Jack Butland of England during a England U21's training session ahead of their UEFA European Under-21 Championship Group A match against Norway U21 on June 7, 2013 in Netanya, Israel. Upon clicking the image below, you will be directed to an online scan of Jack Dempsey’s classic Championship Fighting text.
As for the material itself, Dempsey’s text is a must read for anyone involved in boxing.
He then goes on to discuss the importance of calisthenics and protective exercises to harden the midsection, develop the neck, and strengthen the hands. In summary, I am always open to new ideas, but I am also aware that fighters have been well conditioned for many years now.
Who knew Dempsey’s thinking regarding training was so advanced and generally ahead of its time? I just started sparring after putting it off for years due to thinking the same thing, that I’d get pummelled, well I eventually tired of my traditional martial arts and that niggling feeling that a lot of it would fall apart if I got hit so joined a local MMA club. The first sparring session was set up just for beginners, a simple three punch combo, doing it very light, taking it in turns, guard up the whole time so you barely get hit then gradually mix it up a little.
I agree with the other poster about being surprised that Dempsey hit with the three outer knuckles instead of the middle and index. However, things change, people nowadays box with 10-12-14-16 ounce gloves, with bandages, and our tests show that with big gloves, the horizontal way of punching is more efficient, you can hit harder, your hand is protected, nothing to worry about. Jack Wilshere and Scott Parker of England stretch during a training session, ahead of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against Wales, at the Millennium Stadium on March 25, 2011 in Cardiff, Wales. Sutton at Hone, Sutton Valence, Swale, Swanley, Swanscombe, Swingate, Tatsfield, Tenterden, Teston, Teynham, Thurnham, Thanet, Tonbridge, Tudeley, Tunbridge Wells, Ulcombe, Upstreet, Wadhurst, Walmer, Welling, West Kingsdown, West Malling, Westerham, Westgate-on-Sea, Weybridge, Whitstable, Willesborough, Wingham, Woodchurch, Worth, Wrotham. New England Patriots' Tom Brady watches as his son Jack, right, plays on the field with another child after NFL football training camp Tuesday, Aug. Such work was then supplemented with basic activities such as running, rope skipping, and calisthenics. His power line explanation and aiming with the ring finger knuckle is useful information but I`m not sure about that the palm must facing towards the inside of the body instead of turning the palm down. I’ve read Earnie Shavers credited for it for helping him add to his already monstrous punching power, and Ali said it really helped develop his stamina. Chen-style Tai Chi Chuan is a martial art (although not usually practiced as such), and a lot of what Dempsey says applies to it and other martial arts. My Tai Chi teacher recommended doing knuckle pushups with both combinations and seeing which felt more solid.


The reason of it was that they prepared for bare-knuckle matches (no bandage, no anything) and for self-defense purposes.
However, if you practice boxing for self-defense purposes, i suggest the vertical fist without gloves.
In researching, bare knuckle Pre Queensberry rules boxing chronologically fits into the time frame of the British merchant seamen travelling to South East Asia for trade.
Speaking as a boxing coach however, I do believe certain S&C coaches attempt to be too involved in the training process. I`ve always fought with the palms down and aiming with the index finger and the middle finger knuckle. I’m thinking Marciano must have been the first fighter to come up with punching in shoulder deep water in a pool.
Nobody is out to hurt anyone, everyone is friendly and I am kicking myself for putting it off for so long.
I’m sure it will get heavier as I improve but pretty much any trainer worth his salt wants all his students to improve, that means not scaring them away with a pounding on their first class. I prefer the middle and index for punching, but I do find that hitting with the outer three knuckles is more comfortable for speed bad training (I have wrist problems from a repetitive job). I always thought he was just a natural and that he didn’t even know how he did it himself. The reason of using the vertical fist is the following: if you hit someone in the face without gloves, and you miss the strike, it may happen, that it lands with the pinky. His combination of unbelievable punching power, his tremendous speed, his bob and weave style, the years of hard struggle, his ability to take a hard punch and keep coming and his subconscious mindset that every fight was a battle to the death made him unique among all fighters. Those with experience coaching the sport recognize the significance of the actual boxing training. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the bulk of conditioning related material is focused towards other facets of training.
As a result, the fighter isn’t able to focus as much attention to the sport itself (ie. There have been many dominant champions both past and present who were highly conditioned fighters without any of the new-school advancements that are often touted today.
Such additions can be useful, but don’t allow them to interfere or take precedence over the actual sport.
I will give Dempseys way of punching a try, but is it still good to punch by aiming with the ring finger knuckle and palms facing the floor?


Because there is no support behind the pinky, it will be pretty surely broken (the support is behind the index and middle finger). Louis was great, truly great and so was Marciano, but Dempsey was too shifty and too fast for either of them in my opinion. Such work is obviously important for skill development, but also critical for conditioning. However if you hit with the vertical fist, the support is behind pinky, ring, and middle finger.
The late Bruce Lee read Championship Fighting by Jack Dempsey & the notes he took from this book were later published in the Tao of Jeet June Do. However, Dempsey aside, there is one champion everyone forgets and he has to be ranked up there with Dempsey, Louis and Marciano and that’s Gene Tunney. If he doesn’t highlight other areas, he would essentially diminish his own significance.
It is these activities that are most important for the skill and conditioning development of the fighter.
Dempsey must have been some kind of powerhouse the way he pummeled the 245lb Jess Willard around. Another nice feature of the vertical fist is that if someone keeps a standard double cover defense, the vertical fist could penetrate it (of course depending on the glove side). Tunney was a master boxer, had knockout power and in my opinion would have beaten Muhammad Ali without a doubt. Size is really unimportant if the guy you’re fighting is faster, hits harder and is much tougher, i,e, Dempsey, Louis, Marciano and Tunney. Never mistake size- huge muscles and weight- for real power and skill, which the old-timers possessed in abundance. There have only been a few great fighters in the past thirty years in my opinion, and among are: Roberto Duran, Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler and Tommy Hearns.



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