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Ancient Greek Boxers Fighting
Greek Boxing

By: Tanner

Have you ever wondered who invented boxing? What kind of savages would create a sport where you beat your opponent untill they can’t even move? Well, if you ever wondered who invented boxing it was the Greeks, and back then boxing was much different from now. There were fewer rules, they fought without gloves and sometimes they fought till the death. The person that invented the sport of boxing was Apollo.

Apollo is the famous sun god, he was said to be the inventor of boxing. He was in the very first recorded match where he set the standards for boxing. His opponent was Forvanta a prince, who represented mankind, however during the match Forvanta was killed. Another well known match is the match between Polydeukes and Amykos. Amykos was the king of Bebrykes, he would tell travelers to fight with him and when they did he would kill them during the match. But, one day Polydeukes came along and challenged the king, and the king was not as tough as he thought. When Polydeukes won he made the king swear to leave travelers alone.

In ancient times they only had one form of equipment which were straps of soft ox-hide that wrapped around their hands. The purpose of these straps was to strengthen their wrists and steady their fingers. The straps would be wrapped around the first knuckles of their fingers, then they went diagonally across their palm and then to the back of their hand. This would leave the fighters thumb uncovered, and finally they would wrap the straps around their wrist or forearms. The form of the straps eventually evolved in order to make the blows much harder. Straps of hard leather were put around their knuckles of the fingers. Then the straps eventually changed into more of a glove type thing because the straps were too time consuming. In these gloves the fingers were left un-covered and there was wool wrapped in hard leather to protect the hand.
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Greek Boxer

Now finally the rules, back in the old days the Greeks had much fewer rules then now. There were no classes, no rounds and no time limit. Some fight lasted for days. The only way to beat the other person was to knock the other opponent out or the opponent could signal defeat by raising his open hand or just falling to the ground. Sometimes if both fighters agreed they could end the fight by "Klimax" when each fighter took turns striking the other without any defense until a winner was decided. Fighters were selected by their city-states, they would represent their people. The basic rules were no biting, no gouging out the eyes, mouth or nose with fingernails. Fighters were allowed to hit their opponent while he was on the ground. An example is when a fighter kicks a guy in his stomach while he is on the ground, today this is highly illegal. The ring where the matches took place was basically anywhere; people would make the boundaries from anything. One of the best strategies there was, was to get your opponent to where he was facing the sun, The glare of the sun would hinder the opponents vision.

Boxing is a very tough sport to participate in especially in ancient days. The ideal boxer would have long and strong arms, high neck, strong shoulders, and powerful and flexible wrists. Men would have to have lots of endurance to outstand their opponent. Boxers would often get beaten to death because they would not give up. Now days the competitors almost never die and they use gloves instead of leather straps plus they have much more rules. Boxing back then was very grueling and was only for real men that would beat their opponent till victory.

Greek boxing is very interesting. I learned that since their matches are outside, the best strategy to use in this situat very cool because it was often a fight to the death and the best fighter wins. This sport took real skill and strength so I admire it for that.



Works Cited



Southorn, M.C. " Sons of Apollo: Ancient Greek Boxing." East Side Boxing. 2005. 7 December 2009, <http://www.eastsideboxing.com/news.php?p=4686&more=1>

"Boxing." Hellenism.com. 7 December 2009, <http://www.hellenism.com/olympics/boxing.htm>

Candace, Scott. "Greek Boxing." Ashes2Art. 7 December 2009, <http://www.clt.astate.edu/digitaldelphi/GymBoxing2.html>

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