A Treatise on Sparring and Wrestling
By Edmund Price 1867
As a motive power for offense of defense, it would be a mere waste of our time as well asthat of our readers, were we to expatiate upon the propriety of the heading to these pages.The arm is literally the principal motive power physically given to man for offense anddefense. This is self evident. Who, possessing the ordinary instinct of pugnacity commonto humanity, ever received a blow that did not at once acknowledge the favor by 'hittingout' straight from the shoulder? Who that is about to receive one, does not instinctivelyplace himself as rapidly as possible in the best natural position to ward it off?
Whether a man is of an extremely bellicose disposition or othewise, the disposition toreturn or parry a blow is instinctive and cannot be wanting in his normal condition.
With or without a weapon, it may be considered invaluable. To the honor of the Anglo-Saxon blood, let it be said that the tendency to use a weapon is rarely evinced, either bythe American or Englishman, save the cause of quarrel be one which blood alone canwipe out, or there is such a manifest disparity in age or physical strength between theparties as to render such a trial of the question between them in its results, a prejudgedcertainty.
Let me then indicate to my readers the best manner in which they can employ the originalweapons of defense which they inherit from their primary progenitor, Old Adam.To administer a blow with sharp and telling effect, it is absolutely necessary that youshould be precise and clean in your delivery; otherwise, instead of injuring youropponent, you are liable to disable yourself. This must, as a necessary consequence,render you liable to defeat, even though you may be infinitely stronger than youradversary. To avoid this, your first attention should be given to the position of your arms.
They should invariably be disposed in an easy attitude, (which, because it is easy, iscertain to be graceful,) as ready to repel an attack efficiently, as to retaliate upon, byassailing, your adversary.
The position of the arms, will, however, have to be varied according to your owncapabilities. No specific or invariable rule can be given which is applicable to every kindof figure, disposition, or weight.