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Intelligent Self Protection Solutions: Combative Psychology and Street Applied Martial Arts
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PostSubject: Book/Article Recommendations   Mon Mar 23, 2009 3:18 pm

I'm always looking for more good stuff to read so thought I'd start a thread where people could put their recommendations in one place instead of trying to remember which thread they appeared in, and so make them easier to find in the future.

I just finished reading "Epee 2.0. The Birth of a new fencing paradigm" by Johan Harmenburg

Now I know that some of you are not interested too much in weapons in general or Olympic fencing in particular. However this is a fascinating book for anyone interested in strategic thinking.
Harmenburg describes how he collaborated with his coach and training partners to formulate a paradigm using insights from Japanese sword, boxing and eskrima as well as mathematics (he was studying at MIT to become an electrical engineer) to see if a shorter and less classically talented fencer could win in international Epee competition.
He style was totally unorthodox at the time and he was shunned by the fencing community, but has now become the norm after he won the Olympic gold in 1980.
Very interesting stuff. study

"It will be difficult at first, but then everything is difficult at first". Miyamoto Musashi
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PostSubject: Re: Book/Article Recommendations   Mon Mar 23, 2009 7:25 pm

On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society, by Dave Grossman

Very interesting information as to how we humans react to things. The book also gives interesting historical data to back its claims.
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PostSubject: Re: Book/Article Recommendations   Tue Mar 24, 2009 3:06 am

Thanks Roadkill - I just ordered it, used, off Amazon - $4!

"It will be difficult at first, but then everything is difficult at first". Miyamoto Musashi
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PostSubject: Re: Book/Article Recommendations   Tue Mar 24, 2009 1:29 pm

Epee looks interesting. I'll have to get that one. Reading your description of it made me think of "Playing to win: becoming the champion", by David Sirlin. Which is the art of war applied to competitive videogaming. It served as a good book to approach the art of war differently and made a few things more graspable. The original AOW is simply too vague a lot of the time. At least until you have a few points of reference so you can relate it to stuff in the real world. By the way. If you're interested in the AOW go to, they have a lot of links to various versions and takes on the AOW.

For Grossman, read on combat too. I liked the stuff on the evolution of weapons. How weapons not only increase effectiveness and efficiency in dealing damage but also serve to create psychological distance, and that sometimes that is their chief function that makes people use them. Probably why people may at times have an urge to go for weapons of opportunity that may be less effective than if they were to use their hands. It makes them feel better.

"Violence: A Micro-sociological Theory", by Randall Collins is probably also worth reading for anyone interested in how people behave in and around violence. A similar vein to Grossman's stuff.

All these are on
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PostSubject: Re: Book/Article Recommendations   Tue Mar 24, 2009 2:37 pm

Grossman also has a dvd and or audio set out called "the bullet proof mind" which is now being adapted into many police agencies here in the U.S.

I have the audio which is really quite good.
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Richard Grannon

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PostSubject: Re: Book/Article Recommendations   Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:57 pm

Maija you should think about writing something, you might be surprised at what you learn Very Happy

"The principles of sword play in modern self protection" in 1000 words- Go!
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PostSubject: Re: Book/Article Recommendations   Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:59 am

...actually it will take some digging but there was a recent newsweek article about
some of the physiological traits found in the majority of spec ops guys. they, and
this is what seperates my nonscientific mind from academia, found several things
that i can only describe as:

1. slow virtually changless metered heart beat--which was great for pressure tests
but had the added draw back of early age heart attacks etc...for some reason
2. something i think that was called DHEA, which i think was a chemical, or hormone,
that essentially ate up excessive amounts of adrenaline--or put another way, made it
possible to deal which adrenaline dumps.
3. had a high amount of some other chem/hormone/? that aided in spacial things under
pressure--like the SEAL teams that had to be under water all taped up and not panic.

i'm sure we all agree that all this stuff can be worked on, but maybe now it's okay to
assume that some have an easier time of it.

i think this'll do it...not sure though

chicken pot, chicken pot, chicken pot pie

-the village idiot
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PostSubject: Re: Book/Article Recommendations   Wed Mar 25, 2009 2:56 pm

"The principles of sword play in modern self protection"

Carry a sword and people won't f*#ck with you. jocolor

"It will be difficult at first, but then everything is difficult at first". Miyamoto Musashi
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PostSubject: Re: Book/Article Recommendations   Wed Mar 25, 2009 5:30 pm

Hey all,

To those of you who have read Grossman's "On Killing" you may want to try Joanna Burke's
"An Intimate History of Killing". I had read it twice and believe it is better researched.

to maija:

You may find some of the material listed on this page of interest:

Keep safe and train hard/smart, Mark H
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PostSubject: Re: Book/Article Recommendations   Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:56 pm

Thanks markh,

i have the Alfred Hutton books - very good! Cold Steel and Old Sword Play.
The Codex Wallerstein is also very cool for Medieval stuff.

