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Eastern, Western or South American; you'll find it here

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    Notice that the following  book, Self-Defense for Gentlemen and Ladies: A Nineteenth-Century Treatise on Boxing, Kicking, Grappling, and Fencing with the Cane and Quarterstaff, will soon be released, in April, 2015. This treatise, originally published in New York City during the 1870s as a series of illustrated articles, has been collected and compiled for the first […]

    benmilleresqMonsteryBookCoverbenmilleresqMonsteryBookCover

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    Only one year after the first exhibition of Kung Fu in America, on January 18, 1891, the following headline graced the columns of the New York World: This brutal contest took place in a Chinese grocery at 23 Pell Street, and was fought between laundrymen Wong Hoy and Lee Yen, for a purse of twenty […]

    benmilleresqLeeYenAbove: Police guard NYC's Chinatown at the turn of the century.Chinese1KungFuMagbenmilleresqLeeYenAbove: Police guard NYC's Chinatown at the turn of the century.Chinese1KungFuMag

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    “In the encounter with Monstery, at the end of a four hours’ bout neither of the parties had gained a point, and the combat was declared a draw.”   During the late nineteenth century, the field of women’s self-defense would be greatly advanced by two very special individuals—a fencing master and duelist, Colonel Thomas Hoyer […]

    benmilleresqAbove: Colonel Thomas H. MonsteryMonstery's Guard with the Parasaol (1886)Ella HattanJaguarina_LungeFrom the Daily Alta, Feb. 21, 1887Above: Jaguarina practicing mounted combatArgonaut_AdvertMonsteryBookCoverbenmilleresqAbove: Colonel Thomas H. MonsteryMonstery's Guard with the Parasaol (1886)Ella HattanJaguarina_LungeFrom the Daily Alta, Feb. 21, 1887Above: Jaguarina practicing mounted combatArgonaut_AdvertMonsteryBookCover

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    “It has struck me that a few words on the use of this two-handed staff may not be uninteresting at the present day…”      –Thomas H. Monstery, 1878   New York City is typically not the first place that comes to mind when one mentions the word “quarterstaff.” For the average individual, unfamiliar with […]

    benmilleresqAbove: Colonel Thomas H. MonsteryThe staff technique of Andre Paurñfeyndt (1468-1540), illustrated in Egenolff's version.Plate from James Miller's benmilleresqAbove: Colonel Thomas H. MonsteryThe staff technique of Andre Paurñfeyndt (1468-1540), illustrated in Egenolff's version.Plate from James Miller's "Treatise on backsword, sword, buckler, sword and dagger, sword and great gauntlet, falchon, quarterstaff," 1735Jonah Barrington18th century trade card purporting to show James Figg, "Master of ye Noble Science of Defence," offering instruction in the use of the quarterstaff. The authorship of this etching is uncertain and has been attributed to both William Hogarth and Joseph Sympson.Major John Cartwright (1740-1824)DeBerengerAnnouncement for a Grand Assault of Arms involving the "Old English quarterstaff," published in the Era, May 21, 1854From Wells Journal, July 12, 1862.Above: A quarterstaff assault at the London Athletic Club, 1874 (from the Graphic). This early 18th-century copperplate depicts a late Fechtschule of the Marxbrüder and Federfechter. Source: fencingclassics.wordpress.comAbove: Defense against staff weapons according to the system of Pehr Henrik Ling (founder of the Central Institute of Physical Culture in Stockholm), illustrated and published in the 1850s by a disciple of Ling's system.Ling's Central Institute in Stockholm, where Monstery trained. Source: http://www.stockholmskallan.se/Soksida/Post/?nid=7447MonsterySalleAdvertCropMan with alpenstock from Miesbach, Bavaria.Monstery6Above: McGregor accepts Ross's challenge in the Buffalo Courier-Record, 1897.Above: Challenge from McGregor in the Buffalo Evening News, March 5, 1899.9781583948682

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    Originally posted on Out of This Century:
    Above: Colonel Thomas Hoyer Monstery. “A Knightly Tournament” ? In early March, 1876, a “Grand” tournament of arms was announced, to be held at the Lyceum Theater in New York City, that would involve “all kinds of weapons that are used in fencing.” The event was organized and directed…

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    Originally posted on I don't do long sword:
    As I indicated in my latest article on Irish stick fighting, outide of the traditionnal styles there exists perhaps only two documentary sources which would allow us to reconstruct a workable style of bataireacht. Both of them present characteristics which are presented in other sources as…

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    Maestro Jeannette Acosta-Martínez is a traditional master of arms, teaching classical and historical fencing. Maestro Acosta-Martínez is on the Board of Directors of the Association for Historical Fencing, was one of the original founding members of the International Masters at Arms Federation and is married to fencing master Ramón Martínez. In 2009 she created a three-volume instructional DVD…

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    Originally posted on Out of This Century:
    Above: Colonel Thomas Hoyer Monstery. In April of 1876, New York City played host to one of the most public and controversial American fencing contests of the nineteenth century. The disagreements over judging decisions and methods of scoring were so great that “inflamed” arguments erupted between the referee…

