SP Archives: Jack Dempsey

Steve wrote: Recently I’ve been working on a post for my website regarding my relationship with karate over the years. I had dig back into my memory for events that had occurred sometimes half a century ago that were very influential upon my practice and perception of the martial arts. I was looking up some books that I’d read as a teenager, and one of them was Jack Dempsey’s ‘Championship Fighting,’ which I’d nicked from my dad. I subsequently leant it to somebody and never got it back.

In the last couple of years since this text appeared on the internet, people have e-mailed me to say how much Dempsey’s thinking reminded them of what I’d written on my site, but I hadn’t actually looked at the book for many years. Michael S of this forum and some other Hsing-I guys seem to have been using this book as a kind of bible for their training, and they drew similarities between myself and Dempsey and also some Hsing-I masters. I got a bunch of You Tube subscribers, possibly off this connection.

Anyway, I’ve now read the book again online, and it really is striking how in many ways it probably formed the template of my thinking. I must have been about 15 when I first read it, during the period when I was teaching myself martial arts.

This really is a great book. Here’s a guy you’d never dream could articulate the dynamics of fighting in such simple yet precise language. It was very influential on me as a young man, and now when I look at it I see that it rings true with all my many years of study and practice. And even his reference to the ‘charlatans’ seems familiar to me! It’s all so familiar that it’s almost spooky.

All I can think is that because I’d read this book hundreds of times in my youth, it has formed a template upon which I built my training philosophy. Even his references to dynamite are similar to my use of the shotgun and Uzi.

It’s a great read. Read it. And to get it, read it lots of times. Watch Dempsey in action. This is a rare individual who could walk the walk and talk the talk.

Funny enough, my father, who owned the book before I nicked it off him, was very strongly influenced by Dempsey. Because Dempsey always went into the ring tanned and looking like a great physical specimen, my father always trained his boxers outside in shorts, so that when they got in the ring they were always tanned and healthy-looking, against a sometimes pasty opponent. And of course, the emphasis of the whole book is being able to explosively deliver that knockout punch. Very, very familiar.


Michael Siv wrote:


There you go full book