The CBZ Newswire

The Art and Science of Daniel Mendoza, Part 2

by on Apr.29, 2010, under Boxing News, Guest Columnists

Daniel Mendoza, left, versus Richard Humphreys, at Odiham, January 9th, 1788.  (ARTIST:  Federica Coppoleccia)

Daniel Mendoza, left, versus Richard Humphreys, at Odiham, January 9th, 1788. (ARTIST: Federica Coppoleccia)

By Chris Shelton

[CBZ Editor's Note: To view Part One of The Art and Science of Daniel Mendoza click on the following link:]

May 6th, 1789….        Richard  Humphreys   vs.   Daniel Mendoza II

The anticipation and build up had created an event.  A building had been constructed in Mister Thornton’s Park at Stilton that was 48 feet in circumference.  It held a sold out 3000 paying customers. The media build-up for the fight, back and forth taunting remarks, were revolutionary at the time.  Much of the credit belongs to Mendoza, along with the appeal never before so advertised that this would be a fighter versus boxer confrontation. The corner man for Mendoza was Captain Brown.  The corner man for Humphreys was Tom Johnson.

ROUND 1:  Humphreys is offensive and aggressive as he throws a punch to the face.  Mendoza blocks the punch and counters with a punch that scores a knockdown….  It is a great start for Mendoza with a maneuver straight out of his book.

ROUNDS 2-3:  Mendoza is dominating at this early point.  All 3 rounds find Humphreys throwing the first punch with a Mendoza block and counter that sends him to the ground…..  Pierce Egan:  “It soon began to appear that the Jew possessed considerable confidence in his own powers.”  Mendoza’s dominance was apparent.  Humphreys was confused and tiring at a rapid pace.

ROUND 22:  The dominance was so complete that Humphreys found himself defensive and backing.  Mendoza threw a punch that spooked Humphreys into some sort of defensive block as he fell to the ground….  Mendoza claims that Humphreys was not struck, and per the rules agreement, this should be a disqualifying foul with the bout over.  Mendoza’s umpire, an attorney named Harvey Christian Coombe, agreed and declared Mendoza the winner…..  Humphreys insists that he deflected the punch as he fell.  Tom Johnson becomes irate and yells at their umpire, Sir Thomas Apreece, to rule that the bout should continue….  The spirit of the rule, requested by Humphreys himself, was that any no contact knockdown would be ruled a disqualification.  But the actual language “unless such fall should be deemed by the Umpires accidental,” made it difficult for Apreece to rule that Humphries had intentionally fallen.  Added was the intensity of an enraged Tom Johnson and an increasing hostile crowd that did not want the bout to end in such a disqualification….  For 20 minutes, chaos had erupted, Captain Brown offering to kick Tom Johnson while calling him verbal names…. The rule that no one should enter the ring was violated by both sides.  Apreece was letting it be known that he was going to rule that he would not rule.  If the bout were to stop, which Apreece leaned toward as the best solution, it would be officially declared a Draw….  Mendoza felt he was close to victory, even though the long rest must have assisted Humphreys, so he voluntarily agreed to wave any dispute on his part so that the bout could continue.

ROUNDS 23-24:  The results of both rounds are the same with Mendoza sending Humphreys to the ground with some sort of knockdown.  Humphreys was likely refreshed with the rest and decided to go all out with an offensive knockout.  Mendoza would easily counter the telegraphed punches.

