H2H FIGHTING: The Lack of Intense H2H Training Options

Fight
Fight

Over the years I have seen a lot of guys get their ass kicked regardless of experience in the ring, dojo, training and even real world street fighting... One of the most memorable ass kicking’s I ever witnessed was back in the day at a house party in the Middle East [house parties within the Expat community are pretty common in the Middle East].

Like all fights this one ended up starting when one guy from our group and a guy from another group ended up trading words over something stupid and a fight followed. The fight itself was not really that much of a surprise [Booze + Security Contractors in their 20’s + confined space = Fight sooner or later].

It was the fact that my boy was ex-military and a pretty experienced competition fighter and he didn’t last 3 seconds before we had to drag this little British dude off of his pummeled face.

So why did he lose?

I saw the reason about one second before the fight started.

Fear.

The Brit was a fucking bulldog; the second he knew there was going to be a fight he smiled like someone just gave him a cake. He had all sorts of Royal marine tats on his forearms, a black eye [presumably from another resent fight] and was yelling with a distinctive working-class brit accent.

My buddy was just a regular guy from the burbs who never saw any action in the military who isn’t really the blood-thirsty type. Later when I talked to him about his street fighting experience he told me that he had been in several fights [mostly with his buddies] in the Army, gotten into brawls where he and his boys would all fight as a group and a few fist-fights in high school.

But he had never really squared up face-to-face with another dude for an all-out scrap, and certainly not a Brit offshore oil roughneck on shore leave... He was honest with me and said “that dude looked like he wanted to fucking kill me bro – like literally kill me, sort of freaked me out so I hesitated and waited for him to come in, and when he did I froze – that fucking guy was drooling and shit he was so furious”.

So can you learn how to control your fear in a physical conflict?

Well that is not an easy one answer question. Some people say you are either born a fighter or not.

I believe there is some truth in that, just like people who are naturals at playing golf or mathematics, some people are just born with that “angry blood”. Others are a product of their environment, like guys I know who grew up in South Philly or as Christians in Egypt pretty much have zero fear when looking someone in the eye before a throw down due to the large amount of fights they have been in.

But on the other hand I have seen some guys go into the military as pussies and come out hard-charging straight-up warriors. So that is a good example that a combination of the right training, some hard work that puts a little callus on your hands and a few years in the right environment can transform even the most mundane individual into a pretty fearless mother-fucker.

I have even trained and mentored guys who were somewhat in the “wimp” category into pretty tough individuals. I myself come more from the “product of my environment” category than the born angry category.

But after the training, mental preparation, getting dirty and all the other prep work is up - quite frankly nothing beats the experience of squaring-up with someone and going at it. But you can hardly go around just picking fights, the dental bills [I probably put my dentists kids through college when I was in my 20’s] and eventually getting sewed will put a stop to that in no time.

So this is where realistic H2H training comes in. The type of training where you go home with a black eye and you can’t remember your last name.

Unfortunately due to the liability issues, the fact that most H2H instructors have never actually been in a fight and that most commercial H2H is centered around you getting “up to the next level” [IE: Paying for more classes] - finding intense H2H training outside of the Military is difficult.

There are some underground Fight Clubs [I was a member of one once] but some get way out of control and others are really nothing more than yuppies playing out their Brad Pitt fantasies.

I have also seen some Martial arts groups that have pretty intensive looking training and meet-ups where they really go at it in a semi-controlled environment. But they are few and far between and some have an odd cult following that seems to focus on the founders more than the actual fight.

Boxing and MMA is really the only thing that most people have access to that is somewhat in the realm of actual fighting. But even those two have its limitations, Rules.

At one time my brother and I looked into running 2 week long 18 hour a day intensive H2H programs that were a blend of MCMAP and Fight Club that would be taught by us with a few ex-cons, SF types and gang members thrown in the mix. The type of training where people would go home with broken noses and a 200 pound sack. But the liberty insurance would have made it cost-prohibitive for most people to attend.

So as we speak there is a void in the Martial arts world where you can get hard-core fight training taught by experienced instructors that would transfer into real fight experience.

With 99% of schools only concerned with signing you to another year contract, the rarity of realistic and intensive training clubs, the risk of participating in a Fight Club and the exorbitant insurance costs of running a military style H2H school I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

~James G Founder - Editor in Chief

James G is a Veteran Civilian Contractor who has worked in the Middle East and Southeast Asia for way too long; he has traveled to over 50 countries chasing fortune and glory. He spends his off time in Indonesia and Virginia getting drunk, shooting guns, writing poorly written articles Kicking Ass, Taking Names and Eating Sandwiches. James G. on FACEBOOK

H2H FIGHTING: Lessons Learned From an Ass Kicking

Beat-Up
Beat-Up

So there I was balled up on the ground bleeding like a stuck pig and getting repeatedly kicked in the head. The last thing I remember thinking before getting knocked out was “how the fuck did this little guy kick my ass? - I didn't even get a single punch in, how embarrassing”

A little while later, I woke up in my buddy’s car on the way to the hospital feeling like I was hit by a rhino. I had a tooth knocked out, 2 cracked ribs, broken nose and a gash above my eye that has left a scar to this day.

Even better was the fact I didn’t have health insurance at the time, so I spent the next 8 months hustling EP jobs to pay off 7 grand in medical bills. I also looked so bad the following two weeks that kids would point at me like I was some sort of sideshow freak.

So how the hell did I - a highly experienced H2H fighter and trained PSD Agent who had been in tons of fights get pounded on by a dude that was half my size?

I-Underestimated-My-Opponent
I-Underestimated-My-Opponent

This happened when I was in my mid 20’s, like many younger guys that work in “tough guy” jobs I had an inflated perception of myself. To put it simply: I was an arrogant fucker with a chip on his shoulder who never even considered that someone else could possibly kick my ass.

The guy who laid this massive ass-whooping on me was about 5’5” and weighed 120 pounds soaking wet. So in my mind I had already whooped this guy’s ass and went back to drinking, it never once crossed my mind that he would have a snowball’s chance in hell beating me 1-on-1 H2H.

It turned out that he was a boxer with a few pro bouts under his belt and a hook that could snap a telephone pole in half. Basically he was a highly trained fighter that fought professionally to put food on the table – and I never considered him a threat until I was bleeding.

Lesson Learned:

No matter how physically small someone is or how experienced a fighter you are, never underestimate a [presumably] weaker/smaller opponent. Always go into a fight with the mindset that your opponent has equal or superior H2H skills.

I have seen tons of guys get their ass beat by smaller opponents, the look of shock on their face as they ball up on the floor is always humorous to me because, I imagine that I must’ve had that same look on my face.

Underestimating an opponent is one of the main culprits of defeat both in H2H and War. Don’t let your ego get your ass kicked.

I-Ignored-Obvious-Warning-Signs-He-Was-a-Trained-Fighter
I-Ignored-Obvious-Warning-Signs-He-Was-a-Trained-Fighter

When we squared up he went into a classic boxing stance and started to lightly bounce back and forth from his front and rear leg. That right there should have set off the alarm bells in my head.

But due to my ‘No one can kick my ass” attitude I completely brushed aside this blinding warning light and rushed right into a jab square in my nose that basically ended the fight right off the bat.

Lesson Learned:

If you have had any sort of formal H2H training then you can spot a trained fighter by the way he walks, stands and squares-up. Now if you have already learned lesson #1 then you should already have the mindset that you may be facing a superior opponent at this point anyway.

So when you see a guy go from “drinking a beer” to “standing in a perfect Boxing/MMA stance then alarm bells should be going off in your head like a mother-fucker.

