Fight Like Sherlock Holmes: A Victorian Martial Art Makes a Comeback

This is just fantastic… I kind of want to take lessons myself, but it IS exciting to find out that a once thought fictional thing is real. Bartitsu is something I found out about through ACD’s books and through fanfiction, so it being real is just…
Sorry, pardon me for a moment while I go and be mindblown.


Sherlock Holmes, of course, is a fictional creation—but, for a long time, the sleuth’s fans thought that his preferred method of hand-to-hand combat was fictional too. In the original Arthur Conan Doyle story The Adventure of the Empty House, Holmes returns from what readers had thought was his death at the end of The Final Problem; he explains to Watson that, contrary to public perception, he didn’t met his end in the treacherous Reichenbach Falls. How then, did he make his escape? Holmes explains that he fought off his arch-nemesis Professor Moriarty by using his knowledge of baritsu, a form of Japanese wrestling.

When she first read that story, Holmes fan and martial artist Rachel Klingberg was skeptical, having never heard of the word. She assumed that Doyle made it up, even though that was unusual for the author. That’s the same assumption that had been made…

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