ROUND 25:   An exhausted Humphreys was a one-eyed pugilist, with a disfigured face, and lacerations on the forehead and lips.  Mendoza was still fresh with only a cut to the cheek to suggest that he had been in a fight.  Humphreys fell to the ground again untouched.  This time both umpires ruled that the fall was intentional and the bout was declared over….  Pierce Egan:  “Mendoza had put in some tremendous hits, and in following them up, Humphries (s.i.c.) retreated and fell; when Dan, without the slightest  murmur was deemed the conqueror.”
On October 22nd, 1789, Tom Johnson defended his Championship crown again with another example of cheating.  Joe and Bill Ward were his corner men.  The opponent was an enormous pugilist named Isaac Perrins, from Birmingham, who stood at 6’2 and outweighed Johnson by more than 40 pounds.  Perrins had earned a fame as a quick knockout artist who defeated a series of opponents in under 5 minutes.  Their battle was brutal, Perrins scoring the harder blows, until Johnson began to back and intentionally fell to  the ground untouched. The bout should have been declared over, but the Umpires ruled that falling down intentionally was legal.  (They would have ruled otherwise had it been Perrins falling down).  After 62 rounds, with Perrins exhausted,  the bout was declared over with Johnson declared victor.  Once again, gambling was the major culprit of the dishonesty.  The ultimate money outcome was Isaac Perrins earning 267 pounds,  Tom Johnson earning 1,533 pounds, while a gambler named Johnson earned 19,000 pounds.
The 3rd and final bout between Mendoza and Humphreys took place at Doncaster, on an inn lawn surrounded by houses, September 29, 1790.  Several hundred paid ½ guinea while many more entered for free utilizing a river and other vulnerable spots.  The corner man for Mendoza was Champion Tom Johnson.  The bottle holder was Butcher.  The corner man for Humphreys was Bill Ward.  The bottle holder was John Jackson.  Pierce Egan:  “Money was a secondary consideration in this case. Towering fame was attached to the issue of the contest.”

Fame was not a consideration for Humphreys, but pride and personal ego were important.  The most important aspect, at least for later, was the strategy employed by Bill Ward and John Jackson.  It is important that they were strategic at all.  It meant that this ‘science’ and ‘art’ talk of Daniel Mendoza could not be ignored.  A counter strategy would have to be employed.  Ward and Jackson realized that Mendoza preferred a sparring contest from a certain distance with the ‘tiring’ of an opponent a key component.  The counter strategy to defeat the ‘science’ was to rush Mendoza and prevent him from sparring.  The aim would be an early knockout.  Richard Humphreys trained as he never had before, with grueling physical exercise.  They would seemingly be aided by Mendoza distracted with other financial opportunities, perhaps over confident, and not bothering with physical training (which he despised).  When the two pugilists met for the final battle, with Humphreys having lost weight, while Mendoza was noticeably heavier, their previous physical disparity was not as obvious.

The bout would be embarrassingly one sided.  Humphreys was energetic as he entered the ring and through the first 2 rounds, but he was already tiring by the time of his knock down to conclude the 3rd set.  As the bout progressed, it appears a pall set in with the realization that the proud Humphreys could not win.  The odds that favored Mendoza at the onset, 5-4, had altered to 8-1, and then 10-1.  Humphreys was a one-eyed fighter that was openly falling to the ground untouched.  The bout could have been halted at this obvious infraction, but the decision was made by all to allow Humphreys to continue.  Friends of Humphreys urged him to quit, as did Tom Johnson, but Humphreys momentarily refused.  Mendoza had cuts and abrasions to his left eye and side of face from the Humphreys right fist.  He had bruised right ribs from the Humphreys left fist.  But Humphreys could barely see out of a closing left eye.  His right eye had been closed early in the bout.  His nose and lips appeared disfigured as they bled.  The inevitable finally became reality as Richard Humphreys conceded defeat and collapsed.  Friends would carry Richard Humphreys though the crowd for care and safety.  A victorious Mendoza, despite the Pierce Egan hyperbole words to suggest otherwise, stepped over to check on the money.

Daniel Mendoza:  “Whatever reason I might conceive myself entitled to complain of (Humphreys) conduct towards me at different periods, his general conduct and demeanor were such as reflected great credit on him, and deservedly gained him the esteem of the publick, by whom he was always considered and treated as a respectable member of society.  I feel a satisfaction in rendering justice to the memory of a powerful though unsuccessful opponent.”

1790 was a touring year for Daniel Mendoza.  It was almost like the acting theater dream he had entertained years earlier.  Only now, the character he would be playing was the strategist sparrer who had vanquished the great Humphreys.  Mendoza had retired again, honoring the family desires, but with each payday seemed to be in worse shape financially.  Mendoza was expansive over his boxing greatness, but rather subdued when it came to discussing his family or what was he doing with his all his money.  Mendoza would only write that with 11 kids, and other family members sponging off of him, along with his bad habit of borrowing at a high interest payment, that it had hemorrhaged his funds and left him severely in debt.

