Category Archives: Biography

Pierre Vigny in 1934

Originally published on the Bartitsu.org site on Monday, 22nd October 2012 A stern portrait of former Bartitsu Club instructor Pierre Vigny, taken circa 1934 when he was the Director of the Academy of Defensive Sports in Geneva. The short source … Continue reading

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The Swordswoman: Esme Beringer

Originally published on the Bartitsu.org site on Thursday, 28th February 2013  Directly paralleling the revival of Bartitsu, the modern revival of historical fencing as a martial art has become well-established over the past fifteen years. However, a remarkably similar revival of “ancient swordplay” … Continue reading

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Miss Sanderson and the Womanly Art of Parasol Self Defence

Originally published on the Bartitsu.org site on Saturday, 9th March 2013 Although the woman known as “Miss Sanderson” was a prominent fencer and self defence instructor in Edwardian London, regrettably little is known of her life – including her first … Continue reading

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“Dr. Latson’s Method of Self Defense” (New York City, 1906) and the “God-Man” scandal of 1911

Originally published on the Bartitsu.org site on Friday, 12th April 2013 Bartitsu founder E.W. Barton-Wright once expressed the wish to export his “New Art of Self Defence” to the United States, and several of his articles for London magazines were subsequently re-published … Continue reading

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E.W. Barton-Wright vs. the Georgia Magnet (1895-1899)

Originally published on the Bartitsu.org site on Monday, 15th April 2013  Comparatively little is known about the period that Bartitsu founder E.W. Barton-Wright spent living in Kobe, Japan. Arriving during mid-1895, he spent the next several years supervising an antimony smelting operation for E.H. … Continue reading

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“Six Inches of Steel”: Bowie Knife Fighting Instruction by Louis Juan Ohnimus (1890)

Originally published on the Bartitsu.org site on Friday, 26th April 2013 Thanks to Maxime Chouinard for locating and forwarding this fascinating, unique technical account of close-combat instruction with the famous Bowie knife.  The article transcribed here was originally published in … Continue reading

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“Policewoman Uses Jiu-jitsu on Mashers” (Chicago American, 1923)

Originally published on the Bartitsu.org site on Friday, 23rd August 2013 One of the most famous and colourful “characters” of Chicago during the roaring ’20s was Detective Alice B. Clement, whose sharp wits, snappy dress sense and enthusiastic use of … Continue reading

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“Bartitsu: the Lost Martial Art of Sherlock Holmes” Documentary

Originally published on the Bartitsu.org site on Monday, 9th September 2013 Bartitsu: the Lost Martial Art of Sherlock Holmes is the first and only feature documentary on Bartitsu, the “gentlemanly art of self defence”. At the end of the Victorian era, … Continue reading

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Flossie Le Mar, the “World’s Famous Ju-Jitsu Girl” (1913)

Originally published on the Bartitsu.org site on Thursday, 17th October 2013 Florence “Flossie” Le Mar was a pioneering advocate of jujitsu as feminist self defence. Flossie and her husband, professional wrestler and showman Joe Gardiner, toured vaudeville theatres throughout New Zealand … Continue reading

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Captain Laing on Adapting Bartitsu Stick Fighting for Army Swordsmanship

Originally published on the Bartitsu.org site on Thursday, 20th March 2014 Frederick Charles Laing was born in India on December 5th of 1865, the son of Major Frederick Ernest Laing and Lucy Augusta Laing. The young Frederick attended an English … Continue reading

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