When Sherlock Holmes wrestled with Dr Moriarty on the Reichenbach Falls, he was employing a system of self-defence that was all the rage in Victorian Britain. In an age when footpads and fogle-snatchers meant a man of breeding took his life in his hands when walking across town, a martial arts craze took hold that did not escape Conan-Doyle’s keen eye for research. Schools sprung up all over London, chief among which was E.W. Barton-Wright’s “Bartitsu” method. The Sherlock Holmes School of Self-Defence commemorates Barton-Wright’s exploits and the fighting techniques of the famous sleuth himself (though Conan-Doyle mischiveously spelled it Baristu). Learn how to defend yourself with an overcoat, cane, or umbrella, or even to wield your bicycle against an attacker. Wonderful illustrations based on original photographs instruct the reader in skills that range from the sublime to the elementary.
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