Who Invented Bartitsu

Bartitsu is an eclectic martial art and self-defense method originally developed in England in 1898-1902, combining elements of boxing, jujitsu, cane fighting and French kickboxing (savate). In 1903, it was immortalised (as "baritsu") by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes mystery stories. In 1898, Edward William Barton-Wright, an English engineer who had spent the previous three years living in Japan, returned to England and announced the formation of a "New Art of Self Defense". This art, he claimed, combined the best elements of a range of fighting styles into a unified whole, which he had named Bartitsu. Barton-Wright had previously also studied "boxing, wrestling, fencing, savate and the use of the stiletto under recognized masters", reportedly testing his skills by "engaging toughs (street fighters) until (he) was satisfied in their application. " He defined Bartitsu (ばちつ) as meaning "self defense in all its forms"; the word was a portmanteau of his own surname and of "Jujitsu". As detailed in a series of articles Barton-Wright produced for Pearson's Magazine between 1899 and 1901, Bartitsu was largely drawn from the Shinden Fudo Ryu jujutsu of Terajima Kunichiro (not to be confused with the SFR taijutsu associated with the Bujinkan lineage) and from Kodokan judo.

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As it became established in London, the art expanded to incorporate combat techniques from other jujutsu styles as well as from British boxing, Swiss schwingen, French savate and a defensive canne de combat (stick fighting) style that had been developed by Pierre Vigny of Switzerland. Bartitsu also included a comprehensive physical culture training system. Under Bartitsu is included boxing, or the use of the fist as a hitting medium, the use of the feet both in an offensive and defensive sense, the use of the walking stick as a means of self-defence. Judo and jujitsu, which are secret styles of Japanese wrestling, (I) would call close play as applied to self-defence. In order to ensure, as far as it is possible, immunity against injury in cowardly attacks or quarrels, (one) must understand boxing in order to thoroughly appreciate the danger and rapidity of a well-directed blow, and the particular parts of the body which are scientifically attacked. The same, of course, applies to the use of the foot or the stick.

39;s Magazine of Physical Culture vol.

Judo and jujitsu were not designed as primary means of attack and defense against a boxer or a man who kicks you, but are only to be used after coming to close quarters, and in order to get to close quarters it is absolutely necessary to understand boxing and the use of the foot. Between 1899 and 1902, Barton-Wright set about publicizing his art through magazine articles, interviews and a series of demonstrations or "assaults at arms" at various London venues. He established the Bartitsu Academy of Arms and Physical Culture, known as the Bartitsu Club, which was located at 67b Shaftesbury Avenue in Soho. In an article for Sandow's Magazine of Physical Culture vol. Via correspondence with Professor Jigoro Kano, the founder of Kodokan Judo, and other contacts in Japan, Barton-Wright arranged for Japanese jujutsu practitioners Kaneo Tani, Seizo Yamamoto and the nineteen-year-old Yukio Tani to travel to London and serve as instructors at the Bartitsu Club. Kaneo Tani and Yamamoto soon returned to Japan, but Yukio Tani stayed and was shortly joined by another young jujutsuka, Sadakazu Uyenishi.

Swiss master-at-arms Pierre Vigny and wrestler Armand Cherpillod were also employed as teachers at the Club. As well as teaching well-to-do Londoners, their duties included performing demonstrations and competing in challenge matches against fighters representing other combat styles. In addition, the Club became the headquarters for a group of fencing antiquarians led by Captain Alfred Hutton and it served as their base for experimenting with historical fencing techniques, which they taught to members of London's acting elite for use in stage combat. It is likely that the actors Esme Beringer and Charles Sefton, as well as fencer Archibald Corble, were among Hutton's historical fencing students at the Bartitsu Club. In mid-1901, the curriculum of Bartitsu was further expanded to include breathing exercises under the tuition of Kate Behnke. As well as the combat gymnasium, the Bartitsu Club incorporated a well-appointed salon equipped with a wide range of electrotherapy machines. The club was organized on the model of the Victorian sporting club; prospective members submitted their applications to a committee, which at one time included both Captain Alfred Hutton and Colonel George Malcolm Fox, former Inspector-General of the British Army's Physical Training Corps.

