All over the internet, there is constant buzz about different self defense systems. Its present in every forum, and every community that you can picture. People ask themselves... Is it really true? Can I learn to be a ball-busting super commando in just three short days? Super mystery special ops guy tells me that I can.
And so every day, countless people fork over upwards to $200 for this piece of this state-of-the-art top secret info. Every day people get these courses in the mail and every day they are convinced that they have what they need. Unfortunately, some of these people find out to-little-to-late that they need more than just a DVD to teach them correct self defense.
There is an ongoing debate about the validity of seminars and fighting instructional DVDs. There are a lot of people out there who would tell you that in three days you can learn how to defend yourself effectively on the street, when that cannot be further from the truth.
Now, dont get me wrong, I am by no means stating the fighting instructional DVDs and seminars are not excellent tools to use when learning self defense. In fact, I believe that they are excellent tools, but they are by no means the whole enchilada. Self Defense DVDs should be used in conjunction instruction from a teacher from a real school. Now, there are several reasons why this is important.
A school can teach you how to effectively use your technique. You have people you can practice with. You can learn what the right or wrong punch feels like. Even more specifically you have an instructor that you can work on a day-to-day basis. A commando tape can not do that for you, and a Seminar can do that only for a few days. It takes time before mastery of any art can be achieved.
So, before you try out your latest technique from your favorite fighting instructional DVD on some jerk on the street, you need to think before you act. People need to understand that there is no magic pill to a difficult thing such as self defense. To learn effective self defense one needs time to learn the reality of what can really happen to them on the streets. They need to know both the pros and the cons of doing the right or wrong thing in a self defense situation.
It is also important to understand that the right self defense dvs and weapons can often be more practical and even more effective when used in conjunction with effective training and advice from professionals. So even a consumer should call and inquire before they decide to pick any self defense product, including a DVD.
Remember, in self defense, knowledge is power. The more you know the better prepared you are in a confrontation, and the greater your chances are of getting out of a violent situation alive.
In late 2002, Roy Jones Jr. signed to fight WBA Heavyweight world champion John Ruiz. Soon after questions arose about Jones, why is he doing it? And why would he risk it? Was it for the money, an estimated 10 million? Was it the irresistible urge that goes with having been a champion? Was it merely ego or a grab for a higher place in boxing history? Jones was already an established musician having established Body Head record label, a film actor and professional basketball player. To answer these questions, a look back is required at what makes the sometime enigma, and other time superstar of Roy Jones Jr.
Roy Jones Jr. was born on January 16, 1969, in the small Florida city of Pensacola, USA. At the age of 6 young Roy began boxing under the watchful eye of his father Roy Jones Sr. a Vietnam war veteran and small time pro boxer who came from a family of 13. As a youngster Jones was filled with serious potential due to a combination of physical ability, desire and the hard training regime his father had set. Jones worked his way up through the junior amateur ranks, and in 1988 earned a place in the United States boxing team for the Soul Olympic Games.
After fighting through the preliminary stages, Jones earned a place in the gold medal bout against Park Si Hun. Jones was in complete control of the fight, almost hitting the Korean at will with lead left hooks and counters, but in one of the greatest robberies in the history of the sport, the Korean received a gift decision- and along with it the gold medal. As a show of good faith, Jones received an award for the best boxer of the competition, presented at a special ceremony by 50 Korean monks. After an investigation, two of the judges that scored the bout were banned from officiating in competition again.
Subsequent of the injustice in Soul, Jones said he would never fight again. But after returning home to Pensacola to a heroes welcome, and receiving hounary gold medals from across his homeland: Jones made the decision to turn pro.
On the 6th May, 1989, Roy Jones Jr. made his professional boxing debut against Ricky Randall at the Pensacola Civic Centre. Jones weighted 157lb for the bout, and stopped Randall by TKO in round 2.
Although launching his professional career with a series of wins, Jones found himself in a position whereby his career was stalling- fighting in county fairgrounds and running at a financial loss. Jr. was being steered by his fathers cautious management, with title fights being offered but turned down, without Jr. knowing- it seemed Jones was watching the parade go by.
Things came to a head when Jones Sr. shot- and killed- one of Jones bull-terrier dogs after the passionate breed bit a little girl. Jr. instantly sacked his father as trainer and manager and proceeded to hire his former Olympic trainer Alton Merkerson, and decided to take care of managerial issues himself.
