Portland Bartitsu Seminar Review

  • Originally published on the Bartitsu.org site on Monday, 22nd March 2010

Tony Wolf’s Portland area Bartitsu seminar was held over the weekend of March 20-21, hosted by Jeff Richardson of the Academia Duellatoria historical fencing school. Class sessions covered elements of all of the Bartitsu “base arts” including fisticuffs, low kicking, canonical jiujitsu kata and walking stick defence sequences, then segued into neo-Bartitsu applications based on those sequences.

Here’s a report from Jeff:

The seminar was awesome. I suspect that many won’t realize just how much they absorbed in the two days of the seminar.

For the warmups… I don’t think people actually realised that they were learning falling techniques. I will certainly be taking a new look at how I teach these skills. To the credit of things much of the class was falling in good form by the end of the first day.

Pugilism… what can I say other than it has always held interest, but I have had very little exposure to traditional historic pugilism (though I’m a great fan of modern boxing). Tony’s explanation of stance and the basic punches and guards was clear and concise, providing ample information on the structure of the techniques.

JiuJitsu – well this I have some limited experience in. I enjoyed being thrown around in the demonstrations. The historical take on things was appreciated as well as the emphasis on practicality and unbalancing.

The low kicks likewise had an air of familiarity to them, though in my case from my eastern martial arts background. The pivoting side kick definately has it’s own unique flare to it however.

The cane work was great! I think many would have liked to have seen more of this taught, but much of the other material clearly set up the work with the cane. We had a great time with this material, but the real fun came when we began to mix it all together.

The progression from stick fighting, to punching and unbalancing and grappling was a great time had by all. Tony let things progress from strict practice of techniques to exercises allowed to develop into improvisational free form allowing the students to explore possibilities.

The class was brilliant. Much thanks to Tony for coming out.

And thanks to Jeff for hosting the event.

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