The Honorable George P. Kersten

Posted on Friday, June 29th, 2018 by John Wood
During the last century, a few minutes of Indian Club Swinging were not out of place during the normal work day. These sessions helped relieve tension and stress thus allowing for more productive work to be accomplished. Above is George P. Kersten, the longtime judge of Cook County, Illinois. The good judge certainly had his hands full in the city of Chicago during Prohibition years. Still, he never missed an opportunity to swing the clubs. These pictures are dated 1922.

Kersten worked his way up through the court system from a job as a clerk in police court in 1880, getting his law degree in 1885, a justice of the peace in 1900 and election to the circuit court in 1903. It was said that at one point he turned down a run for the Mayor of Chicago since he enjoyed being a judge so much. Notably, Kersten was also a crack shot, well-known as one of the most prominent marksmen in the Northwest, and was a long-time member of the Chicago Sharpshooter’s Association.

Indian Club Benefits

Posted on Wednesday, June 11th, 2014 by John Wood

Indian Club Training at West PointIndian Club

… besides the great recommendation of simplicity, the Indian Club practice possesses the essential practice of expanding the chest and exercising every muscle in the body concurrently.”

~ Indian Club Exercises, by Edward B. Warman (1921)

*   *   *   *   *  *  *  *  *  *  *

The effect of these exercises, when performed with light clubs, is chiefly a neural one, hence they are primary factors in the development of grace, coordination and rhythm. As they tend to supple the muscles and articulation of the shoulders and to the upper and fore arms and wrist, they are indicated in cases where there is a tendency toward what is ordinarily known as “muscle bound.”

~ The United States Army Manual of Physical Training (1914)

*   *   *   *   *  *  *  *  *  *  *

[Indian Clubs] cultivate patience and endurance, and operate most happily upon the longitudinal muscle of the back and shoulders, thus tending to correct the habit of stooping.”

~ The New Gymnastics for Men, Women and Children by Dio Lewis (1867)

*   *   *   *   *  *  *  *  *  *  *

“The club exercise will do much to develop the proper outlines of the shoulders back and waist. The man who uses the clubs diligently will never need to have his coats “built out” on the shoulder or padded on the front and rear.”

~ Indian Clubs by C.R. Treat (1869)

*   *   *   *   *  *  *  *  *  *  *

“Indian club exercises have of late years become one of the most universal methods of developing the muscular anatomy of the human body. Schools, colleges and even theological seminaries have adopted their use in their respective institutions with the most beneficial results. For keeping the body in a healthy and vigorous condition there has as yet been nothing invented, which for its simplicity and gracefulness can be favorably compared with the Indian Club exercise.

~ Indian Clubs and Other Exercises by Morris Bornstein (1889)