Dempsey Boxing. Nugget this if you want

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TomFurman
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Dempsey Boxing. Nugget this if you want

Post by TomFurman » Sat Sep 23, 2006 2:29 am

Championship Fighting
Explosive Punching
and
Aggressive Defense
by Jack Dempsey
edited by Jack Cuddy
with illustrations by Ed Igoe
Copyright, 1950, by JACK DEMPSEY
First Edition
Contents
1. Explosives at Toledo
2. Good and Bad Toledo Aftermaths
3. Punchers Are Made; Not Born
4. Why I Wrote This Book
5. Differences Between Fist-Fighting and Boxing
6. You're the Kayo Kid
7. What Is a Punch?
8. The Falling Step
9. The Power Line
10. Relaying and Exploding
11. Stance
12. Footwork
13. Range
14. Straight Punching from the Whirl
15. Purity in Punching
16. Hooking
17. Uppercuts
18. Punch Ranks First
19. Your Sparmate
20. General Defense and Blocking
21. Deflection
22. Evasion
23. Feinting and Drawing
24. Training
25. How to Watch a Fight
1. Explosives at Toledo

What would happen if a year-old baby fell from a fourth-floor window onto the head of a burly truck driver, standing on the sidewalk?

It's practically certain that the truckman would be knocked unconscious. He might die of brain concussion or a broken neck.

Even an innocent little baby can become a dangerous missile WHEN ITS BODY-WEIGHT IS SET INTO FAST MOTION.

You may feel as helpless as a year-old infant-as far as fighting is concerned; but please remember: (1) YOU WEIGH MORE THAN A BABY, and (2) YOU NEED NOT FALL FROM A WINDOW TO PUT YOUR BODY-WEIGHT INTO MOTION.

You have weight, and you have the means of launching that weight into fast motion.

Furthermore, you have explosive ingredients. You may not appear explosive. You may appear as harmless as a stick of dynamite, which children have been known to mistake for an oversized stick of taffy.

You can launch your body-weight into fast motion; and, like dynamite, you can explode that hurtling weight against an opponent with a stunning, blasting effect known as follow-through.

Incidentally, mention of the baby and explosives reminds me of what happened at Toledo on the afternoon of July 4, 1919.

Standing there that day under the blazing Ohio sun, I felt like a baby as I glanced across the ring and saw big Jess Willard shrug off his bathrobe in the opposite corner.

Cowboy Jess was heavyweight champion of the world, and he was a giant. Moreover, he was a perfectly proportioned giant. He was every inch an athlete. He tapered down beautifully from derrick-like shoulders, and his muscles were so smooth you could scarcely see them rippling under his sun-tanned skin. He towered six feet, six inches and a quarter. He weighed 245 pounds. In comparison I shaped up like an infant or a dwarf although I nudged past six feet and scaled 180 pounds. My weight was announced as 187 pounds; but actually I registered only 180.

As I looked across the ring at Willard, I said to myself, "Jeez! What a mountain I've got to blast down this time!"

I knew about blasting-about dynamite. I had learned about dynamite in the mines of Colorado, Utah and Nevada, where I had worked off and on for about six years. And I knew plenty about dynamite in fighting. I had made a study of fistic dynamite since I was seven years old. That was when I had my first fist-fight, with a boy about my own size, in Manassa, Colorado. I was born at Manassa and spent my early years there.

Before I fought Willard, my manager-Jack (Doc) Kearns-already had nicknamed me "Jack the Giant-Killer" because I had belted out such big fellows as Carl Morris and Fred Fulton. They were big men all right, but neither had appeared such an awesome giant as Willard did that sweltering afternoon.

I had trained for Willard at the Overland Club on Maumee Bay, an inlet of Lake Erie. Nearly every day Kearns and Trainer Jimmy Deforest reported that I was shaping up much better than Willard.

But when I saw big Jess across the ring, without an ounce of fat on his huge frame, I wondered if Kearns and Deforest had been bringing me pleasant but false reports to bolster my courage. I won't say I was scared as I gazed at Willard, but I'll admit I began to wonder if I packed enough dynamite to blast the man-mountain down.

Since this is not a story of my life, I'll refrain from boring you with details of the fight. I'll wrap it up in a hurry; I'll merely recall that I sent Jess crashing to the canvas six or seven times in the first round and gave him such a battering in the third session that Jess was unable to come out for the fourth round. As Willard sat helplessly on his stool in the corner, his handlers threw in the towel just after the bell had rung to start the fourth. I won the world heavyweight championship on a technical knockout.

I won the ring's most coveted title by stopping a man much larger and stronger than I was-one who outweighed me 65 pounds. I blasted him into helplessness by exploding my fast-moving body-weight against him. I used body-weight, with which the falling baby could knock out the truck driver; and I used explosion.

EXPLODING BODY-WEIGHT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT WEAPON IN FIST-FIGHTING OR IN BOXING. Never forget that! I was at my peak as a fighter the day I met Willard under the broiling Toledo sun. My body-weight was moving like lightning, and I was exploding that weight terrifically against the giant. Even before the first round was finished, Willard looked like the victim of a premature mine blast.
2. Good and Bad Toledo Aftermaths

The explosives I displayed against Willard were harnessed soon by Promoter Tex Rickard to produce five gates of more than $1,000,000 each. Those receipts were genuinely remarkable; for when Willard and I drew $452,224 at Toledo, that was the largest fight-gate on record. My five big-money bouts were with Georges Carpentier of France, Luis Angel Firpo of Argentina, Jack Sharkey of Boston, and Gene Tunney of New York (two).

Because I was a good puncher and because each opponent in those five big-gate fights was a hard hitter, the tremendous publicity given those extravaganzas made the world more punch-conscious than ever before. Incidentally, don't let anyone tell you Gene Tunney couldn't punch. Many fight fans have that wrong impression today. In our first bout at Philadelphia, where Gene wrested the title from me, he landed a right-counter to the head that staggered me early in the first round. I didn't recover fully from that punch during the rest of the fight. And at Chicago, in our second scrap, Gene drove me to one knee with a head-blow in the eighth round. Mind you, that was after I'd floored him for the "long count" in the seventh. Indeed, I found Gentleman Gene surprisingly explosive.

Since those golden Rickard-Dempsey days, the public's worship of punch has become more intense; for interest in the kayo sock has been stimulated increasingly by press, radio and television. And that intense public interest in punch has been one admirable aftermath of the blasting in Toledo.

In addition, those big gates gave lads everywhere the desire to become good punchers so that they, too, might hammer out riches with their fists.

Those two effects-public worship of punch and youngsters' desire to hit hard-would have had a most beneficial influence upon the science of self-defense, were it not for an unexpectedly blighting development.

