- Originally published on the Bartitsu.org site on Thursday, 29th December 2011
Tony Wolf will be teaching an intensive introductory Bartitsu seminar, with the option of an ongoing six-week training course, among the many attractions of the new Forteza Fitness, Physical Culture & Martial Arts school in Ravenswood, Chicago (website forthcoming).
What is Bartitsu?
In the year 1899, Edward William Barton-Wright devised a system of cross-training between jujitsu, British boxing, kicking, wrestling and self defense with an umbrella or walking stick. Bartitsu was created so that the ladies and gentlemen of London could beat street gangsters and hooligans at their own dastardly game.
Promoted via magazine and newspaper articles, exhibitions, lectures and challenge matches, Barton-Wright’s School of Arms and Physical Culture quickly became a place to see and be seen. Famous actors, athletes and soldiers enrolled to learn the mysteries of Bartitsu.
After Barton-Wright’s school closed down under unknown circumstances in early 1902, Bartitsu was abandoned as a work in progress and almost forgotten throughout the 20th century … apart from a famous, cryptic reference in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Adventure of the Empty House”.
One hundred years later, the International Bartitsu Society was formed to research and then revive the “New Art of Self Defence”. The modern revival is an open-source, community-based effort to continue Barton-Wright’s radical cross-training experiments.
What will we learn?
The introductory seminar will begin with a discussion of the origins, loss and revival of Bartitsu. A series of warm-up exercises will then segue into drills and games exploring several of Barton-Wright’s fundamental principles of combat, especially the skills of manipulating an opponent’s balance and of tactical spontaneity.
We will then study a representative series of jujitsu and stick fighting sequences taken directly from Barton-Wright’s original system. Next, we’ll work on transitioning from set-play sequences into a more realistic freestyle format, referring to the principles explored earlier in the day, before a warm-down and Q&A session.
Participants who wish to follow through into the six-week, twelve lesson basic training course will find this seminar an excellent grounding in the art of Bartitsu.
Forteza Fitness, Physical Culture and Martial Arts
4437 N. Ravenswood
Patterned after a Victorian-era physical culture studio, Forteza features a 5000 square foot training area with brick walls and high timber ceiling. The training area is equipped with mats, weapons and a “gymuseum” of functional antique physical culture apparatus including Indian clubs, iron dumbbells and medicine balls, as well as rowing and weightlifting machines dating to the late 1800s.
Sunday, January 22nd; 11.00 – 5.30 pm, with a half-hour lunch break.
$60.00 pays for your place in the introductory seminar and automatically deducts $25.00 from the cost of the optional 6-week basic training course.
What should I bring?
Comfortable workout clothing, packed lunch if you wish, and a drink bottle. We will have a limited number of training canes available for the stick fighting portion of the seminar, but participants are encouraged to bring their own sturdy hook-handled umbrella, walking stick and/or roughly 36″ hardwood dowel, with any edges smoothed away.
I’m in! How do I register?
Email us to pre-register – we will confirm your registration and send you a PayPal link. Alternatively, you can pay by cash or check on the day.