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stephen's picture
Bartitsu and Karate

I'm sure many people here know about Bartitsu, the "English MMA" from  the early 20th Century (www.bartitsu.org if you haven't!)

I've seen a fair number of videos of Bartitsu players, and I can see a number of parallels between English fisticuffs and karate, specifically naihanchi and Choki Motobu.

Barton-Wright was teaching martial arts at the turn of the century, maybe a little early for the pinan katas, but certainly in Itosu's time. I wonder what BW would have thought of karate if it was more widespread back then? I think he would have approved, and I would not be surprised if he incorporated naihanchi, or even the pinans into his training.

Just imagine... standard attire for dojo training today might well be collar and tie and a rather fetching bowler hat!

(By the way, that walking stick work looks like great fun).

On a more serious note, BW was very pragmatic and much of what he taught (essentially old style boxing, jujutsu, savate and stickfighting) doesn't look a million miles away from what we do today.

Black Tiger
Black Tiger's picture

so true. I'm extremely interested in the walking stick ethics, similar to Les Cannes from France which is a part of Le Savate

stephen's picture

Yes he incorporate La Canne Vigny - Pierre Vigny being a Frenchman (or whas he Swiss?)