Pugilism: from the ring and to the street

This is a guest post from Oleg Fadeev (pictured below) who comes to us all the way from Nizhni Novgorod, Russia.


I have about 15 years of practice and teaching combatives and self-defense to different groups of people starting with military operatives and up to the civilian white collars, who were eager to be able to defend themselves and their loved ones. It is obvious that all these groups have different aims and different means of reaching their goals: a special forces quick killing at the theater of operations has nothing to offer to a common citizen in the weekend evening bar quarrel. So, now I’d like to focus on the civilian self-defense. 

There are many decent civilian self-defense systems, but I want to talk about the oldest European and American system – boxing and pugilism as its street application.

The fact is that boxing or pugilism has many pros related to the self-defense. We can divide it into the following categories: technical, physical, psychological and methodological. Let’s have a closer look on every one of them.


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Boxing is really simple. It has a rather small amount of techniques, which can be learned and trained during quite a short period of time. It is a valuable aspect for those who can’t spend a lot of time training, for those who should work for their living. Actually for self-defense we don’t have to spend years in the boxing gym. My personal experience shows that it is a matter of one year as the maximum. Certainly just one year of training won’t make a champion of a common person. This kind of training has a different goal: to give a person the means necessary to defend him, and a year is quite enough in this case.


Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 6.20.50 PMBoxing is a complex kind of sport. Along with punches and defenses it has a necessary amount of physical training exercises to keep fit. Power, agility and stamina are developed simultaneously giving the pugilist a physical harmony, a highly appreciated quality since the times of the ancient Greece. 


Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 6.22.39 PMThis aspect of boxing is really hard to overestimate. The pugilist always deals with different kinds of aggression. It is the aggression of the environment, when he should overcome his fatigue and become stronger than he was the day before. This habit to overcome obstacles and distribute the efforts is very applicable in everyday life. The pugilist is effective in the gym, he is effective doing his job, and he is effective keeping his house and family. The pugilist undergoes the consequences of the stress less often than the others. He actually faces it in the gym; he knows how to deal with it. The second type of aggression is the individual aggression. The pugilist faces the adversary in the ring or during a sparring. He throws punches and builds defenses against the extremely hostile being. He’ll meet the same thing in the street. He learns how to be really tough and how to use his mind at the same time. He eats punches and strikes back with more strength. He fights to his last breathe and never surrenders. It is a great lesson to be active under the circumstances, always look for the effective way of solving the problem.


Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 6.23.47 PMBoxing has been developed in Europe and America for centuries and it was always connected either with recognition or with making money. So for years and years lots of coaches and fighters have been constantly improving each and every aspect of training to be more effective. As a result, boxing nowadays is the most well developed fighting system in the world. What it gives the pugilist? It gives him the assurance of the high quality training in any boxing gym or club. In any boxing gym we will see the most effective results of the centuries of research, so it is a guarantee that boxing will never be the loss of time and money.

Those were some of my thoughts on the topic. I’d always like to answer any questions and to discuss boxing and pugilism.

With my best regards, 


Boxing Used as Self-Defense

Boxing used as self-defense is very effective and I recommend it for anyone who wishes to learn to defend him or herself. I recommend for those that disagree that they do a Google search for street fights, before making rash judgments on learning another form of self-defense. From all my years in boxing and also being involved in more than my share of confrontations I have seen fights end with one well-placed punch. I have also had to deal with my share of loud mouth bullies who think that they can push people for no reason because no one has stood up to them.

 I have been putting a great deal of thought in how I could be of greater service to my community and the one gift that I have been blessed with is the ability to teach boxing

I have been putting a great deal of thought in how I could be of greater service to my community and the one gift that I have been blessed with is the ability to teach boxing

I have been teaching boxing for years and feel a great amount of pride knowing that I helped hundreds of boys and girls learn the art of boxing to defend against the bullies of the world. To see these young people grow into self-confident adults who carry themselves with dignity and honor motivates me to try and reach out and see if I can somehow reach a larger group. I have been putting a great deal of thought in how I could be of greater service to my community and the one gift that I have been blessed with is the ability to teach boxing. 

I have been talking with Zach Walters in how I can contribute more to his program, “ Jungle Boy Boxing Gym “ and we have decided to offer our services to those that want to learn the “ Art of Boxing “ without competing in matches. I am not just talking about another fitness boxing class taught on DVD garbage. I’m talking about really learning the art of boxing and getting all the benefits of boxing, self defense, physical conditioning, and self confidence.

