Equipment and “uniform”


The Bartitsu Club of Chicago provides members with basic “trainer” canes for use in walking stick defense exercises and sparring.  Some club members opt to purchase their own canes from PurpleHeart Armory. We recommend their lighter 3/4″ canes, with the rubber “ball handle” secured with nylon string.

Body protection is required for some aspects of Bartitsu training, especially stick fighting.  Fencing masks are provided.  Members are encouraged to provide their own hand protection for stick fighting training; black hockey or lacrosse gloves offering full mobility to the fingers and thumbs are recommended.

Our club “uniform” is modeled on circa 1900 “physical culture” clothing and is similar to fencing, wrestling, savate (French kickboxing) and gymnastics uniforms, which are descended from the sports and exercise fashions of the same era.

Bartitsu Club members are expected to have purchased the basic kit detailed below before participating in their first Antagonisticathlon event.

The basic kit consists of:

  • A plain, form-fitting T-shirt, A-shirt or tank top
  • Fencing, yoga or martial arts pants
  • Lightweight rubber-soled shoes such as dance or martial arts slippers, jikatabi (Japanese split-toed shoes), etc.  Please note that street shoes are not allowed on the Forteza studio floor.

Clothing and shoes can be in any combination of the colors black, white, maroon, navy blue or grey.

We periodically practice drills and sparring exercises requiring judo gi jackets and sashes.  Judo jackets are not part of the basic kit; we have a limited number of loaner jackets, but it is useful if members eventually purchase their own.  Because Bartitsu does not include a belt rank system, sashes can be of any color and are simply used to hold the jackets in place.

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