Why did Boxing Survive to be the most popular fighting sport in the world despite mass deaths in World War 1 unlike other Western styles like Savate?

Status
Not open for further replies.

Bullsherdog

Yellow Belt
Joined
Jan 3, 2017
Messages
56
Reaction score
6
Since someone else asked last year why despite the British often seeing kicking as ungentlemanly and bashing Savate for being a kick based style (esp before boxing was added in in predecessor styles like Chausson)........ French wrestling was primarily Greco-Roman arm-based with no leg moves while various British wrestling like Catch make use of sweeps, trips, scissor legs, knee pins, leg takedowns, and tackling the legs are important trump cards..........

I wonder about another thing. The one sole reason attributed to why Savate is now an underground style even in its native France is because World War 1 killed so many practitioners esp the highest levels of instructors and even many more were permanently too physically injured to continue practising. Just a noteworthy amount of those who existed the war fully intact were suffering from dysfunctional PTSD.
And in turn so many local stylists like Italian fencers across Europe were also killed fighting in the trenches. Hell I even discovered there was early HEMA attempts and other reconstruction of pre-Napoleonic weapon arts in the early 19th century! But plenty of people in the project lost their lives in the Great War too and not much interest remained in investing these reconstruction because of how damaged European economies were from World War 1 that interest faded away.

So I wonder why Boxing never faced the risk and in fact became the dominant fighting sport in addition to being the last styles of old lineages to last today under widespread teaching along with wrestling, military knife, and bayonet?

Boxing survived so widespread that the Nazis were drilling soldiers in it and made it requirement in special private schools and to this day the British military still has boxing gyms and clubs in every military base. Even in France, boxing survived unlike Savate. Practically every European nation has widespread boxing instructors even in isolated rural places.

Why hasn't the World Wars threatened its survival? At least wrestling can make the argument of being standard in military, most armed forces between the World Wars did not drill soldiers in the Sweet Science. So I ask!

Esp since boxing became so popular every country in the world outside of Europe and America has boxing gyms and boxing actually gets higher viewership on TV than competition of local styles like Sanda, TKD, Judo, and Wushu in parts of Asia esp Japan despite the stereotypical association of martial arts and East Asia!
 

lklawson

Grandmaster
Joined
Feb 3, 2005
Messages
5,029
Reaction score
1,650
Location
Huber Heights, OH
Boxing was more widespread geographically than Savate and the U.S. lost far fewer of it's young fighting men population in WWI than France did.

WWI shredded the ranks of Silver Gloves. Small population, lots of participation in WWI. The population of France in WWI was a little under 40 million. The U.S. was over 75 million. Savate was mostly practice in France, while Boxing was practiced in pretty much every nation in the world, including France. The English spread it wherever they went, either in trade or colonization. There's even a theory that Wing Chun is just English Boxing rebranded by the Chinese.

It's just a numbers game. All the rest of your speculation really isn't relevant, I'm sorry to say. In short, Boxing is the Lingua Franca of martial arts and for pretty much the same reasons.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

JowGaWolf

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Aug 3, 2015
Messages
11,968
Reaction score
4,491
Boxing existed long before WWI in other cultures. There's historical records of it in Greek History.
 

Oily Dragon

Master of Arts
Joined
May 2, 2020
Messages
1,802
Reaction score
804
Boxing existed long before WWI in other cultures. There's historical records of it in Greek History.
Even older. Every culture on earth developed organized fist fighting and wrestling since prehistory. The only thing that changes over time is the names, because of language.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

MT Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 4, 2012
Messages
10,310
Reaction score
4,250
Location
New York
Even older. Every culture on earth developed organized fist fighting and wrestling since prehistory. The only thing that changes over time is the names, because of language.
Is there historical records of fist fighting and wrestling before the greeks? I've no doubt they trained them, but outside of india (kalaripayattu), I'm unaware of documented information about them.
 

JowGaWolf

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Aug 3, 2015
Messages
11,968
Reaction score
4,491
Is there historical records of fist fighting and wrestling before the greeks? I've no doubt they trained them, but outside of india (kalaripayattu), I'm unaware of documented information about them.
My memory may be bad, but I think I saw some where that the Egyptians had boxing as well. It was similar to Dambe.
 

bushido

Yellow Belt
Joined
May 2, 2009
Messages
54
Reaction score
16
Boxing teaches you take a punch, and to set up for power strikes. Sport MMA is a poor representation of what happens in a brawl. You might kick the leg as a boxer comes in, or punch to the face, but that is not going to stop the closing of the distance. Unless you have rabbit blood running through your veins, and you have the space to run, you have to deal with someone just powering through your attack or defense. And that someone can take your best shot, and break your ribs a split second later. You might think you can take him to the ground etc, but you do not want to be on the ground surrounded by a blood thirsty drug induced crowd. And boxers are very familiar with fighting "dirty". A thumb to the eye, fish hook in the mouth, etc, will make you reevaluate what you are doing on the ground. A boxer keeps his guard up at all times, and will throw 3 or 4 hooks to the kidneys and liver in a second... and each one will be a power shot. They are conditioned, strong and powerful.
Savate in particular, does not have the type of kicking skills that will make a difference in a 2 minute brawl, and they do not have a true boxers conditioning.
But, of course, there are always the exception. Some one really dedicated to Savate with a boxers mindset and conditioning would have the advantage...
 