Unfortunately, my big gates did more to commercialise fighting than anything else in pugilistic history. They transformed boxing into a big-time business. As a commercial enterprise, the fight-game began attracting people who knew little or nothing about self-defense. Hoping to make quick money, they flocked into boxing from other fields.

They came as promoters, managers, trainers and even instructors. Too often they- were able to crowd out old-timers because they had money to invest, because they were better businessmen, or merely because they were glib-talking hustlers. They joined the gold rush in droves- dentists, doctors, lawyers, restaurant proprietors, clothing manufacturers, butchers, grocers, bookies, racket guys, and pool-hall hangers-on. Fellows who never tossed a fist in their lives became trainers. They mistaught boys in gymnasiums. Those mistaught youths became would-be fighters for a while; and when they hung up their gloves, they too became instructors.

It was only natural that the tide of palooka experts should sweep into the amateur ranks, where lack of knowledge among instructors today is as pathetic as among professional handlers. And that's not the worst. Too many amateur instructors have forgotten entirely that the purpose of boxing lessons is to teach a fellow to defend himself with his fists; not to point him toward amateur or professional competition with boxing gloves. To a menacing extent the major purpose of fistic instruction has been by-passed by amateur tutors who try to benefit themselves financially, indirectly or directly, by producing punchless performers who can win amateur or professional bouts on points.

Not one youth in fifty has any ambitions to become a professional fighter when he first goes to an instructor. That's particularly true among college and high-school lads. Yet the instructors continue-teaching boys to become "smart" boxers instead of well-rounded fighters. And that's a downright shame, for punch is absolutely essential in fist-fighting and it's an invaluable asset in amateur or professional boxing. Actually, it's stupid instead of smart instruction to teach other fighting movements to a boy before he has been taught to punch.

Because of this commercial, win-on-a-point-as-soon-as-possible attitude among modern instructors, the amateur and professional ranks today are cluttered with futile "club fighters" and "fancy Dans." In the professional game there are so few genuine fighters that promoters find it almost impossible to make enough attractive matches to fill their boxing dates.

At this writing, lack of worthwhile talent in the heavyweight division is particularly appalling. It's almost unbelievable that the heavy division should have declined so far since the days when I was fighting my way up in 1917, 1918 and 1919. The class was jammed with good men then. Jess Willard was champion. On his trail were Carl Morris, Frank Moran, Bill Brennan, Billy Miske, Fred Fulton, Homer Smith, Gunboat Smith, Jim Flynn and Porky Flynn. And there were Sam Langford, Harry Wills, Tommy Gibbons and Willie Meehan. With the exception of fat Meehan, any one of those top-fighters could knock your brains out if you made a mistake while facing him. Meehan, although a slapper, threw so much leather and was so rugged that he and I broke even in our three four-round bouts. I won, we drew, and I lost.

Lack of top-notchers in the heavy division and in most other divisions today reflects the scarcity of good instructors and trainers everywhere. There are a few good ones lingering on, but they are notable exceptions.

Joe Louis found a good instructor when he was about sixteen. He found Atler Ellis at the Brewster Center in Detroit. Ellis, an old-time fighter, taught Joe how to punch and how to box. And when Joe turned professional, he went immediately under the wing of the late Jack Blackburn, grand old-time fighter and one of the finest trainers the ring ever produced. Joe developed into an accurate, explosive "sharpshooter" who could "take you out" with either fist. He was a great champion.
3. Punchers Are Made; Not Born

Louis retired as undefeated heavyweight champion in 1949. And I'll bet that, as he retired, Joe considered himself a natural-born puncher. I know that's probably true because I had the same mistaken idea about myself during my career and for a time after I hung up my gloves,

If you're a punching champion it's natural for you to get the wrong appreciation of yourself. Hundreds of admirers pat you on the back and tell you what a "natural-born" fighter you are. And when you're swept along toward seventh heaven by the roar of the crowd in your magnificent moments of triumph, it's easy to forget the painstaking labor with which you and your instructors and trainers and sparring partners fashioned each step in your stairway to the throne. It's easy to forget the disappointments and despair that, at times, made the uncompleted stairway seem like "Heartbreak Hill." Ah yes, when you're on the throne, it's easy to regard yourself as one who was born to the royalty of the ring.

In your heyday as champion, you can't "see the forest for the trees." As an historian might express it, you're too close to your career to get the proper perspective of highlights and background. It was only after I had retired and had begun trying to teach others how to fight that I investigated the steps in my stairway-analyzed my own technique. And that was a tough job.

You see: by the time a fellow becomes a successful professional fighter, nearly all his moves are so instinctive, through long practice, that it's difficult for him to sort out the details of each move. Accordingly, it's nearly impossible-at first-for him to explain his moves to a beginner. He can say to the beginner, "You throw a straight right like this." Then he can shoot a straight right at a punching bag. But the beginner will have no more conception of how to punch with the right than he had before. That's the chief reason why so few good fighters developed into good instructors. They failed to go back and examine each little link in each boxing move. They tried to give their pupils the chains without the links.

When I began breaking down my moves for the purpose of instruction, I found it most helpful to swing my memory clear back to the days when I was a kid at Manassa, a small town in southern Colorado. I was fortunate as a kid. My older brothers, Bernie and Johnny, were professional fighters. They had begun teaching me self-defense by the time I was six years old. In my break-down, I tried to recall exact details of the first fundamentals my brothers taught me. I jotted down every detail of those instructions I could remember, and every detail that dawned on me while I was practicing those early fundamentals.

Then I moved mentally across the Great Divide to Montrose, Colorado, the town where I spent my latter youth. There was more interest in fighting in Montrose than in any place of its size I've ever known. It was a town of would-be fighters. In some Montrose families there were four or five brothers who wanted to be fighters. I found plenty of kid sparmates there and plenty of instructors- some good, some bad.

My investigation of technique took me on a long mental journey as I followed my fighting trail through the West, where I had worked at any job I could get in mines, lumber camps, hash-houses, on ranches, etc. I was fighting on the side in those days, and I was getting pointers on self-defense from all the old-timers I met. Each trainer, each manager, each fighter had his own ideas and his own specialities. Like a blotter on legs, I absorbed all that information in those days, and then discarded what seemed wrong.

Swinging back through Memory Lane, I found myself, at twenty-one, making my first trip to New York, where I fought Andre Anderson, "Wild Bert" Kenny and John Lester Johnson, who cracked two of my ribs. Although that New York trip was a disappointment, I received much valuable fighting information from top-flight heavies like Frank Moran, Bill Brennan, Billy Miske and Gunboat Smith, when each dropped into Grupp's Gymnasium.

And I recalled the details of my later post-graduate courses in fighting from Doc Kearns and Trainer Deforest, one of the best instructors in the world. Deforest's career went clear back to the days of Peter Jackson and London prize-ring rules.

