“Guards which are not at all like the guards taught in schools (…)”

In this video, instructor Argent Bracci demonstrates some examples of destructive elbow guards applied to the noble art of fisticuffs:

As Edward Barton-Wright noted in the 1901 article Bartitsu: Its Exponent Interviewed, orthodox boxing/savate defences – as typically taught to middle-class students in commercial schools, geared entirely towards relatively safe competition – could be modified and improved towards the goal of winning a street fight:

Another branch of Bartitsu is that in which the feet and hands are both employed, and which is an adaptation of boxing and Savate. The guards are done in a slightly different style from boxing, being much more numerous as well. The use of the feet is also done quite differently from the French Savate.

As to boxing, we have guards which are not at all like the guards taught in schools, and which will make the assailant hurt his own hand and arm very seriously.

Pierre Vigny demonstrates a destructive guard against the opponent’s left lead punch to the body.

Thus, Bartitsu boxing guards represented an aggressive, damaging modification to the standard blocks of boxing and savate.  The opponent’s strikes would be met percussively, the defender chopping into punches with elbow/forearm strikes or offering the sharp wedge of an elbow-forward shield, as well as counter-kicking into attacking shins and ankles, as a precursor to finishing the fight at closer quarters.

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