January 17th, 1791,  was the official end of the Tom Johnson era, as he finally lost a bout that no one could help him to cheat.  Tom Johnson’s bottle holder was Mendoza.  Benjamin Brain’s bottle holder was Richard Humphreys.  Brain, 38 years old, dominated early on while a desperate Johnson began to pull and hold onto his opponent’s hair.  After 20 minutes it was over with Brain as the victor.  The hair pulling, and the gambling losses for others destroyed Johnson’s reputation overnight.  Neither Brain or Johnson ever fought again.  Brain was dead 3 years later, while Johnson, from hero to pariah, lost everything and was dead 6 years later.  The published historical legacy of Daniel Mendoza, if it is to be believed, is that Benjamin Brain won the English heavyweight Championship in 1791, over Tom Johnson.  Brain retired and this vacated the title.  Somehow, the vacant title of Champion was blessed upon Mendoza. He would fight twice in defense of his championship, both times against “William Warr” and was successful on both occasions.  Then he battled Gentleman John Jackson for the Championship in 1795, when Jackson cleverly outsmarted the written rules by holding Mendoza by the hair while beating him senseless.   (Historians, so lacking in fresh insight sometimes, all add the same ridiculous aside:  “Boxers have never worn long hair since,”even with the eventual emergence of padded gloves for professional bouts).  John Jackson is listed as the English Champion of 1795-1800, when I suppose he ultimately retired from retirement, and it tidied history by forcing a logical sequence.

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I should mention the decision by myself, for the sake of the article being published this century, that a decision had to be made as to the spelling of the names “Richard Humphreys” and “Bill Ward”.  The former has “Richard Humphries”, “Richard Humphrys”, “Richard Humphrey”, while the latter has even more unusual spellings (my favorite is “William Wharff”) from which to select.  I chose Daniel Mendoza’s spellings of each pugilist.  Mendoza was a literate man and Humphreys was once one of his closest associates, through friendship and hatred.  For the latter, I give Pierce Egan much credit for attempting such a difficult project, a sort of Vasari of Boxing, with so many pugilists to juggle and identify. It is a masterpiece 3-volume literary work, but with his own admitted confusion of mixing identities and pugilist names.  There were two Ward brothers, a consistent part of the boxing scene of the late 1780′s and early 1790′s. Egan sort of battles himself as to which is which and whom is whom.  Daniel Mendoza was more intimately familiar with “Bill Ward” and that is how he spelled the name while Egan mixes his spellings, including “Bill Ward” as late as 1821.  So these were my spelling choices for publication.

Daniel Mendoza spent much of the early 1790′s in jail: “A prisoner within rules of the King’s bench.”  Mendoza even fought a 10 minute bout inside jail against a prisoner named, Hadlam.  The price of his freedom were the Bill Ward bouts.  King George III, with add on of eccentricity, mental illness, ‘whims’, the privilege of being King, wanted his own private Champion.  The King had met Mendoza once during this time and it appears their meeting was cordial.  Becoming the King’s “pet Champion” would have been the best job in the country.  (Except for maybe being King).  But the Mendoza traits of aggressiveness and independence, so helpful in his rise to deserved stardom, would not be endearing as a personal human pet for a King.  If Bill Ward had defeated Daniel Mendoza, hand picked by the King, then these would have been viewed as title bouts.  Mendoza won with an increased dominance, his foe tired and discouraged, and so the Champion was still Benjamin Brain.  The corner man for Ward in both fights was John Jackson.  Mendoza was only paid a pittance, according to him, with most of any money raised directly paid to his creditors.  Mendoza was forced to fight John Jackson, again to pay debt and avoid prison, with the same caveat that if Mendoza wins it is not a title bout, while if Jackson wins, with Benjamin Brain dead, then England has a new Champion.
April 15, 1795….   Daniel Mendoza versus John Jackson.  Location:  Essex, at Horn Church.  Prize:  200 guineas.  The corner man for Mendoza was Harry Lee.  The corner man for Jackson was Tom Johnson.  Umpires:  Smith and James. 

ROUND 1:  A minute of cautious feints while stalking one another for an opening.  Jackson lands a hard punch that flattens Mendoza.

ROUND 3:  The action has picked up considerably.  Both have exchanged in a flurry of punches.  The round concludes with Jackson scoring another knockdown….  Mendoza is increasing his dominance, as Jackson must be tiring noticeably, while the betting odds have grown to 2-1.

ROUND 4:  Jackson aggressively attacks his foe, ignoring all defense, with a punch that he lands hard to Mendoza’s right eye and scoring his 3rd knockdown.  The odds have altered to even.