Oily Dragon

Master of Arts
Joined
May 2, 2020
Messages
1,802
Reaction score
804
Is there historical records of fist fighting and wrestling before the greeks? I've no doubt they trained them, but outside of india (kalaripayattu), I'm unaware of documented information about them.
Egyptian stick fighting (tahtib) is documented back to 2500BC.

Chinese imperial military wrestling goes back to 4000BC, and records survive that are older than the Egyptian.
 

Tez3

Sr. Grandmaster
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Messages
27,386
Reaction score
4,702
Location
England
A well known saying in the UK " never hit a man when he's down, kick him it's easier"

This idea of Brits being gentlemanly fighters emanates from fiction, it's not true in real life. There's no one who looks down on kicking, never had been outside of films etc.
British military doesn't have boxing clubs as such, they have regimental boxing, coached by PTIs in the gyms. Not all regiments and Corps do boxing though, others play football and rugby instead. Martial arts, triathlon, and other sports such as bobsleigh are practised widely too. Boxing tends to be popular in certain regiments, usually infantry or the Paras. Female soldiers box too.
MMA is taking over a lot of the previous interest in boxing both in military and civvy life.
At the height of Bruce Lee fever, there was huge interest in Asian martial arts, which has actually continued. Kickboxing is hugely popular here in the UK both to do and watch.
In the UK Judo has always been popular going back to the beginning of the 20th century, we have the oldest Judo dojo in Europe.
Interest in professional boxing in the UK is waning, mostly due to lack of proper matches etc.
 

lklawson

Grandmaster
Joined
Feb 3, 2005
Messages
5,029
Reaction score
1,650
Location
Huber Heights, OH
Egyptian stick fighting (tahtib) is documented back to 2500BC.
Well, SOME kind of stick fighting is documented in Egypt. Whether or not it is much like modern Tathib is debated.

Chinese imperial military wrestling goes back to 4000BC, and records survive that are older than the Egyptian.
References to wrestling can be found in the earliest records.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

lklawson

Grandmaster
Joined
Feb 3, 2005
Messages
5,029
Reaction score
1,650
Location
Huber Heights, OH
In the UK Judo has always been popular going back to the beginning of the 20th century, we have the oldest Judo dojo in Europe.
Truth. And the history of the founding/founder of the club is quite interesting. It's tied directly to Bartitsu, "the martial art of Sherlock Holmes." No kidding.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

Oily Dragon

Master of Arts
Joined
May 2, 2020
Messages
1,802
Reaction score
804
Well, SOME kind of stick fighting is documented in Egypt. Whether or not it is much like modern Tathib is debated.


References to wrestling can be found in the earliest records.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
Like I'm fond of saying, our ape ancestors figured out fighting, especially with sticks, long before we started writing things down.

This is about 50,000 years old, because humans were able to track, fight, and kill these, probably with a stick. But maybe bare handed. Who really knows?

I just see pork loin.

1647278842547.png
 

JowGaWolf

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Aug 3, 2015
Messages
11,968
Reaction score
4,491
My favorite Fight of all time. Jabs, uppercuts, attempted take downs and head locks. It's all here.
 

Tez3

Sr. Grandmaster
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Messages
27,386
Reaction score
4,702
Location
England
Truth. And the history of the founding/founder of the club is quite interesting. It's tied directly to Bartitsu, "the martial art of Sherlock Holmes." No kidding.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
It's also connected to to the Suffragette movement, where the women learnt how to fight off the police and others trying to stop them demonstrating.
 

Oily Dragon

Master of Arts
Joined
May 2, 2020
Messages
1,802
Reaction score
804
Truth. And the history of the founding/founder of the club is quite interesting. It's tied directly to Bartitsu, "the martial art of Sherlock Holmes." No kidding.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
Well, close.

Baritsu was Holmes' art. One T. It was based on this real one, which some suffragettes did train.

Though to be fair, many or most Suffragettes were pacifists and trained no martial arts, but fought with rhetoric (which I guess is a type of martial art anyway).

 

lklawson

Grandmaster
Joined
Feb 3, 2005
Messages
5,029
Reaction score
1,650
Location
Huber Heights, OH
It's also connected to to the Suffragette movement, where the women learnt how to fight off the police and others trying to stop them demonstrating.
Yes. If you can find any of the political cartoons from the time period illustrating "Suffragette Ju Jitsu" it's worth it. Some of them are quite funny.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

lklawson

Grandmaster
Joined
Feb 3, 2005
Messages
5,029
Reaction score
1,650
Location
Huber Heights, OH
Well, close.

Baritsu was Holmes' art. One T. It was based on this real one, which some suffragettes did train.

Though to be fair, many or most Suffragettes were pacifists and trained no martial arts, but fought with rhetoric (which I guess is a type of martial art anyway).

The Bartitsu Compendium? You don't say. Have you read it? Did you notice the Acknowledgements page?

bartitsu compendium acknowledgements.png
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top