Bartitsu Demonstration in Oxford (1902)

  • Originally published on the site on Monday, 25th April 2011

Thanks to Chris Amendola for tracking down this review of a circa January 1902 Bartitsu exhibition in Oxford, U.K. It appears that Barton-Wright also toured his “troupe” to Cambridge University during this period.

Though it was only a small audience which gathered at the Town Hall on Tuesday last week to see the exhibition of the Bartitsu school of self-defence, those who were present had no reason to regret having come. The feats of the two Japanese champions were really somewhat extraordinary, and we should not like to have to hazard a guess as to the secret of their skill; possibly it may have been something in the way of disposal of force, some system of balance. That it was perfectly genuine was soon discovered by those who tried to test it; that it was not a matter of mere strength was clear from their bouts with Mr. Whittall of New College, who, though obviously the stronger man, was overcome by the Japanese in the end. Not the least remarkable of their exploits was the way in which they managed to avoid getting damaged in falls in which it looked as if they must be killed, or at the least knocked senseless. Altogether it was a very interesting performance.

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