Learn to fight like Sherlock Holmes! Bartitsu is the lost martial art of the Victorian gentleman ( and ladies ). In 1899 Edward William Barton-Wright coalesced his knowledge of jujitsu, single stick ( stick fighting ), cane fighting, boxing, fencing and more into the world’s first mixed martial art. For several years bartitsu was taught at the Bartitsu School of Arms and Physical Culture. This mixed marital art was taught next to jujitsu, boxing and fencing. The true marial artist would be a well-rounded practitioner with this training. Highly regarded instructors taught the school, including Captain Alfred Hutton, author of several books on fencing and one of the primary ones responsible for a revival of fencing in England in the late nineteenth century.
This art would have completely been lost to us if it were not for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In 1893 Doyle was sick of writing about Holmes. In the story “The Final Problem” Holmes and Moriarty are engaged in a battle that leads them both to fall off Reichenbach Falls. Watson reports this as Holme’s death. The most recent Sherlock Holmes movie, A Game of Shadows, referenced this story. However, that was not to be the end of Mr. Holmes. Doyle finally gave into public pressure and revived him in the story “The Adventure of the Empty House,” published in 1903. Holmes tells Watson that his knowledge of baritsu saved him. He was also an expert at single-stick, boxing and fencing.
Great. A fictional character? Well, thanks to the industrious fans of Holmes we were able to find Mr. Barton-Wright, revive his manuals and work and give a re-birth to this mixed martial art. There is a revival of burtitsu underway in large part due to the new Sherlock Holmes movies.
Royal Arts is now offering classes in bartitsu under the direction of our staff of trained fencing coaches, historical trained fencers and expert martial artists.
Sign up today and defend yourself like a gentleman ( or lady ).
Introductory Bartitsu Class for one month is $60 for two days a week. We practice on Wednesdays from 7 pm – 8:30 pm and Saturdays from 12pm – 1:30pm.