FIT TO FIGHT
A 'ane known as Battling kelson was a proponent of a now-illegal boxing move called the scissor punchK fs it a technique you should learn for self-defense? MaybeK
Warning: This “lesson from the masters” is a no-go under today’s boxing rules, but it still holds value for selfdefense. It’s insane to think that such tactics were at one time considered hunky-dory for use in the ring.
While raised in the United States, Nelson was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1882, and this hometown led to another of his nick ǣ ǲ & Ǥǳ was exactly that: durable.
Nelson was never noted a stylist. He was as far from pretty as one can get, but he was old-school Tough with a capital T. He would emerge from his corner with his arms crossed in front of his body and start throwing with wild abandon, seemingly always swinging for the fences.
The man could have been the poster boy for the I’ll-take-three-of-his-to Ǧ Ǧ Ǧ ϐ Ǥ
ϐ & ' Ǥ As fearsome as the man was inside the ring, no one mistook what he did for anything resembling the sweet science.
BATTLING NELSON — whose name was often shortened to simply Bat — would just go after his opponents no matter the consequences. He fought two *+Ǧ ϐ ǡ in 1902 and involved Christy Williams. There were 49 knockdowns, the most in boxing history, with Bat toppling seven times and Williams 42 times. (No doubt that helped establish Williams as a mighty durable fellow, too.)
The Durable Dane once broke his left arm in the middle of a 15-round bout but soldiered on, explaining at the end ϐ ǲ cautious and kept me [from] winning by a knockout.”
THERE’S NO DOUBT that Battling Nelson was one of the most ferocious ϐ ǡ & ϐ would seem to preclude him from teaching us 21stǦ ϐ thing about the sweet science, right? After all, physical hardiness and sheer ϐ Ǥ Before you dismiss him, consider this: ϐ Ǥ In fact, his inside work was exceptionally vicious. Jack London, noted author of such classics as The Call of the Wild and The Sea Wolf, was also an avid boxing fan (Jack did a bit of boxing himself), and he often reported on major ϐ Ǥ fan of the vicious Dane’s style, London && ǲ & Ǥǳ
ONE OF BAT’S abysmal — and quasi Ȅ ǲ Ǥǳ In the era of skintight gloves, Nelson ϐ & ' ϐ '
in, well, scissors-fashion. This additional bit of pinpoint penetration is more disconcerting than you would think, especially to a body that’s used to percussive blows.
We don’t know if Nelson delivered his scissor punch with his hook hand palmdownward or with it facing himself. However, experimentation has revealed that, at least for me, the palm-down version allows for better liver penetration.
Now, before you go smacking the heavy bag with this bit of nastiness, allow me to say that my experimentation also has revealed that my hands are not as durable as the Durable
ǯ Ǥ ǡ ϐ ǯ to jam my thumb and particularly my ' ϐ punch into the mix.
The following are the steps I take to throw a version of the technique that seems to work nicely for people with anything less than Battling Nelson’s adamantine skeleton. I’ve dubbed it the “Nelson dig.” ➊ %HJLQ WR ÀUH D OHDG KRRN WR WKH OLYHU ➋ $V \RXU DUP PRYHV WXUQ \RXU KDQG VR LWᅣV SDOP GRZQ
➌ ([WHQG \RXU WKXPE EXW QRW FRPSOHWHO\
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ϐ &Ǧ ϐ & ǡ & can be delivered with surprising speed and power, but it doesn’t exactly need power behind it. That penetrating shot to the liver is mighty unsettling.
Again, save this one for the street or historical recreations. Don’t try it in competition.
Battling Nelson was one of the most ferocious ot|¼b±´ ¼ bÇb± step into the ring.