“The Art of Self Defense with a Walking Stick” (1900)

  • Originally published on the Bartitsu.org site on Monday, 27th February 2017

From the New Orleans Times-Democrat of Sunday, December 30, 1900:

“Baritsu”, as the comparatively new form of self-defense is called, would appear, says the London Free Lance, to be acquiring popularity. Already the base school in the Shaftesbury Avenue is crowded and a branch establishment is to be opened.

This, after all, is not to be wondered at. Pugilism savors of brutality, in spite of all that has been said and is urged to the contrary. The rapier is an antiquated weapon; the singlestick is of no practical use; foils find favor only on the continent. The walking stick, on the other hand, we have always with us, and in these days and nights of hooligans we never know at which moment we may not be called upon to use it either in self-defense or in the defense of others.

Baritsu is, practically, the art of self-defense with the walking stick. At the school in Shaftesbury Avenue all the most telling strokes that it is possible to make with an ordinary walking stick are explained, illustrated and taught, and the pupil is shown how to best tackle the man – say, a street rough – “who comes at you anyhow with a stick. ”

Personally, I am of the opinion that every young fellow ought to learn Baritsu, for it appears to be the one the mode of self-defense liable to prove of practical use to any man and at any moment, even to the man who lives, moves and has his being only in this prosaic city of London.

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