With Jones being his own manager via setting up promotional group Square Ring Inc., he secured a shot at the vacant IBF Middleweight (160lb) world title. Jones would take on future great, at the time 22-1, Bernard Hopkins. Without the press or publics knowledge, Jones entered the fight with a broken right hard, and despite his absence, Jones relied on his fathers character building training from early years to carry him through his most important bout thus far. Despite the injury, Jones proceeded to win a unanimous decision, 116-112 on all 3 cards to win his first world title.
After making a defence of his middleweight title against Thomas Tate, Jones next challenge would come in the form of IBF super middleweight champion James Lights Out Toney. Toney- at the time- was regarded as one of, if not the best, pound for pound fighters in the world. Jones went into the bout a certain underdog, but in the end defied all critics- and even non critics- predictions by making Toney look inferior on way to a unanimous decision to make Jones a now two time world champion.
Jones proceeded to defend his IBF super middleweight crown, and on June 15, 1996, completed the incredible feat of playing a minor league professional basketball game, and defending his boxing world title(against Canadian Eric Lucas) on the same day. Jones marked himself as being a supreme athlete, a black superman.
Jones next challenge was to move up to the 175lb- light heavyweight division. After defeating Mike McCallum to gain the WBC Interim world title recognition, Jones was scheduled to fight stocky, 26-0, Montell Griffin to allow a stamp stating three time world champion. What eventuated was a controversial and melodramatic two fight series. Jones would lose his undefeated record by hitting Griffin while the opponent was deemed down for the count, and therefore disqualified. Jones came out in the second fight possessed like one of his game fighting roosters(Jones breeds and trains fighting cocks), intent for revenge, and what resulted was pure cock fight, with Jones dismantling Griffin in 1 round leaving no doubt as to whom was the superior fighter.
After negotiations fell through to meet faded former heavyweight champion Buster Douglas, Jones decided to make a run at cleaning out the light heavyweight division. Before unifying titles, Jones took on a big light heavyweight, and former champion, Virgil Hill. Many expected Jones to be overpowered by Hill, but Jones stopped the fight in round 3 with a body shot reminiscent to that of the sound of a shot gun, and consequently breaking Hill's ribs.
To unify the light heavyweight belts, Jones would need to get past WBA champion Lou Del Valle, in which Jones would go on to do- albeit after being put on the canvas by a shock knock down- in a unanimous decision.
On June 5, 1999 Jones would defeat Reggie Johnson to claim the undisputed- WBA, WBC and IBF- light heavyweight championship of the world. Jones won the fight by a 12 round decision, although after a stunning performance in the first two rounds it seemed Jones merely carried his opponent the distance- a habit which Jones would continually be criticised for.
Jones defended the undisputed title against a list of light heavyweight contenders, a group of fighters which critics labels no bodies. However, it was more a case of Jones making these world class fighters look like nobodies- such was Jones superiority.
After being urged on by not only the Jones naysayer, but a challenge to keep himself motivated, Jones took the ultimate plunge and announced that he would fight WBA champion John Ruiz for the heavyweight championship of the world. Jones, the former middleweight, would give up some 33 pounds to Ruiz, coming in as a virtual cruiserweight at a relatively small 193 pounds- many though that Jones would crumble after being hit by the punch of a heavyweight. Despite these thoughts, Jones went on dazzle the reigning heavyweight champion with pure handspeed that had arguably never been seen before in the heavyweight division. Jones defeated Ruiz by a unanimous decision, 116-112, 118-110 and 117-111 to claim the heavyweight world title. Along the way Jones became a four division world champion and the first middleweight claim the heavyweight title in over 100 years.
After reaching the boxing pinnacle, and cementing a place in history, Jones made the somewhat unusual decision to drain himself back down to light heavyweight to fight Antonio Tarver. Jones would defeat Tarver by a majority decision, and given that it was the closest that anyone had come to Jones: the result was publicly disputed.
In the late stages of his career Jones took a return match with Tarver. Whether by aging abilities, effected by weight loss or Tarvers right hard; Jones suffered the first real loss of his professional career via a second round knock out. Jones went on to suffer two more losses, a stoppage against Glengoffe Johnson and by decision in a third fight with Tarver.