NOTES:  My observation is that the 3rd round indications probably held true.  Mendoza’s key strategy was to wait out an opponent who increasingly fatigues.  Jackson had watched at least 3 pugilists lose to Mendoza prior.  He probably felt that he had to win early, or not at all, and that all those larger pugilists never utilized their physical strength advantage.  The 4th round ignored ‘sparring’, disallowed Mendoza the opportunity to apply his outspoken counter techniques, and turned the bout into a fight.

ROUND 5:  Jackson aggressively attacks his foe, ignoring all defense, as he grabs Mendoza and pins him to the ropes or rail, with one hand and body weight…..  It may not have been premeditated, as Jackson would want to trap his foe, while Mendoza would have been attempting to squirm loose…. Jackson pins Mendoza to the ropes or rail, one hand holds his foe’s hair in a vice, body weight pressing to prevent movement, while the other hand freely pounds repeatedly to the face….  Jackson beat and beat and beat Mendoza to the face, smaller man unable to defend himself and unable to fall down, as Jackson holds by the hair and beats and beats and beats the scientific pugilist…. The pinning of a foe in a bare knuckle bout, while difficult to execute, was perfectly legal.  The round usually concludes, as this one did, when the momentum and movement eventually lose balance and grip, and the trapped pugilist, in this case Mendoza, mercifully slips to the ground….  The only propriety question involved the grabbing and holding of an opponent’s hair.

Pugilism was illegal in England, though enjoyed by the rich and royal, and a few more incidents like Jackson and the hair pulling would have banned boxing for life.  English pugilists had been arrested and imprisoned for such violent behavior.   If a pugilists had grabbed the hair of a James Figg or a Jack Broughton in their prime they would have gone to prison.  If someone had grabbed the hair of Tom Johnson as recent Champion, it would have been viewed as reprehensible and the crowd might have rioted and attacked the offending pugilist.  Tom Johnson, the legendary hero, had disgraced his own legend with his hair pulling of Benjamin Brain.  But the important aspect of that incident, only from a pugilist legalese stand point, is that Johnson was not disqualified.  So there was 1791 precedent, with Tom Johnson now as corner man for Jackson, arguing successfully to the Umpires on the legality of hair pulling.  Pierce Egan:  “An appeal was made to the Umpires upon the propriety of the action, when it was deemed perfectly consistent with the rules of fighting, and the battle proceeded.  The odds were now changed to 2-1 on Jackson.”

ROUNDS 6-8:  Mendoza is weakened and defeated as he merely defends himself and backs.

ROUND 9:  Jackson relentlessly attacks on offense as he believes he is close to victory.  He lands a series of punches that knock Mendoza down.  Pierce Egan:  “(Jackson) hit away his man with great ease.  Dan suffered considerably, and after falling completely exhausted, acknowledged he had done.”


For John Jackson, ‘Gentleman John Jackson’, it would be quite a life.  Jackson promptly retired and never fought again.  This did not prevent his fabulous life as the English Heavyweight Champion for the next 5 years, and enjoy a personal relationship as King George’s III ‘private’ pugilist teacher.  Jackson taught  the “art of sparring” to eager, rich students wanting to learn from the best.  I assume that studies with Jackson as teacher did not encourage hair pulling. 

1797 would have seemed to be a good year for Daniel Mendoza.  His pugilism school had evolved into a successful stage show.  He had once hoped for a career in show business and appeared to have a popular 3-part touring performance.  The 1st act was Daniel Mendoza and a paid pugilist partner.  Mendoza would explain “the art of sparring” and then demonstrate with various techniques.  The 2nd act was Daniel Mendoza, with a bit of comedy, as he mimicked the various well known pugilists:  Benjamin Brain, Tom Johnson, Jack Broughton, Isaac Perrins and Richard Humphreys.  The 3rd act offered an appearance by pugilists along with light sparring.  At least on one occasion, Richard Humphreys, made an appearance to the delighted crowd.  The successful show was forced to close due to Mendoza’s necessity of hiding from creditors that he had burned for payment.  Mendoza could not promote the stage show without their knowledge of where to locate him. By 1799, Mendoza was back in jail over a debt to a wine merchant.  Freemasons paid the wine merchant in exchange for Mendoza making some personal appearances at the “boys club”.  Mendoza passed the century mark, 1800, once again incarcerated.  Mendoza had attempted to pay people with his own notes that he had drawn.  Englishman attempted to use these notes as currency, and when merchants refused to accept them, law enforcement became involved.  Mendoza was convicted for passing counterfeit money and fraud.  His sentence was six months in prison.

