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Boxing

Boxing is often called the Western martial art, but it’s more accurately identified as a martial sport. Since the appearance of humans, competition for food, mates and territory, people have undoubtedly been attacking each other with fists. The oldest record of boxing dates back to 4000 B.C.; an Egyptian pyramid from that era contain hieroglyphics and mural paintings that show men punching each other with laced gloves that have twine wrapped halfway up their forearms—similar to traditional muay boran kickboxing in Thailand.

The foundation for what most associate with typical Western-style boxing is arguably the unarmed fighting sport of pankration (Crete, 648 B.C.), which included bare-knuckle fighting, i.e., boxing. Although the pugilistic sport then spread to many Western countries, the first documented account of bare-knuckled fights occurred in 1681 in England. The sport eventually became known as prizefighting (today’s boxing), with the first recorded bare-knuckle champion being Englishman James Figg in 1719. Heavyweight champion Jack Broughton introduced the first set of boxing rules in 1743. These set the stage for the Marquess of Queensberry rules for amateur boxing in England. Created by John Chambers in 1867, Marquess of Queensberry rules became the foundation for today’s professional boxing rules.

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  1. “Judo” Gene LeBell vs. Boxer Milo Savage: America’s First MMA Fight

    “Judo” Gene LeBell vs. Boxer Milo Savage: America’s First MMA Fight

    Decades before the first UFC, “Judo” Gene LeBell used a mix of martial arts skills against boxer Milo Savage. In this exclusive interview from our archives, the legendary grappler reveals how skill variety can be the secret to success!
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  2. MMA’s Deliberate Southpaws: Bruce Lee’s Jabs vs. Boxing’s Power Punches

    MMA’s Deliberate Southpaws: Bruce Lee’s Jabs vs. Boxing’s Power Punches

    In combat sports, should you stand with your strong side to the rear or in front? Mark Hatmaker explores the history of the question and what answer MMA fighters have found effective today.
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  3. Learn 3 Grappling Techniques From UFC Star Chael Sonnen

    Learn 3 Grappling Techniques From UFC Star Chael Sonnen

    Chael Sonnen isn’t your typical politician. For one, he actually answered our questions. But more important, the All-American wrestler from Oregon taught us some of the best tricks from his playbook.

    Despite his reputation as one of the UFC’s loudest stars, he doesn’t have a bad word to say about
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  4. Knockout and Concussion Statistics for Violent Encounters

    Knockout and Concussion Statistics for Violent Encounters

    Editor’s Note: Because it’s impossible to defend yourself when you’re unconscious, knockouts play a critical role in any fight, whether it takes place in the ring or on the street. In our September issue, we explored the physiological effects of a knockout and why head trauma is such a controversial
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  5. Judo vs. Boxing: “Judo” Gene LeBell Defeats Boxer Milo Savage in First MMA Fight

    Judo vs. Boxing: “Judo” Gene LeBell Defeats Boxer Milo Savage in First MMA Fight

    For much of the world, MMA was born on November 12, 1993, when the Ultimate Fighting Championship debuted in Denver. Most martial artists know otherwise, however. They know the date was actually December 2, 1963, the day “Judo” Gene LeBell stepped into the ring to face boxer Milo Savage. Black
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  6. Jim Arvanitis Resurrects Pankration: The First Mixed Martial Art

    Jim Arvanitis Resurrects Pankration: The First Mixed Martial Art

    There’s no denying that Jim Arvanitis is a skilled martial artist. He moves like a 30-year-old both on his feet and on the ground, where he flows from technique to technique with an ease you seldom see outside a high-end grappling school. And there’s no denying that he’s a martial
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  7. What Do MMA, Pro Wrestling and Traditional Martial Arts Have in Common?

    What Do MMA, Pro Wrestling and Traditional Martial Arts Have in Common?

    I had never seen anyone quite like Ken Shamrock, who at 6 feet 1 inch tall and 217 pounds handily dropped opponent after opponent in World Wrestling Entertainment (then World Wrestling Federation) matches. An Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran, Ken Shamrock brought a unique style to the pro-wrestling milieu in 1997,
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  8. European Martial Arts: Where Combat Sports and Military Training Collide

    European Martial Arts: Where Combat Sports and Military Training Collide

    The Asian martial arts have received a tremendous amount of exposure in the past century and are now almost universally known. Meanwhile, we in the West have neglected many of our own martial arts traditions, which in some cases have fallen into obscurity—much as the Asian systems had at the
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  9. Boxing vs. MMA: Randy Couture Proves Mixed Martial Arts a Legit Sport Against James Toney

    Boxing vs. MMA: Randy Couture Proves Mixed Martial Arts a Legit Sport Against James Toney

    They say no one has invented a time machine, but while watching the UFC 118 in Boston, I was hard-pressed to believe it. I say this because when that old question, “Can a boxer beat a mixed martial artist?” reared its ugly head again courtesy of the co-main event, it
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  10. Pankration, Boxing and Wrestling: 3 Combat Sports From Ancient Greece

    Pankration, Boxing and Wrestling: 3 Combat Sports From Ancient Greece

    In the Panhellenic games of ancient Greece, wrestling, boxing and pankration were called the “heavy events.” The term was chosen to describe combative contests in those arts because they were not only crowd favorites but also the domain of the larger and heavier athlete.
    Greek Martial Art #1: Wrestling
    Wrestling is Greece’s
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