That geographic investigation of my own technique really humbled me. It hit me right on the chin with the booming fact that since I was six years old, I'd had the opportunity to learn punching from a long parade of guys who had studied it. I had absorbed their instructions, their pointers, their theories, in Manassa, Montrose, Provo, Ogden, Salt Lake City, Goldfield, Tonopah, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, St. Paul, and many other cities-before I met Willard at Toledo.

And let me emphasize that in the days when I was drinking in all that information, the fighters, trainers and managers knew much more about punching than they generally know today. You must remember that when I fought Willard in 1919, it was only twenty-seven years after Jim Corbett had beaten John L. Sullivan at New Orleans in the first championship fight with big gloves. While I was coming up, the technique of the old masters was still fresh in the minds of the fighting men. Now, it is over thirty years since the day I fought Willard. During those years fighting became "big business"; but in the scramble for money in the cauliflower patch, the punching technique of the old masters-Sullivan, Corbett, Bob Fitzsimmons, Tommy Ryan, Joe Gans, Terry McGovern, and others- seems to have been forgotten.
4. Why I Wrote This Book

Naturally, I didn't make the detailed exploration of my fighting past all at one sitting. I'm a restless guy; I don't like to sit long in one place. But I became so interested in the work that sometimes I'd spend an hour or two hours at it. I did it on trains, in planes, in hotel rooms, and at home.

Max Waxman, my business manager, used to say, "For cryin' out loud, Jack, what are you writin' down all that junk for? You're supposed to be a memory expert. You must have all that dope about fightin' right in your own head. Seems silly to see you sweatin' and fumin' and writin' notes about stuff you got at your fingertips."

Well, the log of my mental journey from Manassa to Toledo filled 384 pages with closely written notes in longhand. I'm confident those 384 pages represented the most thorough study ever made by any prominent fighter of his own technique and of the pointers he had received firsthand from others.

But my job had only begun. I spent several months studying that mass of information and separating it into the different departments of self-defense-under sections, subsections, sub-sub-sections, etc., I waded through it again and again. I combed it; I seined it; I sluice-boxed it for details I needed in each smallest sub-sub-section. And then, into each slot I dropped any additional knowledge I had gained since Toledo. Those different departments, with their various minor brackets, gave me for the first time a clear panorama of self-defense.

I was pretty proud of my panorama. I was confident at last that I could take the rawest beginner, or even an experienced fighter, and teach him exactly what self-defense was all about.

Then I became curious to compare my panorama with those of other men in boxing. I talked to many fighters, trainers and instructors; and I read every book on boxing I could buy.

My conversations and my reading left me utterly amazed at the hazy, incomplete and distorted conceptions of self-defense possessed by many who are supposed to be experts.

Perhaps I was unjustly critical. Perhaps none of them had had my unusual opportunities to get a blueprint that mapped all the fundamentals, at least. Or perhaps they took many fundamentals for granted and did not include them in their explanations.

At any rate, I CAME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT SELF-DEFENSE IS BEING TAUGHT WRONG NEARLY EVERYWHERE, FOR THE FOLLOWING MAJOR REASONS:

1. Beginners are not grounded in the four principal methods of putting the body-weight into fast motion: (a) FALLING STEP, (b) LEG SPRING, (c) SHOULDER WHIRL, (d) UPWARD SURGE.

2. The extremely important POWER LINE in punching seems to have been forgotten.

3. The wholesale failure of instructors and trainers to appreciate the close cooperation necessary between the POWER LINE and WEIGHT-MOTION results generally in impure punching-weak hitting.

4. Explosive straight punching has become almost a lost art because instructors place so much emphasis on shoulder whirl that beginners are taught wrongfully to punch straight 'without stepping whenever possible.

5. Failure to teach the FALLING STEP ("trigger step") for straight punching has resulted in the LEFT JAB being used generally as a light, auxiliary weapon for making openings and "setting up," instead of as a stunning blow.

6. Beginners are not shown the difference between SHOVEL HOOKS and UPPERCUTS.

7. Beginners are not warned that taking LONG STEPS with hooks may open up those hooks into SWINGS.

8. The BOB-WEAVE rarely is explained properly.

9. Necessity for the THREE-KNUCKLE LANDING is never pointed out.

10. It is my personal belief that BEGINNERS SHOULD BE TAUGHT ALL TYPES OF PUNCHES BEFORE BEING INSTRUCTED IN DEFENSIVE MOVES, for nearly every defensive move should be accompanied by a simultaneous or a delayed counterpunch. You must know how to punch and you must have punching confidence before you can learn aggressive defense.

My dissatisfaction with current methods of teaching self-defense was the principal reason why I decided to put my panorama into a book.

I realized, too, that my explosive performances and big gates in the "Golden Decade" were indirectly responsible for current unsatisfactory methods; so, it was my duty to lend a helping hand.

Moreover, it's my impression now that thousands of boys and men throughout the world would grasp eagerly at the chance to learn how to use their fists-how to become knockout punchers in a hurry.

Never before has there been such need for self-defense among fellows everywhere as there is today. Populations increased so rapidly during the past quarter-century, while improved methods in transportation shrank the globe, that there is much crowding now. Also the pace of living has been so stepped-up that there is much more tension in nearly every activity than there was in the old days.

Crowding, pace, and tension cause friction, flare-ups, angry words and blows. That unprecedented friction can be noted particularly in cities, where tempers are shortened by traffic jams, sidewalk bumpings, crowdings in subways and on buses, and jostlings in theaters, saloons and nightclubs.
5. Differences between Fist-Fighting and Boxing

Anger provides the No. 1 difference between a fist-fight and a boxing bout.

Anger is an unwelcome guest in any department of boxing. From the first time a chap draws on gloves as a beginner, he is taught to "keep his temper"-never to "lose his head." When a boxer gives way to anger, he becomes a "natural" fighter who tosses science into the bucket. When that occurs in the amateur or professional ring, the lost-head fighter leaves himself open and becomes an easy target for a sharpshooting opponent. Because an angry fighter usually is a helpless fighter in the ring, many prominent professionals-like Abe Attell and the late Kid McCoy- tried to taunt fiery opponents into losing their heads and "opening up." Anger rarely flares in a boxing match.

Different, indeed, is the mental condition governing a fist-fight. In that brand of combat, anger invariably is the fuel propelling one or both contestants. And when an angry, berserk chap is whaling away in a fist-fight, he usually forgets all about rules-if he ever knew any.

That brings us to difference No. 2: THE REFEREE ENFORCES THE RULES IN A BOXING MATCH; BUT THERE ARE NO OFFICIALS AT A FIST-FIGHT.

Since a fist-fight has no supervision, it can develop into a roughhouse affair in which anything goes. There's no one to prevent low blows, butting, kicking, eye-gouging, biting and strangling. When angry fighters fall into a clinch, there's no one to separate them. Wrestling often ensues. A fellow may be thrown to earth, floor, or pavement. He can be hammered when down, or even be "given the boots"- kicked in the face-unless some humane bystander interferes. And you can't count on bystanders. A third difference is this: A FIST-FIGHT IS NOT PRECEDED BY MATCHMAKING.