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    “A neater and more effective blow was never struck by the human fist…” The following gem of an article, entitled “The Use of the Fists: How to Employ Nature’s Bony Weapons Effectively,” appeared in the June 13, 1886 issue of the Chicago Tribune, and contains a firsthand account, by a reporter, of a visit to […]

    benmilleresqAbove: Colonel Thomas Hoyer Monstery.HeadlineCapture1Capture1.1Capture1.2JemMaceGeorge RookeCapture1.3Capture29781583948682benmilleresqAbove: Colonel Thomas Hoyer Monstery.HeadlineCapture1Capture1.1Capture1.2JemMaceGeorge RookeCapture1.3Capture29781583948682

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    Originally posted on Columbia Classical Fencing, LLC:
    Recently, I was privileged to participate in the first ever Martinez Academy of Arms Academia in New Orleans, Louisiana. This was a gathering of all the MAA schools and academies, including Palm Beach Classical Fencing, Côte du Golfe School of Fencing, Salle St. George, and Destreza Pacifica School…

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    During the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, the history of martial arts in the United States was purely western, encompassing European-style pugilism, wrestling, fencing, as well as a diverse assortment of indigenous Native martial arts. That changed on July 2, 1830, when the New York Evening Post printed a vivid report entitled “Pugilism in China.” This article appears to be […]

    benmilleresqSword dancer in the old city of ShanghaiSword dancer in San Francisco's Chinatown, by Arthur Genthe, 1896-1906KungFuMagbenmilleresqSword dancer in the old city of ShanghaiSword dancer in San Francisco's Chinatown, by Arthur Genthe, 1896-1906KungFuMag

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    “You need never despair of saving life till you have tried faithfully for at least an hour and a half…”     The following interesting article, which details methods for resuscitation and “the saving of life,” originally appeared in the New York Spirit of the Times, in May of 1878. The author was the noted swordsman, soldier, and adventurer, Colonel Thomas H. […]

    benmilleresqAbove: Colonel Thomas Hoyer Monstery.Capture1Monstery_TreadingWater2LifeSaving_1LifeSaving_29781583948682benmilleresqAbove: Colonel Thomas Hoyer Monstery.Capture1Monstery_TreadingWater2LifeSaving_1LifeSaving_29781583948682

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    Originally posted on Martial Arts New York:
    On Sunday, March 22, 1840, the following unusual notice appeared in the Times-Picayune: Mons. Bobji–or Bobij, as he was more widely known–was an extraordinary character who had recently arrived in America from Europe. French by ancestry, Polish by birth, and a former Lieutenant Colonel in the Polish army,…

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    During the fall of 1911, the following series of articles on self-defense appeared in the pages of the Chicago Tribune. The author, writing under the name of “The Marquis of Queensberry,” was none other than Lord Percy Sholto Douglas (1868-1920), 10th Marquess of Queensberry, and the second son of John Sholto Douglas, the Scottish nobleman best known for lending […]

    benmilleresqCaptureHeadlineCaptureMarquisCanetitleUmbrella_ByMarquisCane1Cane2Cane3Cane4Cane5Umbrella1Umbrella5Umbrella6Umbrella-Footwork3Umbrella-Footwork2Umbrella-Footwork1Umbrella-Footwork4Umbrella2Umbrella4Umbrella3SigbenmilleresqCaptureHeadlineCaptureMarquisCanetitleUmbrella_ByMarquisCane1Cane2Cane3Cane4Cane5Umbrella1Umbrella5Umbrella6Umbrella-Footwork3Umbrella-Footwork2Umbrella-Footwork1Umbrella-Footwork4Umbrella2Umbrella4Umbrella3Sig

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    “There is no doubt but that it was the finest match seen in America…”   During the late nineteenth century, Maitre d’Armes Regis Senac was one of America’s most widely-known fencing masters. A native of France, Senac had arrived in New York City in 1872, and had set up a fencing school on University Place […]

    benmilleresqTronchet vs. Senac, in Frank Leslie's Illustrated NewspaperRegis SenacTronchet1TronchetAdvert1887_Courrier3-16-1887_NYHeraldCorbesier-Outing3-29-1887_NYHeraldTronchetAdvert_2_1887_CourrierTronchetGirlFencerbenmilleresqTronchet vs. Senac, in Frank Leslie's Illustrated NewspaperRegis SenacTronchet1TronchetAdvert1887_Courrier3-16-1887_NYHeraldCorbesier-Outing3-29-1887_NYHeraldTronchetAdvert_2_1887_CourrierTronchetGirlFencer