I-Fought-While-Impaired
I-Fought-While-Impaired

Yep, you guessed it, I was drunk at the time – actually I was on one of my famous 3 day benders. Even if my mind and motor skills were not muddied by the booze and lack of sleep, I would have probably still gotten my ass beat because he was the superior fighter regardless of my drunkenness.

But if I was thinking clearly I would either have just walked away from the fight altogether or seen the warning signs that he was a trained fighter and just cracked a chair over his head.

Lesson Learned:

Don’t get in a fight when you are drunk off your ass, you may get lucky, like I have many times, and win most of your drunken brawls but sooner or later you will end up in the hospital on in jail.

And if you were like I was [I was an angry drunk in my 20’s] then drink at home. I have been in way more fights when I have been drinking than I care to admit to; eventually I realized that “James G. + Drinking in Public” is a bad mix; so these days if I decide to go on a bender I stay at home.

teeth
teeth

If you have to fight someone than for fucks sake do not underestimate your opponent just because he is 5’3” and 100 pounds and you are some kind of “tough guy”. Pay attention to your opponent in the crucial few seconds before fists start flying, if you see telltale signs that he is a trained fighter then pick up a chair or be prepared to take a few in the face. And if you can’t go out drinking without acting like an ass-hole with a chip on your shoulder then invest in a home bar.

Here is a bonus lesson:

Ya-Cant-Win-Them-All
Ya-Cant-Win-Them-All

Yep, if you fight enough [or even rarely] sooner or later you will get your ass stomped. This is as guaranteed as Death and taxes. So just accept it, make sure your health insurance is paid up and chalk it up to a great learning experience. And hey - the ladies like scars.

Out…

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

~James G Founder - Editor in Chief

James G is a Veteran Civilian Contractor who has worked in the Middle East and Southeast Asia for way too long; he has traveled to over 50 countries chasing fortune and glory. He spends his off time in Indonesia and Virginia getting drunk, shooting guns, writing poorly written articles and stocking up his home bar. James G. on FACEBOOK

H2H: Why Boxing Should be the Foundation to All Your Other H2H Training

Boxing-it-the-Superior-Martial-Art1
Boxing-it-the-Superior-Martial-Art1

“90% of all fights end up on the ground”

~ MMA Practitioners

“90% of all fights end up on the ground because 90% of people don’t know how to properly punch someone so they end the fight on their feet”

~ My Boxing Coach

Since the dawn of time, when man first beat another man’s ass into the ground no other fighting technique has been studied and analyzed to near level of perfection that boxing has. Sure there are many other great Martial Arts out there, but none have been scientifically refined into the pure brutality that Boxing is.

I am by no means saying a boxer can beat any other martial artist’s ass on the street 100% of the time, such internet arguments [“MMA is better than Kali”] are gay. I am simply pointing out the substantial advantages of boxing from the point of view of someone that has been in, or witnessed a substantial amount of H2H fights in a non sport environment.

And really when it comes down to it, no matter how skilled you are in any martial art – in a real fight [be it with firearms or fists], as in all warrior skills, victory will come down to the individual warrior having the heart and killer instinct to stand victorious over his adversaries.

Now let’s jump right into some of the reasons why Boxing is the best fighting style [in my opinion]:

Money
Money

Yep, like so many other things it is all about the Benjamin’s. Compared to all other fighting styles boxing produces the most money and has the highest ROI for a championship fight. For example, the amount of money made from a Heavyweight MMA championship match doesn’t even come close to the amount of revenue pulled in from a heavyweight boxing championship fight.

So a boxer is more likely to spend a million dollars to refine his skill [and thereby refining the art as a whole] so that he can win 20 million – comparatively, the Kickboxing industry does not have the same resources to refine their Martial Art

Basically the boxing industry is just like any other business, one invests a certain amount of money perfecting a product based on the amount of profit that product can potentially make. And because of that, the 10, 20 or even 100 million dollars a single championship boxing match can pull in - literally hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested into perfecting Boxing over the years.

