George Brosius’ Gym

Posted on Wednesday, August 29th, 2018 by John Wood
What a great gym! – This fantastic facility was established by George Brosius, a pioneer gymnastics coach and famous “Turner” in the Milwaukee area. You can read more on Brosius and his amazing story here and here. Gotta love the Indian clubs, climbing ropes, and medicine balls. This pictures dates from about 1900.

The Textbook of Club Swinging by Tom Burrows

Posted on Friday, August 17th, 2018 by John Wood
Whereas Arthur Saxon wrote The Textbook of Weight-Lifting, Tom Burrows wrote The Textbook of Club Swinging. Both men were certainly qualified to do so. There were several other “Textbooks” — on Swimming, Wrestling, Boxing, and various other athletic pursuits.

Homer W. Crawford

Posted on Friday, July 27th, 2018 by John Wood
On April 3, 1890, at the G.A.R. Hall in New Lisbon, Ohio, Homer W. Crawford broke the world’s record for endurance Indian club swinging by swinging a pair of 8 pound ten ouce clubs for six hours and thirty one minutes. This record was broken on January 1, 1891 by Edward W. Brown of Bath, Maine who swung a pair of 9 pound 8 ounce clubs for six hours, forty one minutes, and ten seconds (averaging sixty five full swings per minute).

Crawford regained his record on March 12, 1891 by swinging a pair of ten pound clubs for a full seven hours while averaging seventy full swinger per minute. Crawford was also an accomplished dumbbell lifter and bicycle racer. He stood 5ft 8in and weighed 149 pounds.

George W. Patterson and His Electric Indian Clubs

Posted on Thursday, July 5th, 2018 by John Wood
Mr. George W. Patterson, of Chicago, Illinois, was an avid Indian Club swinger who was also an engineer. One day he had an interesting idea: to devise a means of attaching electric lights to his clubs whilst swinging them in a darkened theatre, thus producing a number of interesting patterns. The clubs were of special construction with the current supplied by flexible wires enclosed in a rubber tube. Three series of eight, three, and one candle power colored lamps are set in sockets in the club at right angles to the center of the clubs, which are split lengthwise. At the tip of each club is a 32-candle-power lamp. When current is not otherwise available (which was often the case in these days — the early 1900’s) a large portable storage battery furnished the necessary power.

All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 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 © 2005-2018 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.

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.

Vintage Indian Clubs

Posted on Monday, June 18th, 2018 by John Wood
Here’s a few members of the Proviso (Illinois) Township High School Basketball team clowning around. That’s Cunningham on the left, Jarus in the middle, and Warren on the right. What I’m more interested in is the Indian Clubs on the wall in the back – Wow, what a selection! This picture was taken in 1922 – and back then sights such as this were common place.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 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 © 2005-2018 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.

Vintage Indian Clubs

Posted on Wednesday, April 18th, 2018 by John Wood
Many examples of early Indian Clubs were custom made by club swinging enthusiasts, much like this colorful pair from the early 1900’s.

Unusual Wooden Indian Clubs

Posted on Saturday, January 6th, 2018 by John Wood
Here’s another interesting example of some unusual custom wooden Indian Clubs which were created by an enhusiast. Clubs of different shapes and dimensions offer different training experiences. It is quite understandable for someone who enjoys clubs swinging to have several different pairs, and likely the case with these.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 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 © 2005-2018 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.

The Textbook of Club-Swinging by Tom Burrows

Posted on Friday, January 5th, 2018 by John Wood

While Burrows was obviously pretty good at the clubs, he was definitely no one-trick pony: Burrows in addition to his club-swinging prowess, he won the light-heavyweight wrestling championship of Australia … numerous boxing competitions … swimming events … the mile run … high-jumping … broad jumping … cricket matches … gymnastic events … fencing… He was what was once referred to as an “all-rounder” because of his tremendous success in a variety of sports and activities.

Through it all, Burrows maintained that club-swinging exercises “are the finest preparation for all branches of athletics requiring stamina, agility or speed.

I would certainly agree. While I am certainly not an expert in the magnitude of Mr. Burrows, I have been swinging the clubs for a long while now. To me, swinging Indian Clubs stands out among physical training techniques because it is not only convenient, but also a lot of fun, so “sticking with it” is not an issue like it is with some other forms of training.

The clubs are convenient, so you can do them pretty much anywhere and it is also very rewarding knowing that you are doing something good for your body when you use them.

But aside from these benefits, the clubs are a tremendous way to build strength and condition your body. Graceful Indian Club movements help keep the joints strong and supple, and they certainly build tremendous stamina and toughness, especially when done for time.

In the early 20th century, Burrows wrote several training courses on the clubs, in the hopes that others would come to understand their benefits.

A while ago, we were lucky enough to come across a copy of one of Tom Burrows’ rare club swinging courses and today, we are proud to make “The Textbook of Club-Swinging” once again available to a modern audience.

In “The Textbook of Club-Swinging” Burrows covers all the information that one would have to know to use the clubs successfully.

These include:

The basic movements, notes on form and technique, combinations, proper grip, hints for instructors (in case you want to teach others or start your own class) and even information on endurance club swinging (which Burrows was famous for.)

Our modern reprint edition is brief and to the point, clocking in at 78 pages, 4″ x 6″, fully illustrated with rare pictures and printed on heavy weight paper for the many times that you will thumb through it for information.

The glossy color cover is an entirely new design… If you are into Indian Clubs as much as we are, you simply must have The Textbook of Club-Swinging in your training library!

Order now!The Textbook of Club-Swinging by Tom Burrows:
_________ $14.99 plus s/h
This Man…

Swung a pair of 3-pound, 6-ounce Indian clubs for 100 consecutive hours… he did not sit down… he did not take a water break… he did not stop for even a second… he kept his clubs moving at an average of 80 repetitions a minute for the entire duration…

His name was Tom Burrows, but after accomplishing this amazing feat, from them on, he was known as “The King of Clubs” …

All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 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 © 2005-2018 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 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.
All Contents, Including Images and Text, Copyright © 2005-2018 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 © 2005-2018 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.