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  1. #1
    DdlR's Avatar
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    Earliest martial arts film footage?

    YouTube- Boxe française (Savate) & Canne - 1891

    Two brief re-animations of footage of French athletes demonstrating la boxe Francaise and canne fencing, originally filmed by Georges Demeny in the year 1891.

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    I love old savate videos.

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    Cool video! I would like to see more like it!

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    It's nice to see that movie, especially to compare it to modern savate and see the evolution it has made.

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    Pretty cool!

    A bit too short of a clip though, haha.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimmakfist View Post
    Cool video! I would like to see more like it!
    OK ...

    YouTube- SAVATE - FRENCH BOXING - 1894 - Boxe francaise
    YouTube- French Saber Fencing c. 1880

    These very early films were usually created as tests of how well cameras could follow fast action or for research re. analyzing human movement, rather than as martial arts demos per se. The fighters were operating under highly artificial circumstances, because they could not move outside the camera's fixed frame.

    Not WMA, but probably the earliest ever film recording of Japanese martial arts:

    YouTube- "Textbook of Ju-jutsu" (1905) re-animated

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    I'm not exactly sure why, but there is something very French looking about the quality of motion in old savate videos. I guess it's the ballet influence.

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    Is there any footage of early bare knuckle boxing matches around from the period?

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    Bare-knuckle pugilism was out of fashion, in fact illegal in many places by the time camera technology became advanced enough to record movement. That said, illegal matches did take place (not, AFAIK, in film studios).

    The closest to what you're looking for would be early footage of gloved matches, which still somewhat resembled the bare-knuckle style apart from the obvious differences wrought by the shift to the Marquis of Queensberry rules in the 1860s (no throwing from the clinch, use of timed rounds, etc.)

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    PointyShinyBurn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DdlR View Post
    The closest to what you're looking for would be early footage of gloved matches, which still somewhat resembled the bare-knuckle style apart from the obvious differences wrought by the shift to the Marquis of Queensberry rules in the 1860s (no throwing from the clinch, use of timed rounds, etc.)
    A list of known footage here. Some of the Corbett-Courtney 'match' is on YouTube, as is what is presumably the first filmed world title fight (both Fitzsimmons and Corbett had fought bare-knuckle early in their career IIRC).

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