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Thread: Descending elbows and Harry Houdini

  1. #1
    nelson is offline
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    Default Descending elbows and Harry Houdini

    Dear Kenpo brothers and sisters:

    Here's a bit of MA trivia for you. The great Harry Houdini who had a jaw and abdomen like iron was killed when his appendix was burst by a "sucker punch" elbow attack in his dressing room.

    The great Houdini has prided himself for years on being able to withstand the strongest punches to the body from the greatest athletes of his age.
    It only took four or five well directed descending elbow strikes to the stomach to bring about the rupture that lead to his death days later after two failed surgeries.

    The man that killed Houdini was part of a group called Spiritualists that Houdini had exposed as frauds to the public.They had, quite frankly, put out a "hit" on Houdini and killed him in an unprovoked attack when he let a "fan" strike him to test his abdominal strength. According to witnesses Houdini had not prepared himself for the blows that were struck.

    Source for this thread: "The Secret Life of Houdini" by William Kalush and Larry Sloman

    Nelson

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    Default Re: Descending elbows and Harry Houdini

    This is a good lesson to learn.

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    SifuDangeRuss is offline
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    Default Re: Descending elbows and Harry Houdini

    Harry Houdini was (alright still IS) one of my alltime heros. Although he did in fact die, from a ruptured appendix, this version of the story is a unique one to me, who has read virtually every piece of materiel ever written on Harry Houdini. My understanding (and popular version of the tale) is that he was sitting in his room, nursing his injured ankle, sitting back reading his mail, when a student reporter, asked about his ability to "Take a punch"...Houdini mumbled something while reading his letter, and the kid took it as a "Yeah go ahead..." and proceeded to punch Houdini repeatedly, when he wasn't ready, causing his appendix to burst and eventually leading to his death as gangrene set in.<p>Either way, not a good way to go. Bottem line here, is that any and all forceful blows are potentially dangerous to all of us. Particularly if we are not ready to receive them.
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    nelson is offline
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    Default Re: Descending elbows and Harry Houdini

    Dear Sifu Russ:
    It's good to hear from a fellow Houdini fan!
    The librarian folks I've been talking to here in Wisconsin claim that "The Secret Life of Houdini" is the most definitive work to date about Harry.

    I was surprised to read of the spiritualist connection to his death. The documentation to back up the claims of the book seem to be quite extensive. You might want to order it from your local library.

    Nelson

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