Here’s another wonderful learning opportunity provided by a classical physical education and fitness photograph. Let’s carefully examine the photo and see what we can learn…
The obvious is female boxing. It might be argued this is more of a propaganda photo or glamour shot, but nonetheless, there is a lot of history being expressed if you know what to look for.
- “Boxing” can be counted as a self defense activity. Self defense was one of the three important content areas of classical PE. The boxing is the most obvious thing displayed…but there is much more…
- In the forefront on edge of blanket you will see a pair of light Indian Clubs. The Indian Clubs represented the first content area of classical PE which was the “Restorative Arts.” Directly behind the Indian Clubs, you will see a light pair of wooden dumbbells. In the classical era, dumbbells were also part of the restorative content area because they were used quite differently than dumbbells today. Dumbbell use during this era often used lighter weights with many different upper body patterns combined with stepping, lunging, and pivoting patterns with the lower body. Indian Clubs and Dumbbells were two of the “Four Horsemen” of Restorative Arts; the other two restorative horsemen were Health Wands and Medicine Balls.
- Boxing is also a “sport” which would have crossed over into the third and final content area of classical PE called “Pedagogy.” The pedagogy area not only included sports but also philosophy, recreation, dance, play, games, etc.
So once again, the old fitness and PE photos are “nice to look at” on the surface, but they can also provide a wealth of knowledge and a continuing support for the ESSENTIALS we need to move well as displayed with the three classical PE content areas above.
Look back. Learn. Move forward.