ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: For months on the Underground forum, we've been debating the prison-fighting system known as Jailhouse Rock. There was considerable controversy over whether or not Jailhouse Rock even exists. I want to acknowledge and thank Douglas Century for introducing us all to the style known as 52 Blocks, which he describes extensively in his nonfiction book "Street Kingdom: Five Years Inside the Franklin Avenue Posse" (Warner Books) and his August 2001 feature article in Details magazine. No one on the forum had ever heard of 52 Blocks before, and there is nothing else in print about it. Hopefully, Doug will write more in the future-- perhaps a book specifically about 52 Blocks in collaboration with Dennis Newsome?
Magazine articles with reference to 52 Handblocks/Jailhouse Rock
Martial Arts Around the World - this was an Inside Kung Fu/Inside Karate special collection, which Unique Publications later published in book format - Dennis Newsome demo's 4 JHR techniques
Details Aug 2001, Vol 19, Issue 9 by Douglas Century, Photographs by Mark Paris, pages 77-79 - "GHETTO BLASTERS: Born in prison, raised in the 'hood, the deadly art of 52 Blocks is Brooklyn's baddest secret." Techniques depicted: 1) Pant-leg flip; 2) peekaboo stance; 3) "deadarm" punch; 4) kissing the opponent's knuckles before throwing it back in his face
Fighting Arts International (a United Kingdom martial arts magazine) did an interview with Mel Gibson around the time Lethal Weapon 1 played - it has pix of Mel doing some JHR! - SPECIAL THANKS to Derek and his co-worker who went above and beyond to scan and burn to a CD, then mail it to me from UK to USA for inclusion to this site - I think the many surfers who come to my site in search of 52/JHR info will appreciate your efforts! I have also sent it to Maestro Newsome for inclusion to his site.
NOTE: Special thanks to Underground forum member MickJeCo for providing the following references:
Black Belt July 1974, Vol XII, #7; by Anne Darling and James Perryman, pages 16-21 with page 21 being the most relevant - "KARATE IN PRISON: Menace, or Means of Spiritual Survival?" BB takes an exclusive look at the status of the martial arts in American penal institutions. Are the arts a threat to maintaining order, or are they a constructive means of meeting the emotional demands of confinement? Or are they both?
Guns and Ammo column by Jim Grover - the most relevant one is "'Fending' For Your Life" from Guns and Ammo 10/96. It's reprinted in Grover's book "Street Smarts, Firearms, and Personal Safety" from Paladin
Book references to 52 Hand Blocks/Jailhouse Rock
STREET KINGDOM by Douglas Century
About the Author
Table of Contents
MARTIAL ARTS AROUND THE WORLD by Unique Publications
MARTIAL ARTS AROUND THE WORLD II by Unique Publications
Mike Tyson vs. Bonecrusher Smith
Rooftops (more of uprocking than 52/JHR)
Blade - an interview with Wesley Snipes on Blade - I put up the section of the interview mentioning "jailhouse boxing"