BECOMING: a guest blog!

Arcaro Boxing gym is magic. The gym has a constant hum of energy, echoes of all that activity and intention, even when there is no one there, and the bell is silent. Everyone seems happy at the gym, despite the sweating, the muscle fatigue, twinges of pain, people are quicker to smile in Arcaro, I think everyone feels it. This is where we go to become who we always wanted to be. 

It is an in-between place, because 100% of all people who walk through the door are Becoming. We all go there to make something of ourselves. That’s a lot of concentrated intention. We go to make ourselves boxers. We go to make ourselves feel safe. We go to make ourselves stronger. We go to become professional boxers or Golden glove champions, or we go to become nicer looking, healthier, or just stronger. Everyone who goes there is in between one thing and another. Becoming. We are all of us, in transition. We go to this temple and we pray to our best self, our highest self, our future selves, stronger, and wiser than we are in this moment. That is what all the sweating is for, a sacrifice of sorts, to ensure a bountiful return. 

Combat sports have always been spiritual experiences throughout human history. In ancient tradition, those who sought to become enlightened, often engaged in martial arts to Become their best, most enlightened self. “Spirit is defined as the principal of conscious life; the vital principal in humans, animating the body or mediating between the body and soul.” https://www.dictionary.com/browse/spirit?s=t It is a healing path. The training is prayer, brings our bodies, minds, and spirits into perfect balance, all 100% of you focused on one  singular purpose. Intention is powerful. Almost every culture has some kind of martial art, and many of them are linked to religion or spirituality, because it is a spiritual practice. It gives us constant rewards in strength, and skill, self-confidence and self-esteem, in other words, lifts our spirits. You can feel yourself getting stronger, better. When you practice martial arts, when you are boxing, you aren’t fighting a heavy bag, and you certainly aren’t fighting another person. You’re fighting to become the best you. You’re fighting a world that doesn’t believe in you, doesn’t believe you can become a better you

In the ancient times, Sumerian word for “battle” translates to, “Dance of Inanna”. Inanna was the goddess of beauty, love, and battle. Humans think highly of skill in battle traditionally. It’s written like fan fiction all throughout our history books. There are countless variations of “God of war, goddess of war” in nearly every culture’s history. Monks train in kung fu and tai chi famously spiritual martial artists. Martial arts are everywhere on this planet. Thailand, Laos, the Philippines, Israel, Mexico, Brazil, Greece. It’s a common experience amongst humans, even though we are a culturally diverse species. 

Humans are in a spiritual transition at all times, the transition from child, to adult, to elder, to death. We have a need to grow, to learn, to become stronger. In this way, we are all fundamentally the same, and we cannot change it. When we were children we wished for the authority and agency of adulthood, and many adults miss their childhood at some point in their lives. When you are boxing you wish for nothing, because you have everything you need, and there is only NOW when you have to watch for punches aimed at your face. Mindfulness meditation, a Buddhist practice which is great for helping with anxiety, cannot match boxing for keeping you grounded in the NOW.  

 

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Inner Conflict

I hit the bag with what feels like pillows on my hands.  Every massive swing does not generate the thud that I am looking for.  Searching for feeling somewhere in my trunk.

NOTHINGNESS

Looking for access, for the flood gates to open.  Each time I step up to this defenseless bag hanging from the rafters, I think I have it.  More emptiness.  No relation, no understanding and a complete lack of power.

I imagine the sublime yet reality sets into the true disconnection.  I try again and again to feel effective.

There is a voice that doesn’t use words.  Listen-  Rumi

Stepping up again to the menacing bag, I turn on the soundtrack to Jesus Christ Superstar and begin to let go.  The pillows emerge-  I keep going undeterred….not looking for an explanation or definitions.  The pillows become knuckles and I feel them for the first time.  The music a connection from my youth driving, unlocking the conflict with in.

Sweat fills my shirt, the moisture inching its way down while some spills on to the floor.  Puddles of my past released and gasping their last breaths of existence.  Knuckles become anvils and hips turn to drive every bit of understanding into my inanimate foe.

