Bartitsu the Art of Real Self Defence (St. James’s Gazette, June 2, 1901)

  • Originally published on the site on Friday, 12th August 2016
Bath Club 3

It is interesting to notice that the Bartitsu system of physical culture, which we mentioned with approval in these columns some time since, has attracted sufficient attention to justify the formation a Bartitsu Club.

Bartitsu, it may be stated for the benfit of the uninitiated, is real self defence, comprising walking-stick play, boxing, la savate (not French savate), and a secret style of wrestling, with innumerable tricks and counters. It is a curious name, and its methods are curious also.

But the Bartitsu school does not limit itself to the instruction of self-defence. Not all of us are liable, or we hope, to the aggression of the Hooligan; but there are many of who are interested in the healthy development of physical functions. The Bartitsu Club has opened an Academy of Arms at Piccadilly-circus-mansions, and here instruction may be obtained, in fencing, sabre-play, gymnastics of all sorts, and in Behuke’s (sic – “Behnke’s”) system of midriff breathing. Behuke is a name well known; and instruction in his method for children as well as men a matter worth the consideration of parents.

We have examined the possibilities of the Bartitsu programme, and feel assured, alter reading the description of walking-stick play (which is a serious matter when it comes to knuckles), foot-boxing and other rare forms of amusement, that the prospectus is justified in stating that most of the subjects taught cannot learned elsewhere. And most of them are worth learning.

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