52 Hand Blocks - let's talk about it

KyokushinKarateMan

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I've never trained in this fighting style but have always been interested since waaay back in the early 90s.

My personal attractions to it is that it's very street effective, it's a Black originated art, and the practicioners are usually conscious brothers (whether you agree with their 'religious' beliefs or not).

I also like it because it makes the racist whites uncomfortable(normal white ppl have no prob with it) - and i'll touch on that a little more, later.

Many peoples' first recollection of ever even hearing the term '52 hand blocks' was when the GZA referenced it in the song "Cold World" from the album Liquid Swords, in this line:

"...Beat nikkaz toothless, physically cut up like gooses,
but with iron:violent: on the side thugs took no excuses, therefore,
your fifty-two hand blocks was useless.."
:whew:


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Here are a few clips briefly explaining 52 Hand Blocks








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A few excerpts from Wikipedia:

Jailhouse rock (fighting style)

Jailhouse rock or JHR is a name which is used to describe a collection of different fighting styles that have been practiced and/or developed within US penal institutions. The different regional “styles” of JHR vary but share a common emphasis on improvisation governed by a specific set of underlying principles.

Some examples of the many styles of JHR are 52 Hand Blocks,Comstock Style, Stato. Many of these styles of JHR are thought to have evolved regionally in different penal institutions.[1]

Jailhouse Rock if it exists is in fact one of two of the USA's only "Native Martial Arts", the other being called Rough and Tumble. As such, Jailhouse Rock, the 52 Hand Blocks and their variants may be compared to savate, which was originally a semi-codified fighting method associated with an urban criminal subculture, which underwent a gradual process of codification before becoming established as a martial art accessible by the cultural mainstream.

52 blocks has been referenced in journalist Douglas Century's Street Kingdom: Five Years Inside the Franklin Avenue Posse, as well as numerous Wu Tang Clan songs and Ted Conover's book Newjack. Recently, celebrities including actor Larenz Tate and rapper Ludacris have taken up the fighting system for film roles and self-defense, shining a brighter light on this previously unknown martial art.



Existential controversy

"The existence of this martial art has been debated, but some media exposure has contributed towards verifying the existence of Jailhouse Rock. According to researcher Douglas Century, professional boxers, including Zab Judah and Mike Tyson, have testified to the existence of the style and it is referred to in rap songs by artists including the Wu Tang Clan. Tales of the pugilistic exploits of legendary 1970's New York prison fighter "Mother Dear" have also contributed to the extensive urban mythology surrounding this system......."

"......The name 52 may be a reference to the playing card games of 52 Pickup and to the expression "let the cards fall where they may." Other theories relate the name to a combat training game involving the use of playing cards and/or to the Supreme Mathematics of the Nation of Gods and Earths. It could even be a reference, coded, symbolic, or otherwise, to a specific cell block. However, a more likely explanation is that it simply refers to the fifty-two blocking techniques encompassed in the art."

"......According to Dennis Newsome, a well-known JHR specialist, 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. Oral tradition has the skill evolving secretly within the U.S. penal system, with regional styles reflecting the physical realities of specific institutions. This theory relates JHR to the fusion of African and European/American bare-knuckle 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..."


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And here are some excerpts I found from the site USADojo.com where the author is an obvious bigot cac:
http://www.usadojo.com/articles/phil-elmore/myth-52-blocks.htm


"...These techniques range from striking to wrestling, using the hands, elbows, knees, head butts, and some low kicks. Practitioners of Jailhouse Rock supposedly learn in-depth knowledge of pressure points and vital striking areas, as well as foot sweeps and “Gangsta Locks”(which Newsome equates to trapping such as in Wing Chun or Jeet Kune Do)...."
:beli:


"...According to Newsome, 52 Blocks or Jailhouse Rock is an underground system. Unless you go to jail, hang out in underground fighting circles, or are family to an ex con, you’ll never learn it — and if you are white guy, nobody will teach it to you. ..."
:mindblown:


but but but they dont teach whites :mjcry:
Constellation 52 Global
Finland 2014Seminar
10527569_656696557757506_7185273070829583804_n.jpg


"....As Newsome’s interviewer, identified only as “Dempsy,” wrote, “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 other words, Jailhouse Rock is a racist, racially determined system, in which all of you who are white and NOT in prison are the enemy. .."
:mindblown:


"...The fiction of Jailhouse Rock is now realized as a living, breathing style because there are people who say so… regardless of the truth. In so doing, they’ve breathed life into the lie of 52 Blocks… and helped further the popular culture imagery associated with street criminals and thugs, for good or for ill..."


