Journal of Manly Arts
June 2005

by Professor A. Austen

Originally published in Outing magazine, 1891 p140-143

as well as the slapper, cleaver cur and slugger methods of applying them*.

At the time the Queensberry rules were written I was striving to become an expert boxer by boxing in the sparring saloons in London, and in gauging the quality of the boxer by the manner in which he shaped, the straightness of his hitting, his ability in leading, countering, ducking, slipping and using his feet, I am convinced that I was in accord with the true principles. I firmly believe that this would have been the marquis’ definition of style in boxing, but at that time the term style was so well understood that definition was unnecessary. The system I advocate and shall proceed to outline is applicable to any degree of boxing from the bare fist fight to the lightest sparring and was the one followed by the most skilled pugilists in the prize ring and sparring saloon at the time when the art had attained a higher degree of perfection than it had ever attained before or has since. It means, in brief, "perfect boxing deportment, good carriage physically, and a strong, prompt deciding mind mentally."

Whatever a man does athletically he must do either in accordance with the manner of man depicted in Fig. 1 or Fig.A or somewhere between these two opposite poles; but the nearer he approaches "1" the better he does it, irrespective of the success of his effort. In boxing "1"is the principal attitude. Movements and efforts comprising system must be strictly in accordance therewith to make a stylish boxer. Figs. 2 and 3 show "1" in boxing attitude and striking a blow with his left hand. Figs. B and C show "A" in similar postures. The numbered plates depict good form, the lettered ones bad form. By practicing in a good school a man with the capacity for so doing, in time, grows from the bad to the good and acquires the action of a boxer the same as he might the stride of a pedestrian or the stroke of an oarsman. This carriage and action are the outcome of generations of experience; men boxed, hit, counter hit, parried, ducked, slipped and used their feet a century ago.

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June 2005