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Thursday, January 03, 2013
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Peter Maguire was doing his graduate work in American history at Columbia University in New York. He earned his Ph.D in American history at Columbia in December 1993. His dissertation, "Nuremberg: A Cold War Conflict of Interest", was awarded distinction by a unanimous vote of the dissertation committee, which included Telford Taylor, the chief counsel for the prosecution at the Nuremburg Trials, and the noted history professor James Shenton. Since then, Dr. Maguire has written books including "Law and War: International Law and American History" and "Facing Death in Cambodia". He has written numerous articles and given countless lectures, and appeared on many TV and radio programs.
But while he was doing his graduate work in American history, he was also enrolled in a different kind of graduate program at John Perretti's New York martial arts school. There he learned what he described as "truly a mixed martial art".
In an interview recorded by phone on December 17, 2012, along with John Perretti, he detailed the curriculum there which included "wing chun kung fu, Western boxing, Thai boxing, kickboxing, and grappling."
As he termed it, "It was remarkable. It was a real graduate seminar in terms of all the information that was coming in." He recalled how even then John Perretti was scouring the world to bring in new talent.
Our discussion continued to explain how the style started by John Perretti called Tao Jutsu Do was itself a "mixed martial art" and a direct precursor to what we today call MMA. We also discussed the training there involving weapons and the important role of wrestlers in the development of MMA. Dr. Maguire went on to explain why he finds today's MMA "boring". We also discussed the real history of MMA, the underestimated influence of Gene LeBell, why it might be a good idea always to carry a mouthpiece, and much more.
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