Got these bigots sick to their stomachs at a Black Martial Art :pacspit:

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More Footage:









http://www.nytimes.com/video/style/1194841017001/the-52-blocks.html?src=vidm




Good Article on 52 Hand Blocks and origin: http://www.fullcontactmartialarts.org/52-hand-blocks-jailhouse-rock-jhr.htm

FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/52Blocks
 
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Jesus Is Lord

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I was taught the 52 by this 5% cat named Unique in Crown Heights, Brooklyn when I was a lad. Slim dude about 6'2 but was ripped and strong as a teen age Shaq. Over the years I made mad jokes in this forum about slap boxing, but Unique showed me the art of 52 blocks slap boxing, I just never practiced with a razor blade like he and other dudes who went to the Rikers Isle or up top. Growing up in Brooklyn knowing the 52 was essential and got you a lot of respect on the streets. Knowing your 52 blocks and your 120 lessons as a teen was:banderas: because once you got the respect of the older dudes, you were GOOD!
 

KyokushinKarateMan

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dats that shyt dem ny nikkas used to be doin back in the day :ohhh: I thought they was just on some fugazi shyt tryna be fly n shyt I'ain know dis was a real art :dahell:
nikkas we made it :blessed:

Crazy enough it was through NYC cats that I too was exposed to it. Well actually they exposed big bro to it, and then he used to show it to (try it on) me. :sadbron:
 

KyokushinKarateMan

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I was taught the 52 by this 5% cat named Unique in Crown Heights, Brooklyn when I was a lad. Slim dude about 6'2 but was ripped and strong as a teen age Shaq. Over the years I made mad jokes in this forum about slap boxing, but Unique showed me the art of 52 blocks slap boxing, I just never practiced with a razor blade like he and other dudes who went to the Rikers Isle or up top. Growing up in Brooklyn knowing the 52 was essential and got you a lot of respect on the streets. Knowing your 52 blocks and your 120 lessons as a teen was:banderas: because once you got the respect of the older dudes, you were GOOD!


:salute: You taking it to another level quiet as kept :whoa:

Imagine if it became popular in Black communities nationwide the way it did in Brooklyn :banderas:
 

KyokushinKarateMan

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Meaning, i wouldnt make 52 blocks the foundation for a martial art when we have boxing.

But i would add 52 if boxing was my foundation for striking because of the unorthodox concepts.

52 Blocks is it's own singular, individual, fighting style. Not a substitue for whenever boxing isn't available.

I've been wanting to see a decent 52 vs boxing sparring match, no luck finding one on youtube just yet..
 

Mowgli

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52 Blocks is it's own singular, individual, fighting style. Not a substitue for whenever boxing isn't available.

I've been wanting to see a decent 52 vs boxing sparring match, no luck finding one on youtube just yet..
If 52 blocks was ill like that it would have been tested on the bigger stage

Instead, people who already have a martial arts foundation, take bits and peaces of it and put it into their base style.

Now if you're adding weapons to the mix, it changes a lot.
 

The Fukin Prophecy

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The 52 blocks is definitely effective, its just hard finding somebody to teach you right...

Still remember when Zab got rocked against Floyd and bust out the 52...Floyd looked at him like da fukk is this nikka doing and I think Lampley said something stupid to...I watched that fight at a homies place in BK and everyone was like oh shyt...
 

KyokushinKarateMan

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If 52 blocks was ill like that it would have been tested on the bigger stage

Ah...a slight issue that I have with it as well... and I've seen a few of the amateur matches where they're fighting other amateurs of other various styles/arts, but never anything "proven" or concrete. I want to see it in the ring or octagon, just out of curiousity.

The skill sets that they say they attain through their training should suit them well for either setting..


But even that said, I still always remind myself that this art is not primarily meant to be a "sport" art.

It was a prison fighting system, meant to be effective against your average over-aggressive meathead, not against a well trained boxer/martial artist.
 
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