Recently Jones started a comeback- still believing he had something to offer- with an impressive victory against Prince Badi Ajamu.
The legacy Jones leaves behind is that he will be remembered as the greatest natural athlete to ever lace on the gloves: exhibiting freakish speed, both of hand and foot, superb coordination and a near physically perfect physique.
Sugar Ray Leonard is remembered in the sporting world as one of, if not the most; flashy, exciting and elegant fighters the sport of boxing has seen.
Born Ray Charles Leonard on May 17, 1956, in Wilmington, North Carolina, named after the singing legend Ray Charles. Leonard adopted the alias Sugar early on in his career upon the approval of Sugar Ray Robinson- with the label being suitable as Leonard, like his namesake, was sweet as sugar inside the boxing ring.
Leonard had a fine amateur career, winning three Golden Gloves, two AAU championships, a gold medal at the Pan-American Games in 1975 and culminating in an Olympic gold medal at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, Canada. Leonard finished his amateur career with a record of 145-5, with 75 knock outs.
Upon winning the gold medal, Leonard told sports announcer and reporter Howard Cosell he was quitting boxing for good, and was planning to attend college. However, Leonards father became ill, and with his family in need of money Leonard decided to turn professional. Muhammad Alis head trainer, Angelo Dundee, was hired to be Leonards trainer, and Janks Morton and Dave Jacobs as co-trainers, with lawyer Mike Trainer completing the team.
Leonard made his professional debut on February 5, 1977, against Luis Vega at the Baltimore Civic Centre. In a fight that was nationally televised- and in which Leonard made $40,000 from- Vega lost a 6 round unanimous decision.
Under the guidance of his shrewd advisors, Leonard decided to remain independent by not signing a long term deal with a promoter, therefore having the flexibility to do business with whom he chose. As a result, Leonard gained popularity by reaching a wide audience demographic, with fights being broadcast on NBC, CBS, HBO and ABC.
Leonard won his first 25 fights, and in the process defeated notable names in: Floyd Mayweather, Daniel Aldo Gonzalez, Pete Ranzany and Andy Price. After capturing the NABF welterweight title, Leonard received the opportunity to fight WBC welterweight world champion, Wilfred Benitez. Despite the importance of the bout, Benitez preparation was poor, with his handlers not happy with Benitez volume of training. In a closely fought contest, Leonard stopped Benitez in round 15 via a TKO with only 6 seconds left in the fight.
After making a successful first defense against Dave Boy Green, Leonard signed to fight Panamanian tough-man Roberto El Cholo Duran. In what turned out to be back to back fights, Leonard lost the title against Duran, having being drawn into fighting El Cholo predominantly on the inside, to Duran preference, only to reclaim it in the return match after employing a cocktail of skillful outside fighting and gamesmanship. Duran was visibly unhappy with Leonards tactics in the second bout, and will be remembered for the no mas call to end the fight.
Sugar Ray then defended the title against Larry Bonds, after which he claimed the WBA light middleweight title against Ayub Kalule after moving up in weight. Whilst Leonard had moved up, soon to be arch rival Thomas Hearns was tearing apart the welterweight division after claiming the WBA world title by knocking out Pipino Cuevas. A fight was set for both the WBA and WBC welterweight titles between Leonard and Hearns, to be staged at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, USA.
After weighing in at 154lb(welterweight limit 147lb), and throwing fewer right hands in 14 rounds as he usually would in one, Hearns seemed over trained. Hearns controlled the early rounds with his long reaching jab. But in the middle rounds Leonard worked inside Hearns lead and hurt him with left hooks. The fight was stopped in the 14th round, with Leonard becoming the universally recognised welterweight champion.
After making a defense of his welterweight title against Bruce Finch, Leonard was diagnosed with having a detached retina in his left eye, and underwent surgery to repair the problem. In November 1982, after 6 months of deliberation, Leonard announced his retirement.
Leonard made a one fight comeback in 1984 against Philadelphias Kevin Howard, but was put on the canvas for the first time in his career. Leonard went onto win the fight however decided to once again retire.
In May 1986, Leonard shocked the sports world once again when it was announced he would fight middleweight champion Marvelous Marvin Hagler. The bout gained a huge amount of interest, and was billed as a Super Fight. Many felt with Leonards time out of boxing, the injury, jump in weight and the fact that Hagler was an all time great middleweight, that Leonard stood little chance of being victorious. Hagler started the fight heavy favorite.
