Richard Marsden wrote:Yes, that. When I read your books it seems these 'giants' keep getting rolled by jujitsu and were stunned and confused. I wonder if they ever adopted it, figured it out, what happened later?
As far as I can recall, the only time either Tani or Uyenishi ever lost a jujitsu match in the music halls was when Tani eventually lost to the more experienced Taro Miyake, who arrived in London several years after the Bartitsu Club closed down. Some English wrestlers took a strong interest in the "new" Japanese style, most notably Percy Longhurst, who was an amateur champion and who was among the first to "test" jujitsu. I can't think of any who took it into competition, though, aside from the informal and largely undocumented melding of jujitsu with catch, etc. that became the foundation of professional (show) wrestling.
In the context of your original question, I should add that the "jujitsu vs. wrestling" controversy wasn't so much over whether jujitsu worked, as over the morality of submission wrestling per se; basically, the wrestling establishment objected to the practice of winning by stranglehold or joint-lock because they saw those techniques as being fouls, which, of course, they were from the perspective of the extant European styles. That naturally developed into the Edwardian equivalent of a flame-war about who would win in various hypothetical contests (FWIW, Tani did later successfully compete as a catch wrestler in the Lancashire style). The debate was basically repeated a few years later on the "jujitsu vs. boxing" theme.
Let me rephrase. Is Bartitsu designed to be used against those who do not know or understand it?
That's an interesting question. I'd say that it was
so designed by default, in that the Bartitsu Club was literally the only place where one could actually learn Bartitsu c1900. Barton-Wright instituted stringent rules about only accepting people of "good character" as members, so it was reasonably assumed that Bartitsu exponents would have no opportunity to fight each other apart from training bouts. His demonstrations and articles generally assumed that the Bartitsu-trained defender was opposed by either an untrained hooligan or a specialist in the more common methods (offering specific tactics for using a cane against a boxer or savateur, countering boxing with jujitsu, etc.) Because jujitsu was entirely novel at the time, he evidently saw it as a type of "secret weapon".
In terms of modern practice, again, every club is different. My own preference is to run the gamut, having "attackers" role-play everything from unskilled ruffians to skilled Bartitsuka for training purposes.