Quite frankly to improve something, be it a Boxing or a Widget – you have to invest money into R&D. And no other fighting sport has been scientifically studied for the purposes of improving it to the extent that boxing has.

Boxing-skills-are-centered-aground-the-individual-Fighters-abilities-and-is-Constantly-Evolving
Boxing-skills-are-centered-aground-the-individual-Fighters-abilities-and-is-Constantly-Evolving

Boxing is tailored around the strengths of the fighter, if a fighter has a superior jab and uppercut, then his coach will modify his fighting technique around his strengths [the jab and uppercut]. If another boxer has a devastating hook then his coach will center his fighting technique on his hook.

And unlike other more traditional martial arts boxing is continuously improved upon, if a coach, sports nutritionists or the fighter himself can change one thing to improve his performance by .001% they will – even if it is not in a boxing manual, actually there really are not that many Boxing manuals because of this [think about it, how many new boxing manuals are published every year compared to Kung Fu books].

Overall-Fitness-is-an-integral-part-of-Boxing
Overall-Fitness-is-an-integral-part-of-Boxing

I know Asian style martial artists who can smash their fist’s through 20 2X4’s like they are made of raw spaghetti, but if they tried to do that non-stop for 10 minutes they would stroke-out.

In boxing [and all warrior skills for that matter], fitness is equally important to the actual combat part. Generally speaking boxers are in superior physical condition compared to all other martial artists [given, pro MMA fighters are also in excellent shape].

Realistic-pain-based-training1
Realistic-pain-based-training1

Having trained in about 20 different styles of martial arts I thought I was pretty prepared the first time I sparred against another boxer. I went in thinking that the other guy was going to punch at 10% power like I did when I used to spar in Taekwondo – wrong, I got my ass whipped and knocked to the mat a dozen times in as many minutes.

It is hard not to improve when your punishment for non-performance is physical pain, and in boxing you get hit, and hit hard during training [especially compared to other martial arts]. No pain – no gain, you improve or you will continuously to get your ass kicked – this also builds perseverance and heart.

Additionally, if you were to actually ever get into a fight you will get punched, and after you get punched you will have to keep fighting until you either win or retreat. Having been already punched in the face 800 times in the past during training will prepare you for that.

Punching-is-the-base-skill-of-all-H2H-fighting
Punching-is-the-base-skill-of-all-H2H-fighting

Punching someone while standing face to face, Eye to Eye with another person is the root and base of H2H fighting. Punching is sort of like basic marksmanship in firearms training, until you first master hitting the target you sure as shit can’t be a High Speed Low Drag Shoot and Looter.

The same goes with H2H, you cannot expect to become proficient at an arguably superior “reality based” fighting technique like Krav Maga until you learn the basic skill of punching someone.

All real “street” fighting will start with throwing punches with your fists [because as a highly trained boxer/intelligent fighter you will choose the circumstances of the initial blows] so you must master this “basic” technique as it will be the most used one in your H2H arsenal.

Your-punching-skill-is-based-around-knocking-someone-out-wearing-thick-gloves
Your-punching-skill-is-based-around-knocking-someone-out-wearing-thick-gloves

Your punching skill is based around knocking someone out wearing thick gloves

Do you remember when Mike Tyson punched Mitch Green bare fisted? It was devastating; Mitch Green’s face looked like he was hit by a bus.

Because in boxing you learn how to hit hard enough to knock out or disorient someone when wearing thickly padded gloves you end up with an extremely hard hitting bare knuckled punch.

I have seen underground bare knuckle boxing before and it is brutal, people throw-up when watching it. The amount of damage a highly trained boxers fist can do when unsheathed is devastating.

In-Conclusion
In-Conclusion

I wanted to add in other things like the psychological aspects; in boxing you learn to read your opponent, boxers learn how to change their technique based on the way their opponents fight or their weaknesses and how boxing is the thinking warriors martial art - but this would have been a 30 page article if I included everything, maybe I can add a part 2 later.

