William Barton-Wright, an English railroad engineer, created the martial art form know as Bartitsu in the late 1800’s. He was introduced to Jujitsu while traveling in Japan and was so impressed with its versatility that he brought what he learned home.
He opened the Bartitsu Club where he taught a mix of jujitsu, boxing, kickboxing, and stick fighting. The idea behind Bartitsu (a mash up of Barton and Jujitsu) was for any unarmed gentleman to be able to defend themselves against street thugs using only the items on their person.
Unfortunately, Bartitsu did not stay popular for long and quickly fell out of favor.
Bartitsu has been seen at recent Victorian and Steampunk conventions. We hope this gentlemanly way of fighting makes its way back!
If these techniques seem familiar you would be right! Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was so taken by this new form of self defense he included it in his stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes and more commonly seen in the recent film adaptations.
Would you learn Bartitsu if you could?