has anyone ever heard or witnessed this fighting style? martial art or street fight skill?

Jailhouse rock a.k.a. 52 Hand Blocks, Jailhouse Shuffle

i know of references to it by wikipedia,the RZA (a rap group), and mike tyson, but has anyone else heard or seen this

Some examples of the many styles of JHR are 52 Hand Blocks, Comstock Style, San Quentin style, Mount Meg, 42nd and Closing Gates. Many of these styles of JHR are thought to have evolved regionally in different penal institutions.

I will add more info later from wikipedia


Existential controversy

The existence of this martial art has been debated, but some media exposure [1] has contributed towards verifying the existence of Jailhouse rock. According to researcher Doug 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 52 Hand Blocks aspect of JHR is featured in a true crime book called Street Kingdom, published in 2002 and written by Douglas Century and is also detailed in the essay "Freeing the Afrikan Mind: the Role of Martial Arts in Contemporary African American Cultural Nationalism" by Professor Tom Green of Texas A&M University.

The name 52 may be a reference to the playing card games of 52 Pickup and to the expression "let the cards

Update 2:

"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.

[edit] Origin theories

According to some researchers and practitioners[citation needed], 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 t

Update 3:

Sea Islands.

Alternatively, other practitioners claim[citation needed] that JHR was not a product of penal institutions but rather an evolution of the many African martial arts or fighting games which were practiced by slaves, with different styles evolving separately in different penal institutions. According to this theory, Jailhouse Rock may be a modern American manifestation of the many African martial arts that were disseminated throughout the African diaspora, comparable to martial arts including Brazilian Capoeira, Cuban Mani, Martiniquese Ladja, and Eritrean Testa.



5 Answers

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    Sorry never heard of it but I am going to read your information and the URL and see what I can find out. Thanks for the info.

    Source(s): Shihan
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  • Oddeye
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    The ol' jailhouse rock questions.

    Whether or not it officially exists is a moot point for the simple fact that there are only so many different ways that a person can use their body to inflict harm on another person. The 'martial art' of jailhouse boxing would be nothing new.

    To call is a martial art is insulting to anyone who practices legitimate martial arts. Just because someone, somewhere is trying to make money off of a systematic approach to brawling does not make it a legitimate martial art.

    At its very best, the rumor of jailhouse rock could be called a mutation of boxing. From what I have heard people say about the 'style', it has very little in the way of a scientific approach to fighting. It's brawling. Plain and simple.

    To me, that does not describe a martial art or a fighting skill. It would be like calling two cats fighting a martial art.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I've heard of it, my impression of it is it's a dirty version of boxing where elbows and knees as well as headbutts, stepping on foot, thumb in eye and holding are utilized along with some wrestling. If I remember correctly, Mel Gibson's hit film the first "Lethal Weapon" mov1e listed the fighting styles featured in the film as Capoeira, Brazilian Jujitsu and Jailhouse Rock in the ending credits.

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  • 1 decade ago


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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    no i haven't but i'll read up about it

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