In boxing, matches are made according to weights and comparative abilities. For example, if you're an amateur or professional lightweight boxer, you'll probably be paired off against a chap of approximately your poundage-one who weighs between 126 and 135 pounds. And you'll generally be matched with a fellow whose ability is rated about on a par with your own, to insure an interesting bout and to prevent injury to either. If you boast only nine professional fights, there's little danger of your being tossed in with a top-flighter or a champion.

The eight weight divisions in boxing-heavyweight, light heavy, middle, welter, light, feather, bantam and fly- were made to prevent light men from being injured by heavy men. Weight is extremely important, you know; for moving body-weight is punch. However, when a man is a heavyweight (more than 175 pounds) there's no top limit for him or his opponent. Remember: Willard, 245; me, 180.

It's unfortunate that in fist-fighting, destiny or luck makes the matches. Chance picks your opponent for a fist-fight regardless of size, weight, age, strength or experience. Nearly every chap has had the unhappy experience of being practically forced to fight someone larger than himself at some time in his life.

A fourth difference is: THE DISTANCE OR ROUTE.

Modern boxing bouts are scheduled for a specified number of rounds, with a minute of rest between. In case neither contestant is knocked out or disqualified during the bout, the winner is determined by the number of rounds won or by the number of points scored.

When a fist-fight is started, however, it is informally slated to a "finish." There is no let-up, no rest, until one scrapper is knocked out or beaten so badly he quits. You don't win a fist-fight on points. Sometimes friends or the police halt a street scrap, but such interference cannot be counted upon. When a fellow squares off for a fist-fight, he should be geared to finish it. He must make his own "distance," his own "route."

Difference No. 5 is: FOOTING.

In the ring boxers enjoy the best footing that technicians can devise. They glide about on the firm, level surface of ring canvas. Chances of slipping are reduced to a minimum by the use of soft-leather boxing shoes; powdered resin is sprinkled on the canvas, and then the resin is ground into the soles of the shoes. Naturally there are no obstacles over which a boxer can trip, or over which he can be knocked (except, of course, the ring ropes).

The footing in fist-fights is a gamble. Fights occur usually where they flare up-on playing fields, streets, roads, ship decks, or in stores, offices, factories, saloons, dance halls, etc. And a fellow performs in whatever shoes he happens to be wearing. He fights upon whatever surface chance has placed him, regardless of slipperiness, rocks, boxes, tin cans, and the like-and regardless of tables, benches, desks, chairs or other large obstacles. If a chap slips, trips, or gets knocked over something, he may strike his head against an obstacle, or against floor, sidewalk or curb. Many deaths have resulted from falls in fist-fights.

Let me suggest that any time you are about to be drawn into a fight, keep your head and make a split-second survey of your surroundings. Decide immediately whether you have fighting-room and whether you have good footing. If you haven't, try to force your opponent to shift to another battleground, where your knowledge of fighting will leave the percentage in your favor.

Yell at him, for example: "Okay, wise guy! You want to fight! Let's see if you've got the guts to come out into the street and fight me like a man!"

In 99 out of 100 cases you can force the other guy to move to an open spot by challenging his courage to do so. Don't let the action start in a crowded subway car, in a theater aisle, in a restaurant, office, saloon or the like. Keep your head and arrange the shift, so that you'll be able to knock his head off when you get him where you can fight without footing handicaps.

In concluding the differences, remember that your face can be cut much more quickly by a bare fist than by one encased in bandages and padded glove. From another angle, the boxer-with fist protected by bandages and glove-has less chance than the bare-fisted man of breaking a hand-bone or smashing a knuckle, in case the fist lands squarely on forehead or elbow.

Those major differences add up to one important total or conclusion: THE POSSIBILITY OF GETTING HURT IS GREATER IN A FIST-FIGHT THAN IN A BOXING BOUT. FIST-FIGHTING IS GENERALLY MORE DANGEROUS THAN BOXING.

In connection with that danger, never forget: The longer the fight lasts, the longer you are exposed to danger. Moreover, the danger percentage against you generally increases with each passing minute of the fight.

When you square off, you hope to beat your opponent into submission in a hurry. But, as the fist-fight continues, you find you are not achieving your quick victory. You discover you are beginning to tire because of your exertions and because of your tension. Since you have no chance for rest periods, the longer you fight the more tired you become.

True, your opponent also may be getting fatigued; but you can't be certain about his exact condition unless he's blowing and staggering. You know for sure only that you're nearly "all in," and that he's still out there swinging at you. Accordingly, the longer he keeps fighting, the less chance you have of winning; but the greater chance you have of being battered, cut up, knocked down, knocked out, or injured.

Because of the danger in a fist-fight, it is imperative that you end the brawl as quickly as possible; and the best way to do that is by a knockout. The knockout is far more important in fist-fighting than in boxing, YOU'VE GOT TO KNOCK 'EM OUT IN FIST-FIGHTS.
6. You're the Kayo Kid

To protect yourself with your fists, you must become a knockout puncher. And you may do that within three months, if you're a normal chap-anywhere between twelve and forty. By "normal" I mean healthy and sound-neither ailing nor crippled.

You should be able to knock out a fellow of approximately your own weight, with either fist, if you follow my instructions exactly and practice them diligently. And in six months or a year, you may be able to knock out fellows a lot bigger and heavier than you are.

You've got the weight and the machinery. In fact, you're the Kayo Kid.

And just as soon as you savvy the knockout punch, I'll take you along through the other departments of fighting. When you finish these instructions, you'll know exactly how to be a well-rounded scrapper. You'll be able to use your fists so destructively and practically that, with experience, you'll be able to move into amateur or even professional competition if you so desire. Should you go into competition, you'll have a big advantage in all-round fighting knowledge over most boys who came up during the past quarter-century.

Remember this: You don't have to be an athlete to learn how to use your fists. And it doesn't matter whether you're short, fat or skinny, timid or brave. Regardless of your size, shape, or courage, you already have the weapons with which to protect yourself. I repeat: All you have to do is learn to use them correctly.

It's true that nearly every guy can fight a little bit naturally, without having anyone show him the right way.

It's true also that the average boy or man might sit down at a piano and be able to pick out some sort of tune with one finger; or he might use the "hunt and peck" system on a typewriter until he had written a couple of lines; or he might jump into a pool and swim a bit with the dog-paddle or with his version of the breast stroke.

But he never could become a good pianist without being taught to play correctly. He never could become a fast, accurate typist without being drilled in the touch system. And he never could become a speed swimmer without being shown the crawl stroke.

