Sherlock Holmes Baritsu

Sherlock Holmes Baritsu

death of sherlock holmes

Amid the controversy that the new Sherlock Holmes movie depicts a character not in keeping with Sir Arthur Canon Doyle’s original Sherlock Holmes, we look to Canon Doyle’s own words written in the Adventure of the Empty House. Here he has Holmes explain how he survived his great confrontation and battle with his nemesis, Professor Moriarty.

“When I reached the end I stood at bay. He drew no weapon, but he rushed at me and threw his long arms around me. He knew that his own game was up, and was only anxious to revenge himself upon me. We tottered together upon the brink of the fall. I have some knowledge, however, of baritsu, or the Japanese system of wrestling, which has more than once been very useful to me. I slipped through his grip, and he with a horrible scream kicked madly for a few seconds and clawed the air with both his hands. But for all his efforts he could not get his balance, and over he went. With my face over the brink I saw him fall for a long way. Then he struck a rock, bounced off, and splashed into the water.”

Although the spelling is slightly off, we know that Canon Doyle was referring to “bartitsu”, a form of self defense created by Edward William Barton-Wright.

Perhaps it is not so much that the new movie is not in keeping with Canon Doyle’s Holmes as it is that previous portrayals of the detective have down played his physical prowess and skill at the mixed martial art of bartitsu.

You can learn more about the history of Bartitsu: the Gentlemanly Art of Self Defense in this video created by the Bartitsu Society.

One thought on “Sherlock Holmes Baritsu

  1. I found this site some time ago while doing research into Baritsu. I enjoy it very much & have found its content & information invaluable not only for my new found love of Sherlock Holmes, but also for inspiration in my new personal endeavor. I have been a private martial artist for the last 18 years. My studying, cross training & experimenting in over 27 systems have led me to the science of martial art kenetics & physics. However, it wasn’t until I saw the 2009 movie that I realised the true potential of a fully developed Baritsu system. A new game is afoot, an opportunity to bring the mind of Sherlock Holmes to the world of martial arts. More to come. . .”steel your mind, for you & I are bound together on a journey that will twist the very fabric of nature”

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