Bartitsu Cane Combat – The framework and how we filled its gaps

Stefan Dieke

In 1901 a two volume newspaper article with the title of 'Self-defence with a Walking-stick: The Different Methods of Defending Oneself with a Walking-Stick or Umbrella when Attacked under Unequal Conditions'  was published in Pearson's Magazine, showcasing a number of example techniques of Bartitsu cane fighting to the general public. This article forms the main source for Bartitsu cane combat. Unfortunately the purpose of such an newspaper article is not to provide detailed information about the system but to stirr curiousity and create interest in the subject. Obviously this is a problematic source for HEMA practitioners as it only provides a selection of example techniques (which may even be altered to be suitable for the readers of the magazine) and not the complete system with the underlying principles.This class is about what the system may have looked like, based on careful analysis of the illustrations, reading between the lines and practical experience when applying the techniques in freeplay.We will look at some of the  iconic bartitsu cane combat techniques for fundamental body mechanics, some questionable techniques which are key to our assumptions for the system and at least one really clever technique which gives a glimpse at how advanced the sytem might have been.

Needed Equipment:
A wooden stick (eg, beak or hazelnut) of approximately 22mm (7/8") diameter and 95-100 cm (38-40") length, fencing mask, (padded) gloves.

Skill level of Participants:
This workshop suitable also for complete beginners but knowing a twerhau / entrüsthau has some advantages.

When & where:
Saturday, 4 pm (16 h), hall 1