The new Sherlock Holmes and wing chun

bully

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There is a group working on resurrecting/reviving Bartitsu; the article linked in the OP is from one of their websites. The original art did pretty much die out, according to what I've read. There were some internal issues about the facility, as I recall, as well as some falling outs between the early instructors/members.

Remind you of any art:)

Would be an interesting art to study I think from a historical pov.
 

Tez3

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Of course not!

It's elementary! ;)


The phrase 'it's elementary my dear Watson' is by PG Wodehouse not Conan Doyle, Holmes never said it once.

dnovice, in certain circumstances to deflect a fight my instructor will tell an aggressor what he will do to him, blow by blow, if he won't back off he does exactly that! My instructor is a 'cold' fighter, no red mist just ice in the veins.

Yorkshirelad, William Hague is our MP, lives just a mile down the road, we've invited him to come and train with us any time but he always seems too busy lol! I don't like his politics but he's a nice guy and a good MP. I was going to say about Ritchie and BJJ but you beat me to it. :)
 

chrispillertkd

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All good publicity for the art, but don't think non WC's will know what they are looking at.

Don't be so sure. I've never practiced WC (and I've only seen it demonstrated live a couple of times) but as soon as I saw the boxing match I thought to myself, "He's doing Wing Chun."

Pax,

Chris
 

Omar B

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There is a group working on resurrecting/reviving Bartitsu; the article linked in the OP is from one of their websites. The original art did pretty much die out, according to what I've read. There were some internal issues about the facility, as I recall, as well as some falling outs between the early instructors/members.

As far as I'm concerned, it's a dead art. Much like Pankration, nobody alive has ever really seen it. We know the influences and may have a training manual or two and some drawings ... but nothing enough to reconstruct a whole system. We can know all the influences that went into an art and create something "similar" but without the original system around we'll not get things like what stance they used mostly, how were transitions between the ranges done, breathing tech, one could go on about the stuff that you can't really get from literature and illustrations.
 

Tez3

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As far as I'm concerned, it's a dead art. Much like Pankration, nobody alive has ever really seen it. We know the influences and may have a training manual or two and some drawings ... but nothing enough to reconstruct a whole system. We can know all the influences that went into an art and create something "similar" but without the original system around we'll not get things like what stance they used mostly, how were transitions between the ranges done, breathing tech, one could go on about the stuff that you can't really get from literature and illustrations.


I think you may be wrong about there no one being alive to see it,the founder didn't die until 1951, he was still demonstrating and lecturing about it up till his death so I imagine there are people still around who may remember seeing it. However the practicioners wouldn't have stopped just because the club closed so it would have carried on perhaps under a different name but there's obviously enough information around for the society to start up teaching it again.
What I found the best thing about 'Batitsu' was the encouragement that women were given to participate.
 

jks9199

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I think you may be wrong about there no one being alive to see it,the founder didn't die until 1951, he was still demonstrating and lecturing about it up till his death so I imagine there are people still around who may remember seeing it. However the practicioners wouldn't have stopped just because the club closed so it would have carried on perhaps under a different name but there's obviously enough information around for the society to start up teaching it again.
What I found the best thing about 'Batitsu' was the encouragement that women were given to participate.
I think there's also a good argument to be made that Bartitsu was a marketing approach and training approach, bringing a more Western approach to Eastern martial arts.

Kind of like a forerunner to modern MMA...
 

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I think you may be wrong about there no one being alive to see it,the founder didn't die until 1951, he was still demonstrating and lecturing about it up till his death so I imagine there are people still around who may remember seeing it. However the practicioners wouldn't have stopped just because the club closed so it would have carried on perhaps under a different name but there's obviously enough information around for the society to start up teaching it again.
What I found the best thing about 'Batitsu' was the encouragement that women were given to participate.

I'm a member of the Bartitsu Society and am actively involved in the "revival" effort. Basically, for most practical purposes, Bartitsu did die out when the Bartitsu Club closed in 1902. There are persistent rumors that Barton-Wright continued to develop it and teach it privately into the 1920s, but those have never been confirmed. Thus, probably more by force of circumstances than by design, Bartitsu was left as a "work in progress" rather than as a complete, codified system.

Various practitioners, including former Bartitsu Club instructors and their students, did keep practicing similar cross-training methods, but none of them perpetuated the Bartitsu name. Barton-Wright himself seems to have shifted gears and threw himself into his other big passion, which was physical therapy; he persisted with that career for the rest of his long life (dying in 1951 at the age of ninety).

Also, there are a few judo and jujitsu clubs in England that can trace their origins back to former Bartitsu Club instructors Yukio Tani and Sadakazu Uyenishi. Tani taught at the famous London Budokwai for many years, and that club is still gong strong.

The modern revival of Bartitsu began in 2002, after Barton-Wright's original articles were rediscovered in the British Library archives and published online on the EJMAS website. We train in what we refer to as "canonical" Bartitsu, which is the collection of about 40 jujitsu kata and walking stick defense sequences detailed by Barton-Wright's articles.

Obviously, since he didn't record the whole art, the canon is incomplete, so we've also developed "neo-Bartitsu", which refers to cross-training and pressure testing "experiments" between 19th century "British jujitsu", old-school scientific boxing or fisticuffs, low kicking and the Vigny style of Swiss stick fighting. The idea is to continue Barton-Wright's work in progress, rather than to fully recreate the original art of Bartitsu.
 