In a bout which saw Sugar Ray fight virtually in entirety on the outside- and clinching when forced inside- Leonard received a controversial split decision. As a result of Leonards sniping tactics, combined with Haglers move to fight in an orthodox stance early in the fight, it was a difficult fight to establish a clear winner. Leonard announced his retirement- once again- one month after the bout.
On November 7, 1988 Leonard came back and fought Donny Lalonde for both the WBC light heavyweight, and newly created WBC super middleweight titles- a bout which Leonard would win via way of 9th round technical knock out.
In 1989, Leonard fought two old rivals: a return match with Hearns, and a completed trilogy with Duran. In the Hearns fight Leonard was knocked down twice, however the final decision was a 12 round draw. Against Duran, Leonard won a sedate 12 round unanimous decision- a fight in which Duran had a very low punch output.
Leonard stayed out of the ring during 1990, but came back in February, 1991, to challenge WBC world junior middleweight champion Terry Norris. Past his best, Leonard lost a lopsided unanimous decision. Once again, post bout, Leonard announced his retirement.
Leonard went through difficult times during the retirement stints, having divorced wife Juanita, and admitting to a cocaine and alcohol problems which he fought hard to overcome. Leonard remarried Bernadette Robi, daughter of famous composer Paul Robi.
In 1997, at age 40, Leonard launched his final boxing comeback against former lightweight world champion Hector Camacho. In the ring, Sugar Ray was a shadow of his former self, and was stopped in 5 rounds. Later that year, Leonard was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
For a period, Leonard headed a boxing promotional company and he is now the face of the TV reality boxing series, The Contender.
Not surprisingly, the brutal sport of boxing has roots in prehistoric periods. The earliest records of boxing are from archaeological evidence discovered in Africa that are said to be dated around 4000 B.C. Of course, the sport's popularity spread and cave paintings that depicted boxing were found around 1500 B.C. in places such as the Mediterranean.
Boxing then moved on to ancient Greece, where barbarians would sit face to face and punch each other until one of them was dead at times spikes and the like were used to quicken the process and most of the time the opponents were naked with the exception of wrappings to protect their arms. Fortunately, around 688 B.C., this form of boxing passed and boxers soon were practicing on punching bags and were allowed to wear leather straps and breastplates to protect their arms and chests.
Boxing then took on many forms, depending on the country in which it grew popular. For example, China merged boxing with wrestling during the Zhou Dynasty and utilized a combination of attacks, including throws and pressure point attacks. Ancient Buddhist history also mentions a form of boxing particularly, a boxing match between Buddha's cousin and half-brother.
In the Buddharata Sutra, a martial art form of boxing was written about and this particular form of boxing was known as Vajra Mushti. Boxing also took its place in ancient Rome, being more popular among prisoners attempting to win their freedom by winning a boxing match. Boxing did not last long in Rome, however, although it gained so much popularity that even free men and nobles fought in matches. In 500 A.D. Theodoric the Great prohibited boxing in any form.
Boxing took off in London, however, and early fighting around the year 1743 didn't have any weight limits or really, any rules of any kind. Many boxers fought with bare knuckles and this made for a very brutal sport thankfully, rules such as "no blows below the belt" were enforced and the sport began to morph into the martial art that we know today. Olympic boxing and women's boxing also gained in popularity, however, the two have not generally mixed well.
There will be no women's boxing in the Olympics during the year 2008 and not many expect it to be an official sport at the 2012 Olympics either. Boxing became most popular in the Western world with professional boxing also known as prizefighting. Many people like to watch this type of boxing on television and many movies were made about this type of boxing, including the spectacular Rocky series. Boxing still remains popular today, despite its extremely prehistoric and often barbaric origins.
Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Robinson, Joe Lewis, Mike Tyson, some of the greatest boxing stars of all time; their great stories are inspirational. It is difficult not to get caught up in the excitement that boxing brings with it. Everyone wonders how did they select their boxing equipment. Because all the credit of their success goes to their boxing equipment, particularly those legendary gloves. Without top-notch gloves, their task would have been a little more difficult! So, here is how you select the best gloves for yourself, if you are into boxing.
