I don’t about you, but I love old school boxing photographs. These are black and white and grainy photographs from the turn of the 19th and 20th century.

They truly are amazing because they really highlight what goes on in the boxing ring. We’re not talking about modern boxing rules here. We’re not talking about the hot lights, the disciplined, but huge crowd. We’re talking about getting transported to an earlier time with its own sense of emotional urgency and the crush of the stakes.

You have to understand that old school boxing was oftentimes a life or death affair. It truly lived up to the concept of a blood sport.

Back in the day, when two guys get into a ring, usually only one guy gets out on both feet. That’s how harsh old school boxing was but hey, let’s be honest, it’s also more authentic. Real boxing is an endurance test. It’s all about being able to fight your fears long enough to come out on top. That’s the bottom line.

Nowadays, the phrase “blood sport” is used in a very negative way. There’s a tremendously negative connotation with that phrase, but back in the day, it really highlighted the human ability to push himself to the breaking point and emerge a winner.

That’s the kind of urgency that you get when you watch really old footage from the turn of the century. That’s also the kind of sense you get when you see these really old photographs.

Unfortunately, finding collections of these photographs that really highlight the human drama behind the blood, sweat and tears of a typical high quality boxing match are few and far between. The Ifighthard blog has some great photographs and footage of how boxing used to be.

Now, we can debate all day and all night regarding whether modern boxing rules work or not, we can discuss the specific wisdom of such rules, but you really can’t debate the fact that the Ifighthard blog does a good job of creating historical context regarding mixed marital arts, boxing, and all sorts of physical sports.

Do yourself a big favor, if you are in any way, shape or form, interested in human combat sports, check out the Ifighthard blog. They not only have great stories as well as reference sources for everything and anything related to mixed martial arts and martial arts in general, you also get the context. You get the humanity of what it’s like to fight with your fists and to fight with a solid heart.

That’s really the bottom line of any kind of martial arts. It’s whether you fight with heart and courage and conviction.