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Bartitsu is the obscure and effeminate martial art of grappling, stick fighting and boxing. The techniques come from the travels of its founder Edward William Barton-Wright who synthesised a martial art based on traditional English fighting methods such as Catch Wrestling and Boxing and mixed them with primarily French and Japanese fighting arts.
Bartitsu is often regarded as being one of the worlds queerest fighting forms. Queer in all ways of the meaning.
edit History and Practice
It was the cunning Englishman, Edward William Barton-Wright who developed the hybrid art after trying to emulate fellow Englishman, Richard Burton, whose quest to have sex with as many ethnicities left him with memories to last ten lifetimes.
It was with this resolve that Wright travelled to the Far East and came upon classes for Judo and other fighting arts. He also came upon prostitution and opium all of which along with martial arts he applied himself with enthusiasm. His return to England was prompted by issues with credit. Like all world travellers who run out of money, he turned his attention to teaching and education. Not surprisingly life as an opportunist prompted him to devise a subject with which he had some knowledge of and make something original sounding up.
Bartitsu was something that Wright...
When he returned he opened up his own school dedicated to the hybrid art of what he called, Bartitsu. he also developed his own sports massage of the same name, which he practiced on children as young as ten right up to old codgers who were lucky enough to live that long. No formal charges were ever met at the rumoured abuse, though they continue to this day.
English foppery and fighting are combined in one lethal package. Primarily elements of Jujitsu are employed but also techniques of diversion and deception are used. For instance throwing your coat over someone and kicking them in the groin is one of the favourite methods. It's especially useful when facing a stronger better opponent.
Many comment that Bartitsu encapsulates the English way of fighting, both fast and loose and completely lacking in sportsmanship. However the synergy with various wrestling forms from the north of England and Ireland mean that some elements are less cunning and manipulative, some are more suited to a genuine fighter.
A proficient Bartitsu practitioner is always dressed well with either a cane or an umbrella to engage an armed opponent. Once these requirements are met training proper can begin which usually consists of a two hours discussion over tea and crumpets about the colonies. After this more training can begin usually with a few pelvic thrusts and some light footwork.
This usually takes the form of sparring in front of some hot prospects or after some tea and strumpets where training can begin whilst post coital and lethargic - simulating the conditions of yellow fever, malaria or syphilis - all things a Gent from the United Kingdom is likely to suffer from abroad at some point.
Other practice includes Kettlebell swings with a weight no higher than 8kg so as to keep a slim physique and make victories against larger opponents look more impressive. However the Kettlebells have to be adapted to take boiling hot water for tea afterwards. This requirement saw the art become less mainstream because of the manufacture of such Kettlebells.
Bartitsu has been compared to getting a good cup of tea, and at the high level and slightly protracted way of fighting rather than getting a Scotsman to shoot a foreigner. Or some other dim violent sorts to do it for you.
Because of its origins many of the moves are similar to jujitsu and Canne de Combat; in fact they are exactly the same, just lamer and even more faggoty due to it being developed in England. This is probably the USP for Bartitsu as the effeminate fighting accociated with it is seen as being more civilised, and as such more socially acceptable. This outer coating of respectablity masks a far more violent fighting art.
Like boxing there were the preliminaries of weight classes. However most bartitsu fighters are lightweights, generally because they live on Tea and confectionaries.
edit In Popular Media
Sherlock Holmes famously practiced bartitisu, to defeat Professor Moriarti
Arthur Conan Doyle explained the reason why Holmes used this fighting art in an interview with the Times,
- "I chose Bartitisu because I read an article about it, and it was something of an authentic British fighting art. Of course I only skimmed an article about it, an I have no idea what it is really...."
Endorsements don't come better than that, however most don't bother with Bartitsu as its method is considered to be a completely hacked off from other arts. However it did make an appearance in 2009's Sherlock Holmes with Robert Downey jr.
edit See also
- Bread jitsu - One of the main arms of modern Bartitsu training.
Reference for article