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Boxing in Medieval times?

Discussion in 'Boxing Discussion' started by Fisticuffa, Jul 12, 2010.

  1. Fisticuffa Purple Belt

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    I was just googling about the HW lineage when I came across this old thread on here, this was a post made by Kid McCoy:
     
  2. TheRatman Brown Belt

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    I not am sure but I think those where the dark ages. where most rec of everything where burn, I think from like the 5th century to the 12th but i am not sure.
     
  3. enswell**** Blue Belt

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    Maybe MMA took over for a while there...


    .
     
  4. JerkWeed Brown Belt

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    Well according to my history lessons knuckle brawling gave way to swords in the middle ages. Then Canada was discovered and swords gave way to hockey sticks. Then a brawl broke out at the hockey game and boxing was rediscovered.
     
  5. fighter01 White Belt

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    i dont think they had boxing in medevile times, they had boxing in classical times rome and greece, it died out and didnt resurface again until the eighteenth century, fist fighting can come naturally to many people without going to a gym, people have been fighting with there fists for thousands of years, the greeks turned it into a spectators sport, during the midle ages they had other sports to contend with, fist fighting between individuals would have there but boxing wasnt.
     
  6. amhlilhaus Black Belt

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    James Figg 1719
    Tom Pipes 1730
    George Taylor 1735
    Jack Broughton 1738
    Jack Slack 1750
    William Stevens 1760
    George Meggs 1761
    George Millsom 1762
    Tom Juchau 1765
    William Darts 1766
    Tom Lyons 1769
    Peter Corcoran 1771
    Harry Sellers 1776
    Duggan Fearns 1780
    Tom Johnson 1784
    Big Benjamin Brain 1791
    Daniel Mendoza 1794
    Gentleman John Jackson 1795
    Thomas Owen 1796
    Jack Bartholomew 1797
    Jem Belcher 1800

    additionally, George Gretting and Tom Pipes traded the title after Figg retired. it's unclear how many times since the chronicles mentioned they were 'alternate' victors.

    coincidentally, Ned Sutton is listed as beating Figg before he retired, however it was most likely in a cudgel match, not with the fists and Sutton is the only man generally regarded as beating Figg. Taylor beat bot Pipes and Gretting, winning the title who then lost to Broughton.

    the mid 1790's are another contentious period. Tom Johnson cleaned up the sport with his clean fighting and winning on the square, and received general acceptance as champion, and was defeated by Ben Brain. Brain however died before he could fight William Wood, and some historians regarded Wood as champion. I don't know why Daniel Mendoza has been universally recognized as chamion so soon after Brain's death. He forfeited a stake to fight Bill Hooper and then defeated William Warr (who he had already beaten) to 'gain' his status. John Jackson then beat the piss out of Mendoza by grabbing his hair to keep him still and then retired. Thomas Owen is listed as champion by beating William Hooper (who beat Will Wood) and lost his title to Jack Bartholomew who lost to Belcher. the title has been traceable fairly clearly since then.
     
  7. Death Impressive. Most impressive.

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    thats interesting TS.
     
  8. OneOneTwo Banned Banned

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    lol, nice one.
     
  9. Fisticuffa Purple Belt

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    amhlilhaus thanks for that interesting bit of info, you are one of the guys on here that make good historical posts along with Kid and Sharkey.

    Death, may be someone in MMA needs to look into tracing the HW lineage of MMA starting with Pankration. I think Theagenes of Thasos was one of the few who won both at Boxing and then 4 years later at Pankration, so there you have one of your earliest MMA champs along with Arrichion.
     
  10. Metsudragon** Blue Belt

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    ^It'd be highly interesting to see people do a study of vale tudo style combat sports going from pankration to modern day, as there's some others out there that predate the brazilian booth fighting like Vajramushti iirc.

    and that huge gap in boxing champions is prety surprising, there has to be a few standout guys in that dark period.
     
  11. The Fan Man Blue Belt

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    I have nothing to add except that this is awesome stuff.
     
  12. TheeFaulted Inzer Belt

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    The "Dark Ages" is an outmoded term expressing a distaste for Non-Roman/Latin culture that followed the fall of Rome until the Renaissance. There are plenty of records that remain from the period, somehow this must have survived this massive fire you know about that wiped out 7 centuries of European history.

    As others have mentioned, I imagine boxing gave way to other spectators sports such as jousting, fencing, etc. Another obvious reason would be there was no unifying body to declare "World Champions". Just because there was no heavyweight champion, doe not mean there was no boxing.
     
  13. Fisticuffa Purple Belt

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    Good article I found on Theagenes and Diagoras:
     
  14. TheRatman Brown Belt

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    Thanks for the clarification, I never knew that.


    As for the TS topic. I been searching the web and can't realy find an answer for you but here on some thing I found that might relate.

    In 393 A.D., the Olympics were banned by the Christian emperor Theodosius, and in 500 A.D., boxing was banned altogether by Theodoric the Great as being an insult to God because it disfigures the face, the image of God. However, this edict had little effect outside the major cities of the Eastern Empire. By this time, western Europe was no longer part of the Roman Empire. Boxing remained popular in Europe throughout the Middle Ages and beyond. Wrestling, fencing and racing (both chariot and foot) were never banned by the late Romans, as they did not cause disfigurement.