If you want to get in great shape and have a physique of a fighter, if you want to get in the absolute best shape of your life, and if you want to be self-confident knowing that you can defend yourself Jungle Boy Boxing Gym is the right spot for you. We are highly trained with a well-proven track record of producing the best fighters that have ever come out of Duluth, MN.

If your Child is being bullied or is suffering with self-confidence issues that is causing them problems at home or at school we are the right fit. I have been helping young boxers for years and now I want to help all kids. You don’t have to compete to reap the benefits of our services. 

Where Boys Become Men, And Men Become Heroes

When I used to train amateur boxers at my old gym I used a motto when the fighters were having a hard condition session.  It was “Horton’s Gym is Where Boy’s Become Men, And Men Become Heroes.”  I would shout that over the music that blared in the background as the fighters would struggle through the routine of the day. It was my way of encouraging them to push through the pain. In life there is pain and there is struggle. I would push the fighters to go beyond their comfort zone. In life, as well as in boxing, we all have to push through struggles no matter the extent of the pain. This type of training helps develop the will power needed to succeed in the ring, and in life. 

Chuck Horton

Chuck Horton in the gym

I would often use humor and anger during these routines; I feel that one should learn to laugh at pain, to scream at pain or whatever emotion is needed to get through it. It is my experience that if you use emotion as you instruct, you will evoke emotions from those that are being instructed, and emotions always came to surface. It was my job to see and take mental note of which emotion each fighter used to get through their struggle.

 I wanted to see what drove the fighter to push through. I would praise the fighters that tried their best, and would take note of the ones who slacked. I would also use these sessions as team building exercises, Taking note of those that chastised, and also noting those that encouraged their teammates. I would quickly punish the slackers and the chastiser’s with extra conditioning after the drill. The slackers needed to learn to pull their own weight, that nobody could save them but themselves.  Those that chastised their teammates needed to learn that negativity is contagious and has to be prevented from spreading. 


In the next article, Chuck Horton will discuss the importance of storytelling to create the culture of a hero.

In Need of Self-Defense Training? Look Here for Info.

If anyone is looking to learn about, and work on self-defense practices, please refer to the information below about Zach Walter’s Jungle Boy Boxing Gym.


Mission statement from Coach Walters of the Jungle Boy Boxing Gym:

“I take my role as a coach very seriously. I’ll teach them the right way to box the first time. There are many boxers out there that were overlooked by coaches early in their boxing development. These boxers learn bad habits that are a pain to break. At Jungle Boy Boxing Gym we work extra hard to get them on the right track with proper fundamental so they can focus on excelling in the sport down the road instead of correcting bad habits. Yes, I’ll teach my boxers the fundamentals and strategies of boxing, but more importantly it’s my goal to role model what it takes to be successful at life. This means teaching how to deal with setbacks in a positive way and setting goals to aspire to. Life can be tough on kids, but with focus and drive they can see through the hard times to a better future. The success my boxers have in the ring is undetermined. It’s up to them how far they want to go. My goal is that they also learn to become better at life through their participation at my gym. Not just become skilled boxers.”

Jungle Boy Boxing

General Information: Gym Info: Boxing gym hours: 3:30-5:30 Monday – Thursday

Gym address: 914 W 3rd St. Duluth, MN 55806

Contact Information: Email: jbbg2011@gmail.com Phone: 218-940-8927 Facebook: Jungle Boy Boxing Gym

map for Jungle Boy

Walters’ Coaching Credentials:

Zach Walters spent 14 years as a boxer. Six years as an amateur boxer followed by a successful 8 year professional career. As an amateur boxer he boxed his way to the National Silver Gloves Tournament and fought to the quarter finals which landed him 3rd in the nation. As a senior boxer he fought in USA Boxing National Tournament twice in Colorado Springs, CO at the Olympic Training Center. In between those two trips he won the Upper Midwest Golden Gloves Championship and boxed at the Golden Gloves National Tournament. The following year Walters boxed through the USA State and 4-State tournaments and was on his way to the Nationals for a 5th time when he made the decision to turn professional. As a pro boxer, Walters started out 5-0 (4 KO) before dropping a hard fought decision in Tacoma, WA. His first loss was followed by a five fight knockout streak winning the Minnesota State Professional Boxing Title along the way. He faced off with Marty Lindquist and won by 2nd round knockout for the title. Zach also won the NABA-US Title, a national title, by second round knockout. A peak moment for him was fighting for the WBC-African Boxing Union Title. He boxed former world champion Carl Daniels and stopped him in the 8th round to win by TKO. Winning this title earned Walters a #12 in the world ranking by the WBC. Walters finished his career with a record of 24-5 (19 KO). You could say Zach Walters earned a degree in coaching from “The School of Hard Knocks”.