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Promoters of the Club included politicians Herbert Gladstone and Lord Alwyne Compton. Bartitsu Club membership included Sir Cosmo Duff Gordon, who was later one of the few adult male survivors of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, as well as Captain FC Laing of the 12th Bengal Infantry, who later wrote an article on Bartitsu stick fighting techniques which was published in the Journal of the United Service Institution of India. Other members included expatriate French fencing master and journalist Anatole Paroissien and messrs. Marshall, Collard, Marchant, Roger Noel, Percy Rolt, Lieutenant Glossop and Captains Ernest George Stenson Cooke and Frank Herbert Whittow, both also members of the London Rifle Brigade School of Arms, under the direction of Captain Hutton; and William Henry Grenfell, the 1st Baron Desborough, who was named as the Club president. Barton-Wright later reported that, during this period, he had challenged and defeated seven larger men within three minutes as part of a Bartitsu demonstration he gave at St.

James's Hall. He said this feat earned him a membership in the prestigious Bath Club and also a Royal Command to appear before Edward, Prince of Wales. Barton-Wright then suffered an injury to his hand, due either to a fight in a Kentish country lane or a bicycling accident, which prevented him from appearing before the Prince. Barton-Wright encouraged members of the Bartitsu Club to study each of the four major hand-to-hand combat styles taught at the club, each of which broadly corresponded to a different “range” of personal combat. The goal was to master each style well enough that they could be used against the others if needed. This process was similar to the modern concept of cross-training and it can be argued that Bartitsu itself was more in the nature of a cross-training system than a formal martial arts style. Based on Barton-Wright's writings upon this subject, it is evident that Bartitsu placed greatest emphasis upon the Vigny cane fighting system at the striking range and upon jujutsu (and, secondarily, the "all-in" style of European wrestling) at the grappling range. Savate and boxing methods were used to segue between these two ranges, or as a means of first response should the defender not be armed with a walking stick.

39;s face and head, throat, elbows, hands and wrists, solar plexus, knees and shins.

These sports were also practiced so that Bartitsu students could learn how to defend against them through the use of jujutsu and Vigny stick fighting. The stick fighting component was based on the two fundamental tactics of either feinting/striking pre-emptively or "baiting" the opponent's strike via a position of invitation. Fighting from the style's characteristic high- and double-handed guard positions, stick strikes and thrusts targeted the opponent's face and head, throat, elbows, hands and wrists, solar plexus, knees and shins. The Bartitsu stick fighter would often incorporate close combat techniques such as trips, throws and takedowns, which probably represent a fusion of the Vigny stick system with jujutsu. Barton-Wright spoke of having modified the techniques of boxing and savate for self-defence purposes, as distinct from academic and fitness training or sporting competition, referring to guards that would cause an attacking boxer to injure his own fists and to defenses that would cause an attacking kicker to damage his own leg. Thus, the tactics of the unarmed Bartitsu practitioner were to mount an aggressive defense, employing damaging variations of standard boxing and savate guards, and then to finish the fight with jujutsu, which Barton-Wright evidently viewed as a type of secret weapon during an era in which his Shaftesbury Avenue academy was the only place in England where it could be learned. According to interviewer Mary Nugent, Barton-Wright instituted an unusual pedagogical system whereby students were first required to attend private training sessions before being allowed to join class groups. It is evident that Bartitsu classes included pre-arranged exercises, especially for use in rehearsing those techniques that were too dangerous to be performed at full speed or contact, as well as free-sparring and fencing bouts.

