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4.6 out of 5 stars59
4.6 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 6 January 2012
This book will most likely be purchased by fans of Conan-Doyle's most famous character, or by those looking for a small gift for those who love their Holmes. However, it has a somewhat wider appeal, particularly to those interested in the development of western, or at least westernized, martial arts.

The text and pictures / drawings appears to be an amalgamation of two articles written for Pearson's Magazine by E. W. Barton-Wright on his 'new' system, which was largely a combination of basic jujitsu holds and grappling combined with some practical stick-fighting techniques, suggestions of how to use a bicycle as a practical aid to self-defence, and interspaced with a handful of select quotations from Conan-Doyle's Holmes cannon. Books of this kind were very popular in the final decade of the 19th century and early 20th century, a good example being 'Broadsword and Single-Stick' by R. G. Allanson-Wynn & C. Phillips-Wolley, and 'The "Walking Stick" Method of Self-Defence' by Mr. H. G. Lang. It reads in a very similar way, and is quite entertaining, while certainly providing a useful additional insight into the contermporary late Victorian and Edwardian life and environment, and the kind of fighting methods Conan-Doyle had in mind for his character. Although this is perhaps the selling point and main object of the book, it should be noted that what it describes remains quite practical. Granted, relatively few able-bodied men or women carry walking sticks in the 21st century, which reduces some of the value of the sections on stick use, but they are still interesting to read, and retain a certain indirect interest and use.

The book itself is beautifully presented; the hardback covers are of good quality, with chamfered corners, and a nice maroon cloth spine. The paper and print are of equally good quality, while the presumably reproduced pictures are as clear and well defined as could be hoped for. Well worth buying.
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on 26 September 2012
I ordered this book and received in just 3 days. As a bartitsu practitioner I was aware of the content
of the book, but never imagined such a high quality of binding and typography. This was a really surprise.
This book is a true gem itself, and it worth every penny. I highly recommend to every book lover martial
artist.
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on 31 October 2012
I have seen the illustrations for Bartitsu also known as Baritsu and it is a very useful method of self defence.

Part of the technique draws on Far Eastern martial arts moves and the Baritsu method was tailored for the Victorian / Edwardian Gentleman about town (although not by Gieves and Hawkes the upmarket outfitters!) to utilise the tools a gentleman of the time had to hand, i.e. a walking stick, umbrella or bicycle!

A great piece of nostalgia but also worth a look as you may just one day have to use one of the moves in the book and the book will have proven to have been a wise investment.

Fair warning to Cads and Bounders everywhere!
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on 26 August 2011
Excellent guide to help a chap deal with the kind of ruffian and cad one runs into nowadays. Who knew a bicycle could be such an effective weapon?
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on 21 January 2012
What a wonderful little book! It's bound perfectly with cut edges that really make it pleasurable to hold. The book itself is full of images of the martial arts moves being executed, as well as explanations and quotes from the original book. The martial arts style starts off as any basic self defense does, with over shoulder throws, disarming moves etc, then moves onto stick/cane fighting and other entertaining methods. Truly a fascinating read, and well worth the price I paid!
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on 26 November 2012
Truly a fascinating read, and well worth the price I paid! I bought this as a bit of a joke but was pleasntly surprised to find some useful gems inside
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on 1 February 2013
I am big fan of Sherlock Holmes and Martial Arts/Self-Defence and when I found this book, I was really looking forward to reading it! It gives you information on how to get out of certain situations and to defend yourself. Very handy! I have actually learnt some of the techniques in my martial arts class!
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on 12 May 2014
I am into steampunk and this is perfect!I also need a walking stick and the section on walking stick self defence is quite wonderful.
If for nothing else it is simply well illustrated and a window into a past that I wish still existed.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 5 December 2012
Firstly the production of this book is excellent. Hard backed with a cloth spine really giving it a feel fitting with the original publications of the images in 1900.

Secondly this book justifies my wife calling me a wierdo (she brought it for me so not my fault), as it is not uncommon for me to flick through it and be chuckling away to myself. This book is a self-defence book so the subject matter should be quite dull. What makes it enjoyable and comical is the way it is worded and the time period. 1900's conjure up an images of the empire, British Gentlemen and Ladies.....Not muai thai style street combat. The elegant wording for brutal descriptions give you plenty of quote like the one below:
"it is necessary to be very careful when practicing this trick as the slightest blow with the knee in a persons face is sufficient to break the nose and several teeth"

This book is a window to possibly the first example of Mixed Martial Arts(MMA) and how hardcore some Victorians were.
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on 11 August 2012
great book for people who want to defend themselfs and using good detail goes into alot of explaining why it used and how it formed realy good little book worth buying
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