Also - Boxing is not without its disadvantages, it will take a minimum of a year of regular training to become a proficient in boxing. This is not a fighting skill that can be learned in a seminar or by half-assing it 1 or 2 days a week at some yuppie fitness gym [here is a hint, if you go to a boxing gym and over 70% of the people inside are white - then it is not a real boxing gym].

And if all else fails you can just kick him in the balls

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

~James G Founder - Editor in Chief

James G is a Veteran Civilian Contractor who has worked in the Middle East and Southeast Asia for way too long; he has traveled to over 50 countries chasing fortune and glory. He spends his off time in Indonesia and Virginia getting drunk, shooting guns, writing poorly written articles and punching people in the face. James G. on FACEBOOK

H2H FIGHTING: What the Hell Happened to Traditional Values in Martial Arts?

super-dbag
super-dbag

I was having lunch at the chow hall with some of my boys the other day when one of the new guys sat down and joined us. As usual with all new guys we made fun of him for a little while then interrogated him about his background listening carefully for any BS.

Anyway the kid ended up being a good dude that took it all in stride and yapped about his background and hobbies. As with most guys in this line of work the subject of past/current Martial Arts training will eventually come up. Well this dude mentioned that he had been training in some sort of Kung Fu since he was a kid.

Well that opened the flood gates of “Kung Fu is worthless on the streets” to the inevitable “Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is the best Martial Art in the entire galaxy” to my response of “Who gives a shit, you guys sound like a bunch of nerds arguing about Star Wars VS Star Trek”, then Laughter…

The above (and my rant below) is why I haven’t stepped a foot in a dojo in over 10 years, all of the childish chest thumping about this Martial Art VS that Martial Art is gay. Back in the day when I first started training in Martial Arts it was about learning something that was new and challenging (and cool) that people had been teaching for centuries.

It didn’t matter if Ninjawondo was suitable for a street fight in South Central LA or would get you laid in a bar – it was about the process of learning and mastering something to the point of near perfection. It was almost (without sounding like a hippie) a spiritual experience, and exactly what I needed as an undisciplined young man.

These days Martial Arts seems to be all about who can “fuck each other up on the streets” – now besides the fact that 99.9999% of Martial Arts practitioners don’t get into fights “on the streets” that sort of gangster-ass attitude has no place in a dojo. I long for the days of bowing to your sensei, training for an hour and shaking everyone’s hand at the end of the class.

Back then Martial Arts discussions were about technique and style not calling each other names or disrespecting other styles of Martial Arts. My Old School Taekwondo instructor had my ass scrubbing the dojo floor for 6 months when he heard me disrespecting another Martial Art. And that experience shaped the Martial Arts values that I still hold to this day – Respect, Honor, Integrity, Honesty and “Carry Yourself Like a Gentleman in a competition”

Now I see people in dojos throwing their hands in the air when defeating a fellow classmate and yelling “yeah baby, get some!” while the instructor claps his hands laughing. That shit makes me sick to my stomach. Martial Arts are about learning, discipline and grace – not about acting like a fake tough-guy Douchebag in a super tight Tap Out T-shirt arguing on the internet about how MMA is the end-all in Martial Arts training.

Besides, in the end my 7 dollar can of pepper spray trumps your 20 years of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training - so be a dignified Martial Artist and act like a gentleman, then when you are rolling around on the floor yelling “it burns” no one will say “That super tight Tap Out t-shirt wearing Douchebag deserved to get his ass pepper-sprayed”

bow
bow

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

~James G Founder - Editor in Chief

James G is a Veteran Civilian Contractor who has worked in the Middle East and Southeast Asia for way too long; he has traveled to over 50 countries chasing fortune and glory. He spends his off time in Indonesia and Virginia getting drunk, shooting guns, writing poorly written articles and learning a martial art that is worthless on the streets. James G. on FACEBOOK

H2H FIGHTING: The “Brick to the Head” and Other Stuff You Didn’t Learn at the Dojo

throw-a-brick1
throw-a-brick1

I got an email from a buddy of mine that I have known since way-way back in the day, about a fight he got in my old stomping grounds back in D.C. I met this dude at a martial arts class (that our parents were making us take) when I was like 13 and somehow over the years we have managed to keep in touch, one of my Old School boys.

