Crown Shyness

The space between trees that don’t touch

It’s between you and me-  Boxer and Coach

Crowd and Fighter

That walk- an endless hallway in a horror flick

All that space…………to wander off

It’s too long-  time to think and listen to the murmuring dysfunction that drink and expected violence elicit –  Walking through them and me-

I head up each sysiphean  step through the space in between the ropes that will contain me and you

I breath and the clenching grip lets loose, preparing me for your touch.

We are called to the center to close the chasm – now a 3 in a square on stage for all to see

The bell rings and we follow it’s resonance to contact

#boxon

 

 

 

 

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Betting and boxing

As we enter the 2020s, it’s hard to deny that interest in professional boxing has declined sharply in the United States. While the sport has enjoyed something of a resurgence in parts of Europe, it appears to be long past its heyday in American sports. Think of the last time a big heavyweight bout seized popular attention akin to “major” sports, and you’ll likely come up empty. Look back on the most inspirational boxers in history, and you’ll find they’re all associated with decades and eras past.

There are plenty of theories as to why boxing has declined the way it has in the U.S. Some argue that America simply has less of an edge in the sport. Others suggest there’s a link to growing criticism of the NFL, and that modern American fans are simply less interested in sports that can be perceived as dangerous. Then again, there’s also the popular argument that newer alternatives like the UFC have stolen boxing’s audience (though there’s little compelling evidence of this). One possibility we don’t hear as much about though, but which may be the most interesting of all, is that the subdued betting culture in the U.S. these last few decades has helped to quell interest in the sport.

It was the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 that banned states from allowing and regulating sports betting services, essentially taking away a popular side activity for boxing fans. The Act was essentially undone via a 2018 Supreme Court ruling, but one can make the argument that one of its lasting impacts was to help ease boxing away from mainstream sports and into more of a niche classification. Once upon a time the sport earned regular coverage, and one reason so many people followed it so closely was that they could bet on the outcomes – or at least gauge the fights by way of betting odds that were commonly and openly discussed. Over the years, that same interest continued to exist, but it was largely bottled up in a few specific areas (most notably Las Vegas) where sports betting remained legal.

Given the undoing of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018, however, the betting scene is rapidly shifting once more in the U.S. The Supreme Court’s decision indirectly launched a movement of betting legislation across the country. Sports betting sites have now been legalized in a handful of states, and their regulation is under consideration in many more. Not only does this mean that millions more Americans have already regained access to legal sports betting (or in the cases of younger sports fans, been introduced to it for the first time). It has also brought about newer, more sophisticated, and more varied betting options than Americans could access previously – including virtually unlimited listings for professional boxing matches across various platforms.

Along with this rebirth of legal sports betting in the U.S., we’ve seen a quick transition among sports media companies toward covering gambling as a sort of adjacent interest. Entities as mainstream as ESPN now devote regular, direct attention to gambling odds, betting advice and the like, which essentially serves as simultaneous advertisement and education for the rising betting industry. In other words, the average American sports fan isn’t just potentially gaining the ability to bet – he or she is also being taught how and where to do it strategically.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that these fans will flock to boxing. As noted above, there are reasons beyond betting that may speak to why the sport has declined among U.S. viewers. If we accept that a lack of access to the once-thriving boxing betting markets is at least part of the problem though, these changes could certainly be helpful. In time, the chance to analyze professional fights according to the odds and the experts’ opinions, as well as the ability to gain more personal attachment to matches by way of legal wagering could inspire a reasonable number of fans to give the sport a fresh chance.

ProBoxing_1

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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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