Boxing Then vs Now

PhotonGuy

Senior Master
Joined
Aug 14, 2013
Messages
3,658
Reaction score
398
From what I know about American boxing, way back in the dark ages boxing was done with bare hands without wearing any gloves. Now of course, boxers do wear gloves. Since they started using gloves there have been some modifications on how the punches are thrown. The punching techniques have been changed to make them more effective when you're wearing gloves but if you try punching like that without gloves you can really hurt your hand. That being said, if boxing is to be practiced for self defense it would probably be a good idea to learn how the punches were thrown before they started wearing gloves. Boxing is primarily meant to be a sport and somebody who takes up boxing will probably do so for sporting purposes but if they also want to be able to use it for self defense they should learn how they threw the punches without the gloves since you will probably not be wearing boxing gloves in a street confrontation or some other situation that warrants self defense.
 

jks9199

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2006
Messages
22,017
Reaction score
2,189
Location
Northern VA
Well, it's actually Western Boxing. The rules as they developed have certainly influenced tactics and strategies. Kirk Lawson has written about this on several occasions...
 

Mephisto

Black Belt
Joined
Sep 26, 2014
Messages
594
Reaction score
234
My understanding is that the change in boxing was a result of a change in rules. Old boxing allowed stand up grappling, spiked shoes, and throws/takedowns. The stance and method changed with the rules, fighters didn't have to worry about grappling and were able to perfect and specialize in one skillset. Boxers are masters of evasion, some think there is a parallel between filipino blade arts. Some think filipino arts may have influenced boxing. If you can avoid a fist you can avoid a blade. It's a worthy endeavor to take up boxing.

Boxing is more than punches, punches can be taught in one afternoon and every style has them. Boxing on the other hand is a much more complex method of evasion, head and body movement.

I can understand the desire to avoid damaging your hands, it's a possibility when throwing punches in a real encounter. In reality you can aim for the jaw, temples, and body, softer targets, but you still risk damaging your hand. It's funny though that some write off boxing as mere sport where you'll break your hand and embrace pressure point attacks and all kinds of more esoteric and risky unorthodox strikes (ridge hand, Phoenix eye fist, tiger mouth, spear hand, ect). They all have there place and come with risk, the fist is one of the most reliable, elbows and palms may be even safer. But if you're using your art for self defense a boxers fracture is a small price to pay for safety or your family's safety. Fighters have fought entire matches with broken hands, I believe randy couture is one example. A broken hand isn't death and if you're opponent lays unconscious before you you've done well and it's worth it.
 
Last edited:

drop bear

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
20,494
Reaction score
5,401
Tehuna fought a match with a broken arm.

there is still bare knuckle boxing being done. Modern bare knuckle doesn't look that much different to modern Queensbury.

there are a few quirks i employ to make smaller gloves work. But a good boxer will still bash me regardless.
 

KPM

Senior Master
Joined
Jul 6, 2014
Messages
3,642
Reaction score
990
I've done a lot of research on the old school boxing and agree with what's been said so far. Check out Jack Dempsey's book "Championship Boxing" where he explains why he preferred a vertical fist rather than the twisting punch that most boxers use. Absolutely the transition from "old school" to "modern" was a gradual one but was driven by the rule changes and use of bigger and bigger gloves. If you don't have to worry about a man throwing you to the ground and winning the round, and you've got nice fluffy gloves to hide behind, lots of things start to change! I don't think Filipino Boxing had anything to do with it. Some guys likely picked up on the evasive footwork from the Filipino Boxers (like Muhammed Ali), but this was well after the transition to modern boxing was all but complete.
 

KPM

Senior Master
Joined
Jul 6, 2014
Messages
3,642
Reaction score
990
Yeah, a good read. Good illustrations. There use to be copies on-line you could download. But I think someone has reprinted the book recently and those free copies had to come down.
 

Buka

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Jun 27, 2011
Messages
11,325
Reaction score
7,693
Location
Maui
The techniques/style of bareknuckle boxing leave a lot to be desired compared to the boxing of twenty years later.

Must have been a damn crazy time, though.
 

Transk53

The Dark Often Prevails
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2013
Messages
4,220
Reaction score
835
Location
England 43 Anno Domini
The techniques/style of bareknuckle boxing leave a lot to be desired compared to the boxing of twenty years later.

Must have been a damn crazy time, though.

Suppose so. Bare knuckle is just brawling to me. In fact I am getting the vibe over boxing again, or at least been reignited recently.
 

jks9199

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2006
Messages
22,017
Reaction score
2,189
Location
Northern VA
The techniques/style of bareknuckle boxing leave a lot to be desired compared to the boxing of twenty years later.