Anyway, he was telling me about this fight he jumped into when one of his buddies was getting his ass stomped like a mo-fo by a steroided up douchebag outside of an Applebee’s. The reason behind the fight was a long-ass boring story that’s not even remotely interesting at all, let’s just say his buddy had been having problems with this guy for years – over a girl of course.

The fight started off pretty mundane, just two idiots trading fists in a parking lot over some broad. And besides his friend getting his ass handed to him, it was just a normal fight until the big dude kept pounding his buddy way after the fight should have been over.

So he started yelling at the big guy “ok dude, he has had enough, just walk away man, you won” – gorilla boy wasn’t even paying attention to him so he kept beating his buddy’s near unconscious body into the pavement.

Not wanting to see his friend get beaten to death in an Applebee’s parking lot (which would have been an embarrassing obituary) my buddy was getting ready to jump-in and go H2H with this fool when he decided to just pick up a brick and throw it at the big dudes head.

BAM – Fight Over, big guy taking a nap in the street.

Anyway, after laughing my ass off I said “sensei didn’t teach us that one bro” - he said “hell no, can you imagine a brick-throwing kata, that shit would be funny as hell dude”

So now besides having a new funny story, I have an additional H2H move in my dirty-fighting toolbox (not that thire is such a thing as “fair fighting” anyway) just incase I happen to see a buddy getting curb-stomped at the local Applebee’s.

Anchorman
Anchorman

James G.’s List of “Non-Traditional” H2H Fighting Moves:

- The Kick in the Nuts - The Sand to the Face - The Bitch Slap - The Sucker Punch (And now) – The Brick to the Head

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

~James G Founder - Editor in Chief

James G is a Veteran Civilian Contractor who has worked in the Middle East and Southeast Asia for way too long; he has traveled to over 50 countries chasing fortune and glory. He spends his off time in Indonesia and Virginia getting drunk, shooting guns, writing poorly written articles and throwing bricks

H2H FIGHTING: The Sand in the Face

Throwing sand (or anything else) in someone’s face may seem like a comical or even H2H move but it is an effective technique that I have employed on many occasions. Using an object thrown in a persons face to distract them for a follow-up offensive strike has been a documented fighting move as far back as 1898 in England (Bartitsu).

H2H FIGHTING: The Sucker Punch

suckerpunch
suckerpunch

The sucker punch has no political affiliation

The Sucker Punch surely has to be one of the oldest H2H fighting moves, I can just imagine a cave man pointing over the shoulder of another cave man and yelling “Tyrannosaurus Rex” then clocking him over the head with a club.

Out of all the H2H fighting techniques this is also one of my favorites and most used, it is also funny and makes me laugh every time I use it. Now you may be thinking “no way I would fall for that” – Ha! I can pretty much guarantee that you will, it is an uncontrollable reaction to look when someone yells and points over your shoulder.

You may not totally turn around, but you will surely take a peek, and that’s when I kick you in the nuts 48 times.

How to Properly Sucker Punch Someone:

- Get close enough to strike your adversary, but not too close - Think of something to say (see list below) like “Godzilla” - Suddenly point over your adversaries shoulder and scream it - Punch him in the face - Kick him in the balls - Kick him in the balls - Kick him in the balls

The hardest part of the Sucker Punch is thinking of something that will not only make your adversary turn around, but is also funny enough so when you tell your friends about it later you can all have a good laugh.

Sucker Punch Distraction Words:

Just point over the shoulder of your sucker and yell one of the following…

- Superman!!! - Jesus!!! - Hamburger!!! - Moose!!! - Zoiks!!! - Book!!!

