LEAF RIVER, Ill. — People who have seen the current Sherlock Holmes movie A Game of Shadows should surely know that a “New Art of Self Defence called Bartitsu” was introduced to England in 1898 by Edward William Barton-Wright to defeat the fearsome street gangs of Edwardian London.
Bartitsu combined good, old British pugilism with Japanese jiujitsu, the French kicking-style savate and defense techniques using a gentleman’s walking stick, developed by a Swiss named Vigny.
Allen Reed (Leaf River), “Professor of Antagonistics” at Gallowglass Academy, Inc., will offer a day-long, hands-on introduction to Bartitsu Jan. 21 (with a snow date of Feb. 11).
The class is open to men and women, and no martial-arts experience is necessary. Participants should wear comfortable workout clothes, and should bring a sturdy walking stick, cane or 3/4-inch to 1-inch diameter dowel rod about 36 inches long. If available, bring a fencing mask or closed-face martial arts headgear and heavily padded gloves (hockey style) or equivalent.
Gallowglass Academy requires groin protection for men.
“Professor” Reed will call the class to order at 10 a.m. at River Valley Complex, 605 S. Main St., Leaf River, Ill.
“Professor” Reed cannot guarantee, of course, that he can teach students to dispatch four thuggish assailants in the time a man can catch an apple tossed into the air. “Those are techniques for a more advanced seminar, ” he said.
For more information, call (815) 973-1064 or log on to www.GallowglassAcademy.org.
From the Dec. 28, 2011-Jan. 3, 2012, issue