The Intrigue of "52 blocks"

JowGaWolf

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Was doing some digging and found this article... The Myth of “52 Blocks” or “Jailhouse Rock”

This is the parts I found most interesting...



and this...
This is what I was kind of sensing. As a kid, there was always one or 2 people who had older brothers who claimed to know how to fight even though there was no formal training of self-defense. It was an assumption of "I know how to fight" that grew from the ability to beat one or 2 people in a street fight, or in slap boxing. I'm not sure how other cultures are but this was definitely the case within the African American culture as I was growing up. It wasn't just among the kids but also older adults. There was always that one adult who was out of his prime and out of shape that was going to show the "young bucks" how it really was done. It was like a 15 minute moment of fame and acknowledgement for the adult, because faces. If you are in your 40's most kids probably think you are lame and already have this assumption that you are old. In general teaching is one of those things when young people actually listen to what you have to say and they actually learn from you so for many adults teaching has value in society which is much higher than what they get paid for. I think for some being a teacher helps fill a void where the "teacher" doesn't feel significant and teaching allows that person to feel significant.

This is what it feels like and what I see when I watch the 52 blocks videos. This isn't a slam on those who do 52 or teach street fighting stuff. It's actually an acknowledgement that they could have probably been really good teachers in any subject matter had they only taken the time to take the formal path of obtaining knowledge.

Novell Bell is like the old guys I used to know as a kid. You can clearly see he has some passion for the art but no formal training which is a shame because people with passion for what they do are the ones that help keep knowledge alive.

As for 52 blocks, you can do this all day to a person that trains martial arts for fighting purposes and be punished each time those crazy hands start moving.

But I guess you have to roll with what you know. By the way, no hard feelings to the 52 block guy that's in the discussion. It's just jokes.
 

Juany118

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Looks like a rap battle or dance-off that went awry. :)

I have been trying to think of a way to describe 52 blocks and this made it click for me. 52 blocks is like modern hip hop. You can see that many of the artists have talent and passion. The thing is many all to often go for flash, what looks cool etc thinking that appearance = function and that isn't always the case. The same I think applies to 52 blocks.
 

wingchun100

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This is what I was kind of sensing. As a kid, there was always one or 2 people who had older brothers who claimed to know how to fight even though there was no formal training of self-defense. It was an assumption of "I know how to fight" that grew from the ability to beat one or 2 people in a street fight, or in slap boxing. I'm not sure how other cultures are but this was definitely the case within the African American culture as I was growing up. It wasn't just among the kids but also older adults. There was always that one adult who was out of his prime and out of shape that was going to show the "young bucks" how it really was done. It was like a 15 minute moment of fame and acknowledgement for the adult, because faces. If you are in your 40's most kids probably think you are lame and already have this assumption that you are old. In general teaching is one of those things when young people actually listen to what you have to say and they actually learn from you so for many adults teaching has value in society which is much higher than what they get paid for. I think for some being a teacher helps fill a void where the "teacher" doesn't feel significant and teaching allows that person to feel significant.

This is what it feels like and what I see when I watch the 52 blocks videos. This isn't a slam on those who do 52 or teach street fighting stuff. It's actually an acknowledgement that they could have probably been really good teachers in any subject matter had they only taken the time to take the formal path of obtaining knowledge.

Novell Bell is like the old guys I used to know as a kid. You can clearly see he has some passion for the art but no formal training which is a shame because people with passion for what they do are the ones that help keep knowledge alive.

As for 52 blocks, you can do this all day to a person that trains martial arts for fighting purposes and be punished each time those crazy hands start moving.

But I guess you have to roll with what you know. By the way, no hard feelings to the 52 block guy that's in the discussion. It's just jokes.


Not a huge Martin Lawrence fan, but that made me laugh.
 

Dink

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This is what I was kind of sensing. As a kid, there was always one or 2 people who had older brothers who claimed to know how to fight even though there was no formal training of self-defense. It was an assumption of "I know how to fight" that grew from the ability to beat one or 2 people in a street fight, or in slap boxing. I'm not sure how other cultures are but this was definitely the case within the African American culture as I was growing up. It wasn't just among the kids but also older adults. There was always that one adult who was out of his prime and out of shape that was going to show the "young bucks" how it really was done. It was like a 15 minute moment of fame and acknowledgement for the adult, because faces. If you are in your 40's most kids probably think you are lame and already have this assumption that you are old. In general teaching is one of those things when young people actually listen to what you have to say and they actually learn from you so for many adults teaching has value in society which is much higher than what they get paid for. I think for some being a teacher helps fill a void where the "teacher" doesn't feel significant and teaching allows that person to feel significant.

This is what it feels like and what I see when I watch the 52 blocks videos. This isn't a slam on those who do 52 or teach street fighting stuff. It's actually an acknowledgement that they could have probably been really good teachers in any subject matter had they only taken the time to take the formal path of obtaining knowledge.

Novell Bell is like the old guys I used to know as a kid. You can clearly see he has some passion for the art but no formal training which is a shame because people with passion for what they do are the ones that help keep knowledge alive.

As for 52 blocks, you can do this all day to a person that trains martial arts for fighting purposes and be punished each time those crazy hands start moving.

But I guess you have to roll with what you know. By the way, no hard feelings to the 52 block guy that's in the discussion. It's just jokes.
No offence taken ,the Martin Lawrence video applys to a lot of people.I'm here to answer if anyone has specific questions as a lot about 52 that can be found by googling is incorrect
 

oaktree

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Nova Bell actually has had formal training in neijia arts and has a lineage in gao style,
He is probably one of the few Baguazhang stylist who has taken it to a more urban concept, I have met students of Bell and people associate with him and they are pretty good guys.
 

frank raud

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No offence taken ,the Martin Lawrence video applys to a lot of people.I'm here to answer if anyone has specific questions as a lot about 52 that can be found by googling is incorrect
Appreciate the offer for clarification. Just so we can have a basis to start from, as someone who studies 52, what is the history, and how has it evolved from(or developed separately) from Jailhouse Rock, Sakto, etc?
 

punisher73

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Appreciate the offer for clarification. Just so we can have a basis to start from, as someone who studies 52, what is the history, and how has it evolved from(or developed separately) from Jailhouse Rock, Sakto, etc?

You will never get a definitive answer to that. All of those things are too nebulous and were never codified as "systems". The history itself has changed because no one really believed the first "official" history of JHR, 52 Blocks etc.

It went from being an underground fighting system taught for generations by slaves, to being taught in prisons, to what it is now (that is believable). That being, it is boxing mixed with streetfighting tricks mixed with some kung fu that was incorporated from the kung fu craze of the 70's. As to how they "evolved" differently. It didn't come direct source. It wasn't like there was one guy who created this and then he taught a group of students who all moved to various parts of the country and developed their own approaches. At least, to this point, there has been no documented history of a single source or person.
 

Dink

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Appreciate the offer for clarification. Just so we can have a basis to start from, as someone who studies 52, what is the history, and how has it evolved from(or developed separately) from Jailhouse Rock, Sakto, etc?
It's best described here.https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&s...ggbMAA&usg=AFQjCNFwSYCnkGYV1C9nkFLbOdzZVCqIJg

Stato (boxing from upstate ie prison) gradually changing to Jailhouse then to 52.Think of how jazz blues and hip hop change through time and vary from region to region.its descended from African arts and is improvisational in nature hence some people adding in Kung fu etc,the name changes the fight remains the same.The link above explains in detail the difference between vernacular (Jailhouse,52 , knocking and kicking etc) and traditional martial arts
 

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