Sometimes reading the old texts is a great cure for insomnia! ... but seeing stuff in action can be more fun .... like these guys:
I love the build up of attack, and counter and counter etc .... good stuff Very Happy

"It will be difficult at first, but then everything is difficult at first". Miyamoto Musashi
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PostSubject: Re: Book/Article Recommendations   Thu Mar 26, 2009 4:52 pm

Fencing and self protection...

Slight digression in a book recommedation thread so I'll try to keep it short. If I recall correctly I believe Carl Cestari, possibly Marc MacYoung too, said the defense in old school bare knuckle boxing was more similar to fencing than what we see in boxing today. The reason being that when defending, you can't really take bare handed shots to your arms with impunity like you can when they're gloved up. Although protective gear was to the best of my understanding forced on the boxers they seem to have learned how to exploit the unique benefits it gives. Changing how they box in the process.
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PostSubject: Re: Book/Article Recommendations   Fri Mar 27, 2009 1:57 pm

Thanks RichardB, that reminds me of a great article by friend Frank Allen:

When Boxing was a Martial Art The Sweet Science of Bare-knuckle Pugilism
by Frank Allen
Part 1
with the fist as an organized sport came to the British Isles in 43
C.E. with the Roman invasion. The Romans adopted the Greek Olympic
sport and created even more brutal versions of their own often
involving the use of studded gauntlets. The sport of boxing left the
British Isles with the last of the Roman legions in 436 C.E. and did
not reappear for almost 1300 years. During the Middle Ages, armed
combat was the order of the day, and wrestling reigned as the combat
sport of the common people appearing at fairs and festivals. There was
no art or science to striking techniques which were only used in
all-out brawling.

In the second decade of the 1700's, the
premier fencer in England was James Figg. He was considered to be the
national champion of backsword and quarterstaff which he taught at his
Fighting Academy on Tottenham Court Road in London. It was at this
Fighting Academy that Figg devised his method of "fencing with the
fists" and in 1719, declared himself to be the Bare-Knuckle Champion of
England. He defended this title against several challengers including
his arch rival Ned Sutton whom he defeated with fists, staff, and

With the help of his patron, the Earl of Peterborough,
Figg opened the first London arena devoted to prize fighting. It was
located on Oxford Road and known as Figg's Ampitheatre. His advertising
card was designed by the famous artist William Hogarth. Hogarth painted
a portrait of his friend the fighter dressed as a gentleman with a
powdered wig, lace shirt, and fists clenched in front of him. Figg's
Amphitheatre catered to the gentlemen of London's upper classes so Figg
often performed at Southwark Fair to the delight of his working class
fans. He would set up a booth and take on all comers.

remained undefeated in these booth matches and his occasional formal
title defenses until his retirement in 1734. Upon Figg's retirement,
his top student George Taylor declared himself to be the new British
Champion. Figg remained popular with the gentry and socialized with the
Prince of Wales and other Royal Family members until his death in 1740.
Years after his death, Figg became known as the "Father of Boxing."

The Art of Boxing Develops

during the Figg and Taylor decades was an all-out anything goes
bare-knuckle fight with absolutely no rules. Figg and Taylor defeated
their brash opponents by adapting fencing techniques to fist fighting.
They fought out of a fencer's stance and threw power punches with a
fencer's lunge. All this would change with boxing's first Renaissance
Man, the third British Bare-Knuckle Boxing Champion, Jack Broughton.

defeated Taylor in 1738 to win the championship. The turning point of
his career and the art of boxing came in 1741, when Broughton defeated
George "The Coachman" Stevenson in a brutal 45 minute bout. Stevenson
died as a result of the beating he took from Broughton. Broughton was
so moved that he decided to affect a change in his beloved sport. He
was already the first boxer to use a preconceived strategy. Broughton
would size up his opponent's technique before a bout and adjust his
style to take advantage of his opponent's weaknesses. The Stevenson
bout led Jack to write the very first rules for the sport of Boxing.

Rules stated that the contest would take place on a raised platform
with a wooden rail around it, and a three foot square marked in the
middle. A bout began with both fighters placing one of their feet on a
line of the square and across from his opponent. A round lasted until a
man went down, then both fighters had a half minute to "toe the line"
and begin to fight again. This was thirty assisted seconds in which a
boxer's handlers would work on him for the entire time. This made it
difficult to knock a man out. Many fighters broke a knuckle with a
punch that would end a fight by modern rules. Thirty seconds later they
were facing a refreshed opponent and a broken knuckle. This led to a
great deal of body punching, grappling and long fights of attrition.
Any fighter who could not toe the line in the allotted time was the

Broughton's Rules also said that nobody could be on the
platform, but the boxers and their seconds, that two umpires would be
chosen from the audience to settle disputes, and that fighters could
not hit a fallen opponent nor could they touch the other fighter below
the waist at any time for any reason. These rules still left ample
opportunity for martial improvisation. All types of striking and
grappling were allowed as long as it was above the waist and the
opponent was standing. This style of fighting was not too different
from the Chinese Platform Challenge Matches that were taking place on
the other side of the world then.

