One thought on “Master at Arms Pt 2

  1. I’m a regular listener to Kung Fu Podcast and both enjoy and greatly appreciate the work you do. I live in the UK and by chance had an opportunity earlier this week to visit Brownsea Island, the site of Baden-Powell’s first experimental scout camp in August 1907. The visit called to mind your thoughts on the Master At Arms badge and the place of martial exercises in Baden-Powell’s original plans for Scouting. In the Scout shop I came across a privately published pamphlet called ‘Why Brownsea – the beginnings of scouting’. It was produced as part of the celebrations for the Scouting centenary in 2007. It describes the first experimental camp in detail, including the membership of the troop, the schedule of activities and personal remembrances. The accounts support your thesis that martial exercise was an integral part of the vision, with activities like ‘games for health and endurance’ , ‘marksmanship’ and ‘combat games’. The account describes an activity called ‘The Struggle’ – “Two players face each other about a yard apart, stretch arms out sideways, lock finders of both hands, and lean towards each other till their chests touch, push chest to chest, and see who can drive the other back to a goal line”. There’s even a photograph of this activity. The description of the final day of the camp includes a demonstration of jujitsu, though unfortunately says nothing about who gave it or what it entailed. I’d be happy to send you a copy of the pamphlet if it would be of interest – one small repayment for the excellent work you do.

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