Indian club swinging team, St. Paul’s Young Men’s Club, Ipswich, 1890

Posted on Monday, December 11th, 2017 by John Wood
Indian clubs have long been a staple in YMCA’s and athletic clubs. Shown here: the Indian club swinging team from the St.Paul Young Men’s club, Ipswich, Queensland, Australia, circa 1890. Note the unusually long clubs which were the style of the day.
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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.

Ed Hennig

Posted on Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017 by John Wood
Ed Hennig, from Cleveland, Ohio, is a rather amazing figure in Indian Club lore — first up, he won the very first Olympic Gold medal in Indian Club Swinging at the 1904 Olympic Games in St. Louis Missouri. In this event (contested for the first time), each athlete was allowed five minutes for the performance with a pair of three-pound clubs. Three judges then scored each competitor a maximum of five points each, thus an overall maximum of 15 points. Hennig’s score of 13 points netted him the Gold. (Emil Voight scored 9 points and Ralph Wilson scored 5, both from the US, took Silver and Bronze respectively.)

As far as Indian clubs, Hennig was just getting warmed up, he would win the AAU national title in club swinging in 1904, 1911, 1933, 1936-37, 1939-40, 1942, 1945-47, and 1950-51 — 13 times overall, the last time when he was 71 years of age! Hennig competed as an AAU athlete for over 6o years, likely a record in itself.

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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.

Unknown Indian Club Swinger

Posted on Friday, August 26th, 2016 by John Wood

We unfortunately don’t know much about this club swingin’ gent but this picture was probably taken in the late 1800’s. He does have some snappy duds and an excellent mustache though.
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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.

Indian Clubs in China

Posted on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016 by John Wood

I knew that many other cultures regularly trained with Indian Clubs but was not aware that China was one of them, at least until now. Club swinging has always been popular with young students as it is a very good way to stay physically fit as well as build upper body strength before studies begin. A short morning training session with the clubs in a school setting will go a long way in improving the educational process.
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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.

John C. Heenan’s Exercise Clubs and Boots

Posted on Monday, February 15th, 2016 by John Wood

April 17, 1860 is a famous date in pugilistic lore, it was on that date that American John C. Heenan was to face the Brit Tom Sayers in a bare-knuckle bout to decide the World’s first international Boxing champion. Like all big fights, this one captured the public’s imagination and topics which would normally be ignored were highlighted in great detail.

The newspapers of the day followed Heenan’s training regimen with great interest and among his preparations for the fight, Heenan swung Indian clubs to condition his shoulders (a gift from Sim Kehoe himself!) Despite giving up forty pounds and five inches in height, Heenan was in fine fettle come fight time. Above is a rare engraving showing Heenan’s clubs and exercise shoes. As for the fight, the action lasted forty-two rounds spread out over two hours. you can read more about the outcome HERE.

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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.

Tom Burrows’ First Club Swinging Record

Posted on Wednesday, December 9th, 2015 by John Wood
On March 20th, 1895, Australian club swinging champion Tom Burrows set out to break his own record of 24 hours on continuous club swinging. In order to do so, he set forth the following conditions:

1. The clubs were to be 2 pounds each and to be 24 inches long.
2. To Swing 50 complete circles each minute.
3. No rest or stop allowed during the 25 hours.
4. No aid of any sort allowed.
5. To swing no fewer than 70,000 complete circles for the record.
6. There would be two judges present at all times to watch the swinging.

Burrows commenced swinging his clubs at 9:18 pm on Wednesday evening. At 10:18 pm the next day, he officially met his mark of 25 continuous hours of club swinging but he didn’t stop there. At 11:33 pm, he finally put down his clubs having established the mark of 26 hours and 15 minutes of continuous swinging. The above photograph is from that evening (I’m quite curious about the axes.)

James J. Corbett’s Indian Clubs

Posted on Sunday, July 12th, 2015 by John Wood

Indian Clubs used to be very popular with turn-of-the-century boxers because they will build strong and well-conditioned shoulders. This pair of indian clubs once belonged to the great Heavyweight Boxing Champion James J. Corbett who used them in his training circa 1895 (he held the championship belt from 1892 to 1897.) You can make out his name written in black ink on the left-most club. Corbett certainly looks like he trained. These clubs are 17 inches long which means they weigh around a pound each. They also once were on display in “The Ring” Boxing Museum.

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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.

KAL-LI-THEN-OS Force Clubs

Posted on Saturday, May 30th, 2015 by John Wood
The idea of loadable/adjustable Indian clubs may seem like a modern one, but actually it has been around for a long time. This Ad for the KAL-LI-THEN-OS Force Clubs appeared in the June, 1901 issue of Bernarr MacFadden’s Physical Culture magazine. Ever seen one? These clubs were a work of art, polished steel with nickel handles.

Gus Hill and His Famous Performing Indian Clubs

Posted on Monday, April 13th, 2015 by John Wood

Another look at Gus Hill and his famous performing Indian Clubs. Hill’s clubs were always large and impressive due to the theatrical nature of his swinging. While they were most certainly not as heavy as they looked, Hill’s prowess with the clubs and range of different combinations was still quite impressive.
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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.

Frank E. Miller

Posted on Monday, March 16th, 2015 by John Wood
Frank E. Miller was the physical director of the Young Men’s Christian Association of Dallas, Texas in the late ninetieth and early twentieth century. In 1900, Miller wrote an excellent training guide for Indian club swinging entitled “Indian Club-Swinging: One, Two, and Three Club Juggling.” Due to his club work, Miller was unsurprisingly also an expert fencer and golfer.
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.