    Boxing - FightWiki


    Russian fist fighting (Russian - Кулачный бой, Kulachniy Boy) is an ancient Russian combat sport similar to modern boxing. It has existed since the times of Kievan Rus', but has since lost much of its popularity in the 20th Century.[1]

    The earliest accounts concerning the sport indicate it was developed as late as the 13th Century.[2] Before the Christianization of Kievan Rus', fist fighting contests were often held at celebrations dedicated to Perun

    Russian fist fighting - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2010
  15. Fisticuffa Purple Belt

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    Seems like Boxing remained popular inspite of the ban during that time. I have to see if I can dig up anything on Boxers during this period.

    Fist fighting or Boxing existed in a lot of different cultures including Ethiopia and India, so not surprised about the Russian case.

    I know in India similar to Greece they also differentiated between mushti yuddha (mushti meaning fist, yuddha meaning war/fight) and mallayuddha which was more like pankration/MMA.

    I also wonder what the rules were in ancient Olympic Boxing, we know London Prize fighting rules allowed some throws and standing grappling, wonder if it was similar in ancient Greece.
     
  16. DragonofMetsu Blue Belt

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    What I remember from when I was researching ancient greek boxing:

    No such thing as rounds, though there was a designated spot for fighting

    fight continued until someone verbally submitted, koed, or killed

    All manner of fistic strikes allowed, but kicking and groin shots were expressly forbidden, and there were referees with sticks like prods to use and discipline offenders with

    some other random tidbits:

    No Women allowed

    Boxing was considered the most strenuous of the Heavy Events(NOT Pankration), it was common for athletes to do Pankration first, in order to save their energy for the Boxing matches.

    Going off that, it was considered a very bad omen to dream about Boxing. Greeks thought dreaming of any of the three Heavy Events(as the combat sports were called) was a sign of bad luck, but to dream about Boxing meant physical harm was gonna come to you

    Greek Athletes were fed a specialized diet by the top greek nutritionists of the day, as well as their trainers designing strict regimens for them. Boxers trained in the Palaestra(which is usually thought of as the Greek wrestling gym, but it was home to all the Heavy athletes).

    Greek Philosophers heavily criticized the heavy events and their participants, chiefly because they felt Philosophers should be getting paid, not the athletes, as their jobs were more important(lol.)

    There's plenty of other stuff, but this is Boxing specific, let me know of any questions you have, and if you want to know my source, check out the book "Combat Sports of the Ancient World".
     
  17. Fisticuffa Purple Belt

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    Thanks for that informative post.

    Just a comment about Pankration, i can see why Boxing was considered more strenuous as it's striking only but I wonder though how close it really was because from what I read nut shots were allowed in Olympic Pankration and only biting and eye gouging banned (Spartans seem to have allowed these 2 also). I mean if you took a good nut shot I doubt you will be ready to go Box a little while later lol but then again may be all the decent Pankration guys knew how to defend themselves against nut shots, especially one's who wanted to Box after that event.

    In terms of Boxing I know the general rules of KO, submit or kill but I am wondering what the rules were about things like clinching and whether a guy could use some throws while in the clinch like under London prizefighting rules. Also were elbows banned?
     
  18. DragonofMetsu Blue Belt

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    In the Olympic Games nut shots were allowed iirc, but looked down upon, in Spartan contests though, EVERYTHING was allowed hence that little phrase about "spartans biting like lions", which if done at the official games would result in disciplining by the referee.

    Clinching was discouraged iirc, with the referees seperating boxers who held on, but a clinch followed by an immediate throw was ok, but fights were stood back up, ANY kind of wrestling was strictly forbidden.

    I'll go check out a copy again from the library to fact check myself, but I'm pretty sure that was correct.

    Also some other trivia

    Headgear was around back then even, in the form of brass ear guards, also, training mits were around too, that looked much more similar to modern boxing gloves, but these soft mitts were only allowed in the palaestra, along with the ear guards. The Hard Thongs were what were used in the official contests(until the Romans added in the Cestus).


    Forgot your question about elbows, only legal strikes were done with the thong covered fist.


    EDIT: And Boxing was considered the most strenuous for another reason: The tremendous damage that could be done to one's face with the aid of the sharp tongs, as the Pankration was fought bare-handed, or with a lighter version of the thongs boxers used.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2010
  19. Fisticuffa Purple Belt

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    Great post.

    I actually didn't know they used hard thongs in Olympic Boxing, was under the impression they fought bare knuckle and that later the Romans added the cestus for more blood and gore.

    So in that context it makes more sense that Boxing would be much more damaging if Pankrationists mostly fought with bare fists.

    Bare knuckle Boxing is always safer in terms of fighter safety, probably more superficial damage in terms of cuts and stuff but a lot less brain damage and deaths from brain jarring KO's because fighters are cautious to hit as hard because they may break their hands.

    Gonna check out that book you mentioned, thanks for mentioning it.
     
  20. Sum theres a lot of things that can kill a man

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    Just came in to say this thread is one of the reasons I love this forum so much. Good work all around guys. So interesting, will definitely look into it more now.
     

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