- Originally published on the Bartitsu.org site on Thursday, 5th December 2013
Originally appearing in the Saturday 27 June 1903 edition of the Watchman newspaper, this short piece is curious in that it consistently misspells Bartitsu as “baritsu” (q.v. Arthur Conan Doyle’s identical misspelling in The Adventure of the Empty House, first published some three months after the Watchman article), albeit while defining “baritsu” as “self defence with a walking stick”. N.B. also the “baritzu” displays the occurred in Australia during 1906…
Those who have to travel through Hyde Park of a night, or, as a matter of fact, through any of our parks or lonely places, after dark, generally carry a stick for protection against attacks of footpads. To make themselves efficient they should study baritsu, as the comparatively new form of self-defence is called. We cannot all afford to carry a revolver, so a knack of how to use a walking stick effectively is worth knowing. Pugilism savors of brutality, in spite of all that has been urged and still is urged to the contrary. The rapier is an antiquated weapon; the single-stick is of no practical use; the foils find favor only on the Continent.
The walking stick, on the other hand, we always have with us, and in these days and nights of hooligans we never know at what moment we may not he called upon to use it – either in self-defence, or in defence of others. Baritsu is, practically, the art of self-defence with the walking stick. At an establishment in London, all the most telling strokes that it is possible to make with an ordinary walking stick are explained, illustrated, and taught, and the pupil is shown how best to tackle the man — say, a street rough — who “comes at you anyhow with a stick.” Personally, we are of opinion that every young fellow ought to learn baritsu, for it appears to be the one mode of self defence liable to prove of practical use to any man and at any moment, even to the man who lives, moves, and has his being only in this prosaic city of Sydney.