Boxing’s beginnings in America go back to slave days, when plantation owners pitted slaves against one another and wagered on the outcomes. One freed slave, Tom Molineaux, even fought overseas against the British champion, Tom Cribb—and probably would have won their 1810 match, had Cribb’s desperate supporters not intervened just as Molineaux seized a decisive advantage. Boxing then was conducted with bare fists, under the old London Prize Ring Rules, which stipulated fights to the finish—that is, until one man could not continue. The rules also permitted wrestling holds and other tactics, and rounds ended only with “falls,” when one man went down, whether from a punch or a throw or sheer exhaustion. Before the Civil War, boxing enjoyed a brief vogue in New York, where fighters often associated with the Tammany Hall machine rose to prominence. But the war interrupted the sport’s momentum.
Weakness with a Twist: A blog about internal martial arts, theatricality and Daoist ritual emptiness
Watch the Video: A Cultural History of Tai Chi
Buy the Book: Possible Origins, A Cultural History of Chinese Martial Arts, Theater and Religion, By Scott Park Phillips. Amazon Kindle ($9.99), Paperback ($18.95)
Chicago April 27-May 1st. (This is a post-graduate bodywork course, but the 27th is a full day on Daoism and is still open, email if you want to attend.)
Israel May 3-15th
Paris May 16-26th
International Daoist Studies Conference, Paris: May 17-20 (Will have panels on Martial Arts and Theater and this is going to rock!)
Martial Arts Studies Conference, Cardiff, Wales: July 11-13th.
Portland July 28-30th
San Francisco Sept