FROM A FRENCHMAN'S POINT OF VIEW.
Translated from "La Sante par Ies Sports" by ALICE GAMLEN.
[This article is very interesting, as it shows how a Frenchman might train for the knock-out. There are very few British boxers who would adopt this system, i fancy, but the dumb-bell exercises are excellent for general development - Ed.]
BOXING is now so popular a sport that a definition of the "knock-out" is unnecessary, though there are still some people, in our midst - such as the Rev. F. B. Meyer - who do not understand it. It simply signifies the placing of an opponent temporarily hors de combat after a particularly violent blow.
All men do not possess arms with strongly-marked muscles, or muscles suitable for making that decisive blow, which in the street enables you to instantly put an end to the attacks of a blackguard, to go on tranquilly lighting a cigarette, whilst your assailant, seated on the ground, asks himself if he has not just been the victim of an earth-quake.
It is in order to remedy this natural inferiority that this article has been written. It shows some exceedingly simple exercises, which, after a very short practice, will give to anyone a decisive punch.
First Preliminary Exercise, Fig. No. 1 (commencing with the left). Before all things you must practise this exercise and execute it to perfection. Stand as shown in Fig. No. 1, then by sudden contraction of the legs raise yourself suddenly on your toes, an inch or so only. In this exercise the arms are not moved, but remain on a level with the waist. Some-times the left foot, and at other times the right foot, must be put forward.
Second Preliminary Exercise. Train and develop the muscles used far striking. This is how you must proceed. Put the left foot forward, hold a 2lb dumb-bell in the left hand. Move the dumb-bell backwards and forward, with the shoulder slightly turned to the left.
The first part of the trajectory* must be performed quickly, the second slowly. You must train very skilfully with both hands.
First Exercise for the Punch. Grasp the dumb-bell well in your right hand. Keep the feet apart, the arm slightly bent. When leaving this position suddenly raise the dumb-bell towards the head, with a sudden contraction of the biceps, and swift elevation of the shoulder, so as to put power into the blow.
Practise this exercise more frequently with the left hand than with the right.
Second Exercise for the Punch (Fog. 4.). This blow is an upper-cut delivered from a short distance. Holding the dumb-bells firmly in either hand, with a brisk movement of the legs and body, the fist describes a straight trajectory, the arm being slightly bent.
Ten times for each arm is recommended if the blow is inflicted with energy.
Third Exercise for the Punch. This blow is also an upper-cut, but instead of being given sideways, as in Fig. 3, or from a distance as in Fig. 4, it is dealt close to and from the front. In order to carry it out successfully you suddenly make a step to the right or the left. Then with the arm twisted, the forearm becomes like an iron bar, and you violently "land" your blow. Repeat ten times from both hands.
The sketches indicate in what positions the blows can be placed:
Fig. No. 6. An assailant rushes upon you; you stop him by the help of an upper-cut conveyed from a distance. Be careful to aim just below the point of the chin.
Fig. No. 7. You are encompassed by an adversary. Without losing time upper-cut him from the left and the right as you have learnt to do in Exercise No. 1.
Fig. No. 8. You are just attacked, and the aggressor has seized you by the neck. Do not hesitate an instant; between his arms there is a splendid way by which you can pass as quickly as a thunderbolt your upper-cuts from the left and the right, and always under the point of the chin.
If by chance the chin is inaccessible it does not matter; the pit of the stomach is there for you. Place there two or three vigorous upper-cuts and you will ascertain that your rash aggressor only asks you to let go that he may go and sit down ten steps farther off.
* The curve that the body describes in space.Source: Health & Strength, August 3rd 1912.