We imagine the 19th century as a refined, elegant period; gentlemen with crisp tailcoats and top hats, ladies with crinoline dresses and lacy parasols. But the streets of London, New York, Chicago or New Orleans were often far darker, rougher and more dangerous than they are today.
Described by sports journalist W.T.A. Beare as “a coinage of the gymnasium”, the word “antagonistics” was late-19th century slang for all manner of combat sports and self defense methods; directly equivalent to the way we use the term “martial arts” today. Thus, it encompasses the fighting styles and skills developed in Europe and in European colonies during the Victorian and Edwardian eras, supplemented by “physical culture” fitness training.
Forteza’s Antagonistics program combines a number of exercises and combat disciplines that were once widely practiced in gymnasia and fencing salons throughout the Western world. We teach Antagonistics in a unique, modular fashion, allowing students to move through the different components of the curriculum and quickly learn how to integrate them fluidly and creatively. Begin your journey with our Introduction to Bartitsu class and build a foundation of efficient, graceful movement, fitness, physical confidence, situational awareness and combat improvisation, that will prepare you for this diverse program of armed and unarmed fighting arts!