Monday, December 17, 2012
Me and Boxing
I enjoy all combat sports. I have sought out what I believe to be the most practical combat methods to train in. Kickboxing, full contact Karate, Judo and JuJitsu, etc. My first martial art was Tang Soo Do. I trained for almost 10 years before doing and type of competition. After seeing professional kickboxing on TV, I imagined myself becoming a kickboxer. During the 80s I watched Marvin Hagler, Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, etc. box on TV. In high school I was sparring with some friends and got hit with a body shot so hard, that I asked the guy "where did you learn to punch like that?". It was obvious to me that there was something really different about this body shot. He said that he also boxed. Years later, I went to a martial arts demonstration by former World Welterweight Kickboxing Champion, Jeff Gripper. In addition to being a kicboxer, Grip held a couple of blackbelts and was also a boxer. He referred me to Asa's Gym run by an old boxer named James Asa Gordon. At this time all the top kickboxers would come to this gym to train. Some of the top pro boxers in town would frequent Asa's too. Evander Holyfield even came by the gym. I ended up training with boxers and kickboxers. Kickboxing fights became hard to come by, so I started competing as a boxer to get fights. One of my trainers, Bernard Styles, asked me to try it for atleast a couple of years before I actually did. I would say, "I'm a Karate Guy, not a boxer". He said, "Well, you're in here everyday boxing, so why not?". He had a good point. From my boxing experiences, I learned about hard training, mental and physical toughness. I now realize that my 13 years in boxing gyms help make me that martial artist I am today.