The Behnke System at the Bartitsu Club (1900-1901)

  • Originally published on the site on Wednesday, 8th March 2017

Mrs. Kate Behnke was a well-known voice teacher and speech therapist who was also, during the brief Bartitsu Club era circa 1900, a neighbour of Bartitsu founder E.W. Barton-Wright. The Musical Herald and Tonic Sol-fa Reporter of March, 1901 mentioned that Mrs. Behnke had been engaged to teach special breathing exercises at the Club. Barton-Wright had printed a chart demonstrating the improvements in his athletes’ chest expansions, which he credited to the Behnke System.

Above: calisthenic exercises from the Behnke System

The following short article from the London Evening News of Mar 7, 1900 reveals some new details about the Club’s equipment and furnishings and also mentions another facet of Mrs. Behnke’s work at the Bartitsu Club:

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