Tez3

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I've heard stories about army officers continuing to train troops in Bartitsu before. While it may have died out I still doubt that no one alive has seen it. I think it just may seen improbable to younger people lol! The 1920s isn't so far away you know, it just seems it when you are young!
 

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Are you sure those stories referred to Bartitsu, rather than to "defendo" or "defendu"? There were several similar eclectic styles taught to members of the Armed Forces during both the First and Second World Wars, but in seven years of very intensive research on this subject, I've never encountered a ref. to Bartitsu itself being taught past 1902. As I mentioned, the rumours about B-W continuing to teach it into the '20s have never been confirmed.

Anyway, if it was possible to confirm these stories, that would be great - it might open up whole new fields of research!
 

Tez3

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Are you sure those stories referred to Bartitsu, rather than to "defendo" or "defendu"? There were several similar eclectic styles taught to members of the Armed Forces during both the First and Second World Wars, but in seven years of very intensive research on this subject, I've never encountered a ref. to Bartitsu itself being taught past 1902. As I mentioned, the rumours about B-W continuing to teach it into the '20s have never been confirmed.

Anyway, if it was possible to confirm these stories, that would be great - it might open up whole new fields of research!

I will ask around. I first heard about Bartitsu in the 70s when I worked with some army types in MOD, London.
 

Devon

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Please do. Any real leads as to the survival of Barton-Wright's art further in to the 20th century would be solid gold to the Bartitsu Society.
 

Devon

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For general interest, here's the preview trailer for the Society's upcoming feature documentary, "Bartitsu: the Lost Martial Art of Sherlock Holmes" -

 
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bully

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Cheers for the interesting posts Devon, be nice if you could pop in here now and again update the thread if you find anymore out??

I had never heard of Bartitsu until coming on here the other day after watching Sherlock Holmes.
 

Devon

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Sure! This is kind of a busy time for Bartitsu; if you're generally interested, I'd suggest checking out the essays and news page on www.bartitsu.org .
 

MA-Caver

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The link triggered a memory for me. When I was a kid my uncle had what he described to me as an old London policeman's walking stick. It was a sword inside the covering -- perhaps a hollow wooden or bamboo sheathe, I don't recall for sure. I wonder if this implement is connected to the practice of Bartitsu.
One would imagine that quite a few people carried a sword cane clandestinely and even applied the Bartitsu techniques ... IF they learned them. Yet also fencing was popular and other sword fighting methods learned by the upper-class of the day. Yet I would imagine that the sword canes of the 1800's were more of a peace-of-mind weaponry than one used with skill, I mean what low-life robber(s) would have the right mind to try and go up against a "gentleman" wielding a blade larger than the pig-sticker he/they might've been carrying.
Likewise those of Holmes caliber/class likely stuck to boxing as a SD technique, rather the messy closed in fighting/wrestling used by the lower class with no other skill than what they learned on the street.

My friends who have watched the new Holmes movies complained about the lack of mystery/intrigued that they expected the title to give them. Saw more "action" than a brilliant detective figuring out the crime in his head by looking at subtle clues and using deduction like the great films of the Basil Rathbone series. My mantra upon hearing this has been "read the books, read the books"... and of course I get a funny look like "what the hell is a book?"
Violence wasn't overtly shown back then as it is today. Today's Holmes would've been banned or heavily edited to almost nothing. It's nice to hear that they shed light on the fighting skills of the great detective. I would imagine that the next film (yeah, c'mon you KNOW they'll do a sequel :rolleyes: ) may have better writing and indepth plot line keeping with the great detective stories.
 

Gordon Nore

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My friends who have watched the new Holmes movies complained about the lack of mystery/intrigued that they expected the title to give them. Saw more "action" than a brilliant detective figuring out the crime in his head by looking at subtle clues and using deduction like the great films of the Basil Rathbone series. My mantra upon hearing this has been "read the books, read the books"... and of course I get a funny look like "what the hell is a book?"

Funny you should mention that. I must confess, I only ever read one or two Holmes novels when I was quite young, so I don't have a clear image of the characters the author envisioned. In reading some of the background to this film, as well as reading Holmsians post on here, I'm getting the sense of a much darker character than we saw in Rathbone/Bruce movies.

So in watching the film, I was caught up in the persona of Holmes, his rapparte with Watson and Watson's g/f, the action, etc. I really lost track of the mystery. I'll have to watch it again on DVD.
 

Omar B

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Yeah, Holmes is pretty bad-***. But in the books the fights, action and so on happened off screen since the stories are told in the form of articles written by Watson for the newspaper. Fights, conflicts and such are mentioned but never in depth, whereas dialogue, investigation, experimentation and how Holmes' mind works takes up the bulk of the story.

But he is a pretty dark character but they'll never portray him fully as such on film. After all, he is a pretty brutal drug addict who's in and out of hospital because when he doesn't have a case he gets bored and uses. He also dislikes people almost universally, except for Watson and his brother Mycroft. Other people are just there to give him a problem to solve.

I've yet to see the drug addled misanthrope on screen ... unless you count Dr House on TV which is Holmes.
 

Gordon Nore

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But he is a pretty dark character but they'll never portray him fully as such on film. After all, he is a pretty brutal drug addict who's in and out of hospital because when he doesn't have a case he gets bored and uses. He also dislikes people almost universally, except for Watson and his brother Mycroft. Other people are just there to give him a problem to solve.

Hmmm. Sounds like TV's Dr House.
 

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