Broughton's Rules were
accepted in 1743 and were Boxing's only rules until 1838. Broughton
also invented Boxing's first gloves, which he called "The Mufflers."
Broughton's mufflers were used in training and exhibition matches and
contributed greatly to the number of young noblemen who studied Boxing
for health and fitness in Broughton's school. The Duke of Cumberland
was Broughton's patron and he got Jack a position in Yeomen of the
Guard, which Broughton held until his death at the age of 85.

Duke bet heavily on Broughton when he met Figg's grandson, "The Norwich
Butcher," Jack Slack. Slack was a rough and tumble fighter who billed
himself as "The Knight of the Cleaver" and was known for his "Chopper"
punch. The Chopper punch was the equivalent of a modern rabbit punch to
the back of the neck, and mimicked the motion of work in his butcher
shop. During the first ten minutes of the match Slack all but closed
Broughton's eyes. The Duke of Cumberland, fearing for his wager, called
out, "What are you about Broughton? You can't fight! You're beat!" To
which Broughton replied, "I can't see my man, your Highness, I am
blind, but not beat; only let me be placed before my antagonist, and he
shall not gain the day yet!" This bravado did him no good and Slack won
the bout at the 14 minute mark. The Duke of Cumberland withdrew his
support and Broughton retired from Boxing. He turned his arena/school
into a profitable antique shop.

Despite his illustrious
heritage, Slack brought about Boxing's first of many disreputable
periods. He threw fights of his own, fixed the results of other boxers
matches and generally brought on the first era of the boxing scandal

The Patriarch of Irish Clever Boxers

as an art form was raised to new heights with the rise to prominence of
the Spanish-English Jew, Daniel Mendoza. Being raised in London's East
End, and of Spanish descent and Jewish faith, one can assume that
Mendoza learned to fight early, although he was only 5 feet 7 inches
tall and never weighed more than 168 pounds. Mendoza competed from the
mid-1780's until 1820. Probably due to his size, Mendoza was the first
boxer to popularize a style in which footwork, jabbing and defense were
used to overcome brute force. It is often said that Mendoza was the
first to put the "science" into the Sweet Science.

In his
first match, Mendoza beat a fighter who was known as Harry the
Coalheaver. Daniel was first recognized as a top rank boxer in 1787
when he defeated Sam "The Bath Butcher" Martin. However, it was his
four-fight series with "The Gentleman Fighter" Richard Humphries that
really brought him to the public eye. The two were very well matched
and Humphries won their first match in 1787. Mendoza was ahead in their
return match the following year, when he suffered a leg injury at the
29 minute mark and had to throw in the towel. In 1789, Mendoza
dominated their third match and won in 52 minutes. When he beat The
Gentleman in 15 minutes the following year, Humphries retired.

became the British Boxing Champion with his win over Bill Warr in 1794.
With this title he toured England, Scotland and Ireland with the Aston
Circus. This tour greatly increased the popularity of Mendoza's
Scientific Style of boxing and it became the rage of young boxers
throughout the British Isles. While touring Ireland, he was challenged
and had his skills, heritage, and faith insulted by one Squire
Fitzgerald. When Mendoza met and thoroughly thrashed this upstart
member of the Irish gentry, he and his boxing style became the pride of
the Irish working class and their inspiration to learn to box. It was
in this manner that a Spanish-English Jew became the Patriarch of Irish
Clever Boxers. In April of 1795, Mendoza lost the title to "Gentleman"
John Jackson, who weighed over 200 pounds and specialized in the left
jab. It was Jackson's third and last fight.

Mendoza became one
of Britain's most respected boxing instructors, and continued to fight
on and off until 1820. At the age of 56, he lost his last fight to 52
year old Tom Owens who invented the dumbbell weight. Mendoza lived
until the age of 73.

