Unarmed Stances

The Ready Stance (Hachiji-Dachi)

The ready stance in Bartitsu takes itself from classical Japanese combat forms.

To get into position your feet should be shoulder-width apart with your toes pointing outward at 45 degrees.

Your knees should be slightly bent whilst the body is well erect. Your hands should be held as fists positioned in front of your thighs.

On Guard Stance

Place your left leg forward and extend your left arm out. Your left-arm may be partly bent but must be at a distance of ten to 15 inches from your body.

Your left fist should be at eye level and directed at your opponent’s face.

Your right arm should be bent and posed over the area where the ribs meet (the mark).

Your right foot should be placed just beyond should distance of the left foot and at a right angle to it.

Your knees should be bent with your body slightly apply more weight to the right leg, whilst your body is erect and well-poised on the hips.

This guard can be reversed to have your right arm lead.

Horse-Riding Stance (Kiba-Dachi)

You need to step both your right and left leg wide apart and allow your knees to bend deeply. Your torso needs to remain erect and well-poised with your weight centred between both feet. You should place your hands and the level of your lower ribs.

Stick Fighting Stances

Back Guard Raised

Assume a left lead on-guard stance, hold the stick with your right hand and position over your head with your right arm two-thirds extended.

The tip of the stick should be directed towards your opponent’s face or upper torso. 

Your left arm should be extended with your hand in an exposed position (which will lead to setting the bait).

Back Guard Lowered

To perform this guard, you will need to replicate the steps as outlined in the Back Guard Raised. The exception is that you will now hold the stick to the rear with the tip directed to the floor.

Front Guard

Perform a right lead on guard position with the stick held in your right hand and poised in front fo your body. Your right arm should be extended two-thirds with your right hand at forehead height.

The tip of the stick should be directed at your opponent’s chest.

Place your left hand on the rear hip or behind your back.

Double Handed Guard

Perform the Back Guard stance but hold the stick horizontally over your head using both hands. Your arms should be extended by two-thirds and if your stick has a handle you should hold this end with your right hand.