[LANG, Herbert Gordon.]

The "Walking-Stick" Method of Self-Defence.

By an Officer of the Indian Police.

London: Athletic Publications Ltd, [1926] Stock Code: 117850
£875.00

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Notes

First edition of this idiosyncratic stick-fighting handbook combining the "canne" method of Swiss master Pierre Vigny (referred to by Lang as "Vigui") with the "bois" method widespread in the West Indies. The author, a police superintendent in Kathiawar, was born in Grenada in 1887, and possibly came into contact with canne in London, where Vigny taught between 1900 and 1911, including a period at E. W. Barton-Wright's Bartitsu Academy on Shaftesbury Avenue, which operated between 1898 and 1902. Barton-Wright's jujutsu-influenced "bartitsu" style was immortalised by Arthur Conan Doyle in the Sherlock Holmes story "The Adventure of the Empty House", in which Holmes claims to have bested Moriarty at the Reychenbach Falls using "baritsu" (sic). The popularity of canne and similar techniques faded in Europe after 1918 as "the canne was no longer a fashion accessory, street safety had improved, and many of the canne-fencing military teachers had been wounded or killed in the war" (Green and Svinth, eds, Martial Arts of the World, p. 220), though the testimonials in Lang's preface demonstrate his success in introducing his methods to police in Bombay, Sind and Pune; later, in Mandatory Palestine, "Lang's book formed the basis of self-defence training for thousands of Jews" (ibid.) Uncommon: four library copies traced in the UK (National Library of Scotland, Oxford, and two in the British Library); WorldCat adds four copies world-wide, all in North America.

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Description

Small octavo. Original red cloth, spine lettered in black, front board lettered and panelled in black. With the dust jacket.

Illustrations

16 double-sided photographic plates.

Condition

Front board very lightly bowed, light spotting to edges. An excellent copy in the slightly soiled and nicked dust jacket with a toned and chipped spine panel and a closed tear along the front joint affecting half a letter.

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