Out of all of the words above yelling “Superman” seems to be the most effective at distraction for some unknown reason. Why a grown man who was getting ready to fight me would turn around because they thought Superman was behind him escapes me.

But putting aside the humor aspect of this article for a second, the Sucker Punch is actually an effective preemptive fighting technique.

If you are in a situation where you believe violence is imminent and attacking first to defend yourself is the best way to survive, then the Sucker Punch is a good option. So don’t disregard the Sucker Punch as just a gag or something only bar-room brawlers do.

—————————————————————————————

~James G Founder - Editor in Chief

James G is a Veteran Civilian Contractor who has worked in the Middle East and Southeast Asia for way too long. He spends his off time in Indonesia and Virginia getting drunk, shooting guns, writing poorly written articles and sucker punching fools.

H2H FIGHTING: Can the Average Suburban Joe Become a Tough Guy?

Can the average suburbia living office worker learn the killer instinct? I do believe that all men have the "Cave Man" buried in their DNA somewhere; it’s just a matter of clearing all the pre-conditioned social niceties that has been vomited into most men’s heads in the “civilized” world we live in.

H2H FIGHTING: Whoopass Like Sherlock Holmes

Fight Like Sherlock Holmes
Fight Like Sherlock Holmes

“Watson May I Borrow Your Mustache For a Moment?”

If you haven’t seen the new Sherlock Holmes flick stop reading this article right now, get in your car and go see it. It is a great movie that has brought back the franchise with a bang.

Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law play the roles of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson perfectly and Guy Ritchie did an excellent job of directing.

But the best part of the movie isn’t the story, it’s the use of the once forgotten British Martial Art of Bartitsu, kicking ass with the Riding Crop and the classic Cane (one a sword cane) by Sherlock Holmes and Watson. Good on Guy Ritchie for using the same tools and martial arts used by Sherlock Holmes in the books.

Below is a little bit of information on each of these Victorian era weapons and fighting techniques and how you can learn then if you want.

Bartitsu  Ear Slap
Bartitsu Ear Slap

Bartitsu

Sherlock Holmes briefly mentioned that he was skilled in Bartitsu in the book "The Adventure of the Empty House" and used its fighting moves to toss Professor Moriartys ass into the Reichenbach Falls killing him.

Bartitsu is a “Gentleman’s Martial Art” that was created by British globetrotting adventurer (and a bit of a hustler) Edward William Barton-Wright. Ed was an engineer that worked in Europe and Asia, after learning jujutsu in Japan and returning back home he created Bartitsu.

Edward William Barton-Wright
Edward William Barton-Wright

Bartitsu Founder Edward William "The Mad Stash" Barton-Wright

Bartitsu is a mix of jujutsu, western boxing, savate (French kickboxing) and canne de combat a French stick fighting martial art.

Bartitsu Knee Strike
Bartitsu Knee Strike

You Wont Be Needing That Knee Anymore Dude

It was basically a martial art so an upper class gentleman could defend himself from commoners in late 18th century Brittan. Sort of a “Snob-Fu” for rich folk and royalty.

Over the years Bartitsu pretty much faded out of the fighting world, recently a few groups have been trying to bring it back as a historical martial art. Considering that men don’t walk around with Riding Crops, Swords or Canes anymore it really isn’t practical these days.

Bartitsu Cane Stance
Bartitsu Cane Stance

Bartitsu Cane Stance - Handlebar Mustache Required for proper balance

Lately Bartitsu has been making a bit of a comeback, the Bartitsu Society (formed 2002) teaches seminars in major cities and the original Bartitsu training manuals can be found on Amazon.com. If attending a seminar isn’t possible the closest cousins to Bartitsu are Jeet Kune Do and combatives.

