The Art and Practice of Boxing by the Celebrated Pugilist

Discussion in 'Western Martial Arts' started by lklawson, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. lklawson

    lklawson Valued Member

    I have republished The Art and Practice of Boxing by the anonymous "Celebrated Pugilist."

    As always, the ebook download is free.

    Special thanks to Michael Ruhala for providing the original scans.

    Writing in 1825, the anonymous “Celebrated Pugilist” penned his boxing manual simply titled, “The Art and Practice of Boxing.”

    This early boxing manual, as is typical, teaches footwork, striking, blocking, and training details. This includes specifics of diet and exercise, as well as grappling.

    However, the “Celebrated Pugilist” deviates from the norm in two important ways. First, he dedicates an unusual amount of his text to discussion (and derision) of methods and strategies which, though technically legal under boxing rules of the time, he considers “unmanly.” Second, he cites an earlier Wrestling text, Sir Thomas Parkyn’s “In-Play” for advice and description on performing some of the grappling and throwing which were part of orthodox boxing of the period.

    He includes in his text images of nine techniques which he apparently considers either confusing or foundational, rounding out his relatively short text with a recitation of Broughton’s rules which, like this manual itself, were authored before the adoption of the London Prize Ring rules of 1838.

    Peace favor your sword,
  2. Louie

    Louie STUNT DAD Supporter

    Great stuff Kirk, many thanks for posting the link!

  3. callsignfuzzy

    callsignfuzzy Is not a number!

    Thanks, Kirk. Your dedication to republishing these works is appreciated.

    Just scanned through it and noticed the author referred to shifting as "running away"; am I right in thinking that by the time Fitzsimmons came along it had also been turned into an offensive movement as well?
  4. lklawson

    lklawson Valued Member

    Yes and no.

    The term means something different to Fitz. His was more of sideways and entering movement. The shifting in A&P is fading out of range of a punch.

    This, in my estimation, is STILL a good practice and should be used. But A&P thinks it's cowardly or something. He spends a good deal of time griping about "unmanly" practices and how the "lower classes" do this or that ("tripping up" as a form of throwing, for instance). He complains about the habit of taking a knee to end the round and catch a breather or so that you can strike without worrying of the repost, claiming that it's a new thing not in the old boxing, despite the fact that in the Mendoza v. Humphries fight recorded in Modern Art of Boxing, they had specific rules to prevent that.

    Don't get me wrong, A&P is a GOOD manual but there's just some strangeness from the author about how he thinks fights should be fought in a "proper" English way. Much more stylized and sort of a call-back to the old "stand there and taking it" neo-Greek/Roman method.

    Peace favor your sword,
  5. callsignfuzzy

    callsignfuzzy Is not a number!

    Thanks, I appreciate the input.

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