The First Afro-American Boxing Stars

early years of the 1800's saw the rise of the first Afro-American
boxing stars. Bill Richmond was born on Staten Island, New York, which
housed British Military Headquarters in the American Colonies. During
the Revolutionary War, Richmond worked for the household of General
Earl Percy. When Percy returned to England as the Duke of
Northumberland Richmond went with him. Although he was only a 5 foot-6
inch, 165 pound middleweight under the Duke's patronage, Richmond met
and defeated a number of England's top heavyweights. He beat Jack
Carter, Atkinson of Bandbury, Ike Wood, Tom Davis, Tom Shelton, and
split a pair of fights with George Maddox. But he couldn't defeat the
Champion, Tom Cribb, who knocked Richmond out in 1805. Although he
fought as "The Black Terror," Richmond was known for his gentlemanly
demeanor and lifestyle

Tom Molineaux was born a slave, on a
plantation in Virginia. He, his father and brothers fought matches
against slaves from other plantations for their owner, Algernon
Molineaux. One time before a fight upon which very heavy stakes were
wagered, the master offered Tom his freedom if he won. Tom won,
Algernon was true to his word, and Tom was off for New York. While
working on the docks in New York, Molineaux heard about the success of
Bill Richmond and immediately signed on as a deck hand headed for
England. Once in England, this 5 foot 8 inch-tall, 195-pound ebony
warrior announced that he was "The Moor" Champion of America (a title
that did not exist), and that he could beat any man including retired
champion, Tom Cribb. He then found Bill Richmond and convinced him to
both train him and back him.

Cribb was not pleased with any of
this and talked his friend and protege, Bill "the British Unknown"
Burrows into taking on the Moor. When Molineaux stopped the British
Unknown with a series of short punches to the head, Cribb turned to
veteran boxer Tom Blake. When Molineaux easily defeated Blake, he tried
to declare himself the Champion of England. This prompted Cribb to
finally accept the challenge of Molineaux the Moor.

The two
fighters met in an outside ring on a cold and rainy December day in
1810. It was perhaps one of the two most outstanding matches of the
Bare-Knuckle Era. Molineaux drew first blood in the second round, and
was clearly the harder puncher of the two. Cribb was relentless and
kept up a continual body attack. The Moor dropped the champion in the
28th round, and Cribb failed to beat the 30 second count. But Cribb's
second accused the black fighter of hardening his punch with bullets in
his hand. While the umpires searched for the nonexistent bullets, Cribb
revived and the match continued. A couple of rounds later, Molineaux
began to shiver from the cold and show signs of exhaustion. In the 33rd
round he collapsed to the ground, looked up at his second, Bill
Richmond, and said, "Me can fight no more! " He then fell into
unconsciousness and had to be carried from the ring.

tried to retire again, but within a few months a revised Molineaux
defeated Jim Rimmer and tried to claim the championship again. This
brought the 5 foot 10 inches tall 200 pound champion out of retirement
again. While Cribb was training arduously in Scotland, training camp
being an innovation in boxing, Molineaux, now estranged from the
gentlemanly Richmond, was enjoying his very first stint as a party

They met for the second time in December of 1811, and
the Moor's power almost won the day early when he completely closed one
of Cribb's eyes. The Champion couldn't see until one of his seconds
lanced the bruised area around the eye. From that point on, Cribb's
stamina began to win the day. He dropped Molineaux with a body punch in
the sixth round and finally caught the Moor flush in the 11th, breaking
his jaw and stopping him. Molineaux traveled Britain with a Boxing and
Wrestling Show, but continued his dissipated lifestyle and died in
Ireland at the age of 34. Cribb finally retired in 1822 opening a
successful tavern called The Union Arms. He lived until the age of 68.
British fight fans always loved Cribb for exemplifying their favorite
qualities in a boxer: "Pluck and Bottom." Pluck meaning courage and
Bottom meaning stamina.

"It will be difficult at first, but then everything is difficult at first". Miyamoto Musashi
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PostSubject: Re: Book/Article Recommendations   Fri Mar 27, 2009 1:58 pm

Part 2

Boxing Comes to America

The first official boxing match in
America took place in New York City in 1816. Dutchman Jacob Hyer
defeated Tom Beasley in the only match that either of them fought.
Thirty-three years later, Jacob's son, Tom Hyer, won the first American
Championship when he defeated small-time criminal, James Ambrose, who
fought as "Yankee Sullivan."

In 1838, Broughton's Rules for
prize fighting were superseded by the London Prize Ring Rules. The
structure of the match remained essentially the same, but the fighting
area was to be surrounded with rope instead of a wooden rail, and,
preferably, the bout would be contended outside on turf. There was also
an adjunct rule about not using the ropes to your advantage. The
biggest change brought about by the adaptation of the London Prize Ring
Rules was the prohibition of what had formerly been common techniques.
Head butting, hair pulling, eye gouging, and neck throttling, which
included choking, head locking and neck cranking, were expressly
forbidden. The earlier prohibition against leg contact was extended to
knee strikes. Until then, the knee strike to the body had been a common
technique known as gut-kneeing. The London Prize Ring Rules also
forbade throwing yourself to the ground in order to end the round and
get yourself half minute of rest. It was a rule that some of the better
technical boxers learned to circumvent.