It's no more natural for a beginner to step out and fight correctly than for a novice to step out and skate correctly or dive correctly or dance the tango or do the slalom on skis. Even Babe Ruth and Joe Louis, despite their prowess in other fields, were beginners when they took up golf; and each had to learn to swing a golf club correctly in order to assure accuracy and distance in his drive.

It's strange but true that certain fundamental movements seem unnatural to the beginner in nearly every activity requiring close coordination between body and mind.

Fist-fighting is no exception. Some of the fundamental moves seem awkwardly unnatural when first tried. That's particularly true of the movements in explosive long-range straight punching, the basic weapon in fist-fighting or boxing.

In fighting, as in many other activities, it's natural for the beginner to do the wrong thing. It's natural for him to swing rather than punch straight. It's natural for him to hit with the wrong knuckles of his fist. It's natural for him to use leg-tangling footwork, etc.

Let me emphasize again that you will feel very awkward when you first try the moves in long-range straight punching. I stress that awkwardness for two reasons: (1) so that you won't figure you're a hopeless palooka, and (2) so that you'll pay no attention to wisecracks of friends or sideline experts who watch your early flounderings. Remember: He laughs last who hits hardest.
7. What Is a Punch?

Nature has given you, a normal beginner, the three requisites for a knockout punch. They are:

1. WEIGHT-THE WEIGHT OF YOUR ENTIRE BODY.

2. POWERFUL MUSCLES IN YOUR FEET, LEGS AND BACK- THE MEANS OF HELPING TO PUT YOUR BODY-WEIGHT INTO MOTION.

3. ARMS AND FISTS-THE MEANS OF EXPLODING YOUR MOVING WEIGHT AGAINST AN OPPONENT.

For practical purposes, I divide a punch into two parts: (a) setting the weight in motion, and (b) relaying the moving weight to a desired point on an opponent with a stepped-up impact or explosion.

All full-fledged punches must have that (a) and (b) combination.

It is only in what might be called "partial" punches that the body-weight does not play a stellar role. Partial punches are those delivered with only the weight of arms and fists- short backhands to the head, chops to the kidney or to the back of the neck, or mere cuffs to the head when in a tight clinch.

Since we're concerned primarily with the stunning, full-fledged knockout punch, let's move on to it. Let's examine the first fundamental. How do we set the body-weight in motion?

THERE ARE FOUR WAYS OF SETTING THE BODY-WEIGHT IN MOTION FOR PUNCHING: (1) falling forward; (2) springing forward; (3) whirling the shoulders by means of the powerful back muscles, assisted by shifting weight from one leg to the other, and (4) by surging upward, as in delivering uppercuts. Every punch combines at least two of those motion-methods.

Best of all the punches is the "stepping straight jolt," delivered with either fist from the "falling step." It has fall, spring and whirl.

That stepping jolt must not be confused with the "ordinary straight punch" that is delivered at medium range without moving the feet, and that depends almost entirely on shoulder whirl. The stepping jolt is a much more explosive blow.

Hooks and uppercuts are short-range blows that can be just as explosive as stepping jolts. However, the hooks and uppercuts are less desirable for fist-fighting, in which one tries to keep at long range as much as possible in order to avoid clinching and wrestling.

How does a fighter set his weight in motion by a fall?

The falling procedure is simple. Remember the baby and the truck driver? The baby fell straight down from the fourth-floor window (Figure 1). It was yanked straight toward the earth by gravity. It encountered nothing to change the direction of its moving body-weight until it struck the truckman's head.

However, the direction of a falling object can be changed. Let's take the example of a boy sitting on a sled and sliding down a snowy hill (Figure 2). In a sense, the boy and his sled are falling objects, like the baby. But the slope of the hill prevents them from falling straight down. Their fall is deflected to the angle of the hill. The direction of their weight-in-motion is on a slant. And when they reach the level plain at the bottom of the hill, they will continue to slide for a while. However, the direction of their slide on the plain-the direction of their weight-in-motion-will be straight out, at a right angle to the straight-down pull of gravity.

Those examples of the falling baby and the sledding boy illustrate two basic principles of the stepping jolt: (1) that gravity can give motion to weight by causing a fall, and (2) the direction of that weight-in-motion can be deflected away from the perpendicular-on a slant, or straight forward.

"But," you ask, "what's the connection between all that falling stuff and the straight jolt?"

I'll answer that question by letting you take your first step as a puncher, and I do mean s-t-e-p.
8. The Falling Step

Stand in the middle of the floor. Point your left foot at any distant object in the room. Place your right foot to the rear and slightly to the right of your left foot (Figure 3).

For a chap about five feet 10 inches tall, the heel of his right foot should be about 18 inches back (and slightly to the right) of the heel of his left foot.

Let your arms dangle loosely at your sides; you won't need to use them in the step.

Bend your knees slightly. Bend your body forward slightly as you shift your 'weight forward onto your left foot, so that your right foot is resting only lightly on the ball of the foot. Remember that the knees are still slightly bent. Teeter up and down easily (half-bouncing without leaving the floor) to make certain you're in a comfortable, balanced position. If your position does not feel balanced and comfortable, move your right foot about slightly- but not much-to get a better balance as you teeter. You are resting only lightly on the ball of your right foot, remember. Stop teetering, but keep the knees slightly bent and your arms at your side.

Now-without any preliminary movement-take a long, quick step forward with your left foot, toward the object at which your left toe had been pointing (Figure 4). I emphasize: NO PRELIMINARY MOVEMENT BEFORE THE STEP.

You unquestionably will be tempted to shift some of the weight from the left foot to the right foot just before you step. But don't do it. Do nothing with the right foot, which is resting lightly on its ball, NO PRELIMINARY MOVEMENT! Just lift the left foot and LET THE BODY FALL FORWARD IN A LONG, QUICK STEP. The left foot should land flat and solid on the floor at the end of the step.

It is a quick, convulsive and extremely awkward step. Yet, it's one of the most important steps of your fistic life; for that falling-forward lurch is the rough diamond out of which will be ground the beautiful, straight knockout jolt. It's the gem-movement of straight punching.

Try that falling step many times. Make certain, each time, that you start from a comfortably balanced position, that the body-weight is resting largely on the left leg, that the knees are slightly bent, that the arms are at your side, and that you make no preliminary movement with the right foot.

I call that forward lurch a "falling step." Actually, every step in walking involves a small "fall." Walking is a series of "falls." But in this particular step, the fall is exaggerated for two reasons: (1) your weight is well forward when you step off, and (2) the step is so long that it gives gravity a chance to impart unusual momentum to your body-weight. The solidity with which your left foot landed upon the floor was caused by your momentum. The late Joe Gans rarely missed with a long, straight punch; but, when he did you could hear for half a block the smack of his left sole on the canvas.

