“To be courageous is enviable, whilst, on the other hand, to be able to conceal the absence of courage is useful” – Baron Charles de Berenger, 1835“Defensive Gymnastics” is a long-forgotten classic in the annals of how-to literature, compiling the Baron’s advice on the different modes of “manly character”; the use of defensive gymnastics with fists, canes, whips, pistols and umbrellas to thwart pickpockets, street ruffians and con-artists; and how to escape from highwaymen, burning buildings, icy ponds and wild bulls.The 2008 edition features over 50 new photographs and drawings, an introductory biography and a special feature on the Baron’s Stadium, a 24-acre training academy for all manner of “manly sports and defensive exercises”.Eccentric and street-wise, de Berenger’s “Defensive Gymnastics” is a fascinating glimpse into a bygone age; a wonderful gift or practical study guide for self-defence... More > enthusiasts and history buffs alike.< Less
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