The Cane
The Cane

The Cane and Club

Holmes, like all gentlemen in that day and age walked around with a cane despite not having the physical need for one. So for the time it was logical that one would learn how to use a cane as a weapon, especially if you worked in a hazardous occupation or spent allot of time visiting whorehouses in the Whitechapel district of London (Jack the Rippers old hunting grounds).

The martial art used by Holmes to fight with a cane or club is called Singlestick, again this is a French form of stick fighting (I guess they had allot of sticks laying around in France from all of the white flags they wave). Dr. Watson describes Holmes as a Singlestick expert in the Sherlock Holmes books.

Club
Club

I’ll Show those baby Seals Who’s in Charge Around Here

The old school British walking cane isn’t the candy cane shaped cane people use these days. The cane used during Sherlock Holmes time was a short straight cane with a length less than 3 foot long.

Canes of 1800’s England were made with a fat head and solid wood (some were even made from whale tooth) that made it a great choice for discreet self defense.

It is doubtful that there is a Singlestick studio in your town so the closest thing to learning Singlestick or the cane would be the Filipino Martial Arts (FMA).

Eskrima, Kali, Arnis de Mano all concentrate heavily on stick fighting. Most cities have a Martial Arts studio that teaches Filipino martial arts or occasionally holds FMA seminars.

Sword Cane
Sword Cane

Sword Cane

Now combine the walking cane with a concealed sword like Dr. Watson carried and you have a seriously deadly weapon. The “Swordstick” (the more common name for sword canes then) was pretty popular with the snooty “tea and crumpets” crowd circa 1800’s Europe.

The swordstick form Sherlock Holmes’s time was usually made with Malacca wood (a lightweight but solid wood from Malaysia), with a stainless steel rapier style blade.

Using a swordstick then was similar to the techniques used in classic fencing, you hold the swordstick single-handedly with your dominant hand wile the weak arm would be held in an L shaped position (like the left turn hand signal).

Sherlock Holmes was said to be a formidable fencer and most likely used fencing as a basis for fighting with a Swordstick.

As far as I know their isn’t a martial art that teaches you to fight with the late 1800’s swordstick, but learning fencing like Holmes would probably be the best choice. You can buy swordsticks on Amazon.com, Cold Steel makes the better quality ones.

The Riding Crop
The Riding Crop

The Riding Crop

This is exactly what it sounds like, it is a stick covered in leather used to smack a horse in the ass. Horses and horse drawn carriages were the main means of transportation during Sherlock Holmes’s time, so some guy walking around with a riding crop was as normal as someone walking around with car keys these days.

Oddly the Riding Crop was Sherlock Holmes’s preferred weapon; in The Adventure of the Six Napoleons he actually says it is his favorite weapon.

There isn’t a specific way to beat the shit out of someone with a riding crop outside of S&M, you basically just hit someone over and over again.

Bare-Knuckle Fighting
Bare-Knuckle Fighting

Bare Knuckle Fighting

Sherlock Holmes isn’t the first person when people think about boxing skills but Holmes was a skilled bare-knuckle prize-fighter, as shown in this latest movie. It was one of the things he did when he got bored between jobs (along with a nasty blow, smack and morphine habit).

Bare-knuckle fighting is basically boxing where dirty fighting is allowed, stepping on the other dudes foot, spitting and head-buts are all somewhat allowed.

Bare-Knuckle Fighting is actually sort of funny looking, you stand with a straight back with your fists palm up and low (not protecting your face).

If you want to learn Bare-Knuckle Fighting you can check out classic boxing manuals (available on Amazon.com and at Paladin Press) or just hit your local boxing gym.

*Note: I am not a Martial Arts Expert but I do have a Black Belt in Johnny Walker-Fu

JamesGrey100X100
JamesGrey100X100

————————————————————————————— ~James GJames G is a Veteran Civilian Contractor who has worked in the Middle East and Southeast Asia for way too long. He spends his off time in his homes in Indonesia and Virginia getting drunk, shooting guns and writing poorly written articles.