Wrestling Part III (1926) by Billy Sandow and Ed “Strangler” Lewis

May 7, 2019

A reprint of a book now in the public domain, this is a nice novelty but doesn’t really have any collector value.

Despite the name given to this release, it’s actually part 7 of 8 of a series originally published as “The Sandow-Lewis Kinetic Stress System of Physical Training.” With earlier volumes covering the basics of bodybuilding and self defense, this is the second of three parts dealing with wrestling itself. That most likely suggests this was originally a mail order course sent out over multiple weeks.

The 60 or so pages include large photographs and instructions for all manner of holds, including Lewis’s infamous headlock. While they are written for the supposed rules of pro wrestling (such as chokeholds being barred but sleeperholds legal), what’s described appear to be legitimate combat moves that could work in a genuine if performed as described. In particular there’s a lot of detail of correct positioning such as wrist control.

It’s tough to recommend this given the nature of the reprint however. A single volume complete print of the full series at a reasonable price would be worth considering, but combining the various instalments would add up to well over $100, which is hard to swallow for a public domain reprint.

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