How to Let Someone in on a Secret

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Reader Comments (44)

"Steak and Eggs and Eggs and Steak, that's what you should have for breakfast (delicious)." - All I could think of afterwards.

January 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDanS

As a practitioner of the fine art of pugilism, I won't stand to have its wonderous name sullied by the likes of you, scalawag! Raise your dukes, for we fight as men of old.

As a fun aside, there's also the Canne de Combat/Bartitsu, the art of wailing on each other with walking sticks, and let's not forget about Pankration, the glorious art of naked man love/hate.

Seriously, in Pankration, if you killed the opponent, it meant that he was a bigger bad ass than you, and therefore was the winner.

January 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEd

Remember, even if it uses a weapon, so long as it's a system of fighting with formal rules, it's a martial art. ;) Fencing? Martial art. Archery? Martial art. Greco-Roman wrestling? Martial art.

January 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNonsensicles

There is also La Savate, and the sub arts with La Baton and Le Canne.

January 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJesse

You know, the French have a martial art based on slapping and kicking.

January 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrady Kj

Mustaches are funnier than armour, but swordplay is more glamorous than boxing. You probably chose the better martial art to focus on in a comic strip.

January 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJeff

No, there is another.


Why is it a secret?

It's French.

January 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterArt

No, it's bartitsu. You really must check out the mustache on the Wikipedia page.
I can't say it enough -- you really must.

Note from Scott: Oh captain, my captain!

January 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAllen K.

For some reason, I've always been amused by the pose you are doing in panel two. I think it should be called "Apologetic Nazi Scott".

January 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDoctor_Who

Thank you Allen K.
Bartitsu is truly impressive. It is both amazing and great and the facial furniture involved is a revelation.

And thank you, Scott, for revealing that rank is indicated by moustaches. It certainly explains some of the physiognomical
fungus I've seen on 'American Chopper' and 'Duck Men'.

January 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPaddy

There is also bataireacht, the Irish art of shillelagh fighting.

January 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJack D.

Doesn't pugilism involve blows to the head? Risking brain damage is less popular than it used to be.

January 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnne

There's also the Swiss martial art of Schwingen. Think Sumo wrestling with Yodeling.

January 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNcw8

Wait a minute, what's that "oh captain, my captain" thing about? I'm pretty sure we British don't have it, so what does it mean?

Yes, I'm aware that google exists. I just want Scott to notice me! :D

January 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRowan

There is also, according to "The Goodies" canon, the ancient Yorkshire art of Ecky Thump.

January 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDerek

Okay, I didn't get this one at all. Yes, I know the definition of the word pugilism, but the bit about Mister Pringles and strip idea. I suppose I could google it, but if you have to do that to get the point of a joke, it's already too late.

January 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarco

I think you forgot Joseph Pujol aka Le Petomane, Grand Master from France. My dad practiced this form and was one of the top rated in the state for his age bracket.

January 7, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdeimos

On my first glance at panel 2, I thought Scott was giving Rick an up-close demonstration of the white man's martial art.

January 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChris K

The main reason "white guys of European descent" don't have a famous unarmed martial art would be that there was no concerted effort to disarm them all, which is what provided the impetus for nearly all Asian martial arts (that and Bodhidharma's application of Zen (enlightenment pursued through bodily activity without thought) as he made his way East).

Otherwise, you might consider all of the original Olympic games, all of which were applications of military training to non-military contexts, as well as all of the sword schools of Europe.

In short, funny comic, and based on a fundamental misrepresentation of the facts.

January 7, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkhereva

Don't forget Fencing. The oldest continually contested sport in the Olympics. Although the Asian teams are catching up, it's still dominated by Europeans.

January 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterShlepzig

My understanding is that Europeans did have various forms of fighting styles that could all, in one form or another, be summarized as martial arts. The reason why no one hears about this these days is that these martial arts were abandoned many centuries ago with the advent of (drum roll, please) gunpowder in modern warfare. Since Asia and other areas of the world did not start using gunpowder in warfare until *much* more recently, everyone else's forms of martial arts were mostly able to survive historical memory.

January 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDave

Hey, no love for western martial arts? It's a thing. And it involves swords. There's "sport" fencing, but there's also historical fencing - generally italian rapier and german longsword are what I tend to see when you can find it at all, and it usually involves other weapons and fighting styles of the time period, included unarmed (grappling). It's a bit of an art form to try to reconstruct these fighting styles, but they're every bit as good as the more famous eastern martial arts.