Some people seek emotional conflict because they can’t face the conflict within themselves-  @Unknown Philosopher

I am tired of the tornados and hurricanes that I stir up.  Weary from avoidance.  I step up to the bag, hit play on the soundtrack and start punching.  My eyes sweat profusely within 3 minutes and I begin to sob, guttural heaving, clenching the heavy bag to keep me upright.  The tiredness becomes relief……I am finding the conflict within so I can address myself……to take responsibility for all that I am, all that I have and all that I want.

Boxing will always give you access to the conflict within.

#BoxOn

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Gratitude

I enter and the steam hits my face obliterating the cold outside.

Fist bumps around, smiling faces involved in their tasks.

Coaches walking around filling the gaps of unknown with simple instruction.  Adding encouragement, useful criticism and a dose of a nudge or push.

1200 square feet completely used on the daily, every nook and cranny supporting the secrets that the heavy bags keep.

Arcaro, an Italian family full of its own history and the namesake of all that happens in this space.  A family storied with struggle, strife, successes and transitions.  All that boxing is encapsulated in heritage.

Grandpa Arcaro from World War I to the walls protecting Cincinnati roads….masonry his craft.  A formidable patriarch in a family of 19 including himself paving the way for the rest of us to ease on in.

There is no simple family, no simple Thanksgiving, no easy way to live this life…….no way to reconcile what our relatives did or didn’t do.  We are here now with a duty to give to one another…..to make a story that changes the past.

Boxing always makes the most sense-  it is our vehicle to provide a community to support you no matter your status, your place in history, your path to the future.

We are thankful for you and for this gym that has grown beyond us all.

#boxon
#weareonindiginousland
#duwamishrealrenter

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What’s your motivation

6 years in the game with my own business. 17 years in boxing.

17 years and more of growth!  Failure and more growth-  success and more growth……..tons of growth.

My motivation is community.  It’s serving my fellow humans in the hopes that what I do will be exponentially shared out into my local area- city- state and ultimately country/world.

My service is daily inside these windows and out there on the street.

What’s my incentive?

The more folks we have interested in being of service to one another-  the more folks we have wanting to pay their experiences forward for others’ benefit, the easier it is to live.

We are a hard working- diligent and motivated gym wanting to produce skilled recreational and competitive boxers—–wanting to provide people the opportunity to be able to contribute to the well being of others.

If you want more than a boxing gym, check us. out.

#BoxOn

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Boxology

Boxing’s a never-ending PhD in which you discover, keep and discard multiple theories…

You can never settle on any particular idea…..you have to follow laws of nature.

A boxer’s biology, body mechanics, mental focus and emotional intelligence all fall under the umbrella of laws of nature.

You can’ t forget your own…..it”s all part of the mix.

Coaches study the ins and outs of our sport from the competitive boxer’s experience.

Early morning unrest, fretting, doubting, exuberance, humility, passion- a part of our daily diet.

Coaching is a lifestyle-  it’s who I am.  By lifestyle, I’m not talking about that imaginary ideal in the sky lifestyle that we peddle as a society……I am talking about the poop shoveling, hard questioning, quest for knowledge lifestyle.  The kind of lifestyle where you are always owning up to how you affect others in this world.

It’s why we love boxing.  Two exposed souls giving and taking what each other has to offer….manipulating distance and timing….exposing and being exposed.  The immediate drama of our lives plays out before us in a physical display- no script.

Everyone should lace up and experience sparring at least once in their lifetime…….preferably more.  While sparring, you learn more about yourself in the privacy of your thoughts all the while portraying through your body what you think is secret.

Each coach studies this sport in and out……we study ourselves inside and out.

So much goes into fight preparation.  There’s a massive tug to keep the fighter within a zone that doesn’t go into full on flight/fight for weeks before the fight.  They are a constant blast of adrenaline just thinking about their bout and you have to steer them into that still zone…..the quiet…….the place they can breathe without freezing up to think about what’s ahead.  That place the breathe makes you feel like you are floating and watching yourself in a movie.

Our coaches train you to be prepared to fight whether you ever strap on the headgear or not.  We have been in the ring and taken others there.  You can use these skills to face challenges that excite you in life.  Ones that you feel apprehension, nerves, anxiety….anything about……..you can use boxing skills to take on these experiences.  You can make boxing a lifestyle-

A cerebrally physical expression of you.

