Meeting Junior at 80 years old
Junior, what can I say. I was always interested in boxing, being in shape and fighting. However, at this stage in my life, I thought it passed me by, especially then being 77, and having a hip replaced. So, I called him and with hesitancy and met him at a gym he trained at. It was a bit intimidating walking in seeing some very skilled fighters sparing and fighting at this age.
So, we had our first 30 min session. Truthfully, a bit overwhelming considering how skilled Junior is. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy he was to talk and work with. Even though, I’m in reasonable shape, a session with him was challenging. Yet, afterwards, we would both laughed and glad I trained.
One thing, I really liked about him; he was flexible as to what I wanted to learn at this stage in my life. BTW, I’m just 5’ 8” and not an intimidating dude. I was right up front with my basic goals. I wanted to learn the fundamentals of self-defense/street fighting & boxing, and how to apply it to an everyday situations: i.e. if confronted in an elevator, on the street, a parking garage or by multiple attackers. How to engage or disengage. You can watch a 100 fighting videos on YouTube, however, that does not mean you know or can use it is a real-life situations. It takes repetition to build a solid foundation of muscle memory. Lots of it. The “key,” is finding the right teacher/coach like Junior and set reasonable goals and objectives.
Junior worked me on the basics: the stance, footwork, how to properly throw a punch, jab, cross, hook and uppercut. Blocking punches (parrying) and kicks.
I would say, Junior, can we work on clinching today, then how to deal with a head lock and even a basic ground game, how to escape etc. He knows a lot of different styles and techniques and has a natural ability to teach. He is also very creative with different drills, so the workouts never get dull or boring.
All I can say, if there is something you always wanted to try, do it. The key is to find a great teacher who listens to you, understands your goals and limitations and can be flexible to accommodate them. There is no way any of us can function at a level when 30 years younger. However, that does not mean you can’t try something you always wanted and be good at. Most important, I’m learning and having fun because Junior is a great teacher and person to train with.