Bare-knuckle pugilism
may have reached its height as an art form under the London Prize Ring
Rules. Due to the limitation of brawling techniques, more boxers began
to learn the Scientific Style that was developed by Daniel Mendoza.
Many fighters began to add the art of Cornish Wrestling to the Mendoza
Scientific Style. This style of wrestling perfectly adapted to the new
rules of boxing. It developed through centuries of competition with its
rival of English Westlands Wrestling, the Devonshire Style.

the Devon men were known as the "kickers and trippers," while the
Cornish men were known for their "hugging and heaving." Techniques of
Cornish Wrestling consisted mostly of upper body throwing techniques,
because it was a standing style in which a throw constituted a win. All
the old Celtic styles of wrestling ended in this fashion, because the
Celts considered ground grappling to be unmanly. Bare-knuckle Boxers
favored a type of spring hip throw, in which they followed their
opponent down, landing their full weight on his abdomen. This technique
was called a "Cross Buttock." Another favorite technique under the
London Prize Ring Rules was to "Seize and Fib," grabbing and pulling in
your opponent with one hand while delivering short punches with the
other hand.

The spinning backfist was also a common technique
and was called the "Pivot Punch." When a bare-knuckle fighter added the
sweeps and low kicks of Devonshire Wrestling to his arsenal he was in
command of a practical fighting system. This mixture of striking and
grappling brought boxing to its highest level as a complete martial

The Famous Fight of 1860

The most outstanding
fight ever to be contested under the London Prize Ring Rules took place
in 1860. It was the First World Boxing Championship and was between the
English Champion, Tom Sayers, and the American Champion, John Carmel
Heenan. This fight and the events surrounding it were a drama worthy of
a Pulitzer Prize winning novel and an Academy Award winning motion
picture. It was a story of courageous warriors, loyal managers,
treacherous wives, adoring fans, and outraged police.

Sayers was a 5 foot 8 inch tall bricklayer from Brighton, England who
fought the early part of his career as a 140 pound middleweight. As a
19-year-old novice prize fighter he fell in love with an attractive 21
year old divorcee, named Sarah Powell. She would be the love and the
bane of the rest of his life. In their second year together, she had
their first child, Young Sarah. Young Tom was born 3 years later. Tommy
loved his "little nippers" more than life itself and would do anything
for the kids.

In 1853, Tommy got his shot at the British
Middleweight Title, which was held by Nat Langham. Langham was a lanky
37-year-old veteran, known as "Old Clever Nat." He was a master of the
left jab to the eyes and then slipping under his opponent, and looking
like he had been thrown whenever he needed a rest. He was at his best
when the grass was wet, as it was when he met Sayers. The 25-year-old
Sayers was the stronger of the two and won all the early and middle
rounds, but Langham was slowly working on the younger man's eyes. In
the 48th round Tom's eyes were so swollen that his handlers had to cut
the bruise areas to allow him to see. Langham was almost completely
exhausted, but continued throwing every punch at Tommy's eyes. When Tom
rushed Old Nat at the beginning of the 60th round, he was met by a left
jab to each eye and a wild hook to the ear, which Langham threw with
such force, that both men went down.

Tom waved off the 30
second rest and charged right back at Langllam, who caught him coming
in with a left-right combination to Tommy's battered eyes. Sayers spun
and groped blindly towards his corner ending the match. It had lasted
61 rounds, averaging 90 seconds each. Sayers learned a lot about boxing
techniques in that match, but he couldn't ever get Langham into a
rematch. Old Nat retired and opened a bar. Seven years later, he would
sell tickets to the Sayers versus Heenan match at his bar. The
following year found Tom so broke that he had to tour the countryside
in search of matches.

While Torn was out of town, Sarah took
up with Alfred Aldridge, a young handsome gambler, who was a member of
Tommy's entourage. When Tom returned from a rather unsuccessful tour,
Sarah announced to him that she was seeing Aldridge and would continue
to do so. If Tommy gave her any trouble about it then she would explain
to the kids that they were born illegitimately because Tom married
Sarah after their birth. Tom had married her as soon as her first
husband died, but he didn't want his children stigmatized in Victorian
England so he agreed to Sarah's demands. He moved in with his sister
and continued to spend time with Sarah and the children whenever it
struck Sarah's fancy. Matters were really complicated when Sarah had
three children by Aldridge while married to Tom, making them Tom's only
legal heirs.