#BoxOn

 

 

 

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Snippets of sun

October gold all around as the wind wisps lighter objects on the ground up into the air and violently returns them to the earth.  The sun through the windows feigns a balmy outdoors.  Stepping outside feeling the prick of cold on my skin I watch the exhale of my breath take shape against the city scape.

It’s Fall at the gym, Change feels good….

I’ve set a 5 year  vision for myself and the gym.  I want this space to exist and be whether I’m here or not.  A place for serious community members to come in and work on all that is dysfunctional in their lives.  I have my work cut out for me.  I want Arcaro to be a respectful place where the heavy bags keep secrets and the ropes contain the stories shared on the canvas.

In my determination for growth and self-accountability, I have a space that is emerging in spite of me and beyond me.  For this, I am most proud.  For a space wholly dependent on me is my cage and ultimately yours.  I want my coaches, my boxers, my community to surpass my capabilities…..to take this space further than I ever could with the integrity of hard work and people as its centerpiece.

A business- kids- anything outside of you and dependent on you is the quickest way to find out what your are made of (if you don’t spar that is)

7 years ago, I was made up of a lot of insecurity-  disconnection- need for approval.  Each and everyday I had to face the ugly in me or the business wouldn’t grow and change.  I had to see all the ways I was screwing up (still have to) or succumb to complacency.

Boxing is my grounding-  it has taught me how to continually come back to fundamentals.  How to be excited at looking for all that is wrong and lacking.  Boxing has taught me how to take the absolute lowest blow to the cleanest punch and still stay centered.

It is this environment that is being established with everyone who walks into Arcaro.

Heritage- DNA- environment –  it all shaped us and continues to shape us………

Get in here and find your ugly!

#boxon

 

 

 

 

 

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#coachesdowntime story

Confession:

I’ve been afraid of my InstaPot

Well, really I feel anxious when I have to read manuals…..follow directions……fill out new forms……you get the idea.

I can go in the ring and get punched, but having to read a manual will induce rapid heart rate, the desire to freeze, sweaty armpits……lack of focus….etc……

Over the past couple of weeks I decided to take myself head on!  Reading recipes and InstaPot manuals……

Masterpieces have ensued!!!!!

Thanks to Dad Cooks Dinner  and my new found bravery, Braised InstaPot Oxtails became a real thing.

 

Really my anticipation is a greater cause of anxiety because when I just start and don’t take time to overthink – the directions are easy and I learn a little something.

The meal was bomb!

#boxon

 

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No nonsense vision

We are a no nonsense gym.  Deeply rooted in community efforts.

When you come here, we are committed to helping you find your most powerful leverage.

“If You Are Working On Something That You Really Care About, You Don’t Have To Be Pushed. The Vision Pulls You.

– Steve Jobs

We meet you where your effort is.

There are so many details to the punch that we never run out of material…never a dull moment experienced searching for that perfection feeling that spirals from within the body and spills out and through our target.

We are at the intersection skill and passion.

“If you feel like there’s something out there that you’re supposed to be doing, if you have a passion for it, then stop wishing and  just do it.” – Wanda Sykes

You have to come in, show up and stay consistent to get what you want.  The fight is within you, we just show you how to perfect your delivery.  It is your style we wish to embellish, to craft and create a well balanced experience of biomechanical freedom.

Your passion is waiting for your courage to catch up-  Isabelle Lafleche

Start out learning your fundamentals.  Commit to a training regime.  Work your way to sparring.

Everyone should get hit at least once.  This is how you learn your responses to duress.  How you can safely learn how to calm down…stay present and respond versus fight -flee or freeze.  It feels good to be able to slow things down…to see clear and slow down your heart rate when everything around is whirring.

Join the gym and #BoxOn !!!

 

 

 

 

 

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6 most inspirational boxers

6 most inspirational boxers in history

Boxing was first introduced into the ancient Olympic Games in the 7th Century, but other versions can be traced back to 3000 BC. Throughout history, this great sport has provided spectators with uncountable memorable battles, leaving them in awe. In recent history, boxing is considered as one of the most popular types of martial arts in the world. Many athletes have dedicated their lives to providing spectators with exhilarating matches, and their unique contributions to the sport cannot be overlooked. Here are six of the most inspirational boxers who have made their mark on history through their unique fighting styles and exemplary showmanship.