Daniel Mendoza (Oracle Daily Advertiser – 11/?/1801):  “A month after our battle at Hornchurch I waited on (Jackson), upbraided him with his unmanly conduct, by laying hold of my hair, and offered to fight him.”  John Jackson (Oracle Daily Advertiser – 12/1/1801):  “For some years I have entirely withdrawn from a public life, and am more and more convinced of the propriety of my conduct….  It being nearly 7 years since I had the satisfaction of chastising him for his insolence.”

King George III would never have to worry about ‘insolence’ from a John Jackson or Tom Cribb.  They were wise enough to see a great deal in front of them.  An opportunity to be English Heavyweight Champion, without having to fight, and at an appropriate time pass along the title to a hand picked successor.  If the ‘wrong’ person should win the title, then it was not really a title bout, and the Championship would return to the King’s pugilist.

It appeared that Mendoza would finally have his opportunity to win the title and earn a needed large payday when the English Champion, Jem Belcher (1800-1805), solicited a bout.  Belcher was popular with the public and did not want to be idle.  Belcher wanted to fight the best, but at the moment it was difficult to locate a pugilist with a name and reputation.  Mendoza desperately wanted this fight, but the English authorities arrested him yet again.  Mendoza was incredulous, and while he did not specifically cite his Jewish ancestry, did openly wonder why he was being singled out.  The younger Mendoza might have defied authority and fought anyway, but he was weary and tired from his various arrests and detentions. Mendoza joked with the Magistrate and promised not to fight the Champion.  He was released from detention and the dream match-up, Jem Belcher versus Daniel Mendoza, did not occur. The irony, or more likely hypocrisy of King George III and a dishonest English aristocracy, is that Henry Pierce was released from debtor’s prison only on the condition that he fight Champion Belcher.  By then, Daniel Mendoza was back in prison over a debt with a beer brewer.  Creditors had seized his home and furniture.  He returned to find his family homeless and in hopeless debt.  In 1806, England passed a law that banished a King’s Bench debtor’s prison.  Daniel Mendoza was released from custody and a free man again.

It is difficult to comprehend what a John Jackson contributed to boxing that earned him a place in the International Boxing Hall of Fame.  Other than grabbing someone’s hair there is little else that marks his boxing legacy.  A Richard Humphreys was recognized as the best boxer in England, 1786, and instantly brought credibility and excitement to a sport in decline.  The battles with Daniel Mendoza, especially their 2nd encounter, revolutionized the sport with the build up and counterpart verbal sparring that is acceptable and normal today.  Richard Humphreys is not a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame.  John Jackson rode the coattails, or hair, of the path that Humphreys and Mendoza had blazed.  To Jackson’s credit, he knew this, and acknowledged it in some way, maybe even earning  his ‘Gentleman’ moniker by assisting Mendoza with funds throughout the years.  Mendoza could never find a way out of debt.  He died in debt.  But Mendoza was grateful for Jackson’s assistance, and as the years passed, graciously accepted his “10 minute defeat” without acknowledging further details.  Mendoza could even appreciate, that on that April day of 1795 when his hair was pulled while his face pummeled into submission, that it was not for ‘insolence’ or personality conflict, but that pugilism was a business.  John Jackson was taking care of his family, his own future, and business.  Daniel Mendoza (1814):  “The acts of friendship I have received from (Jackson), have caused me to feel desirous of burying in oblivion all our former contentions; and as we are now friends, I hope and trust we shall continue ever so.”  Mendoza also utilized the opportunity, his second book, to thank his wife for 30 years of marriage:  “Years of experience in which we had to encounter, as were the deceitful smiles of prosperity as the terrific frowns of adversity, have never given me reasons to repent my choice.”

Daniel Mendoza would have two highly publicized bouts (but he occasionally sparred for money) following the 1795 fateful encounter.  An 1806 victory over Harry Lee  allowed the public to see the legendary pugilist who had disposed of Richard Humphreys.  An 1820 battle, versus fellow middle aged, Tom Owen, was viewed as a bit of a freak show.  It was made even less relevant, according to Pierce Egan, because the celebrity of Mendoza had fallen to obscurity.  With the legends of Jem Belcher and Tom Cribb, a new generation  of boxing fans would embrace Tom Spring, while the 18th century was a dinosaur era from another time.

