- Paperback: 136 pages
- Publisher: Paladin Press (April 1, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1581607008
- ISBN-13: 978-1581607000
- Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.4 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 25 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,193,372 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Bare-Knuckle Boxer's Companion: Learning How to Hit Hard and Train Tough from the Early Boxing Masters
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About the Author
David Lindholm has an MA in medieval archaeology and history from the University of Lund and works as a writer and archaeologist. He has been training in European swordsmanship since 1986 and has some experience in Western fencing, iaido and kenjutsu. He is a member of ARMA (the Association for Renaissance Martial Arts) and directs the ARMA study group in Malmo
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Championship Streetfighting: Boxing As A Martial Art & Savage Science Of Streetfighting: Applying The Lessons Of Championship Boxing To Serious Street Survival. These are excellent sources and you will learn a lot.
Lindholm's and Karlsson's book is low on the technical and historical info and has too many pics and instructions that seem more like kata and robotic fighting. If you've boxed, street fought or have practiced reality based self defense this book will not add anything to your knowledge.
Ned Beaumont's books are not about "if your opponent does this you do this" kind of thing but more along the line of a book that actually is a thinking fighter's book. More along the line of Bruce Lee's Tao Of JKD.
Other books provide more on the history. In that sense, this book is syncretic. "The Boxer's Companion" combines techniques from both the Broughton and London Prize Ring eras, as well as some culled from earlier manuals. The historical delineation is less important for the purposes of this text than the techniques in play. For instance, the book details the "cross-buttocks" (hip throw) and the back trips used by pugilists when older rules permitted grappling. The grappling is less refined that what you see in Judo or Russian Sambo (grappling-only competition). It mirrors the quick-and-dirty lifts, trips, and drop-throws from Chinese Sanda. The reason is clear: It's harder to grab a skilled opponent who is hammering you with bare fists. Low kicks also receive some treatment, more prevalent in the Broughton era and often deriving from "purring" (shin-kicking).
Why is this a Rosetta Stone? It reconciles terms and clearly presents actions described in older manuals. I suggest reading this book ahead of, say, the treatise by bare knuckle champion Daniel Mendoza. The older texts simply make more sense after reading this book. In my studies, I read at least a dozen of them, only to have "The Bare-Knuckle Boxer's Companion" illuminate techniques obscured by arcane language and absence of illustrations.
The authors use a classic, erect bare-knuckle stance. This is an excellent choice, considering the bob-and-weave stance of Daniel Mendoza was a rarity at the time. Bladed stances and modified cross-guards also were used. The authors' choice reflects one commonly taught throughout the old texts -- similar to a standard boxing stance taught today, then modified to reflect personal styles. Among current-era fighters, contrast the Mexican style of Gennady Golovkin, the armadillo defenses of Archie Moore and Ken Norton, the Philly Shell of Mayweather, and the break-all-the-rules-and-succeed stance of the early Roy Jones.
To complete your studies, I recommend buying Kirk Lawson's "Banned from Boxing," which emphasizes pugilistic grappling in exquisite detail (sold through Lulu.com). For multi-media depictions, you can see "Gentleman Jim" Jeffries' holdover techniques from that era in a friendly sparring session with Gene Tunney on Youtube. There's an old-fashioned uppercut ("rising sun punch" in some karate styles), and a long swing to the kidney with the top of the fist. I also highly recommend the late Carl Cestari's "Bare-Knuckle Boxing" DVD, available at carlcestari.com. Cestari's DVD has a great tutorial on the drop-step, footwork, and a 10-minute section on swings and chops not available in the "Boxer's Companion." While the chops and backfist are illustrated, other swings and the "archaic" uppercut -- a nasty sucker punch -- don't appear in the book. See also Daniel Mendoza's "The Modern Art of Boxing," Edmund Price's "Physical Culture and Self-Defense" (1867), Billy Edwards' "Art of Boxing and Manual of Training" (1888), Robert Fitzsimmons' "Physical Culture and Self-Defense" (1901) and James J. Corbett's "Scientific Boxing" (1912). The latter books by champions of the gloved era offer techniques and styles that predate it.
I actually read "Championship Street Fighting" about a month ago, and just finished a biography of John L. Sullivan, (as well as that graphic novel on the famous 18th century British bare knuckle boxer Mendoza, etc.), so it was interesting to me, though it has very real limitations and could have been expanded and developed more, I guess.
It has to be said that the historical material in the text was integrated in in an extremely professional manner, with enough to give a context going from ancient times through the medieval and all the way from the bare knuckle age to the modern, while never being excessive. The allusions to and examples from texts like Sigmund Ringeck's "Ringen" with a set of techniques called "Mortschlag," or murder strikes, for example, are very interesting (and very much like CHA-3 Kenpo).
I have to add as an afterthought (and I added another star because of this), that the chapter on self-defense, for its brevity, was actually very good, and that there were many tips on training and conditioning that were very practical as well-from training the hands to punch to building the complete body strength a fighter, not a bodybuilder with largely "cosmetic" muscles, needs to be able to fight efficiently.