Although the weight of your body was resting largely upon your left foot when you stepped off, you didn't fall to the floor. Why? Because the alert ball of your right foot came to the rescue frantically and gave your body a forward spring in a desperate attempt to keep your body balanced upright-to maintain its equilibrium. Your rescuing right foot acted not only as did the slope of the hill for the sledding boy, but also as a springboard in the side of the hill might have functioned had the sledding boy whizzed onto a springboard on the side of the hill. The left foot serves as a "trigger" to spring the right foot. So, the falling step sometimes is called the Trigger Step.

I warned: DON'T MAKE A PRELIMINARY MOVEMENT before stepping off. Had you followed your natural inclination and shifted your weight to the right foot before stepping, that action would have started your body-weight moving backward-away from the direction in which you intended to step. Then you would have had to lose a split-second while your right foot was stopping the backward motion and shifting your weight forward again before the punching step could be taken.

Learn now and remember always that in fighting you cannot afford to give your body the luxury of a useless preliminary or preparatory movement before shooting a punch. In the first place, your target may be open for only a split-second, and you must take advantage of that opening like a bolt of lightning. Secondly, preliminary movements are give-aways-"tell-tales"-"telegraphs"-that treacherously betray to your opponent your own next action.

Joe Louis was knocked out in his first fight with Max Schmeling principally because tell-tale movements of Joe's left glove disclosed the fact that he was preparing to shoot a left jab. Schmeling timed Joe's telegraphs and smashed him again and again with straight rights to the head. Herr Maxie smashed him every time that careless left hand beckoned.

You now know how to set your weight into motion for a straight jolt-by means of the falling step. Next we must consider the second part of the jolt: CONVEYING THE MOVING BODY-WEIGHT AND EXPLODING IT AGAINST YOUR OPPONENT.

However, before studying the movements in conveyance and explosion, it will be necessary for you to understand clearly the line of power that all successful conveyance and explosion must follow.
9. The Power Line

The movements in the second part of a straight jolt are just as simple as those in the "falling step"; yet, strangely enough, that part of the punch has been the big blind spot in hitting since the days of Jim Figg in the early 1700's. He was the father of modern boxing.

By the time John L. Sullivan and later "old masters" came along, many outstanding punchers had eliminated that blind spot with their knowledge of punching technique. But today that area of darkness is bigger than at any time since Corbett beat Sullivan.

At least nine of every ten fellows who try to box never become good punchers because they never learn how to make their arms and fists serve efficiently as conveyors and exploders. They become "powder-puff" punchers or, at best, only fair hitters. Their punches lack body-weight, explosion and follow-through.

Such failure can be prevented by power-line punching.

What is the power line?

THE POWER LINE RUNS FROM EITHER SHOULDER-STRAIGHT DOWN THE LENGTH OF THE ARM TO THE FIST KNUCKLE OF THE LITTLE FINGER, when the fist is doubled. Remember: The power line ends in the fist knuckle of the little finger on either hand. Gaze upon your "pinky" with new respect. You might call that pinky knuckle the exit of your power line- the muzzle of your cannon.

You'll understand the power line if you feel it out.

Stand up. Walk toward a wall until you're at arm's length from the wall when facing it. Put your heels together. You should be standing just far enough from the wall so that you can barely touch it with the tip of the middle finger of your right hand-at a point directly opposite your chin. Touch that chin-high point with your middle-finger tip.

Now, move back three or four inches, but keep the heels together.

Double your right fist firmly. In making a fist, close the fingers into the palm of the hand, and then close the thumb down over the outside of the fingers (Figure 5).

Extend the fist at arm's length toward the spot on the wall-only toward it. The fist should be upright, as if you were holding a stick running from ceiling to floor. The little knuckle is down, toward the floor.

With your arm stiffly extended, let your body sway slowly forward-without moving the feet-until your fist (still upright) is pressed so firmly against the chin-high spot on the wall that your fist and stiff arm are supporting the weight of your leaning body (Figure 6).

Note that the lower part of your fist (still upright)- particularly the little knuckle-provides the natural, solid end of the firm, straight line-from shoulder to fist-that is supporting your weight. Note particularly that this line runs unswervingly through your wrist to the little knuckle (Figure 7).

Now, with your upright fist still supporting your weight at the chin-high spot, try to shift your pressure from the little knuckle to the upper knuckles. Then turn your fist so that the palm of your hand is down. When you attempt those changes, you should feel immediately that both new pressure position of your fist "lack" the "solidity" of the first position. And you should feel and see that a change in position "swerved" the "power line" at the wrist - putting your wrist in a hazardous landing position.

Keeping your feet in the same position, go through the same procedure with your left fist. You'll find the "power line" in the same location - straight from the shoulder through the little knuckle. But, where would the power line be if you wished to lower your fist and punch at a man's stomach?

You can answer that by testing a spot on the wall just opposite of your own solar plexus - the vital body target just below the end of the breast bone. In making the lower test, sway forward from the same standing position - with either fist - toward the solar-plexus spot. But, before you sway, turn your fist palmdown so that the knuckles will be parallel to the ceiling when you press your fist against the wall. The power line still runs solidly through the little knuckle. Now that you have felt out the power line, you can appreciate that the greatest possible solidity would be achieved if you landed every punch with the little knuckle first.

Unfortunately, however, the hand-bone behind the little knuckle is the most fragile of the five backbones. It can be broken the most easily. You must not attempt to land first with the little knuckle. Instead you must try to land first with the knuckle next to your pinky (the ring finger). We'll call that the 2nd knuckle. Aiming with the 2nd knuckle usually brings about a three-knuckle landing. Those three-knuckles are: middle, second (ring) and pinky. If you aim with the second knuckle, those three knuckles usually will land together because the average fist slopes slightly from the middle knuckle to the pinky. Such a three-knuckle landing not only prevents the hand-bone behind any one knuckle from bearing all the punch-shock, but it also permits punching almost exactly along the power line. Rarely will one of those knuckles make a solo landing. But if you aim with the little knuckle, you risk a dangerous solo landing on forehead or blocking elbow.

Always aim with the second knuckle-the one next to your pinky-and LET THE OTHER KNUCKLES TAKE CARE OF THEMSELVES. They'll take care of themselves all right; for the shape of the fist makes it impossible for them to do otherwise.

Clench your right fist and inspect its knuckles. Your thumb knuckle is "out of the way"-completely separated from your row of four knuckles on the striking edge of your fist. More than that, your thumb knuckle is farthest away from your pinky knuckle-farthest away from the end of the power line. Nature took care of that. Never double-cross nature by trying to hit with that thumb knuckle, under any circumstance. It breaks easily. Keep it out of the way.

The knuckle of your index finger (the one next to the thumb) is fairly prominent, but not as prominent as the knuckle of your middle finger. In some face-punches and in most body-blows, that index knuckle will land with the other three, for a four-knuckle landing. That's okay, let the index knuckle come along for the ride. Under no circumstances, however, try to land first with that index knuckle. If you do, you'll not only break your power line, but you may also break your wrist.