In 1855 Sayers was completely broke, so he
accepted a match with heavyweight contender Harry Poulson, who weighed
over 200 pounds. Tom went up to 152 pounds for the bout. Sayers first
slowly, but methodically closed the big man's eyes, then knocked him so
unconscious that Poulson couldn't be revived within the mandatory 30
seconds. This fight brought Tom to the attention of his new manager and
soon to be close friend, John Gideon. It also started his lucrative
heavyweight career and Sarah was right there to spend the money

years later, Tom Sayers won the British Heavyweight Title from William
"The Tipton Slasher" Perry, in a bout which the champ's corner tossed
in the sponge, at the one hour and 45 minute mark. By this time, Gideon
was regularly advising Tom to divorce Sarah. but Tom steadfastly
refused. He claimed that it was for his nippers' sake, but he obviously
still had strong feelings for Sarah.
Meanwhile, Back in the States...

on the other side of the pond, John C. Heenan had become Heavyweight
Champion of the Americas by default and without winning a major match.
This 6 foot 1 inch, 200 pound, muscular, handsome young Irishman, was
born in upstate New York. but gained his reputation as a fighter while
working for a steamship building company in Benicia, California. A
number of successful street fights led to Heenan's best friend, Jim
Cusick, settling up a number of pick up bouts for Heenan. Cusick was a
nervous little man who talked incessantly and always wore a bow tie. He
was also a genius manager and totally dedicated to Heenan. Cusick
parleyed mere pick up fights into a chance for John to fight for the
American Heavyweight Title, against title claimant, "Old Smoke." John

The 23-year-old Heenan met the 26-year-old
Morrissey on October 19, 1857 in Canada just across the border from
Buffalo, NY. The steamboat carrying the fighters and crowd left Buffalo
at 8:00 AM, but spent all day avoiding police boats and the fighters
didn't come to scratch until almost midnight. Heenan overpowered the 5
foot 10 inch tall, 180 pound Morrissey in the first round and may have
knocked him out, except for a missed punch that hit a rig post, hurting
Heenan's hand. Heenan still won all the early rounds, but when an old
leg abscess reopened and began to weaken the Benicia Boy, Old Smoke got
a second wind and began to pummel the weakening youngster. In the 11th
round, both men had to be led to the scratch line, where Heenan swung
wildly, missed, fell down and passed out, giving Morrissey the match.

promptly retired from boxing and went on to become a successful gambler
and New York politician. When he refused to give Heenan a rematch, the
Benicia Boy was declared the American Champion. This was a title which
Cusick would use to set up the match with Tom Sayers.

It took
a year and a half to get the trans-Atlantic match set up during which
Jim and John stayed in New York. While visiting a newspaper office,
Heenan met a very cute, short, curvaceous little actress from New
Orleans, named Adah Isaacs Menken and he promptly fell in love. Adah
had that effect on men. She was sort of a cross between Marilyn Monroe
and Betty Boop and men seemed to do what she wanted. Adah and the "Boy"
were seen everywhere together right until he left for training in
England. Just before he left, they announced that they had secretly
married. When John was gone, Adah billed herself as Mrs. John C.
Heenan, making a big name for herself on the New York Stage. In her
most famous and oft repeated role, she donned flesh colored silk tights
and played a naked, captured princess. Her fame spread far and wide as
"The Great Naked Lady of the Stage." It finally spread too far and Mr.
Menken appeared and explained to the press that Adah had somehow
forgotten to divorce him.

When John Morrisey departed for
England to help Tom Sayers train for a match against Morrisey's old
nemesis, he was only too happy to bring the news of Adah's bigamy.
Heenan did not however come apart at the news. He simply announced that
he and Adah had never really, legally married and began to train harder
than ever. Jim Cusick, who hated Adah and was detested by her in turn,
was very happy at this outcome.

Heenan finally met Tom Sayers
on the morning of April 17, 1860. Sayers threw his hat into the ring at
7:20 AM and Heenan quickly followed him into the ring. It was a fine
morning, in that field in Farnborough, and Tom remarked to the boy,
"How are you M'boy? Fine morning, this." John replied, "Yes, we've got
a beautiful morning for it." To which Tom answered, "Yes, if a man
can't fight on such a day as this, he can't fight at all!"

the boys toed the scratch at 7:29, it was noted that Tom's face was
stained walnut brown by the pickling solution that he used to toughen
his skin. Heenan was fair skinned but much larger. The first five
minutes was a warm up dance, with lots of movement and no punches
actually landed. Just as they worked their way into Heenan's corner,
they started to exchange punches. When they backed out of the corner,
Heenan's nose was bleeding, causing money to exchange hands on the
"first blood" bets. When the Boy noticed the blood, he charged forward
and effortlessly tossed the smaller man to the turf, ending the first

"It will be difficult at first, but then everything is difficult at first". Miyamoto Musashi
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PostSubject: Re: Book/Article Recommendations   Fri Mar 27, 2009 1:59 pm

Part 3

Sayers began the second round by slipping, sliding, jabbing, and
generally confusing the big youngster, until a big, wide Heenan left
hook dazed him, allowing the Boy to wrestle him down and land his full
weight on Tommy's ribs. For the next four rounds, Tommy took a beating,
being countered and knocked down in each of them. He was even knocked
senseless in the fourth, but was revived by his seconds. Sayers knew
that Heenan's hands were taking damage from the heavy head punching.

seventh and eighth rounds were legendary, lasting thirteen and twenty
minutes, respectively. They are even more amazing in retrospect,
knowing that Tom's right arm began to swell at the end of the sixth
round, heralding an injury that would later prove to be a broken arm.

