PRACTICAL BOXING

Old Boxing Books

I have a number of old boxing books in PDF format which I'm happy to give you.

Please let me know what titles you have for exchange - I really appreciate this!

The file size gives a rough idea of the number of illustrations. A big file size indicates more pictures. Books with plenty of pix are better, for many reasons: if you are trying to work out a technique, the method is often impossible to decipher from the text, since their descriptions are extremely poor by today's standards and often useless.

At some point I'll do a review of each of the books.

The books are listed in chronological order, with date. It is worthwhile pointing out that the older they are, the more obscure and non-specific the text is. In other words, old stuff is written in a weird language and they didn't seem able to describe a technique properly, in any case. They put great store on flowery, vague flourishes of language, and very little on precise and brief description. Luckily the illustrations do the job, where present.


List of old boxing books in PDF


TheModernArtOfBoxing-Mendoza-1789.pdf
1.3 MB
No illustrations of technique at all, as can be seen from the file size. An interesting historical text, not of much use for reconstructing technique. Some advice on strikes and throws. Mendoza was known for his hammerfist strikes.

TheArtAndPracticeOfBoxing-Willmer-1825.pdf
1 MB

TheHandbookToBoxing-Swift-1840.pdf
4 MB

HandbookOfBoxingAndWrestling-James-1878.pdf
3.4 MB

HowToBox-Tousey-1882.pdf
20 MB

TheArtOfBoxingAndManualOfTraining-Edwards-1888.pdf
21 MB

TheTeacherOfSparring-Shaw-1888.pdf
17 MB

TheStraightLeftAndHowToCultivateIt-Driscoll-c.1910.pdf
38 MB
If you wonder at the effort going in to training for a punch that was just about obsolete by this time - well, you're not the only one. A straight left is a good street boxing punch, though - just no use in the ring any more.

ScientificBoxing-Corbett-1912.pdf
70 MB
Perhaps the most modern in approach of all these books - no holds, no strikes, no throws, and plenty of advice not to use such 'fouls' - but nevertheless it still looks very old to our eyes. Jim Corbett is still using the vertical fist straight punches of the bareknuckle era, and the photos (yes, photos by now!) of the practitioners show loincloth-like 'shorts' in some examples - echoes of old Okinawa karate training here. The sign of the era, no doubt.

BoxingAndHowToTrain-Fox-1913.pdf
117 MB
More loincloths and bareknuckle in these photos - surprising considering the date. Also, tights and slippers reminiscent of Savate.

Boxing-Hutchison-1913.pdf
11 MB

Boxing-AllansonWinn-1915.pdf
20 MB
A fine example of Victorian-style combat writing from one of the great eccentrics of the age. Has some references to Savate, which must have been of interest to boxers at that time. This Irish lord wrote a bunch of stuff about armed and unarmed fighting. Although a genuine whacko, he writes some good stuff about boxing, anyway - from an old-school perspective. His opinions are also fun, such as how he dismisses Mendoza's bottomfist method. Problem is Mendoza won a lot of fights :)