For those who harbored ill feelings of the hubris that was Mendoza, the end was sad and not a joyful, as the 56 year-old pugilist, who was never Champion, but now viewed as a “former Champion”, struggled with movement and range.  This once proud man, and still proud, was pinned by Owens to the ropes in the 7th round and beaten repeatedly to the back of the head and neck.  For that moment, pugilism was as ugly and brutal as the profession’s critics espoused.  The 8th, 9th and 10th rounds had Tom Owen battering a defenseless Daniel Mendoza around the ring, until throwing him to the ground and landing atop him.  It would have been expected and understandable for Mendoza to surrender.  But the 11th round, with a final blaze to end a brilliant career, Owen was thrown to the ground with a wily Mendoza atop him.  Owen regained control of the 12th round, forced and pinned Mendoza to the ropes, beat on his head as he held him, until Mendoza slipped to the ground and admitted defeat.

The sadness of that final bout, along with the publicized realization that an embarrassed Mendoza was broke and in debt (as usual) brought the best and most famous pugilists together for a benefit sparring show.  Six weeks following the Mendoza/Owen debacle, an appreciative 57 year-old Mendoza addressed the pugilists (including Tom Cribb and John Jackson) and promised them that this was his final appearance in the public eye.  Mendoza was humbled and grateful for the financial assistance, but still unleashed verbal punches aimed at his profession and all of those pugilists who monetarily gained from himself and his now forgotten #1 nemesis….  Daniel Mendoza (8/31/1820): “After what I have done for the pugilists belonging to the prize ring, I do say they have not used me well upon this occasion.  In fact, the principal men have deserted me in toto.  I think that I have a right to call myself the father of boxing science; for it is well known that prize fighting lay dormant for several years after the time of Broughton and Slack.  It was myself and Humphreys that revived it for our 3 contests for superiority, and the science of pugilism has been highly patronized ever since….  I have now only one thing to say — FAREWELL!”

Daniel Mendoza art lesson #1:

(ACTION):  “Master strikes with his left arm on your face.”

(RESPONSE):  “Parry with your left forearm, barring at the same time your stomach with your right forearm, throwing head and body back.”

(ACTION):  “Master strikes round at your left ear with his right.”

(RESPONSE):  “Parry with your left arm, turning up the elbow so as to cover the side of the head, holding the stomach with the right forearm, throwing head and body back.”

(ACTION):  “Master strikes at your stomach with his left.”

(RESPONSE):  “Bar your stomach with your right forearm, keeping your left opposite his nose, throwing your head and body back.”

(ACTION):  “His left arm strikes at your right side.”

(RESPONSE):  “Stop with your right elbow, keeping your left fist opposite his nose, throwing head and body back.”

Daniel Mendoza art lesson #2:

(ACTION):  “Master strikes with the feint, 1, 2, at your face, striking fist with his left at your face (which is the feint) in order to hit you in the face with his right.”

(RESPONSE):  “Parry with your right forearm, and secondly with your left forearm, covering the stomach with your right forearm, and throwing head and body back.”

(ACTION):  “Master feints in the same manner, beginning with his right.”

(RESPONSE):  “Parry first with your left forearm, and secondly with your right forearm, covering the second with the left forearm, and throwing head and body back.”

(ACTION):  “His left feints at your stomach, to hit your face with his right.”

(RESPONSE):  “Bar your stomach with your right forearm, and parry the blow at your face with your left forearm, throwing head and body back.”

(ACTION):  “His left feints at your right side to hit your face with his right.”

(RESPONSE):  “Stop with your right elbow, and parry his blow at your face with your left forearm, throwing head and body back.”

(ACTION):  “Master strikes at the face, 2, at the stomach, with alternate arms.”

(RESPONSE):  “Parry the 1st with  the proper forearm, and the 2nd with the proper bar; that is, if he strikes with his left at your face, and his right at your stomach, parry his left with his right forearm, and his right with your left across your stomach; if he strikes 1st with his right at your face, and his left at your stomach, parry his right with your left forearm, and his left with your right across your stomach.”

(ACTION):  “He strikes at the face, 1, and 2 at the side.”

(RESPONSE):  “Parry each with their proper forearm and elbow.”

