Forgotten heroes of WMA #2: Geores Dubois
Born in the year 1856, Georges Dubois was French from the top of his head to the heels of his shiny French boots. He stood 5'7" and, in top fighting trim, weighed 165 lbs, most of it muscle and bone.
Trained since childhood in boxing, savate and fencing, he also represented France at several Olympic games (gymnastics and 400 meter hurdle). In 1905 he took on France's first jujitsu stylist (whose name was Ernest Regnier, but who fought under the Japanified moniker of "Re-Nie") in an ultra-hyped match that was treated as almost a duel of honor.
Regnier was a former Parisian wrestler, down on his luck for a couple of years until he was sponsored by a wealthy patron (physical culture guru Edmond Desbonnet) to go and study jujitsu with former Bartitsu Club instructor Yukio Tani in London. Anyway, after months of "savate vs. jujitsu" speculation in the sporting media, the match itself was an anti-climax; Dubois threw a kick (coup de pied bas, a low front kick), which Regnier parried; they closed and went down, and Regnier won by a textbook extended arm-lock in under 30 seconds. Dubois, impressed, went on to learn jujitsu himself.
Dubois also worked as a theatrical fight director, recreating all manner of ancient fighting styles including gladiatorial combat with net and trident as well as rapier fencing. In 1913 he wrote a notably realistic self defense manual, "Comment se Defendre", and in 1925 he produced a booklet on rapier and dagger fencing as a sport.
Dubois died in 1934, but not before being immortalized on film. He's the guy in the black fencing uniform at the end of this clip:
888_27.flv video by schlager7 - Photobucket
That fencing video looked eerily similar to old karate videos.
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