January 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDaehith

Bartitsu must be way cool because Sherlock Holmes was a master of it. Also pugilism (he was presumably granted a mustache dispensation because he was undercover) and singlestick fighting, the subtle art of turning your ever-present gentleman's walking-cane from a fashion accessory into a surprisingly deadly weapon. Sadly Dr. Watson doesn't mention if he could beat people up with his pipe, but I'm guessing he probably could. And look how things worked out for Sherlock Holmes - it took him a century or so of quietly dogged perseverance, but eventually he turned into Iron Man! Which in my opinion beats a measly black belt any day. I mean, could Bruce Lee throw a tank? I doubt it! I rest my case.

January 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMad Dan Eccles

Fisticuffs. Mano e mano. We kill each other like civilized human beings.

Lilly and McCoy were shy of a hundred and forty pounds.
In 1842 they went a hundred and eighteen rounds.
They begged McCoy to cash it in, he said that he would not.
Got up and fought one more round then died right on the spot.
He knew the game of fisticuffs, he knew the game of fight.
But no one knew the game would come and take his life that night.

-Primus, "Fisticuffs," from The Brown Album

January 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMatt Thompson

Yeah, there's actually a whole bunch of european martial arts. A good number of which are quite well known and widely practised. But tend to be forgotten by many people, because they consider them just another sport and something completely ordinary, while eastern martial arts for example are strange, exotic and mystical to them.

January 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLukkai

Not exactly european, but not far : the turkish wrestling where men rub themselves with oil then try to catch each other's genitalia.

January 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMattchaos

As a WMA (western martial arts) practitioner, I can tell you that we whiteys have a lot more than Greek Lube Rubbing (pankration), Shirtless Face Massage (pugilism), and Foil Slapping (modern fencing).

Manuals were written in the 1500s on "fencing" with: broadswords, longswords, even halberds. Many of these manuals have survived to the modern era, and the arts contained therein are in practice today under the broad general term "WMA". Additionally, there are arts like Jogo do Pau, singlestick, and Spetznaz that have been in continual practice for hundreds of years.

January 7, 2013 | Unregistered Commentertom

Also, Sambo. As long as you consider Russkies European.

January 7, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbriligg

"You know, the French have a martial art based on slapping and kicking."

This made me think of the fish slapping dance by Monty Phython.

January 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFink Nottle

There is also the age old martial art Whyioughta. It mostly involves circling each other while muttering "Why I oughta..."

January 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaurie

That settles it: Never mess with Mr. B, the Gentleman Rhymer.

January 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLummox JR

Scott, don't you think it's time to trot out your annual public service announcement about copyrights? You need an incentive? Okay.

"Hey, Scott, your copyright notices still say 2012. Dude, it's 2013. Time to change the calendar."

January 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDreamLibrarian

I'm a Viking reenactor who fights with sword and shield. It's pretty martial (and facial hair is encouraged, if not compulsory)

January 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew C.

While Boxing still seems to be pretty popular, I think the white guy martial arts that are most representative are various forms of shooting eachother - and animals, and birds, and clay discs, and large machines, and just about anything else - with firearms.
Anyone who has ever seen the scene in the first Indiana Jones movie when he shoots the guy with the scimitar understands why.

January 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDee

Nah, the Western style of martial arts is the Ka-chak! The pumping of a shotgun.

January 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKNO3

Well, this is certainly relevant:

January 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

A 2012 copyright date! I challenge you to a duel in the "white man's martial art!" Do not be intimidated by my handlebar mustache! Though it is not waxed yet. I must only use other hair styling products until Sensei says I am ready.

(Yes, I saw your yearly PSA, but I just couldn't help it.)

On an unrelated note - I notice your brothers also sport facial hair. You mother must be quite proud of her sons' skills. I'm sure there was seldom a dull day in the Meyer household.

Sadly, it appears they may outrank you:

January 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterstill laughing

AllenK: thank you!! I can now claim I have a martial art named after me. My stock just went up!!!

January 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBart

I cant believe no ones mentioned shooting the hell out of each other, a western martial art since the 1600's.

Bartitsu was a westernisation of jujitsu (and possibly the first MMA due to adding from boxing etc) so realy has to go in the eastern box.

January 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEwanV

Courtesy of Monty Python, we also have the secret Welsh art of Llap Goch.

January 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteraiabx
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