According to an anonymous article published in "The Sketch" of April 10, 1901, these sessions may have involved a type of circuit training in which students would rotate between small group classes taught by each of the specialist instructors. Many Bartitsu self-defence techniques and training sequences were recorded by Barton-Wright himself in his series of articles for Pearson's Magazine. The specific details of other Bartitsu stick fighting training drills were recorded in Captain Laing's article. By mid-1902, the Bartitsu Club was no longer active as a martial arts school. The precise reasons for the Club's closure are unknown, but jujutsu instructor William Garrud then suggested that both the enrollment fees and tuition fees had been too high. It is likely that Barton-Wright had simply overestimated the number of wealthy Londoners who shared his interest in exotic self-defence systems. Subsequently, most of Barton-Wright's former employees, including jujutsuka Yukio Tani and Sadakazu Uyenishi and Swiss self-defence expert Pierre Vigny, established their own self-defence and combat sports gymnasiums in London. After breaking with Barton-Wright, purportedly due to an argument and a fight, Tani also continued his work as a professional music-hall wrestler under the shrewd management of William Bankier, a strength performer and magazine publisher who went by the stage name of " Apollo".

Bankier's promotional efforts helped to spur the international fad for jujutsu that Barton-Wright had begun, and which included the publication of numerous books and magazine articles as well as the establishment of jujutsu schools throughout the Western world. Bartitsu per se never again returned to prominence during Barton-Wright's lifetime. Bartitsu might have been completely forgotten if not for a cryptic reference by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in one of his Sherlock Holmes mystery stories. In 1903 Conan Doyle had revived Holmes for a further story, "The Adventure of the Empty House", in which Holmes explained his victory over Professor Moriarty in their struggle at Reichenbach Falls by the use of "baritsu, or the Japanese system of wrestling, which has more than once been very useful to me". Bartitsu demonstration in London but misspelled the name as baritsu. It is likely that Conan Doyle used the 1901 London Times article as source material, copying the "baritsu" misspelling verbatim, particularly in that he had Holmes define "baritsu" as "Japanese wrestling", which was the same phrase used in the newspaper headline. Given the popularity of the Sherlock Holmes stories, the fact that Holmes credited his survival and victory against Moriarty to "baritsu", and the fact that EWBarton-Wright's martial art and, with it, its name's proper spelling had quickly faded from popular memory, the confusion of names persisted through much of the 20th century. In an article for The Baker Street Journal Christmas Annual of 1958, journalist Ralph Judson correctly identified baritsu with Bartitsu, but Judson's article eventually became obscured.

1990s scholars including Yuichi Hirayama, John Hall, Richard Bowen, and James Webb were able to confidently identify and document the martial art of Sherlock Holmes. EW Barton-Wright spent the remainder of his career working as a physical therapist specializing in innovative (and sometimes controversial) forms of heat, light, and radiation therapy. He continued to use the name "Bartitsu" with reference to his various therapeutic businesses. In 1950, he was interviewed by Gunji Koizumi for an article appearing in the Budokwai newsletter, and later that year he was presented to the audience at a Budokwai gathering in London as "the pioneer of jiujitsu in Great Britain". In many ways, EW Barton-Wright was a man ahead of his time. He was among the first Europeans known to have studied the Japanese martial arts, and was almost certainly the first to have taught them in Europe, the British Empire or the Americas. Bartitsu was the first martial art to have deliberately combined Asian and European fighting styles towards addressing the problems of civilian/urban self-defense in an "unarmed society". In this, Barton-Wright anticipated Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do approach by over seventy years. A similar philosophy of pragmatic eclecticism was taken up by other early 20th-century European self-defence specialists, including Percy Longhurst, William Garrud and Jean Joseph-Renaud, all of whom had studied with former Bartitsu Club instructors. In 1906, Renaud introduced a similar concept in France named "Défense Dans la Rue" in order to fight the increase of street violence at the time. This art was a mixture of boxing, savate and jiu-jitsu inherited from bartitsu, and was broadened by contemporary authors like mile André and George Dubois, who had been influenced by master-at-arms Joseph Charlemont.


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