To the unacquainted, some may think Yoga and martial arts are philosophies of opposites, chalk and cheese to say. But if we dive deeper, both Yoga and martial arts contain some core concepts which are common throughout.
Each allows the practitioner to generate a higher level of awareness to one’s self, an improvement in coordination and mechanics whilst becoming skilled in an art that relies on both the mental and physical.
In particular, Bartitsu incorporates movements which are highly precise, mechanical in nature and requires one to be aware of their mental and physical state in relation to their situation.
What are the benefits of Yoga for Bartitsu
Increasing one’s flexibility allows the practitioner to utilise more of their body. Within the remit of Bartitsu, there are a number of areas where flexibility would improve one’s skill, including the kicks of Savate and the techniques introduced by wrestling and ju-jitsu.
Increased muscle strength
Having more power and speed ultimately gives one an advantage over another. Skill can bypass raw strength alone but combine them both and you will be a position superior to others.
Improved respiration and cardio
The ability to control one’s breathing in a situation of possible physical harm can be the difference between a positive or negative outcome. Oxygen is fuel for the body, so having the ability to control and utilise it to its full capacity is crucial.
Improved athletic performance
Yoga may present itself as a low impact solution towards fitness, it does utilise every area of the body. By going from stance to stance it soon becomes a test to one’s fitness improving areas even in the most athletic of people.
Introducing Yoga into your Bartitsu
If you’re a member of a club or solo practitioner, Yoga can be implemented in small parts of your warm up. We’ve included some poses that you can include:
- Warrior Pose (Virabhadra)
- HalfMoon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana)
- Boat Pose (Paripurna Navasana)
- Dolphin Pose (Ardha Pincha Mayurasana)
- Four Limbed Staff Pose (Chaturanga)
There are many more poses within Yoga, all with numerous uses and benefits. Exploration and attendance of a class will introduce to new forms which you can further incorporate to your Bartitsu.
The Bartitsu Connection
There is no documented connection of Bartitsu utilising Yoga, we do see an introduction of Yoga to the west during the 1890’s by Swami Vivekananda , shortly before Barton-Wright brought Bartitsu to the world. India, a wonderful country, happens to be the birthplace of both Yoga and Edward Barton-Wright, one could imagine that Barton-Wright may have been lucky enough to witness the art in his younger years.