Sayers got his second wind and began to time the Boy with lighting left
hand counter punches, that cut Heenan's right cheek and closed his
right eye in the seventh. The round still ended with Heenan knocking
Sayers off balance and down, but Sayers had scored the damage. Both
men's mouths were bloodied in the eighth, with the right side of
Heenan's face getting worse and Sayers' right arm swelling and
stiffening. The round ended with Sayers still going down.

police arrive during the ninth round, but there weren't enough of them
to do anything, so they just watched. Round after round Sayers punched
Heenan's face with his lightning left and was then thrown or knocked
down. His right arm is a mess, but Heenan's face looked worse. Round 21
began at 8:38 AM, the beginning of the 2nd hour of unarmed combat. In
the 26th round, Sayers left jab finally found the mark, of Heenan's
left eye. The round still ended with Sayers going down from a Heenan
wild hook. As the fight progressed it became a continual sequence of
damage to Heenan's face followed by Sayers being knocked or thrown to
the turf.

The police reinforcements finally arrived and tried
to stop the fight. The fighters finished several more rounds, while the
police fought their way through the crowd and past the "Ring Bullies,"
which was the current term for boxing match security guards. In the
36th round the police finally reached the ring and distracted the
referee, just as an almost blind Heenan tried to strangle Sayers with a
ring rope. One of Sayers' seconds cut the rope and the ring came apart
in the ensuing riot. However, a group of 30 or so hard core betters
threw their arms around each other, and made a shoulder to shoulder
ring, allowing the riot to swirl around them.

The boys fought
six more rounds, before referee Dowling broke into the ring of betters
and declared the fight over. At which point everyone broke and ran for
the train. Both of the combatants had to be assisted to the train. The
bout had lasted for 2 hours and 20 minutes, dissected into 42 rounds.

the match was declared a draw and each fighter was presented with a
silver belt. After a lengthy healing period, Sayers and Heenan toured
Britain together reenacting their famous bout. During this trip they
became fast friends. Tom's health began to fade and he never fought
again. John returned to the States to make up with Adah, but when she
spurned him, he returned to England to wait out the Civil War. When he
lost to the new English Champion, Tom King, Tom Sayers was a second for
Heenan. Sayers was obviously sick at the time. Two years later, in
1865, Tom quietly died of diabetes at his sister's house. Sarah got all
of his money and Gideon set up trust funds for Young Tom and Young

John Heenan returned to America and became successful
in Tammany Hall politics, in New York City. Unfortunately, he was
connected to Boss Tweed and when the Boss went down in 1871 John lost
everything. By 1873, he was in bad health and was trying to make a
living as a sparring partner. His ever present friend and manager
suggested that they return to their roots. SO, they boarded a train for
the sunny skies of California. However, at the station in Green River,
Wyoming, Heenan died in the arms of his friend, Jim Cusick. Heenan was
38 years old, a year younger than Tom Sayers was at his passing, 8
years earlier.

New Rules for Boxing, John L. Sullivan

1867, famous English amateur sportsman and athletics organizer, John
Graham Chambers wrote a new set of rules to govern gloved, amateur
boxing contests and exhibitions. Chambers had been a much heralded
oarsman for Cambridge, and was the organizer of the Amateur Athletic
Club, and a key figure in the beginnings of England's first Amateur
Athletic Association. Besides mandating the use of gloves, his rules
created the first three minute timed round, forbade all types of
grappling, and invented the 10 second long unassisted knockout. The
limited number of timed rounds created the first need for judges'

When Chambers got his old college buddy, John
Sholto Douglas, the Eighth Marquess of Queensberry, to sponsor his
rules, they became known as the Queensberry Rules. It would be almost
two decades before these rules would begin to influence the ranks of
the professional prize ring

The late years of the 1870's saw
the rise of the last of the great bareknuckle fighters, "The Boston
Strong Boy," John L. Sullivan, himself. His reputation began in his
teens, when he would walk into various Boston taverns, thump loudly on
the bar and announce, "I'm John L. Sullivan, himself, and I can lick
any man in the house!" It was a boast that he never failed to back up.
At 5 feet 10 inches tall and 190 pounds, the young Irishman was a
natural power puncher. From the beginning of his career, he would fight
by either the London or Queensberry rules. He always favored the
gloves, which protected his hands while throwing multiple power punches
at the large bones of an opponent's jaw and temples.