It is not as simple as you think to get the perfect pair of gloves for boxing. An individual cannot just walk in a sports store and ask for the best pair of gloves. A serious thought and proper research has to be put in for picking the best gloves. One of the best ways to get good gloves for boxing is to consult your trainer or instructor.
What kind of activity or sports you are in is a major determinant of what kind of gloves will be the best for you. For example, if you practice cardio kickboxing in your gym, it will be advisable to choose a thicker glove with a little more padding. On the contrary, if you have noticed, that a professional will most often have a lighter glove, which enable him to make a fist easily. For someone who is training to hit the ring, again a heavier glove will be a good option. Like, if you are also planning to buy stand-up shin guards, then it totally depends on the game such as football (soccer), baseball, ice hockey, field hockey, lacrosse, rugby, cricket, and other sports.
More than the size in boxing, weight of the glove matters. For instance, 8oz and 10oz are common for competitive boxers, who hit the punching bag or heavy bag regularly, while kids and women, who have comparatively smaller hands, can have 12 oz gloves. Typically, 12 oz is small, 14 oz is medium and 16 is large size. Another important thing about size is that usually, gloves stretch to fit your hand better, with frequent use. Earlier, it was very difficult to find the best gloves as per your requirement. But now with the advent of the Internet, everything is available online very easily. So, the best part is that you can also buy leather boxing gloves online, at the most affordable rates.
In recent times boxing has become a very popular form of fitness training. Many health club style gyms across Australia and the world operate boxing fitness classes (commonly termed boxfit) for the general public. These classes are boxing, but with the important exception of no contact, therefore utilising most of the fitness benefits that boxing provides. This popularity has turned to a stimulated interest in competitive boxing.
No sport can provide the showmanship, action, drama and physical entertainment that boxing can. In Australia this has been shown in recent years by Anthony Mundine and Danny Green, and across the world by the likes of Floyd Mayweather and Roy Jones Jr.
Boxing as a form of fitness training is certainly nothing new, in fact it could be said that it is the original form of fitness training, with the sport dating back many hundreds of years. I like to classify boxing fitness as an underground style of training, as it is an original form of fitness training. Fitness training with a purpose.
I have had the opportunity to view world champion boxers such as Mundine and Kostya Tszyu sweating it out in the gym. Both trained with pure purpose, they did not care what they were wearing or who was there for a chat. Just good old fashioned hard work.
The fitness benefits of boxing are aplenty, with aerobic capacity, anaerobic threshold, speed, power, strength, reaction time, flexibility and agility just some of the qualities of fitness that are worked on.
But, if taken beyond the level of just boxing for fitness, there is so much more that can be gained from boxing. Boxing is the toughest sport. There is nothing like being in a ring with a person standing opposite you looking to strike you in the most primal form of all, with the fist.
All of you fears and insecurities are laid out right in front of you.
Do you back your self physically? Can you overcome any physical limitations with a strong mind, not worrying about possible outcomes? Can you look past hurdles, such as copping a blow and move forward with an eye on the ultimate prize? Are you not concerned about what people are thinking?
These are all questions that are asked when you step into the ring, whether it be for a sparring session or competitive bout.
These are the questions we face in everyday life.
Champions and successful people answer these questions.
There is no where to hide in the ring. You are back to how the cavemen lived, how we developed as humans. It is fight or flight.
When competitive boxers are ridiculed by media and public for various reasons such as not showing enough courage or not fighting solid enough competition, very rarely would these critics have experienced what it is like to be in combat in the squared circle.
Boxers which are labelled taxi drivers, or even bums would dispose of such critics without much effort, if any at all.
Whist many will never decide to take the opportunity to spar or even have a competitive fight, it would be of great benefit to do so. After you have experienced the caldron of the boxing ring during battle not much else in life seems to difficult. It would be of exceptional benefit for individuals suffering from stress related illness, and especially athletes and even sports enthusiasts to step into the ring.
Whilst mental toughness can not be defined, time in the boxing ring will certainly make you feel although you have it, and are ready to take on whatever life throws at you, whether it is work or play.
Of course there are issues to consider, such as physical limitations and insurance. But if these areas are appropriately covered, then the opportunity should be seized.
So next time you are watching a bout which is considered a mismatch, just think what it would be like in the ring. Whatever it is that you think it would be like you can multiply it tenfold.
Take the challenge; you will be a better person for it.