и мои шансы в схватке с ним были невелики,
если бы я в свое время не овладел приемами этой смертоносной борьбы.
Из интервью Нила Стивенсона:
The premise is that we all know about the Chinese or Japanese martial arts; they have this quasi-mythical status now for people. But if you think about it, the Europeans must have had equally sophisticated martial arts and we just forgot them as soon as we invented guns. So people have been going through German and Italian manuscripts, that are kind of like longsword fencing manuals, and bringing this stuff back to life.
So we'd mostly been doing longsword, in my little group. But we became interested in cane-fighting, which was taught in London a hundred years ago or so as part of this school of Bartitsu, founded by EW Barton-Wright, a railway engineer who'd picked up ju-jitsu in Japan. And he brought in a Swiss guy called Vigny who'd taken informal methods of walking-stick-fu and codified them into a system called la canne: he taught the part of the curriculum which involved fighting with walking sticks.Yeah. There's a whole curriculum over fighting with bicycles. Pictures of an Edwardian lady in a floor-length dress and a huge hat with flowers, riding primly down a country lane, and when a ruffian comes out she uses some trick with the bicycle to flatten him and rides off. It's great stuff. The bicycles we're not sure how to approach, but we've created a little assembly line to make rattan canes, with a knob on the end. But there's, you know, how to use a bicycle pump as a weapon. How to defend yourself with a parasol. Crazy.
А вот, собственно, баритсу - вернее, бартитсу (из Википедии); по центру - мистер Бартон-Райт; прямо под его портретом - явно Мориарти бросает плащ в Рейхенбахский водопад.