(ACTION):  “He strikes at your stomach, 1, and 2 at the side.”

(RESPONSE):  “Bar the 1st with the proper forearm, and catch the other with the proper elbow.”

Daniel Mendoza art lesson #3: 

(ACTION):  “Master strikes with his left at your face 1; with his right, do 2; with his left at your stomach 3, the blow intended.”

(RESPONSE):  “Parry the 1st with your right forearm — the 2nd with your right forearm —  the 3rd with your right forearm, barring your stomach, throwing the head and body backward.”

(ACTION):  “Master strikes at your head 1 with his left; do 2 with his right; at your face, and 3 with his left, the intended blow.”

(RESPONSE):  “Parry the 1st with your left; 2nd with your right; 3rd with your left, your forearm covering ultimately your stomach, and throwing head and body back.”

(ACTION):  “Master strikes with his right at your head 1; left do 2; right at your side, the intended blow.”

(RESPONSE):  “Parry the 1st with your left forearm; 2nd right forearm; 3rd left elbow.”

Daniel Mendoza art lesson #4:

(ACTION):  “Master’s left strikes at your face.”

(RESPONSE):  “Parry with your right forearm, and return with his face with your left, which he catches in his open hand.”

(ACTION):  “His right strikes at your face.”

(RESPONSE):  “Parry with your left forearm, and return at his face with his right do.”

(ACTION):  “Master’s left strikes at your stomach.”

(RESPONSE):  “Stop by barring with your right forearm, and return at his face with your left, which he catches.”

(ACTION):  “His right strikes at your stomach.”

(RESPONSE):  “Stop by barring with your left forearm, and return at his face with your right.”

(ACTION):  “Master’s left strikes at your right side.”

(RESPONSE):  “Stop by catching the blow on your right elbow, and return at his face with your left.”

(ACTION):  “His right strikes at your left side.”

(RESPONSE):  “Stop by catching the blow on your left elbow, and return at his face with your right.”

(ACTION):  “Master’s left chops at your face.”

(RESPONSE):  “Parry with your right forearm, and return at his face with your right.”

Daniel Mendoza art lesson #5:

( COUNTER ACTION):  “Master parries with his left, and riposts with his left at your face.”

(RESPONSE):  “Parry this ripost by catching his wrist with your left fist, and striking a back handed blow across his face with your left hand.”

(COUNTER ACTION): “1, 2, 3, at the face, beginning with the left…. Master will parry with his right, and ripost at your stomach with his left.”

(RESPONSE):  “Stop this with your right forearm, and return with his left to your face.”

(COUNTER ACTION):  “1 at the face, 2 at the face, and 3 in the stomach, beginning with your left, keeping your right fist opposite his face.”

(RESPONSE):  “This he will stop with his right, and ripost the same again, 1, 2, 3, at your stomach, which you must bar.”

(COUNTER ACTION):  “The scholar strikes with his left at the face, the Master parries with his right, and riposts with his left at the stomach.”

(RESPONSE):  “Knock the blow down, and return strait at the face.”

Daniel Mendoza art sparring lessons:

#1:  What if your adversary aims all round blows?

(RESPONSE):  “Which is generally the case with a man ignorant of Boxing, you should strike straight forward, as a direct line reaches its object sooner than one that is circular.”

#2:  What if your adversary gives way, or is staggered by a severe blow?

(RESPONSE):  “You should not be anxious to recover your guard and stand on the defensive, as this will be only giving him time to collect himself, but take advantage of his momentary confusion, and follow up the blow.”

#3:  What if you have an arm reach advantage over your adversary?

(RESPONSE):  “You will have an advantage, as your guard will keep him at a distance, and as your blows, by reaching farther, will be struck with more force.”

#4:  What if your adversary has an arm reach advantage?

(RESPONSE):  “Your superiority will consist in close fighting.  You must endeavour to get within the compass of his arms, and aim short strait blows which will reach him before he can strike at you, and if he does strike at you, his fists will go over your shoulder.”

Daniel Mendoza (April 20, 1789):  “If any instructions in the preceding appear difficult or obscure, I shall be happy to give every necessary explanation to those who will have the goodness to apply to me, for that purpose, at number 2, Paradise Row, Bethnal Green; or number 4, Capel Court, behind the Royal exchange.”   

(NOTE:  A special thank you to Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati, Ohio, for their assistance. – CS).

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