|Title: ||‘Science’, ‘wind’ and ‘bottom’: eighteenth-century boxing manuals|
|Citation: ||The International Journal of the History of Sport, 2012|
|Issue Date: ||2012 |
|Additional Links: ||http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/titles/09523367.asp|
|Abstract: ||The eighteenth century witnessed the emergence of a plethora of sporting
professionals, many of whom were involved in developing training and
coaching practices. Teaching the skills, the ‘science’, of boxing became an
important source of income for professional fighters while some practitioners
also developed careers as trainers, normally operating on behalf of the wealthy
‘amateurs’ who retained professionals in order to make profitable wagers.
These practices were described in some of the early instructional manuals of
the period, notably a detailed analysis of wrestling by Parkyns in 1713, who
considered technique, fitness, and diet, and by Godfrey in 1747 who included a
seminal section on boxing in his A Treatise upon the Useful Science of Defence.
The proliferation of boxing manuals in the last quarter of the century reflected
both a revival of interest in the sport and a desire to record the essential
elements of this martial ‘science’ since it was only now that contemporaries
believed a full understanding had been achieved of the importance of ‘wind’
(endurance), ‘bottom’ (courage), and ‘science’ (technique). This paper explores
a number of texts where authors discussed these essential components of
boxing performance and highlights the longevity of their methods of athletic
|Description: ||Full-text of this article is not available in this e-prints service. This article was originally published following peer-review in The International Journal of the History of Sport , published by and copyright Routledge.|
|Appears in Collections: ||Sport, Exercise & Physical Activity|
Department of Exercise and Sports Science
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