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article imageReview: Bartitsu — The typically English martial art

By Alexander Baron     Mar 22, 2012 in World
London - England has given the world a large number of pastimes including sports such as cricket, soccer and...martial arts? Yes, you heard right!
Although both judo and karate were well known in the West before the legendary Bruce Lee appeared on the scene, most people would credit him with introducing martial arts proper to America and then to Europe through his films. The reality though is that just as Islam was imported into Britain by white converts, so too were the martial arts.
Last night's edition of the BBC magazine programme The One Show gave a brief introduction to a little known discipline.
Edward William Barton-Wright (1860-1951) was born in Imperial India, the son of an English railway engineer and a Scottish mother; he took up jiu-jitsu while working in Japan. The martial art he developed was given the name bartitsu, in all modesty. Although kung fu and other martial arts have a spiritual dimension to them, bartitsu was developed specifically for self-defence in an urban environment, and among other things can involve the use of a walking stick. Probably its most famous exponent was Sherlock Holmes, who is better known for his engaging in a far less reputable Oriental pastime.
E.W. Barton-Wright moved to London in 1898 where the Bartitsu Society is based. You can read about him and it here.
More about Martial arts, Bruce lee, The One Show, Bartitsu Society, Edward William Barton Wright
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