first big match took place on a barge in the Hudson River in New York,
in 1881. It was a bare-knuckle affair, and when the Boston Strong Boy
knocked "the Bulls Head Terror," John Flood, down eight times and
stopped him in the ninth round, he set up a match with Paddy Ryan, the
American Champion. They met in Mississippi City on Feb.7th of thc
following year. It was a one-sided match, with Sullivan knocking Ryan
senseless, with a right to the jaw in the ninth. This fight made
Sullivan the Bare-Knuckle Champion of American and a national hero who
most people considered to be unbeatable. In January of 1885, Sullivan
stopped Ryan in the first round of their rematch and in August of the
same year he stopped Dominick McCaffery, in the sixth round, with
gloves on, to win the new Queensberry Rules World Heavyweight Boxing

The following year, Sullivan fought a third
bareknuckle match with Ryan and stopped him in the third round. In
1889. Sullivan met Jake Kilrain for the Bare-Knuckle Championship of
the World. Kilrain had recently defeated the current English Champion
and was already called the World Champion by a handful of publications.
When Sullivan won a grueling 75 round contest, he became the undisputed
World Heavyweight Boxing Champion.

The Sullivan-Kilrain fight
became the last of the Bare-Knuckle Championship Matches and John L.
Sullivan the last of the Bare-Knuckle Champions. When the Great John L.
decided to defend his overall title by the Queensbury Rules in 1892 it
was the end of bare-knuckle boxing. When he was stopped in the 21st
round of that match by Gentleman Jim Corbett there was no turning back.
The San Francisco bank clerk was strictly a gloved fighter and after
him the sport never looked back.

The Queensbury Rules were
always presented as safer than bareknuckle boxing, but, in reality,
they became the standard of the sport because they created a faster
paced and more exciting sport for the new industrial age. The timed
round with a mandatory minute rest kept the fighters going at a quicker
pace as well as the ten second, unassisted knock-out which presented
the possibility of an abrupt and exciting stoppage at any moment! The
absence of grappling stopped a lot of bone injuries, and the padded
gloves produced less facial blood, however, the same protection for the
hands allowed for more power head punches with less damage to the hands
leading to increased brain trauma. In the long run, the sport was
probably not more or less safe, but, rather, faster, more exciting, and
more saleable to the pubic. This exciting new sport was also much less
of a complete martial art than it had been in the days of the London
Prize Ring and the warriors of the Sweet Science of Bare-Knuckle

About Frank Allen:
Allen is the Chief Instructor and Director of the Wu-Tang Physical
Culture Association which he founded in 1979. He has been the student
of Taoist Master B.K. Frantzis since 1976. Allen was the student of
former amateur boxing champion, Verne "Bull Dog" Williams from
1984-2000, and was a writer/reseacher for the "Bull Dog Williams Boxing
Interview Series." He is a freelance writer who lives in New York City
and can be reached by e-mail at :

"It will be difficult at first, but then everything is difficult at first". Miyamoto Musashi
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PostSubject: Re: Book/Article Recommendations   Wed Apr 01, 2009 2:39 pm

"The Way of the Sword" AKA "The Tengu - Geijutsu - Ron" (Discourse on the Art of the Mountain Demons) of Chozan Shissai
Translated by Reinhard Kammer.

OK, OK it's another sword book ....but a good one.

"It will be difficult at first, but then everything is difficult at first". Miyamoto Musashi
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PostSubject: Re: Book/Article Recommendations   Fri Apr 03, 2009 12:07 am

Not sure if its been mentioned before,but I really liked:

"Meditations On Violence" by Rory Miller

Pretty good observations on the nature of violent conflicts both social and asocial as well as group dynamics.

The guy has a pretty good blog to read as well.

Keep safe and train hard/smart, Mark H
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PostSubject: Re: Book/Article Recommendations   Fri Apr 03, 2009 11:10 am

Meditations on violence is excellent. There is a lot of good thinking in there and no BS.
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PostSubject: Re: Book/Article Recommendations   Wed Apr 15, 2009 12:20 am

'Paradoxes of Defence' by George Silver 1599 - very cool afro

Another version of the same book:

This one follows from the first:
"Breif Instructions Upon My Paradoxes Of Defence"

"It will be difficult at first, but then everything is difficult at first". Miyamoto Musashi
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PostSubject: Re: Book/Article Recommendations   Tue May 19, 2009 8:28 pm

Fighting Edge By James LaFond.

His other book "the logic of steel" is good too.

It's mostly experience, his or other people's. Very interesting books.

"I have a high art, I hurt with cruelty those who would damage me." Archirocus, 650 BC
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