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    A History of Cane Self-Defense in America: 1798-1930   During the eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries, America could be a dangerous place, and knowledge of self-defense was often necessary for use in both urban and rural environments. To those ends, fencing masters and instructors often modified and applied fencing techniques to the cane or walking […]

    benmilleresqcombine_images2Dec. 20, 1773, Boston Post-BoyOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGeorgehewesThe Royal Exchange Tavern (white building at center) on State Street, where Hewes taught cane fencing three days per week1798-10-27_Hewes_Cane _ Columbian Centinel CAPTUREAnother notice by Hewes in the Centinel, April 20, 18051807-5-1 - Newburyport Herald HEWES booksHewes_CutsOne of the six cuts, illustrating the articulation of the handPlateJune 20, 1809, Salem GazetteNormanModeThe Exchange Coffee House in Boston, where Tromelle and Girard taught and exhibited cane defenseAmerican and Commercial Daily Advertiser, July 12, 18131840-5-25 - Southern Patriot - CharlestonDaily Inter Ocean, Sept. 23, 18651808-2-20 - City Gazette - Charleston - Manfredi1807 depiction of Manfredi on tightrope with balancing pole1805-7-29 - New York Commercial Advertiser - Manfredi1839-5-29 - Daily Herald - New HavenSpringfield Republican, May 15, 18451848-1-27 - Frankfort Daily Commonwealth - KYMonsteryEngravingMonstery-Cane_cropIMG_2604 - CopyCane4Cane5Capture2Capture5Capture1Capture3Thug2Cane3Cane2CunninghamDefense against knife.Roller's benmilleresqcombine_images2Dec. 20, 1773, Boston Post-BoyOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGeorgehewesThe Royal Exchange Tavern (white building at center) on State Street, where Hewes taught cane fencing three days per week1798-10-27_Hewes_Cane _ Columbian Centinel CAPTUREAnother notice by Hewes in the Centinel, April 20, 18051807-5-1 - Newburyport Herald HEWES booksHewes_CutsOne of the six cuts, illustrating the articulation of the handPlateJune 20, 1809, Salem GazetteNormanModeThe Exchange Coffee House in Boston, where Tromelle and Girard taught and exhibited cane defenseAmerican and Commercial Daily Advertiser, July 12, 18131840-5-25 - Southern Patriot - CharlestonDaily Inter Ocean, Sept. 23, 18651808-2-20 - City Gazette - Charleston - Manfredi1807 depiction of Manfredi on tightrope with balancing pole1805-7-29 - New York Commercial Advertiser - Manfredi1839-5-29 - Daily Herald - New HavenSpringfield Republican, May 15, 18451848-1-27 - Frankfort Daily Commonwealth - KYMonsteryEngravingMonstery-Cane_cropIMG_2604 - CopyCane4Cane5Capture2Capture5Capture1Capture3Thug2Cane3Cane2CunninghamDefense against knife.Roller's "rules"1915_Roller_PicSeniorHeintzmanualofathletic00rich_0152 - Copymanualofathletic00rich_0154manualofathletic00rich_0155 - Copycabijos-lehighpic-1947-crop21CABIJOS - Brown and White - Lehigh U - 12-15-1943CABIJOS - Vassar - February 2, 1929CABIJOS - Vassar Miscellany News- March 15 1930Maître d’Armes Frederick Rohdes, pictured with a schlaeger, one of the weapons taught at his academy, during the late 1970s.

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    The following series of undated “lessons” appeared in the Boy’s Own Magazine, the first and most influential boys’ magazine, in Great Britain between 1855 and 1890. Spread out in separate installments across four issues, these unique articles contain illustrated instruction in the use of the broadsword and single-stick (the blunt training tool for the broadsword).  Billed as […]

    benmilleresqthe-boys-own-magazine-pg-31-issue-1-copythe-boys-own-magazine-pg-31-issue-1-copy-2capturessbenmilleresqthe-boys-own-magazine-pg-31-issue-1-copythe-boys-own-magazine-pg-31-issue-1-copy-2capturess

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    Continued from PART I. THE BROADSWORD AND SINGLE-STICK. II. BEFORE placing the “single-stick” in your hand, it is our intention to put you through a short course of preliminary drill, the object of which is to teach you the free and active use of your limbs. When we have instructed you how to apply the […]

    benmilleresqheader2-12-22-32-42-5-62-72-8-92-102-112-122-132-14benmilleresqheader2-12-22-32-42-5-62-72-8-92-102-112-122-132-14

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    Continued from PART II. THE BROADSWORD AND SINGLE-STICK. III. THE TARGET. THE first thing to be done is to construct a target for ourselves. Procure a stout sheet of cartridge-paper, about four feet square; lay it upon a table, and proceed to describe a large circle upon it as follows:—Insert at the central point, marked […]

    benmilleresqtitle3-1canadiantarget-copy3-23-33-43-53-6benmilleresqtitle3-1canadiantarget-copy3-23-33-43-53-6

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    Continued from PART III. MANLY EXERCISES. THE BROADSWORD AND SINGLE-STICK. IV. ATTACK AND DEFENCE. THIS portion of our studies must be gone through in strict accordance with the rules we have laid down in our first paper. “Keep your temper,” and “Play fairly,” are two phrases which must never be forgotten throughout this exercise. Commence […]

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