“Carry a large stick” (1901)

  • Originally published on the Bartitsu.org site on Sunday, 29th September 2013

To the Editor of the Evening Telegraph
Dublin, February 10, 1901

Dear Mr. Editor – I see by your issue of Saturday an extract from the February number of “Pearson’s” bearing on Mr. E.W. Barton-Wright’s papers on “Self Defence with a Walking Stick”. In the main I am with him, as I have used the same mode of ingress, egress and regress in a dense crown in various parts of the world. I always since I left the Army carry a large stick, and, like Mr. Barton-Wright, find it useful.

In the first place I manage to get the point on the heel of the man in front, should he not stir. I reverse it and bring it to bear on the man in my rere (sic). By doing this in regimental fashion, you soon cause a “stampede”, and no-one can say you are wrong as the swaying of the crowd accounts for the swaying of the stick. Your immediate vicinity is then vacant and you (in nine cases out of ten) get elbow-room.

Now for the bayonet exercise. This you cannot do unless given clear space, and the quarter-turn that Mr. Barton-Wright alludes to is simply the change from left point to right (you must change hands). I am now only speaking of a dense crowd in which the stick might play an important part.

As regards self defence, pure and simple, if out-numbered I hold again to the bayonet exercise. Hardly a man, no matter how big a bully he is, can withstand a well-directed thrust with a strong stick handled by one who knows how to handle a bayonet; but still, if you can get in a cut, why (not?) do it.

Yours Faithfully,


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