  1. Muhammad Ali, USA

He is fondly known to many boxing fans as ‘The Greatest’ because he had already carved a spot among the legends even before he became a professional. In 1960, he won a gold medal at the Summer Olympics, which was hosted in Rome, Italy. As a professional boxer, Ali transformed into an icon who was also known as a human rights activist; he refused to serve in the US Army during the Vietnam War. He was agile but lethal; he flew like a butterfly and stung like a bee.

  1. Jack Johnson, USA

In 1910, Johnson rose to stardom after defeating the then heavyweight champion James Jeffries, who was white and claimed that white people were better than black people. He made history by being the first black heavyweight world champion after he knocked-out Jeffries in the 15th round of their match. Jeffries was previously undefeated and this was the first loss of his boxing career. Johnson was a great showman, so he became one of the first black athletes worldwide to receive numerous endorsement deals.

  1. Oscar De La Hoya, Mexico

He was also known as ‘The Golden Boy’ because of his good looks and charisma. De La Hoya played a huge role in catapulting boxing match viewership to a non-boxing fanbase. As a Mexican American, he created a large fan base crossing country borders which made him one of the first athletes to truly amass wealth through boxing. He can be credited for paving the way for other boxers like Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather in the era of Pay-Per-View extravaganza.

  1. Mike Tyson, USA

Tyson is a polarizing figure in the sport because of his outside of his outside the ring troubles.  His ferocious and explosive “peekaboo” fighting style made him a fan favorite.   His nickname ‘Iron Mike’ came as a result of winning all of his first 38 professional fights, with 34 of them being via knockout. Although Tyson was incarcerated for 4 years, he went on to win the WBA and WBC heavyweight titles.  After he retired from the sport, he became an actor and has appeared in many Hollywood productions such as The Hangover movie series. He also hosts live shows.

  1. Floyd Mayweather, USA

After Oscar De La Hoya set the stage, Mayweather took the mantle of being the biggest boxing star by successfully transforming boxing from being a simple sport into a mainstream part of daily life. In his early 30s, the aggressive boxer became a household name, winning millions of dollars through his fights. He retired with 49 wins and zero losses in boxing.  He gained his 50thcombat sport win after defeating MMA’s Conor McGregor. Mayweather was the highest-paid athlete in 2018after winning $275 million (£223 million) and he is currently the highest-paid boxer of all time. His net worth is approximately $1 billion (£814 million).

  1. Manny Pacquiao, Philippines

Nicknamed Pacman, Pacquiao is a true cultural icon who captivated spectators worldwide with his relentless and unique fighting style. He started as a flyweight and quickly made his mark on other weight classes, going as high as a super welterweight. He rivalled Mayweather by amassing a fortune throughout his boxing career; however, he has used a lot of his wealth to give back to his country and community. His career has been remarkable mainly because he managed to win against opponents much larger than him.

Moving forward, boxing is bound to get more interesting because new athletes are using a more modern social media approach to fighting to get their names on this list. Fans are also keenly following the athletes from their beginnings and placing stakes in their success.

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skills

At Arcaro we are focused on the fundamentals.

Fundamentals in boxing, communication, awareness……..just overall fundamentals.

You don’t have to compete to be treated like a competitive boxer.

corner work

 

You do have to want to face discomfort……to face how ineffective we all move.  How we have so much to improve.

IMG_3081    Postworkout

You have to be willing to work through your cognitive dissonance…….to reframe the way you see life.

Boxing gyms are active places.  They hold the keys to the way the world works.  They give you a place to learn skills applicable to the outside.

Our entire fitness industry has us believing many inaccurate things about stretching, cardio, what fitness means in general.

At Arcaro we dispel the myths and get to work.  We help you to move better, feel better and think clearer through multi pronged approaches to training.

We develop your punch from the ground up so you can feel what leverage really is.

We connect you with other community members so you can experience what a boxer does when they are part of a stable.  What it truly means to have training partners.

We are no frills, we are committed and we #BoxOn!

 

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