Category Archives: Hooliganism

“Tricks of the Parisian Apaches” (1910)

Originally published on the Bartitsu.org site on Sunday, 24th June 2018 This article from The Globe newspaper of February 3rd, 1910 reveals some more mugging tricks developed by the so-called Apache street gangsters of Paris.   Most of these marauders were professional thieves … Continue reading

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“British Pickpockets and Their French Brethren” (1897)

Originally published on the Bartitsu.org site on Thursday, 24th January 2019 This article from the Dublin Evening Herald of 22 December, 1897 reveals a number of the ingenious mugging and pickpocketing tricks developed by French street criminals.  A few years … Continue reading

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“Street Self-Defence: How to Handle the Hooligan” (1904)

Originally published on the Bartitsu.org site on Sunday, 10th February 2019 Originally published in The People newspaper of October 23, 1904, this newly rediscovered article offers a rare glimpse into former Bartitsu Club instructor Pierre Vigny’s Hinde Street school.  Although … Continue reading

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“The Fatal Objection to All Such Plans …” (1902)

Originally published on the Bartitsu.org site on Saturday, 16th February 2019 The anonymous author of this short article, originally published in the Perthshire Advertiser of 31 October, 1902, makes the valid point that the first rule towards winning a fight is to know … Continue reading

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“Vice, Crime and Poverty: How the Western Imagination Invented the Underworld”

Originally published on the Bartitsu.org site on Saturday, 16th March 2019 This new book by French cultural historian Dominique Kalifa explores the notion of the criminal underworld in Western popular culture, including the infamous Parisian Apache and London hooligan phenomena that fed – and were fed … Continue reading

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“Attacked by Hooligans”: a Self-Defence Skit with Pierre Vigny and Miss Sanderson

Originally published on the Bartitsu.org site on Sunday, 5th February 2017 The Friday, 16 October 1903 edition of The Sporting Life included this short description of a self-defence skit performed by Pierre Vigny and “Miss Sanderson”, who was, in her private … Continue reading

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Understanding Victorian Cultures of Violence: The Utility of Experimental Archaeology and Practical Hermeneutics

Originally published on the Bartitsu.org site on Monday, 28th November 2016 Click the link below to read Liam Hannan’s thesis on Victorian “cultures of violence”, including an analysis of six canonical Bartitsu jiujitsu kata and stick-fighting set-plays: UNDERSTANDING VICTORIAN CULTURES OF … Continue reading

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Demolition Derby: A Short History of the Weaponised Bowler Hat

Originally published on the Bartitsu.org site on Tuesday, 26th September 2017 Given that we have already outlined the histories of the weaponised umbrella and hat-pin and have tested the historicity and practicality of the razor-blade cap, it seems fitting to now consider the bowler hat-as-weapon … Continue reading

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Keeping a Safe Distance in Victorian London

The mid-19th century moral panic over garroting gangs (urban street muggers) reached its absurdist conclusion in this Punch Magazine cartoon, suggesting the invention of a reinforced hoop skirt frame to keep garroters at a safe distance. Sadly, while scholars agree … Continue reading

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The 1910 French Craze for “Secret Weapon” Walking Sticks

Originally published on the Bartitsu.org site on Wednesday, 5th July 2017 By 1910, the mystique of the Parisian “apache” street gangsters had fully piqued the curiosity of the bourgeoisie via works of tabloid journalism and popular fiction. Middle- and upper-class … Continue reading

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