“A Knowledge of Many Curious Fouls” ( The Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, 29 August 1901)

  • Originally published on the Bartitsu.org site on Sunday, 9th March 2014

We confess to grave misgivings with regards to the Japanese system of self defence known as Bartitsu, which a Mr. Barton Wright has been privately booming in London for some time, and has now introduced to the music-halls. It consists in a knowledge of many curious fouls. This kind of thing might be defensible if it were taught only to gentlemen of unimpeachable character and poor physique who live in dread of garroting and burglary. But these do not constitute the whole, or perhaps the mass, of music-hall patrons.

It seems possible that, here or there, a burglar or garroter may mistake the purpose of the exhibition in spite of Mr. Barton Wright’s assurances, and admire some ingenuities of the system for his own use. It will then, we believe, be easy for him, having asked a passer-by for a match, to throw him down, however strong and big he is, by the hand with which he generously offers half-a-dozen; or to overturn in an instant the six foot policeman who takes the exponent of Bartitsu with both arms firmly by the collar. We should have much preferred if Englishmen were left to do their best or worst in the light of Nature.

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