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Bar****u: Cane Fighting in 1901

Discussion in 'The Martial Arts Forum' started by ChuteTheMall, Apr 1, 2005.

  1. Self-defence with a Walking-stick: The Different Methods of Defending Oneself with a Walking-Stick or Umbrella when Attacked under Unequal Conditions (PartI)

    By E.W. Barton-Wright [EN1]
    From Pearson’s Magazine, 11 (January 1901), 35-44.

    Contributed by Ralph Grasso. Editor’s notes by Ralph Grasso and Joseph Svinth copyright © 2000 all rights reserved.


    It must be understood that the new art of self-defence with a walking-stick, herewith introduced for the first time, differs essentially from single-stick or sword-play; for a man may be a champion in the use of sword or single-stick [EN2] and yet be quite unable to put a walking-stick to any effective use as a weapon of defence. The simple and sufficient reason to account for this is that both in single-stick and sword-play a cut is always taken up by the hilt of the weapon, whereas if you attempted to guard a blow with a walking-stick -- which has no hilt -- in the same way as you would with a sword, the blow would slide down your stick onto your hand and disable you. Therefore, in order to make a stick a real means of self-defence, it has been necessary to devise a system by which one can guard a blow in such a way as to cause it to slide away from the hand instead of toward it, and thus obviate the risk of being disarmed by being hit upon the fingers.

    After some fifteen years of hard work, such a system has been devised by a Swiss professor of arms, M. Vigny. [EN3] It has recently been assimilated by me into my system of self-defence called "Bar****u."

    In the art of self-defence with a walking-stick, the stick is held in the hand with the thumb overlapping the fingers, and not, as in single-stick or sword-play, with the thumb resting on the blade. The stick is therefore manipulated with the wrist -- and not with the fingers as in sword-play -- and the blows are given by swinging the body on the hips -- and not merely by flips from the elbow. In this way blows can be made so formidable that with an ordinary malacca cane it is possible to sever a man's jugular vein through the collar of his overcoat.


    No. 1. -- The Guard by Distance -- How to Avoid any Risk of being Hit on the Fingers, Arm, or Body by Retiring out of the Hitting Range of your Adversary, but at the same time Keeping Him within the Hitting Range of your Own Stick.

    The mode of defence I am about to describe I have called "The Guard by Distance," to distinguish it from "Guards by Resistance." It will be noticed that in this method of defence the man attacked does not attempt to guard a blow by raising his hands to stop it, but simply by changing front from left to right foot -- in other words, by swinging round from his original position, in which his left foot is advanced in front of his right, to a position in which his right foot is in front of his left. By so doing, he avoids being hit himself, with the certainty of being able to hit his adversary.

    When guarding by distance, you take up the position of rear-guard -- that is to say, you stand with left foot forward, slightly bent knees, right arm held above the head, and left arm thrown well out in front of you. I ought to state here that this is not a very easy attitude to assume, and that a certain amount of training in physical culture is necessary before it can be adopted with ease; but when you have acquired the requisite suppleness of body it is a very safe and reliable position to take up.

    You must be careful to maintain the same distance between yourself and your adversary, which you originally take up, by retiring (right foot first) as he advances, and advancing (left foot first) as he retires. Then play a waiting game, and entice your opponent to strike at your arm or head by exposing one of the two, so that you are prepared to retire instantly upon the first sign of danger.

    Your opponent, encouraged by the apparently exposed position of your left arm, naturally strikes at it, but you, anticipating the attack, withdraw it very quickly, and swing it upwards behind you. This upward sweep of the arm automatically causes you to swing your left foot well behind your right, and to draw in the lower part of your body out of your opponent's reach; at the same time it imparts the initial momentum to your right arm, and assists in bringing your stick down very quickly and heavily upon your adversary's head before he has time to recover his balance after over-reaching himself in trying to hit you.

    No. 2. -- Another Way to Avoid being Hit by Retiring out of Range of your Adversary's Stick.
    (for the rest of the article, the link is:
  2. I didn't realize Bar****u was going to get the asterixes; It's Barton's name combined with Jujitsu. No obscenities intended.;P