In 1897, Hugh Leonard published this Magnum Opus of Catch as Catch Can manuals.
A wrestling prodigy, Leonard became the protege the great “Billy” Muldoon and by 16 he was a pro,... More > wrestling all comers for $100 to any who could throw him.
In 1893, Leonard became wrestling instructor at the Buffalo Athletic Club. A year after, the instructor for the Manhattan Athletic Club and shortly thereafter, the instructor at the New York Athletic Club, where he remained until his 1914 death.
His wrestling career included bouts against such wrestlers as Plen Shoemaker and Evan “The Strangler” Lewis.
Predating the introduction of Jui Jitsu to the West, Leonard’s book details hundreds of grappling and throwing technique, including rare chokes and joint locks. With over 200 photographs, digitally retouched, this is one of the most rare and valuable wrestling manuals, weighting in at well past 250 pages, it is an essential part of every Catch wrestler or western martial arts historian’s toolbox.< Less
In 1840,Owen Swift published "The Hand-book to Boxing."
Drawing on his experience as a professional boxer, having killed at least two men in the ring, his ambitious booklet attempts to... More > treat the subject of boxing comprehensively.
Swift first offers a defense of pugilism, arguing for its legalization to the Marquis of Normanby. He follows with a brief history of boxing from ancient greeks to contemporary times. He continues with a discussion and advice for the proper forms to enjoy boxing as an upper class spectator. Thense he careens into a discussion of boxing schools and differences between “modern” and “old” styles. Finally, at long last, he gives instructions for how to box and train, the requirements of Seconds, and the "new rules of prize-fighting."
Swift wraps up with a chronology of boxing spanning from 1740 to November 1840.
This inclusive and unique manual is a requisite for pugilism enthusiasts, martial artists, and boxing historians alike.< Less
Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in Frank Klaus was a German-American boxer. His professional career spanning 39 matches netted 32 wins 21 by KO. He won the Middleweight Championship of the world... More > in 1913 and was elected to the Ring Boxing Hall of Fame in 1974.
Acclaimed as an inside fighter, in approximately late 1913 or some time thereafter he penned his book of instruction on in-fighting.
Klaus packs a great number of photograph into his work for such a comparatively short and focused book: 27 in all including several “action shots” from his fights giving this book a ratio of about 1 photo for every 2 ½ pages of instruction.
Particular gems include “The Liver Punch,” “Feigning ‘Grogginess’,” and “Beating an Opponent by Punching his Gloved Hands or Arms.”
Truly a Historic Boxing “must have!”< Less
Writing decades after Gotch's death in 1917, George Robbins pens this instructional manual on Frank Gotch's wrestling style.
It is unclear where Robbins got his material and quotes from Gotch, but... More > working for the Sporting Staff, The Chicago Daily News would have potentially given him access to Gotch personally at some point and the two may have even been friends. The 27 instructional pictures included are clear, well done, drawings which some have suggested may have partially been redrawn from the photographs of Gotch's earlier book, "Wrestling and How to Train."
The real gems of this little instructional manual are Gotch's discussion of his famous "toe hold," including, most interestingly, its origins, and instruction on the Strangle hold with a drawing of the legendary "Farmer" Burns demonstrating.
Altogether, this manual is a unique and important bit of catch wrestling history.< Less