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Old 09-07-2006, 07:14 PM   #1
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The Prison's Fighting Style

I've been doing some research and looking into a style that I ran into while researching different martial arts a while ago called 52 Hand Blocks (a.k.a. 52 Blocks, 52, Jailhouse Rock, Jailhouse Boxing, The Bumrush) Which is a martial art tht was started with African Slaves in the US, like various other martial arts, yet this one found it's way to the prison system some how I guess... This style of fighting struck me with great intrest, so I decided now to post my findings here. There is still much I don't know about this style being that it is a "underground style"

First here is wikipedia's info on it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jailhouse_rock


Here are a couple of links I found on the style...You have to check'em out:

http://www.malandros-touro.com/generic.html?pid=2

http://www.artistbooking.com/trips/5...ouse-rock.html

http://www.geocities.com/delasalas2000/combatives.html


I have also heard that Wesley Snipes has trained in this style Interesting!!!
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Old 09-07-2006, 07:15 PM   #2
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Here is a interview I found on it:


Subject: RE: INFO
From: dempsy
Date: 25-May-99 | 01:38 PM

WHERED IT COME FROM? It came from africa, it might come from the same parent art as capoeriia, it ight not no one is sure, rummor is it was a bantu art.

when the slaves where freed, the whites in south began to put them in jails as a form of prosecution. In jail some of the inmates knew this original art. In jail it evolved due to spacial limiits and specific needs

Whats it CALLED?/

the name is jail house rock---but thats general like grappling, or karate. there are alot of styles of it. they all developed in different places, under different conditions, and accordingly look different and hve different techniques

some of the styles Mr.Newsome mentioned are named after prisons, the streets, or other metaphores. Comstock, Mount Meg, are named for prisons, 42nd is named after a street, and barnyard, "52" and closing gates are named for metaphores. the 52--the style Mr.Newsome does is called 52. because of the card game...you throw the cards and they "land where ever they may" thats a metaphore for the tech.

WHATS IT LOOK LIKE???

Mr. Newsome said most are striking styles, but there are some more wrestling oriented, like mount meg. the 52 is the one he is most familiar with, here goes a description.

it uses the hands, elbows, knees, head butts, some kicks (ALways low) and the "entire" body to strike with. Practitioners learn in depth knowledge of pressure points and vital strikes

also there is swipes (foot sweeps) and Gangsta Locks (mr.newsome likened these to wingchun trapping) which are imobiization techniques. Another intresting thing is the "L". It is an offensive and defensive posture. From his description I can only think to compare it to the "frame" used in combat sombo. I talked to another guy who claimed to have seen it, and he ays it does look like a combat sambo stance. Mr.Newsome sai the art is very deceptive and free moving. there are no set techniques like inkarate kata, but there are governing underlying principles. He said there is a method to the madness of jail house rock.

When I asked Mr. Newsome if it looks like any other art, he said no. he did however say that some elements of thai boxing is similar, but crude in comparrison. Also he said that in viewing a silat demonstration he saw some elements that were vaugley similar.

WHERE TO SEE IT??? go to the video store and rent leathel weapon. he along with cedrick adams and rorion gracie, choreographed it. He says it doesnt look like straight jail house rock, but mel gibsons scenes have the flavor. Also go rent Tyson V Bone crusher smith. THATS RIGHT!! Tyson knows some of the art. Mr.Newsome said that if you lok closely you see tyson when he gets frustrated slip in some jail house rock. Look for unorthadox moves and you'll spot it. Also if you rent the movie rooftops. they show "UpRocking" which is the dance aspect of jail house rock. It can still be used for combat. ad is much less secretive than JHR. Up rocking is similar to capoeria but it uses hands more than feet, and the foot work pattern is a reverse "Ginga" or capoeria foot work pattern.

WHERE TO LEARN IT???

SOrry guys! this is an underground system. unless you go to jail, hang out at under ground fights or are family to an ex con, chances are you will never learn it. If you are not of African heritage chances go from slim to virtually none. The art is the art of the african who needs it for survival. Much like the asians decades ago, who would not teach outside their race. the analogy is that you do not give your enemy your best weapon. in prisons no matter who you are cool with, when **** hits the fan, the teams get together based on color, bottom line fact. In fact some styles of JHR wont teach people who know other styles. for the same reason. for example....mr.newsome said that he could ot learn the system affiliated with the gang known as the black gurilla family because he was not a member of the gang (or any for the record he is a hard working man who is not a criminal or ex con).

