In recent years, mixed martial arts have become a very popular sport in the US and all over the World. One man who could be called a true pioneer of the sport is the Englishman James Figg (1695-1734). At 6ft (182cm) and 185lbs (83kgs) he was a tall, lean mean fighting machine. During these times, there were fights with 3 rounds one of which included daggers or swords!
Wrestling, gouging, spitting, headbutting, kicking opponents on the ground and virtually everything else was legal. It is said that he had 270 fights and won 269 of them. Figg was so successful at these fights that he eventually got a sponsor and set up a fighting academy to teach others his fighting style. In his own words he called his fighting style “the manyl art of self-defense”. After he passed, his students continued the tradition and eventually created rules which were much safer for the fighters and prohibited many dangerous techniques. It was the birth of modern western boxing.
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Photo Credits / Sources:
By John Faber Jr, after John Ellys ( ) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons