The Adventure of the Empty House" (in telling how he and Professor Moriarty settled their dispute at the Reichenbach Falls) was referred to as baritsu.
But in fact, the term was an invention of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's - perhaps unintentionally, as the actual martial art bartitsu was invented by E. W. Barton-Wright just two years prior to the story being written. It's quite possible that Doyle heard the term in passing and simply misremembered it, sealing its identity incorrectly for some 100 years.
However, for the last two years, the Bartitsu Society has built its presence on the web, and not without a little nod to Sherlock Holmes. In fact, they have been helping with the production of a documentary about the activity for the last year, and now the film is in the final stages of development. According to their site:
Hosted by Tony Wolf, Bartitsu: The Lost Martial Art of Sherlock Holmes traces the history, loss, rediscovery and modern revival of E.W. Barton-Wright’s “New Art of Self Defence”. It was shot in Italy, Switzerland, the UK and the USA and features interviews with martial arts historians Harry Cook and Graham Noble, authors and Bartitsu enthusiasts Mark Donnelly, Will Thomas and Neal Stephenson, and self defence historian Dr. Emelyne Godfrey.
The 55-minute documentary is an international co-production between the Cletarte cultural association, Broken Art, Ran Arthur Braun and Tony Wolf and will be distributed by the Freelance Academy Press.The trailer for the film is available on YouTube:
We'll try to keep up to speed on the developments of this project. Of course, if you hear before we do, please let us know.
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