Mr.Newsome said that in all his years he has heard of only two white people learning the art, and thats just rummors. OH he is also featuredin the book martial arts around the world. thats about as close as most of us will ever get to the art. He said that if you want to learn it word of mouth and being a member of certain circles is the only way. there are no commerical schools. Mr.Newsoe teaches a hand full of students but it is closed door at his invitation only. He MUST know the person and their character. well that is a VERY brief overview of my conversation withmr.newsome. MUCH has been left out. I will post more wen i get to a PC and my health is better. I want to thank Mr.Newsome again for his time and patience with my questions. He is a super nice guy, and a wealth of historical knowledge/

Mr.Newsome said that in all his years he has heard of only two white people learning the art, and thats just rummors. OH he is also featuredin the book martial arts around the world. thats about as close as most of us will ever get to the art. He said that if you want to learn it word of mouth and being a member of certain circles is the only way. there are no commerical schools. Mr.Newsoe teaches a hand full of students but it is closed door at his invitation only. He MUST know the person and their character. well that is a VERY brief overview of my conversation withmr.newsome. MUCH has been left out. I will post more wen i get to a PC and my health is better. I want to thank Mr.Newsome again for his time and patience with my questions. He is a super nice guy, and a wealth of historical knowledge
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Old 09-07-2006, 07:24 PM   #3
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You know whats funny is that when I was little I use to hear the term "bum rush" a lot in terms of fighting. Don't know if it's related to the style as mentioned here though, but could it be possible....If so, then this style has been around my community when I was growing up

As I think about it now, I don't know, but I think an uncle of mine who spent a looooong time in prison picked up this style A couple of years back(I was already into martial arts) he was messing around with me(haven't seen him in years before this time), and he started and he got in this fighting stance, and he was doing some kind of confusing rocking movement, then he started laughing.

However, I don't know, could just be a coinsident


Anyway, if anyone has anymore info on this style I'd like to hear it
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Old 09-08-2006, 02:45 AM   #4
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Also check out the tab links on the side titled kalenda and African Headbutting(testa) while on this site http://www.malandros-touro.com/generic.html?pid=2
There are pics and discriptions there about these two styles Interesting!
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Old 09-10-2006, 08:08 AM   #5
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Back to the discussion on 52hand blocks(aka jail house rock)

Has anyone else ever heard of it? I think that it is still pertty unknown of to most, because I never hear anything about it anywhere except for when I search for it on the web. I think I first found it looking up info african styles, and styles born out of slavery.

I think this style would do pertty well as a effective fighting style for any situation. Other than the info I posted on it, I really don't know much else about it. However I know a lot of people who spent a whole lot of time in prison who are close.

I may ask around with them to see if they have ever even heard of it...or is it just too secretive that you just don't hear bout it like that unless you are actually searching it out...or if it even still exists within the prison system.

I think this is a very interesting style
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Old 09-11-2006, 11:26 AM   #6
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I've never heard of it....sounds more like an old wives tale type thing. I find it hard to believe there is a disciplined martial arts style of its own origin being practiced in prisons.
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Old 09-11-2006, 11:38 AM   #7
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Quote:
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I've never heard of it....sounds more like an old wives tale type thing. I find it hard to believe there is a disciplined martial arts style of its own origin being practiced in prisons.

Actually, the style has an African and slave style origin much like that of capoeira and other styles. However it found it's way into the prision system in it's early days, thus the jail house rock began.

I copied and pasted the following from wikipedia:

For a long time, the existence of this martial art was hotly debated, but near-mainstream media exposure, such as a magazine article available in scanned form at Stickgrappler.tripod.com, have gone a long way towards verifying the veracity of Jailhouse rock. The 52 Hand Blocks aspect of JHR is featured in a true crime book called Street Kingdom, published in 2002 and written by Douglas Century.

