Reprinted from the May 1937 issue of Doc Savage Magazine
The Doc Savage Method
as explained to KENNETH ROBESON
Because of thousands of requests for more definite knowledge of the exercises which are part of Doc Savage's daily routine, Kenneth Robeson has prepared this exposition of the means used by Doc Savage to reach his present state of mental and physical development. As explained here, they start from the very beginning of Doc Savage's career with the most elemental tests. They are numbered for convenient reference. It is only because of the faithful daily performance of even the smallest of these exercises that Doc Savage has developed his senses and perceptions to the present high degree.
In his amazing gymnasium, Doc Savage has many and intricate apparatuses to develop and give power to his muscles; but when away from there, he has to devise substitutes.
With one such substitute, Doc sinks two screw-eyes into rafters about six feet apart. To these screw-eyes are hung two ropes of sufficient strength to hold Doc's weight, and long enough so that he has to spring from the floor in order to reach them.
Next, Doc gets two boards 6" x 10" x 1", and in the center of each board, measuring longwise, he bores a hole large enough for the rope to pass through. Then tying each rope to a board, Doc is ready to perform the exercise.
He stands below one of the boards and with a slight spring of his toes, jumps up and catches it with his right hand using only his fingers and thumb to hold his weight, he keeps his body off the floor. He then starts to swing back and forth, so that with his left hand he can reach out and grasp the other board.
When this is accomplished, Doc swings on his left hand for three back-andforward movements. Then back to the right hand board for three swings, and so on until the hands have changed six times.
Doc found at the start of this exercise, that it was too strenuous to go the full six times, so gradually worked up to this figure.
Knowing that the human brain is capable of almost undreamed-of advances, and that all senses derive their capabilities from the brain, Doc Savage tried and succeeded in doing an extremely difficult exercise.
Going to a department store or a five-and-ten-cent store, Doc bought ten large buttons of the same size, texture and shape but each of a different color. He chose colors as widely varying as possible.
Placing these buttons on a table, Doc closed his eyes and felt of a button. With his fingers, he made a detailed and close study of the texture and heat of the button; then, when he had gained all there was to be gotten from the feel of the button, Doc opened his eyes and noted the color. He repeated this a great number of times.
Doc would then close his eyes and mix the buttons up. Then, by the feel only, he would pick up a button and name its color, write it down, lay the button beside the written name of the color and go on to the next one. After many months of careful study, Doc Savage can now name over eighteen varieties of shades by the sense of touch alone. Intense concentration is necessary.
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