Fudebakudo master goes rogue; displays art in public

In a shocking breach of centuries-old tradition, a Fudebakudo master has gone public.

Fudebakudo in public

Ba Desheng publicly reveals the art. Unbelievable. Note elderly bystanders pretending not to be interested.

According to the British free “newspaper” Metro, “Ba Desheng gives a whole new meaning to the term martial art, using kung fu moves to sketch out giant Chinese letters — known as calligraphy — in front of impressed onlookers.” Read the whole story at the Metro, if you dare.

We can only speculate as to why Ba Desheng decided to reveal himself in a world where Fudebakudo masters normally pass amongst us unnoticed. His choosing to wear the classic red-and-black “signature colours” is a very bold statement. A cry for help, perhaps? Is he imparting a desperate message to the rest of the Fudebakudo world? Perhaps. Sadly we will never know because he left the inkstone out of the mix, and the ink is so watery that when the sun came out his urgent message was lost forever.

Strange times indeed.

(So, Chinese letters are “known as calligraphy” — thanks for clearing that up, Metro).

Suffragette ju jutsu

By way of this blog’s recognition of International Women’s Day, here’s a tip o’ the hat to the most remarkable Edith Margaret Garrud, suffragette ju jutsu teacher. Amongst other impressive achievements, she taught the all-women Bodyguard corps specifically for protecting key Suffragettes against the police. She was introduced to the art by the perhaps better-remembered Edward Barton-Wright, he of Bartitsu fame (who was himself a fascinating character and pioneer, and who taught Sherlock Holmes his fighting technique, as far as such a thing is possible).

Ju jutsu as a husband tamer

Mrs Garrud’s Ju jutsu as a Husband Tamer, from the website of The Journal of Non-Lethal Combatives.
“I’ll learn this ‘ere jucy jujubes, Liz, for I could do for you if I was sober,” he says.

Anyway, on the topic of Suffrage . . . Royal Holloway (now of the University of London) was built as a women’s college and was opened by Queen Victoria in 1886 (hence the Royal). Inevitably, given the minority status of women’s education at the time Holloway was built, several key members of the Suffragette movement studied there including, for example, Emily Davison. This is pertinent because I have a number of connections with the place. Not only do I live very close to it, have studied there, worked there, trained in at least three different martial arts there (technically true), wrote a large part of one of the Exploding Pen books in the Victorian library there, but to top it all I was once commissioned to produce the Royal Holloway Board Game there. Yes, really.

If you’re interested in the Suffragettes, as clearly — today of all days — Fudebakudo expects you to be, I highly recommend the defaced penny episode of the BBC’s excellent “A History of the World in 100 Objects” series.