[Bartitsu Workshop with Mark Donnelly - July 28-29, 2012 in NYC]
Frequently Asked Questions

What is Bartitsu?
Bartitsu, the "gentlemanly art of self-defense," was the innovation of British engineer Edward Barton-Wright. He lived for three years in Japan, where he trained in the art of Ju Jutsu, which was to become one of the foundations of his unique martial art. In 1899 he opened the Bartitsu Academy of Arms and Physical Culture in London, attracting a clientele of middle- and upper-class men and women. Bartitsu had a brief but notable zenith, sparking an interest in self-defense, a revival of the "manly arts," the rise of militant suffragettes and Amazonian feminism, and the growth of physical culture in England. The Bartitsu Club closed its doors in 1902, and Bartitsu and its founder were all but forgotten for the better part of a century, save for a brief mis-spelled mention in the Sherlock Holmes story "The Empty House," but the influence of Ju Jutsu and of martial arts as a discipline and a way of life for Westerners would persist for decades. See the What is Bartitsu? page for more information.

Where will the seminars be held?
The seminars will be held at the Society for Martial Arts instruction at 4 West 18th Street, Third Floor, New York, NY 10011 (between Fifth and Sixth Avenues). Click for map and driving directions or directions by subway. The dojo is equipped with high-powered floor fans, a ceiling fan, a small air-conditioner, water cooler, and changing rooms/showers for men and women; towels are available for rental or you may bring your own.

How much does the seminar cost?
Advance registration is $50 per day or $100 for both days. At the door registration is $55 per day or $110 for both days. Click to register online.

May children participate?
Teenagers under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian for the duration of the seminar. There is no charge for the parent or guardian who is accompanying their child; parents or guardians who wish to participate must pay the regular registration fee. Regrettably we cannot allow children under the age of 13 to participate.

Can I observe the seminar?
Observers may watch the training for $20.00 per day, payable in advance or at the door. Note that observers will not be permitted to train unless they pay an additional $35.00, regardless of when they decide to participate in the training. Please plan in advance, e.g. observe the seminar on Saturday and return on Sunday if you want to train. Click to register online.

I am from out-of-town; where can I stay?
We have not made arrangements with local hotels, but there are many different options for accomodations for all budgets. Click for Google Maps listing of hotels near 4 West 18th Street. Options include Herald Square Hotel, Broadway Plaza Hotel, Seton Hotel , and Ace Hotel. If you are travelling on a budget, options include the Chelsea Savoy (from approximately $99 per night), Larchmont Hotel (from approximately $109 per night), and the Jane Hotel (from approximately $99 per night).

What should I wear or bring?
The short answer is anything you like, so long as you can move comfortably in it. Historic attire is encouraged but by no means obligatory. Some Bartitsu students train in Victorian street clothing such as corsets, bustles, long skirts, trousers, waistcoats and frock coats - as well as in historic gymnastic attire such as bloomers, breeches, light-colored trousers, white cotton tee-shirts, and tank tops. High heels are discouraged for safety reasons, but street shoes, boots, sneakers, Chinese slippers, kung fu shoes, or any type of flat shoe are fine. Note that July in New York City is often hot and humid, so please dress accordingly. A walking stick, parasol, or stick umbrella is recommended. See the What to Wear and Bring page for full details.

Do I need to be a martial artist to participate?
No, Bartitsu is easy to learn and suitable for students with no previous martial arts experience. Beginners are always welcome. According to Professor Donnelly, "One of the attractive features of Bartitsu is that it was created for gentlemen and ladies ó not athletes, not soldiers, not gymnasts. Itís for the average person of average physical ability, and it is designed to give them an intellectual advantage over their uneducated assailant. They outthink rather then outfight the attacker."

How fit do I need to be to participate?
It is not necessary to be in peak physical condition. Much of this material was designed for gentlemen and ladies (i.e., not professional athletes or even martial artists) and as such should be manageable to anyone with even moderate physical ability. There will be several water breaks throughout the day and a longer break about halfway through the training. If you get tired and need to rest, simply leave the training floor and sit down until you are ready to return.

I have additional questions
You may contact the event organizer Rachel Klingberg at mlleviolet@nycsteampunk.com