Does someone collect these obscure learn-by-mail courses? An on line collection of high-quality scans would make a fascinating web site. (“Chinchillas: Your road to wealth and good eating!” “Overcome the shame of bedwetting with Mack Stardley’s Electro-Isotonic Bladder programme!”)
My father had a few body building ones, but I suspect they are long gone.
In a just world “Chinchillas: Your road to wealth and good eating!” would be a real ad.
To answer your question, though, surely someone somewhere does collect these, but, even if no one does, Google Books has a fairly big collection of scanned magazines. I’ve found a few eyebrow-raising ones in old issues of Boys’ Life, although I know they’re nothing compared to the gems in the back of old comic books.
A pretty good “one finger” self defense is to grab someone’s finger and pinch the fingertip into the knuckle (palm side) as hard as you can, overextending the joints. It’s pretty goddamn painful.
Of course getting to the point where you can do that probably requires more finesse. In a fight the opponent isn’t going to politely offer their hands to you.
That’s true if that someone doesn’t work with their hands all day or is a judoka, or both.
There are other more effective ways of disabling or inflicting pain.
Here’s a small collection
Apparently the guy mentioned in the ad was a jiu-jitsu instructor. He’d been asked by a publisher to write a book about jiu-jitsu finger techniques. He thought he was writing a serious book, but it turned into a short pamphlet, sold via ads like this one, ads by which he was completely appalled, apparently. Many of the other ads that showed up in the backs of comic books sound like they involved martial arts instructors who were a little more dishonest, taking on outrageous personae and personally involved in making various ridiculous claims.
Once, there was a golden age – not a golden age of martial arts, certainly, but a golden age of easy copywriting employment for anyone with a penchant for florid prose and a casual relationship with consensus reality.
Monty Python’s parody of this kind of thing is pretty great: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-BQDBt_zTaMA/TfCknPz_OBI/AAAAAAAAHzY/MFzf0zEGqg0/s1600/LLAP-Goch.gif
One of the ads there says you can “Lick your weight in tigers.”
I can believe that. Starve a tiger until he weighs 169 lbs. (as of this morning) and I bet I could take him on!
“Boy! Those Jarate pills tripled the size of my kidneys! And thanks to my Saxton Hale pain tonic, I can barely even feel my organs shutting down!”
Offered without comment.
Ahh – That’s the first thing that I thought of as soon as I saw the post.
Does a thumb count as a finger?
He cheated. Connery clearly used his leg to trip the guy and at the end he used his left thumb even though he said he was only going to use the right thumb.
Oh, you mean Count Dante?
Order now and we’ll mail you a live monkey!*
*Third class parcel post, alive at time of shipping.
At one point early in my life, I was a truck stop waitress. I would have paid a week’s worth of tips to see a smackdown of long haul truckers throwing jars of urine at each other. Couldn’t you just imagine the pre-match posturing. ‘You’re gonna taste my power, Amos! Ya cut me off on the hill south of Johnstown and made me spill my soda pop all down the front of my best leather vest… but I filled the jar a hour later. It’s yer turn to get drenched!’