Beware likewise of trying to land first with the prominent middle knuckle-the source of most hand injuries. Such aiming will slant your hand off the power line and, at the same time, endanger the middle knuckle and its hand-bone. When that middle knuckle makes a solo landing, its prominence prevents the other knuckles from helping to absorb some of the punch-shock. That shock or pressure is terrific in any full-fledged punch, particularly when you nail an opponent with a head blow just as he is stepping into you. In that split-second, your fist must withstand the shock-pressure of an explosive collision between two hurtling body-weights.

Let me repeat: If your punch is landed correctly, in power-line fashion, the three knuckles-pinky, second and middle-will share the pressure and distribute it over the three hand-bones behind the knuckles. That lessens the chance of bruising or crushing any one knuckle, or of fracturing any one hand-bone.

Most professional and amateur boxers suffer hand injuries during their careers even though their fists are protected by bandages, tape and gloves, because of unfortunate landings. As I pointed out earlier, the hands HAVE NO SUCH PROTECTION IN A FIST-FIGHT. You must land correctly, not only for power-line explosiveness, but for hand protection.

We have examined the power line and second-knuckle aiming for long-range straight jolts; but what about other types of punches? What about medium-range straight punches, and hooks and uppercuts? Does the power line and the second-knuckle aim hold good for them?

Yes, indeed, they do hold good, YOU MUST HIT ALONG THE POWER LINE IN ALL FULL-FLEDGED PUNCHES; AND YOU MUST ALWAYS AIM WITH THE SECOND KNUCKLE.

The landing position of your fist may change from upright to sideways, in varying degrees, when shooting different types of punches for the head. And it may change in various degrees from sideways to upright in punching for the body, BUT ALWAYS YOU MUST PUNCH ALONG THE POWER LINE, AND ALWAYS YOU MUST AIM WITH THE SECOND KNUCKLE. You'll get the feel of that power line in other punches later. You'll discover that bending the elbow, in a hook for example, does not break the line of power. And you'll find out why.
10. Relaying and Exploding

You have learned how to set your body-weight into motion for a long-range jolt. And you have located the power line and its exit. Now you are ready to learn the "relay and explosion." You can do that best by throwing a jolt.

First, we must get something to punch-something you can hit solidly without injuring your fists.

If you can go into a gymnasium, swell; for in a gym you'll find an inflated, pear-shaped, light, leather striking bag (Figure 9), and a large, heavy, cylindrical canvas or leather "dummy bag"-sometimes known as the "heavy bag" (Figure 10). The latter is packed with cotton waste, and it is solid enough for you to accustom your fists, wrists and arms to withstanding considerable punching shock.

One can practice both body and head blows on the heavy bag. On the fast, light bag-which is about the height of an opponent's head-one can sharpen his speed and timing for "head-hunting"; and one also can practice the important back-hand, warding-off stroke until it becomes automatic.

If no gymnasium is available, and if you are unable to buy bags from an athletic-goods store, you'll have to carry on without a light bag and make your own heavy bag. To make the dummy bag, get two empty gunny sacks. Put one sack inside the other to give your bag double strength.

Then fill the inside sack with old rags, excelsior, old furniture-filling, or the like. Sawdust mixed with the above makes an excellent filler, MAKE CERTAIN THERE ARE NO SOLID OBJECTS IN THE STUFFING OF YOUR BAG. Leave enough space at the top so that you can wrap the necks of both bags securely with a rope. Suspend the bag on the rope from a strong girder in your basement, barn or woodshed -or even from the limb of a tree. Do not attempt to use the heavy bag in your living quarters; the pounding vibrations will loosen the plaster in walls and ceiling.

Whether you practice punching in a gymnasium or at home, you must use striking gloves (not boxing gloves) to protect the skin on your knuckles (Figure 11). If you can't buy the small, mittenlike leather striking gloves, make a pair of your own by snipping the fingers off a pair of leather work gloves, midway down each finger. Cutting them off in this fashion, will permit you to clench your fists freely. Even with the protection of striking gloves, you'll probably skin your knuckles during the first three weeks of punching practice. However, the knuckles will become calloused gradually.

Now that you have some sort of heavy bag and some sort of striking gloves, you are ready to begin throwing punches. You're ready to step, relay and explode. Do it as follows:

Put on your striking gloves. Take your falling-step position before the bag. The toe of your left foot should be pointing straight at the bag, and the toe-tip should be about three feet out from the bag. Practice the falling step three or four times, with your arms at your sides.

Now, again take your position for the falling step. As you teeter up and down, raise your relaxed arms into guarding position (Figure 12). As you raise them, also raise your left shoulder slightly and shove the left shoulder forward a trifle, so that your chin-snuggling beside it- would be protected from a blow coming at any angle from your own left. Keep your elbows in, toward your body. Your relaxed hands are half-opened, with thumbs resting easily upon the index fingers. The upper knuckle of your left thumb should be about ten inches forward from your lips. The upper knuckle of your right thumb should be about four inches forward from your lips.

Teeter in that position until you feel balanced and comfortable. Be relaxed everywhere as you teeter. If you feel cramped by holding your elbows in, let them out slightly, but only slightly.

Now-when you feel comfortable and relaxed-suddenly do the falling step toward the bag (Figure 13A), and as you step, make the following moves:

1. Shoot your loose, half-opened left hand straight along the power line at a chin-high spot on the bag.

2. But, as the relaxed left hand speeds toward the bag, suddenly close the hand with a convulsive, grabbing snap. Close it with such a terrific grab that when the second knuckle of the upright fist smashes into the bag, the fist and the arm and the shoulder will be "frozen" steel-hard by the terrific grabbing tension.

That convulsive, freezing grab is the explosion.

Try that long left jolt three or four times. Make certain each time that (1) you are completely relaxed before you step; (2) that your relaxed LEFT hand, in normal guarding position, is only half-closed; (3) that you make no preliminary movement with either your feet or your left hand. Do not draw back-or "cock"-the relaxed left hand in a preparatory movement that you hope will give the punch more zing. Don't do that! You'll not only telegraph the blow, but you'll slow up and weaken the punch.

Now that you've got the feel of the stepping jolt, let's examine it in slow motion to see exactly what you did.

First, the Falling Step launched your body-weight straight at the target at which your left toe was pointing.

Secondly, your relaxed left hand shot out to relay that moving body-weight along the power line to the target before that moving weight could be relayed to the floor by your descending left foot.

Thirdly, the convulsive, desperate grab in your explosion accomplished the following: (a) caused the powerful muscles of your back to give your left shoulder a slight surging whirl toward your own right, (b) psychologically "pulled" the moving body-weight into your arm with P. sudden lurch, (c) gave a lightning boost to the speed of your fist, (d) froze your fist, wrist, arm and shoulder along the power line at the instant your fist smashed into the target, and (e) caused terrific "follow-through" after the explosion.

