Bartitsu, Sherlock Holmes’ choice for self-defense
Known as the “gentlemanly martial art”, Bartitsu was sadly short-lived, at least officially. However, it was immortalized by none other than Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, as the martial art of choice for the world’s greatest detective. Today we will discuss about the real origins of this forgotten and nearly lost martial art. Who knows? Reminding it to people may be the beginning of it being brought back to life. And then you will be able to bet on it, if you open a betting account without limits.
Once upon a time in victorian London….
Bartitsu came mostly from Shinden Fudo Ryu jujutsu by Terajima Kuniichiro and Kodokan judo. As it settled in London, the art expanded to incorporate fighting techniques from other styles, as well as British boxing, Swiss schwingen, French savate and a defensive De la Canne style that was developed by Pierre Vigny of Switzerland. The art also included a comprehensive system of physical training.
Between 1899 and 1902, Barton-Wright began to promote it through magazine articles, interviews and a series of demonstrations in various locations in London. He established a school called the Bartitsu Academy of Arms and Physical Culture, known informally as the Bartitsu Club, which had the support of qualified instructors in their fields.
Not everything lasts forever…
Despite his enthusiasm, Barton-Wright appears to have been a mediocre promoter. As a result, in March 1902 the Bartitsu Club was no longer active as a martial arts school. Its last recorded activities as an entity involved a series of exhibitions and touring contests from January to March 1902, at sites such as Cambridge University, Oxford Town Hall, Shorncliffe Army Camp (based in Kent), and the Mechanics Institute Hall in Nottingham.
The precise reasons for the club’s closure are unknown, however, jiujitsu instructor William Garrudm, later suggested that both the registration and tuition fees were too high. It is likely that Barton-Wright simply overestimated the number of wealthy Londoners who shared his interest in exotic systems of self-defense.
Immortalized in the pages
In 1903, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote a new story for his famous star Sherlock Holmes: "The Adventure of the Empty House". In it, the detective attributes his victory over Professor Moriarty during the struggle at the Reichenbach Falls, to the use of "Bartitsu". As he puts it: "the Japanese system of wrestling, which more than once was very useful for me"
For some researchers, the fight scenes from the current Sherlock Holmes films are references to the English fighting style and self-defense. The inclusion in a form of communication that attracts a huge number of readers, was a serious contribution to those that would like to see the art of Bartitsu revived.
Well, this was a nice ride through history! If you want to keep learning about funny and strange things about the world of sports, make sure to stay tuned to our news section, and join ACC-EX today!