Little information is readily available about the enigmatic Bart J. Doran save what he himself writes in his 1889 boxing manual. Ah, but what a manual it is!
Doran claims to have been an instructor of Boxing at the University of Michigan and at athletic clubs in Memphis, Cincinnati, and even Hamilton, Canada.
He targets his work specifically at new boxers with no prior instruction and no access to a regular instructor with particular emphasis, in his estimation, at covering information typically left out or poorly instructed by other “famous” writers.
Besides the usual unusual complement of Pugilistic grappling, strikes, blocks, footwork, and the drop-step, Doran includes a tantalizing early look at a power generation technique which the great Jack Dempsey would later include in his manual as the shoulder whirl. To further pique modern interest, he includes instruction for a “wall pad”; what readers today would readily identify as a Makiwara, fully 10 years before the major introduction of Japanese martial arts to the west by Edward William Barton-Wright.
Packed with 36 digitally restored illustration, instruction on bag punching, a dumb-bell exercise routine, and an unusual version of the little known American Fair Play Rules of boxing, this rare manual is sure to please modern martial artists and boxing historians alike.