The name 52 may also be a reference to playing card games or 52 Pickup and the expression to "let the cards fall where they may."

According to some researchers and practitioners, JHR is an indigenous African American fighting art that has its origins in the 17th and 18th centuries, when slaves were first institutionalized and needed to defend themselves. It is said to have evolved secretly within the U.S. penal system, with regional styles reflecting the physical realities in specific institutions. This theory relates JHR to the fusion of African and American fist-fighting styles known as "cutting", which is said to have been practiced by champions such as Tom Molineaux, and also to the little-known African-American fighting skill known as "knocking and kicking", which is said to be practiced clandestinely in parts of the Southern US and on the Sea Islands.

Alternatively, other practitioners claim that JHR was not a product of penal institutions but something which was evolved from one of the many African martial arts or fighting games which was practiced by slaves. Starting from the same artform but evolving separately in different penal institutions. The art surviving and evolving on the inside, while unfortunately being lost and forgotten on the outside.

Jailhouse Rock may be a modern American manifestation of the many African martial arts that were disseminated throughout the African diaspora, which may have fueled the evolution of other martial arts including Brazilian Capoeira, Cuban Mani, Ladja of Martinique, and Eritrean Testa.

Although modern versions of JHR allegedly exist (eg Bum Rush), it appears that the original styles have become extinct in the current penal systems, particularly as the influence of western boxing has spread. Now JHR seems to be in the hands of the few, e.g. the 'more senior' incarcerated and a few torch bearers on the outside such as Dennis Newsome.

Elements of this art may also be seen in the 1987 film Lethal Weapon, as taught to and choreographed for actor Mel Gibson by Dennis Newsome.



..................

I don't know, but from everything I've read about this fighting art, and others like it, I find it quite possible to be so. Wether it is still thriving today, or if it ever really thrived...I don't know, but I believe it definatly did exist, if not still.
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Old 09-14-2006, 12:34 PM   #8
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Dude - you find some of the most interesting topics in martial arts. Where do you find it all? and when do you find the time to look?

I never knew something like this existed of even thought it could, but now that I think about it it, I guess it is possible. I mean what else do these guys have to do? It keeps them in shape and in many case may help to protect them from othere inmates. I could really see why/how this may have started. I'd like to hear more - I've been searching and have really found basically the same information that you have posted.
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Old 09-18-2006, 02:57 PM   #9
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I have not been able to find anymore info on it either, but I know more is floating around out there somewhere
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Old 11-03-2006, 08:15 AM   #10
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there's an execellent martial arts movie that takes place in a prison called (undisputed 2)it's a recent film starring Micheal Jai White. i think that's his name, but anyway the techniques and choreography are excellent!!
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Old 11-03-2006, 08:18 AM   #11
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Undisputed was a boxing movie starring Wesley Snipes and Ving Rhames.

Michael Jai White was the villain in Jean Claude Van Damme's Universal Soldier 2.
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Old 11-03-2006, 08:29 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Undisputed was a boxing movie starring Wesley Snipes and Ving Rhames.

Michael Jai White was the villain in Jean Claude Van Damme's Universal Soldier 2.
Yes you're right, but there is a sequel to Undisputed that tackles the martial arts. Micheal Jai White(in this movie) is a champion fighter in the United States that travels to a different country for publicity reasons and he is set up by some organization to go to prison so he can be challenge by an inmate who happens to be the champion MMA.- look into it.
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Old 11-03-2006, 09:25 PM   #13
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awesome!! i think that would be great for members interested in this topic.
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Old 12-29-2006, 03:43 PM   #14
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i've never heard of it but there are many martial arts out there that no ones heard of. Plus i'm sure every now and then some guy in prison creates a way that will give him a fighting edge against the other inmates
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Old 12-30-2006, 10:20 AM   #15
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It kinda makes sense that a martial art could be invented and developed in prison as inmates have a lot of time to kill. It's practical for them if they get in a fight and is an achievent for when they get out of prison. Many things have been invented in prison such as being able to turn a newspaper into quite an effective weapon. Morgan Spurlocks' "30 days" when he goes to prison shows a lot of quite amazing inventions by prisoners.
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