While perhaps best known from fighters such as Muhammad Ali, pugilism holds an ancient and honorable tradition. Ancient Egyptian murals already depict scenes of competition, while in ancient Greece, boxing was incorporated into the Olympic Games. Roman times saw the addition of boxing gloves, called caesti, usually laced with metal studs and spikes for that extra gladiatorial carnage. It wasn't until the 18th century that the British, by royal charter, founded a school to teach fencing, cudgeling, and boxing, known as the manly arts of self defense.

It was after an unfortunate incident at this school, in which a man accidentally beat his opponent to death, that the Gentleman's Guide to Fighting first began to take form, consisting mainly of a list of body parts where the author didn't want you to hit him, mainly:

  • The naughty bits
  • The kidneys or the general region thereof
  • Anything below the waist in general
Other regulations include: These general principles still survive today (though wrestling has, of course, since been outlawed and turned into its own sport).

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