The Science of Self Defence: A Treatise on Sparring and Wrestling, Including Complete Instructions in Training and Physical Development
We presume no one at the present day will deny the advantages (not only to the sedentary, but to everyone) of wise and systematic physical training. The union of strength and beauty in the human form is the greatest point to be achieved, and if 'Mens sana in corpore sano' is the greatest of blessings, it can only be obtained by a judicious exercise of all the powers of the mind and the muscles of the body acting in harmony; therefore we do not fear contradiction in asserting that out-door sports and gymnastic exercises promote cheerfulness, 'clear the cobwebs from the brain', excite a healthy circulation of the blood, and brace and harden the muscles. How many earnest students have defeated all their efforts for the elevation of mankind, by a neglect of this most obvious principle of husbanding and strengthening their physical resources; dooming themselves to a life of suffering and premature grave. We could quote many illustrious examples of this neglect of the body, in the over anxiety for the development of the intellectual powers. Though perfect harmony is perfect beauty, and though the immortal soul, the ever active mind of man, are gems of priceless value, not less worthy of preservation and care is the casket in which they are enshrined.But our work is not a treatise on medicine-and we must not frighten our readers, nor must we commit the worst of offences in this wide-awake age by becoming prosy. Our object, then, in this volume is to give a correct and reliable Manual on the "Art of Self Defense", not founded on 'obsolete' rules of aby-gone age, but on the practical results of our own experience adn observation, and we trust, with a clearness and precision that will render it invaluable to the pupil and interesting to the amateur and general reader. We also give such hints on training as will be useful to all persons engaged in sedentary pursuits.Even those who look with horror and disgust on the Prize Ring are willing to allow that a scientific knowledge of self defence is desirable simply as a means of self preservation and protection, and certainly the philanthropist, of two evils will choose the least, a 'free fight', which, as Shakespeare says, may end in 'bloody noses and cracked crowns', being far preferable to the wholesale butcheries that have too often disgraced the civilization of our large cities.