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  1. #1
    jspeedy's Avatar
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    What can you tell me about old school boxing?

    I was just wondering about the old style of boxing where fighters punched palm up. Was this an actual method of fighting/boxing? Where did it come from? When did the "palm down" modern jab cross originate? Does anyone have video?


    I don't know much about boxing but a recent discussion with a kung fu practitioner has sparked some interest. This guy claimed the old school boxing palms up punching method exists in kung fu and is a stronger more efficient way of punching. Can anyone back up or dispell some information about this technique as applied to boxing. Sorry for the lame pics, just trying to add some visual to what i'm attampting to address.

  2. #2
    DdlR's Avatar
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    http://cbd.atspace.com/articles/stan...ingstance.html - note that this article is generally a little past its use-by date, and the author has expressed an interest in revising or re-writing it, but it does address the fist orientation issue. Also http://cbd.atspace.com/articles/brea...kyourhand.html

    The key issue is the difference between punching with and without protective gloves. N.B. that old-school boxers tended to punch with a vertical fist, rather than literally a "palm-up" fist, with the exception of uppercuts.

  3. #3
    marcusdbrutus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DdlR View Post
    The key issue is the difference between punching with and without protective gloves. N.B. that old-school boxers tended to punch with a vertical fist, rather than literally a "palm-up" fist, with the exception of uppercuts.
    To extend on that a bit, a decent amount of power in your punch comes from the roll of the shoulder. Because ye-olde boxers punched with vertical fists, they held their hands in that position to get the optimal 90 degree shoulder roll. Boxers today punch palms down, so they hold their fists vertical to get the same degree if shoulder rotation.

    It's SCIENCE. Sweet science.

    Last edited by marcusdbrutus; 2/01/2010 1:03am at .

  4. #4
    Conde Koma's Avatar
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    A little tangential: with the smaller MMA gloves, would it be better to revert to punching with a vertical fist? It does seem like we've seen some hand breakage happen.

  5. #5

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    I recommend Championship Boxing by Jack Dempsey. Mostly because it's bloody good. It's also a nice midpoint between bareknuckle and modern boxing, and uses the vertically aligned fist with the lower three knuckles to jab.

  6. #6
    BaronVonDingDong's Avatar
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    I've often wondered if the C19th slang term "milling" (to describe boxing) comes from this stance and hand position. As in, when a fighter revolves his fists counter-clockwise when sizing up his opponent, it looks like a windmill, or the revolution of a mill stone.

    Alternatively, it could just mean that when you're being beaten up, you've "been through the mill". OED says that it's also a term for breaking in horses.

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    DdlR's Avatar
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    BaronVDD, I believe it does refer to the revolving action of the hands - qv "moulinet", "molinello" etc. for the action of flourishing a weapon circularly, also meaning "little windmill".

    Have you joined the Bartitsu email forum yet?

  8. #8
    BaronVonDingDong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DdlR View Post
    BaronVDD, I believe it does refer to the revolving action of the hands - qv "moulinet", "molinello" etc. for the action of flourishing a weapon circularly, also meaning "little windmill".

    Have you joined the Bartitsu email forum yet?
    Ah, there you go - hunch confirmed. Thanks for that, DdlR, I was unaware of the "little windmill".

    And no, I haven't joined the bartitsu group yet, but I shall. I just started Judo, so slowly piecing together my own neo-bartitsu skillset. I am timing it so that I should be ready to hit the mean streets at exactly the time I reach an appropriate age to carry a cane!

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    DdlR's Avatar
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    Any time you're ready.

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    Permalost's Avatar
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    Hmm, I never realized that "moulinet" and "mulling" had any kind of connection. Neat.

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