Italian pocket-stick Pugilism

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Italian pocket-stick Pugilism

Postby louie pastore » 10 Nov 2008 16:07

Came across this 1822 source which included a description of Italian pugilism - including an interesting form of boxing with a small stick gripped inside the clenched fist - the projecting ends causing damage to the opponent!

It appears, in a publication called ' letters from Italy,"
published by Mr. Stuart Rose, son of the late Right Hon.
George Rose, that the art of pugilism is among the games
of that country. "
Boxing is, I believe under different forms, common all
over Tuscany, but is reduced to least perfection in the
capital. There, to recur to poetry for our assistance,

" Their hands fair knocks or foul in fury rain.
And in tins tempest of bye-blows and bruises,
Not a stray fusty -cuff descends in vain,
But blood from eyes, and mouth, and nostrils oozes;
Nor slop they there, but in tlieir frenzy pull at
Whatever comes to hand, hair, nose, or gullet."
Translation of Battueld,

" If a man finds himself over-matched at this foul play,
he usually shouts " In soccorso!" and by the aid of the
first comer turns the tables upon his antagonist. lie
again finds his abettors, and the combat thickens, till the
street wears the appearance of the stage at the conclusion
of Tom Thumb. " At Sienna, the art puts on a more scientific form. In
this city are regular academies for pugilistic exercises;
there is a code for the regulation of boxing matches; a
certain time for resurrection is accorded to the one knocked
down; and, in short, the strife assumes all the distinguished
features of a courteous combat. "

In this place also, Vicenza, and at Florence, people
contend with what may be called courteous weapons, that
is, with the unarmed fist; but at Pisa and Leghorn, they
clench a cylindrical piece of stick, which projects-at each
end of the doubled fist, and indicts a cruel wound when
they strike obliquely I am nearly certain that I have
seen the representation of some antique statue, with the
clenched hand and secured to the fist by strings; but 1 have no recollection where."

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