Bob Fitzsimmons – The Fighting Blacksmith

Posted on Monday, July 23rd, 2018 by John Wood
Bob Fitzsimmons, the great prize fighter from the turn of the century was known as “The Fighting Blacksmith.” It wasn’t just a catchy nickname, Fitzsimmons really WAS a blacksmith, having apprenticed under his father as a young lad.

It was said that this early training at the forge helped build Fitzsimmons’ punching power and considerably develop his upper body which certainly contributed to his later profession in the fistic arena. Fitzsimmons was well-known for his wiry but strong physique and for delivering short, accurate, and very hard punches on his way to winning world championships in three different weight classes.

All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc., Not to be reproduced without permission, All Rights Reserved
Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.

Joe Price, The Gloucester Blacksmith

Posted on Monday, April 1st, 2013 by John Wood
Joe Price, The Gloucester Blacksmith

Joe Price

Posted on Tuesday, January 17th, 2012 by John Wood

Joe Price the Blacksmith Strongman nails in a notice with a large sledgehammer

Joe Price, of Gloucester, England, is one example of many blacksmiths who were also strongmen. Needless to say — and very obvious in the photo above — the vigorous muscular development due to smithing came in very handy while performing feats of strength. Price was trained by W.A. Pullum and went on to win the British Heavyweight Lifting Championship in 1922 and 1923. In addition to his lifting exploits, Price was also British Champion Farrier in 1928. Price even wrote an excellent “Vulcan” training course on using a sledge hammer to build strength (a copy of which we have been lucky enough to recently come across.) Here, Price nails in a notice with a hammer weighing in at half a hundredweight – not bad!

Siegmund Breitbart: The Iron King

Posted on Thursday, November 3rd, 2011 by John Wood

Siegmund Breitbart

In the early part of the 20th Century, Siegmund Breitbart was one of the most well-known strongmen the world had ever seen… stories of his great strength graced newspapers all across the country.

He bent steel bars, drove nails with his hands, supported automobiles, twisted horse shoes, pulled wagons with his teeth and even bit through chains!
Breitbart was from a family of blacksmiths and was known professionally as “The Iron King” — like many strongmen of the period, he also had his own series of mail-order training courses.

He would probably have ended up a household name had he not tragically passed away from blood poisoning at the age of 42. The movie “Invincible,” (2001) directed by Werner Herzog, was loosely based on his life

John Grunn Marx: The Luxembourg Hercules

Posted on Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011 by John Wood

John grunn Marx

At an exhibition in Paris, in the year 1905, ‘The Luxembourg Hercules’ John Grunn Marx bent and broke three horseshoes in the span of 2 minutes and 15 seconds. One of these horseshoes is shown above. Marx was descended from a long line of blacksmiths and was famed for his grip and forearm strength. More of Marx’s strength feats will be covered in subsequent posts.