The history of the system.
PRACTICAL BOXING has been developed since the late 70s in the South London area of Croydon.
As Chris Price used to say:
“Croydon was a place that was far from ordinary at the time, as it was home to mob fights and folded knife carrying in England.”
Riots, robberies, mass fighting and all sorts of Gangs activities, were the stark world that people in Croydon had to face day by day.
At the time, Chris Price had a fighting sport gym in that area, the Croydon Gym and its fighters were very successful in competitions.
Still, they soon realized that fighting a one-to-one contest is a thing, but everything changes dealing with mob fights, with one person trying to get you down and two others trying to punch you in the face.
No matter how good you are, you have to be trained for multiple opponents fights.
Trying to be safe in their hostile environment, they experienced how there was great stuff they could use from Martial Arts and Fighting sports. On the other hand, there were so many things that just were not practical.
And, they experienced situations that were not contemplated in the systems they studied: there was a void to fill.
That's how Chris Price started to develop his own style and training methods.
He focused on creating a fast-to-learn system, and new testing methods (such as The Bundle) that would replicate as much as possible the reality of a mob fight.
They realized a couple of things by testing the system in and for group fights:
- You have to be mobile as much as possible, maximising techniques power and speed, avoiding long combos.
- Then you have to be quick on moving tactically to the next target.
- No matter your skills in ground fighting, you have to avoid the ground as much as possible, if you don’t want someone from behind kicking your head as a foot ball.
- For the same reason above, tactical stand-up doesn’t work so well, as you have to protect your head at all times.
- They also realized that what worked better was boxing with throws.
Chris’s researches in old bare-knuckle boxing were very helpful to create this synergy between boxing and throws, as Greco-roman wrestling was already an integrated part of English pugilism, in his pre-sport era.
Furthermore, the old punching technique in pugilism was developed to hit with bare-knuckle hands.
Then, in the early 80s, Chris had an epiphany, being introduced to the famous Jan Plas, the father of the Dutch Thai Boxing.
Training at Mejiro Gym, in Amsterdam, was an eye-opener for him.
Chris understood how to create a functional fighting system.
"...it was the missing part of the puzzle: how can you build a supreme fighting system based on boxing and wrestling that is fully modernised and uses what is of benefit from martial arts. And so I could then see what they do better in Indochinese boxing, and add this too."
“a system’s separate parts should work together fluently so that the end result has synergy: a power that comes from multiplication - the whole is greater than the sum of the parts… “
Now the system was mature and completed, and eventually, people from other gyms and all kinds of styles used to come to the Croydon Gym to learn and test this new style.
So, at the end of the 80s, PRACTICAL BOXING was a solid, tested system.
PRACTICAL BOXING is now a War Machine where:
- On top of all, the operating system is a solid concept for street tactics.
- The engine is based on modern boxing mechanics and footsteps.
and then, the parts are:
- Old bare-knuckle boxing and Dutch Kickboxing fused with Thai Clinch and Wrestling.
- At the short distance, dirty boxing, elbows and headbutts to complete the combo.
- A unique system for falling, rolling and standing up.
Later on, I (Coach Walter) gave my contribution to PRACTICAL BOXING too.
But all the little changes and additions were always discussed with Chris, as they have to work in synergy with all the other parts of the system.
And, committing to this philosophy I'm sure in the future there will be other additions to the system, keeping his core intact.
So, PRACTICAL BOXING is a solid War Machine in continuous evolution.
And, this machine is going to overwhelm anything in its path!