When I first started Martial Arts, I thank the stars that led me to my coach because I had no idea what to look for, I expected to learn how to punch and how to kick what I got was so much more!
My first coach taught me so much about me, about respect, and about searching for and finding the best version of me both in and out of the ring.
He encouraged me to seek and learn from others, never giving me the false impression that what he could teach me was everything, this led me to Larry and Jiu Jitsu.
I know that Larry’s first Jiu Jitsu coach, Vince McCann, was a huge influence in the man who I married and admire today. He encouraged Larry’s desire and thirst for knowledge, Larry sought out the best coaches in different fields to be not only the accomplished fighter he became but also more importantly the coach and teacher he is today. Many of those coaches became a part of the Boxing Works Family.
Our coaches past and present were and are a huge influence in how we run our gyms, how we continue to develop and help all who come through our doors. How regardless of the less than stellar experiences we have had with the few, we will continue to see the very best in everyone and continue to encourage and develop all to be the best they can be in and out of the ring.
What you do is a reflection of who you are. Respect, honour, loyalty, integrity, morals and good ethics, these are things I learnt from my parents growing up, they were what I looked for and got from my coach. I would like to hope that years down the track that I will be remembered for some of these traits.
Teaching you how to punch and kick is one thing making you a better fighter in the ring is a great goal.
When you repay loyalty and support shown to you by moving to a gym in the same area, or opening up a gym in the same area then what does that say about the person you are. Do not try to justify your disloyal and unethical actions by saying that you are looking out for “your” “fighters”.
Asking for loyalty from students is incredible when you as an individual show none!
Peter Graham opened his own gym, he did this in Prospect Larry gave him punching bags to hang in his gym, he offered him advise and was a sounding board for Pete at all hours. Pete continued to teach at Boxing Works for a year after he opened his own gym so that he did not leave a gap. Larry continued to coach Pete with his MMA training going overseas with him on several occasions for fights, our friendship is strong to this day.
Rodney Ellis wanted to open his own BJJ Academy, he did this in the Shire, Larry gave him a set of mats so he could start his classes, he gave him a ring and equipment. Larry has learnt as much as he ever taught Rodney and the relationship is as strong as ever. They are regularly in contact with each other to vent and grow.
I have a huge amount of love and respect for both men as coaches and as friends. They have shown that they are truly loyal.
When we announced that we would be closing Surry Hills “our” coaches rallied and asked us what we needed, members came to us offering to help with the move, the support and concern for us was overwhelming.
Ben and Viviana were concerned about how the Surry Hills closure was going to effect them. In the short term we asked them to teach at our other gyms so that our members there could get to know them and encourage them to move up to KX. Both Ben and Viviana came back to us and advised us they were leaving, they were given an opportunity to go into partnership with someone in Botany who would back them to open their own gym which has always been their dream. Even knowing the gap it would leave Larry continued to be supportive and congratulate them on the opportunity. A week later we find out that the move is to a gym around the corner! The financial and emotional kick in the guts is staggering.
Regardless of this we will continue to support our coaches our members and our friends to grow, we know there are more people out there like Peter Graham, and Rodney Ellis and we will not miss the opportunity to be a part of their future, something Larry and I have learnt from our Coaches. Where are you showing your loyalty and what is your Coach teaching you?