Indian Clubs gained it’s name from the British Officers and Officials that observed their use by the indigenous peoples of India during their colonization period which lasted to the last century. Observers noted the powerful yet lithe physiques of the practioners and felt this form of exercise would be beneficial . The British cataloged the techniques and brought it back to their country where it was systemized and introduced into their society.
Club use spread in the United States as European immigrants made their way to America and brought their versions of the exercise with them. Sim Kehoe was an American entrepreneur and physical culturist that introduced instruction and production of clubs to the USA. Many of his club designs have been reproduced and made available to serious enthusiasts by Master Practioners like Mike Simpson of the UK , his contact website is below. http://www.indianclubswinging.co.uk/newsletters/catalogue.pdf
Dr. Simpson along with Paul Wolkowinski of Australia, have poured over old Indian Club manuals from the last 2 centuries and have recreated the regimens and routines on their websites for free. Many commercial sites claim skills these 2 have acquired through thorough exhaustive study , practice and instruction.
Indian Club techniques and their function vastly differ from metal club bells. Wooden Indian Clubs exploit the leverage length, shape and weight distribution of the clubs. The weight of the club seems to move along the swing with differing resistance in accord with the angle and moves/techniques employed. Clubbells shape and weights lend itself more to traditional resistance training and impact the hinge and rotating joints with different load bearing properties.
Club exercise appear in several cultures. The Iranian House of Strength movement uses clubs called meels. Weights, size and shape vary according to purpose. Some are used to juggle while others challenge the practioner with size and weight. These Houses of Strength align themselves with a religious and martial purpose. Their curriculum includes body weight exercises as well as specialized implements such as the iron bow and heavy shields to develop the muscles used for their ancient form of combat.
Concepts of using leverage as resistance existed in turn of the century America with the commericialization of physical culture. Old time Strongman and Physical Culturist George Jowett sold “fulcrum” bells as an advanced course. The principle of exploiting the center of mass for the purpose of exercise is not a new or revolutionary concept. A very distinguished former coach of mine told me that there is nothing new under the sun. If it is old enough it will be new. Check this site and pictures out.
In future articles, I will explain different principles and techniques of Indian Club Swinging. There is a fertile field full of techniques, variations and periodized club training for martial application. I look forward to sharing, learning and building knowledge with you. http://www.sandowplus.co.uk/Competition/Jowett/course/jowextra.htmhttp://www.sandowplus.co.uk/Competition/Jowett/course/jowextra.htmhttp://www.sandowplus.co.uk/Competition/Jowett/course/jowextra.htmhttp://www.sandowplus.co.uk/Competition/Jowett/course/jowextra.htm
Russell Ogata says
I was terribly remiss in not including USA Master Practioner Dr. Ed Thomas. The Emeritus Professor of Physical Education started the movement her in the US more than a score years ago. He is a leading authority in equal parts to his skill with the clubs