If you are a fan of Tommy Moore, you'll know he has more passion for Martial Arts and self-defence than anyone else I have ever met.
A real student of the game.
And in this article, I review his book 'Modern Bartitsu: Scientific Street Fighting for Ladies and Gentleman'.
Let's dive in.
What's It All About?
The book is about the Martial Art of Bartitsu founded by Edward William Barton-Wright in the 1890's. It covers all the basic movements and skills, as well as some crushing self-defence techniques.
In essence, it is a great look at the art of Bartitsu.
What I like about this book is that its mission isn't to make you into a great fighter, it's a technical picture of an art that many (including myself) know little about.
As a result, you get a great, detailed look at Bartitsu and its relevance today.
What's Good About It?
It is a great technical guide to Bartitsu.
And it's ideal for fans of the original art and people studying Martial Arts.
The book covers the history, philosophy and skills of Bartitsu, so I felt right at home reading through it.
There are some amazing pictures in this book. You get a real sense of what Barton-Wright’s system was designed to do.
What stands out for me is the sheer quality of the book. It is a collectors edition that will fit onto any bookshelf and yet is small enough to fit into your training bag to take to class.
The other aspect that I love is the sheer range of techniques. It covers so many options for self-defence, it's beyond belief.
Do the Techniques Work Today?
You might be thinking that this book is a history lesson. Well yes, that's true to a degree, but it's still packed with highly relevant content.
The techniques are all highly relevant and practical in today's modern self-defence world.
In fact, I'd argue that they are vastly superior to what is packaged and sold as self-defence these days.
Sure, some are a bit unlawful today, such as the 'flexible weapons', and that's great. It's part of the history of the art.
And that's the weird but super cool part of this book. It feels like part book, part time machine.
And that's Tommy.
He has created a book that is a truly immersive experience. And I think any Martial Artist would struggle not to enjoy flicking through the pages of this book.
This brings me onto a key issue, Martial Arts books are great.
You don't really see them any longer, yet they are super usable.
Yes, you can take online resources to the club, the toilet and even watch them while the other half has a boring show on TV.
But books are immersive. You have to engage your brain to read and this makes the contents super useful.
The images, page graphics and text explanations provide a huge amount of information and key tips that you just don't get in today's video instructionals.
Indeed, on many pages, Tommy highlights tips to make the techniques work better in reality.
Who is This Book Not For?
The problem with Martial Arts books is that they aren't videos.
Kind of obvious, I know. But this is the weird thing about the current Martial Arts content world.
I can go to YouTube and watch endless videos of Martial Arts content on my TV or device.
I know many people love this, and there are some truly great videos out there. But as I touched on above, books are an immersive experience.
Sitting down with a glass of Merlot, reading the book of Modern Bartitsu was a truly pleasurable experience for me.
I read the text, looked at the great imagery and placed myself on the streets of Victorian London. Because this book is much more than a fighting manual; it's a legacy of culture.
This brings me onto who this book is not for.
It's not for those who want a 'how to fight quick' manual.
It's not for those that prefer videos.
It's not for those that don't want to learn about new arts.
It's not for those looking for a quick self-defence technique or two (but you'll find many in this book).
No, the book is an experience. One that deserves to be savoured, repeated and enjoyed.
An Invitation to Build a Bartitsu Legacy
On page 227 of Tommy's book, he gives some advice for setting up your own Bartitsu club.
I felt that this was an excellent addition to the book. Because that's exactly what the book does, it invites people to add this art to their lives, their schedules and indeed their worlds.
And I have to say, I personally find this enticing.
Who knows, after reading, you might too.
Modern Bartitsu is a book that deserves a place on every experienced Martial Artist’s shelf.
But it deserves to be treated as an experience, something to immerse yourself into and enjoy.
The images are incredible, the design a joy to behold and the content superb.
So, what are you waiting for?
Don't wait to be treated, grab yourself a copy by clicking the link below.
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