Must have been a damn crazy time, though.
Don't know that I'd agree with the statement that their techniques were poor or questionable. If you look at some of the classic manuals that have been published, they seem pretty much on par with any other martial approach. Some of them wouldn't work well in the boxing ring today, of course -- but that's to be expected. And boxers today are undoubtedly stronger, and better conditioned, and, of course, have benefited greatly from the ability to review video, etc. But I don't think I'd say that their techniques or style were incomplete or inadequate.
 

tshadowchaser

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Founding Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Aug 29, 2001
Messages
13,461
Reaction score
730
Location
Athol, Ma. USA
After the rules where set for boxing and you could no longer head butt, throw your opponent to the ground, bite, etc. the boxers pretty much stood upright and just simply punched each other out. It takes a lot to just stand there and take a punch and then give one. No they did not seem to bob and weave they stood there and took the punch.
They also did not break there hands by hitting with the last two fingers of the hand like boxers today do because of the gloves and throwing a punch differently.
Can a boxer today punch effectively in a self defense situation I would think so if he has any real type of training. The conditioning alone would be of tremendous help , to say nothing of his ability to take a punch and trow body punches.
 

Buka

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Jun 27, 2011
Messages
11,325
Reaction score
7,693
Location
Maui
Don't know that I'd agree with the statement that their techniques were poor or questionable. If you look at some of the classic manuals that have been published, they seem pretty much on par with any other martial approach. Some of them wouldn't work well in the boxing ring today, of course -- but that's to be expected. And boxers today are undoubtedly stronger, and better conditioned, and, of course, have benefited greatly from the ability to review video, etc. But I don't think I'd say that their techniques or style were incomplete or inadequate.

I didn't mean they were poor or questionable, just outdated a couple decades later. It wasn't until Corbett, at the dawn of the gloved age, that a left hook was in boxing. With so few strikes in boxing, it changed things up considerably.
 

Transk53

The Dark Often Prevails
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2013
Messages
4,220
Reaction score
835
Location
England 43 Anno Domini
After the rules where set for boxing and you could no longer head butt, throw your opponent to the ground, bite, etc. the boxers pretty much stood upright and just simply punched each other out. It takes a lot to just stand there and take a punch and then give one. No they did not seem to bob and weave they stood there and took the punch.
They also did not break there hands by hitting with the last two fingers of the hand like boxers today do because of the gloves and throwing a punch differently.
Can a boxer today punch effectively in a self defense situation I would think so if he has any real type of training. The conditioning alone would be of tremendous help , to say nothing of his ability to take a punch and trow body punches.

I agree with you in a one on one SD scenario. I would not say in a typical street situation. He would not want advertise himself, too much danger of getting rushed. It is all gang and peer mentality these days. IMHO of course.
 

Transk53

The Dark Often Prevails
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2013
Messages
4,220
Reaction score
835
Location
England 43 Anno Domini
This may well have been seen already and is 27 minutes. It is compelling viewing though, and some of it quite profound. If you have time, worth a watch IMHO.

 

Tez3

Sr. Grandmaster
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Messages
27,308
Reaction score
4,597
Location
England
There's also reputable 'above ground' bareknuckle boxing bouts that happen here too. It is actually just a matter of choice no one has to follow the Queensbury rules, only if they are under the Boxing Board of Control or the amateur boxing authorities because they want to go for worldwide type titles. It's a bit of a misnomer calling them 'underground' because the bouts themselves aren't illegal, the betting is though lol.
 

Transk53

The Dark Often Prevails
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2013
Messages
4,220
Reaction score
835
Location
England 43 Anno Domini
There's also reputable 'above ground' bareknuckle boxing bouts that happen here too. It is actually just a matter of choice no one has to follow the Queensbury rules, only if they are under the Boxing Board of Control or the amateur boxing authorities because they want to go for worldwide type titles. It's a bit of a misnomer calling them 'underground' because the bouts themselves aren't illegal, the betting is though lol.

Nah, it is no misnomer. By definition it is underground due to no commercial value. Tbh, I am pretty much not able to counter you're posts, but surely bare knuckle boxing is seen as nothing more than a organised street fight.
 

Tez3

Sr. Grandmaster
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Messages
27,308
Reaction score
4,597
Location
England
The traveller community who are the main people for bare knuckle have rules and it's far from a street fight organised or not. There is a huge commercial value because of the betting on the fights, a lot of money changes hands. My instructor had a bare knuckle fight with a traveller, it was a very fair fight, just him and the other guy. When he beat the traveller the others congratulated him. It was down in Brigg at the Horse Fair. There's organised bare knuckle fights all over the place. I'm sure there's a fair amount of brawls going on as well but bare knuckle fighting is seen as safer than the gloved kind and they have a point, you cannot hit as hard with the bare fist as you can with a wrapped, gloved fist so while it looks bloodier it is actually safer.
 
Top