Marco Quarta. The value of their coaching is immense, but I get even more from their explanations, their unique perspectives and the insights about why we choose certain movements. Maestro Quarta is an expert in Italian martial arts, especially traditional and modern […]

Where Bartitsu Fits by Comparison

Written by David McCormick on April 10th, 2016 6:39 pm in Blog
In speaking generally about kinds of martial arts and how to compare Bartitsu to other more familiar systems, sometimes we have to clarify our terms and classifications. One way to think about combat practice is to consider where the philosophy that underpins its rules and methods fits on a spectrum. Abstraction vs. Pragmatism One spectrum […]

Batitsu Discussion Points

Written by David McCormick on April 3rd, 2016 4:49 pm in Blog
Here’s a selection of items of note from the Bartitsu Society of late. Salford Scuttlers Check out this two-part video on the Scuttlers problem of 1890s Manchester: This is exactly the sort of street violence that Bartitsu was intended to counter. Comparing Vigny and Barton-Wright I highly recommend this recent article by Tony Wolf on […]

Shillelagh or Irish Stick Fighting

Written by David McCormick on March 20th, 2016 2:26 am in Blog
St. Patrick’s Day was this week, so let’s celebrate the shillelagh, or blackthorn walking stick and its fighting style. As Jon Mills explained in his post, the general Irish term for stick fighting is Bataireacht. The shillelagh itself is a single piece of blackthorn or oak about three feet long. Longer sticks were called wattles […]

Martial Intent

Written by David McCormick on March 8th, 2016 1:05 am in Blog
At our rank exams, we evaluate students by how they demonstrate certain techniques alone and against a partner, as well as their use in sparring. Many students are most nervous about the competitive aspect and not being able to plan exactly what will happen in the sparring component. However, I see more students get reduced […]

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