When the long, straight jolt crashes into a fellow's chin, the fist doesn't bounce off harmlessly, as it might in a light, medium-range left jab. No sir! The frozen solidity behind the jolt causes the explosion to shoot forward as the solid breech of a rifle forces a cartridge explosion to shoot the bullet forward. The bullet in a punch is your fist, with the combined power from your fast-moving weight and your convulsing muscles behind it-solidly. Your fist, exploded forward by the solid power behind it, has such terrific "follow-through" that it can snap back an opponent's head like that of a shot duck. It can smash his nose, knock out his teeth, break his jaw, stun him, floor him, knock him out.

WHAT WAS YOUR RIGHT HAND DOING WHILE YOUR LEFT DELIVERED ITS FIRST POWER PUNCH?

Your right hand should have been in a position of alertness to protect you from a countering blow or to follow with another punch to your opponent's chin.

As your left hand sped toward its target, your right hand, rising slightly from its original guarding position, should have opened-with all fingers, including the thumb, pressing tightly against each other to form a "knife blade" -and should have turned its palm slightly toward the bag, as if you were about to chop an opponent's left shoulder with the outer edge of your right hand. However, you do no chopping; instead, your right hand merely remains tensely alert until the left fist lands.

Try a few more left jolts. Make certain each time that your right hand becomes an alert "knife" (see Figure 13A).

Perhaps you wondered why I started you punching with the left hand instead of with the right inasmuch as we are seeking speedy development of a knockout blow. I started you with the left for several reasons.

Contrary though it may seem, the left fist is more important for a right-handed fighter (not a southpaw) than is the right fist. That is true because, in normal punching position, the left hand is closer than the right to an opponent's head or body. Since it is closer, the left is harder for any opponent to avoid than the more distant right. If you can land solidly with a straight left or with a left hook, you'll generally knock your opponent off balance, at least, and "set him up" for a pot-shot with your right.

It's not only easier to hit an opponent with your left, but it's also safer. When you shoot the left, your chin is protected partially by your left shoulder and partially by your guarding right hand. Because it is easier and safer to use the left, you usually lead with that fist. When two fighters are warily watching each other, waiting for an opening at any time during an encounter, the first punch thrown (by either) is a lead. It's so dangerous to lead with the right against an experienced opponent that the right lead is called a sucker punch. However, there are times when the right lead can be used with deadly effectiveness, as Schmeling demonstrated in his first fight with Louis.

In addition, use of the falling step practically guarantees your developing a solid left jolt. You have no such assurance, if you try to develop a good straight left from the medium-range shoulder whirl-the method by which most current fighters put their body-weight into motion for all straight punches.

I'll explain later why straight punches that are powered only by shoulder whirl cannot have effective follow-through. Right now let me merely point out that when a fellow stands in normal punching position, with weight forward and with his left shoulder slightly forward to protect his chin, he can get very little shoulder whirl into a left jolt-unless he draws back his left shoulder. Such a move would be a cardinal sin.

I use the expression "left jolt" instead of "left jab" because I don't want you to confuse the type of straight left you will throw, with the futile straight left or "jab" used by most current amateur and professional boxers. Most of them couldn't knock your hat off with their left jabs. With their lefts, they tap, they slap, they flick, they paw, they "paint." Their jabs are used more to confuse than to stun.

Their jabs are used as fluttering defensive flags to prevent their poorly instructed opponents from "getting set to punch." A good fighter doesn't have to "get set." He's always ready to punch. Some of them use their jabs merely to make openings for their rights. And that's dangerously silly, for the proper brand of feinting would accomplish the same purpose. With but few exceptions, they do not use the left jab as a smashing jolt that can be an explosive weapon by itself-that can knock you down or knock you out.

There are two reasons why the left jolt is a rarity in fighting today. First, nearly all current boxers launch their jabs with the non-step shoulder whirl. Secondly, nearly all have been fed the defensive hokum that it's less dangerous to try to tap an opponent with the left than to try to knock him down with the left.

Concerning that defensive hokum, let me say this: Any time you extend your left fist either for a tap or for an all-out punch, you're taking a gamble on being nailed with a counter-punch. And the sap who uses "light stuff"-rapping, flicking, etc.-has his left hand extended much more often than the explosive left-jolter, who doesn't waste punches-doesn't shoot until he has feinted or forced his opponent into an opening. It's true that you can "recover" your balance more quickly after missing a tap than after missing a hard punch. But it's also true that an opponent who is defending only against taps and slaps will be much more alert to counter than will an opponent who is being bombed.

My advice to all beginners is this: Use a light left jab only in one instance-in the so-called one-two punch- when your left fist strikes the opponent's forehead to tip his head back, so that your immediately following straight right can nail him on the chin.

Speaking of straight rights, I'll let you throw one now.

THE STRAIGHT RIGHT JOLT IS THROWN FROM THE SAME POSITION AS THE STRAIGHT LEFT. Stand in your normal punching position. Your relaxed right hand is half-opened, and the upper knuckle of the thumb is about four inches in front of your lips.

Without any preliminary movement of the right hand, shoot it at the chin-high spot on the bag as you do the falling step. Neither pull back nor cock the right before throwing it.

As you step in to explode the second knuckle of your upright fist against the bag, your chin should be partially protected by your left shoulder, left arm and left hand. Remember that your left hand opens to make a "knife blade," with the palm turned slightly toward your opponent. While the right fist is being thrown, the left hand and arm should stiffen for an instant in order to present a rigid barrier before the face in case an opponent attempts to strike with a countering right. The index knuckle of your opened left hand should remain about ten inches in front of your left eye as you step in. But the instant your right fist lands, your left hand should relax into its normal half-opened condition so that it will be ready to punch immediately, if necessary (Figure 13B).

Straight punches for the body, with either hand, are begun and executed in the same manner as head punches. (Any change in position before the start would be a telltale.) When in motion, however, your fist turns so that the palm is down when the second knuckle explodes against the bag. Also, as you begin the body punch, you bend forward to slide under guarding arms and to make your own chin a less open target.

As you practice those punches, keep your eyes wide open. Don't close your eyes as you step in. Focus your eyes on your target, YOU MUST KEEP YOUR EYES WIDE OPEN AT ALL TIMES WHEN YOU ARE FIGHTING OR BOXING.
"There is only one God, and he doesn't dress like that". - - Captain America

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Mickey O'neil
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Post by Mickey O'neil » Sat Sep 23, 2006 3:23 am

Awesome Tom. Thanks for posting that. =D>

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Post by Fat Cat » Sat Sep 23, 2006 11:39 pm

We used to have the whole book scanned at available for download...wassup with that? It had all the illustrations and everything.
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