Golden Gloves:

The Golden Gloves program at the gym has gained a lot of popularity over the last few years through the monthly boxing shows at Grandma’s Sports Garden; “Golden Gloves at the Garden”. This program is for young men ages 17 and up. These boxers are trained to box and take their skills to the ring. Most of these boxers find themselves competing within the first three months. This all depends on their ability to pick up the skills needed to compete. Once these boxers have 5 fights in their book they become an “open fighter” and are eligible for the Senior USA Boxing Tournament and the Golden Gloves tournament. These tournaments take place in the early part of the year and wrap up around mid June. Both of these end at the National level and allow a boxer to become nationally ranked by the USA Olympic Boxing Committee. There are other boxing tournaments available and we plan on participating in them as the gym develops. Training for Golden Glove boxers is held 4 days a week: Monday through Thursday from 3:30 – 5:50.

Silver Gloves:

The Silver Gloves program is a newer entity to the gym. This program is for younger boxers age 9 – 16 years old. The only thing different from Golden Glove boxers is age. Some of these young boxers find that they have natural abilities well beyond their years. Once these boxers are “open fighters” (have fights in their books) they are eligible for the USA Silver Gloves tournament and the Junior Olympics tournament. These tournaments go all the way to the national level and offer great opportunities to travel about. The tournaments are one of the exciting parts of competition boxing. Boxing for Silver Gloves is held two days a week. Monday and Wednesday from 4:40 – 5:45 Sponsors and donations: There are two major ways to show support. Sponsorship of the fights and donations to the gym.

George Booth’s Testimonial

Hi, my name is George Booth. I have had the privilege and opportunity to be trained by Horton’s Gym owner Chuck Horton – I would like to share my experience of intense training. I learned a lot about discipline, dieting, and believing in myself. 

I can recall walking into the training class with anywhere from 6-12 people – all who were well ahead of me when it comes to fitness. I weighed in at 243 pounds (you could say my body mass was well over weight for a 5’10”). First thing that is very important with Chuck’s program is setting goals, understand why you’re in his class, and understand the commitment you have to make when you’re training. 

With that said I had no idea what I was getting into. I have joined other training classes that set up skills for football, baseball, and weight training. I was expecting a light fitness class. Well I was wrong! In the 6 months I was training I learned endurance. I was punching the bag for 3 minutes straight, breaking from standing in one place, moving my feet and lifting my arms. After 15-20 minutes my arms and legs were glue. I remember performing “Farmer Johnsons” for a minute back and forth – it felt like hours! 

Chuck had our class run a lot. I can recall the hills of Duluth MN. And these were not normal hills! They were steep inclines. I’d do pull-ups until I was exhausted, and then he’d start punching my belly. “Learn to breathe out” Chuck would say, “or you will have no wind left.” Chuck stressed that timing is very important when it comes to pushing your body to the limit. 

Imagine going 1 hour to 1.5 a day Monday through Friday with no breaks. Always pushing you to the edge where you had nothing left. That was my experience. I also was taught how to defend myself on the boxing moves Chuck showed me. Although I have not ever had to use these skills it’s always good to remember what Chuck had taught me. 

End result: in 6 months I lost 33 pounds, moving from fat to muscle. Thank you Chuck for pushing me and making me believe in my own ability. I recommend Chuck to any human that can handle his training. But never quit!!

How to Throw a Jab

The jab is the most important punch in boxing. It also very useful in a self-defense situation. A building needs a good foundation to stand against violent winds and a fighter needs a strong stance to withstand an attack.  So if you follow these steps you will have success in learning how to throw a simple and effective punch.  

When establishing an on-guard stance, keep your hands at eyebrow level and your elbows pointing down.

When establishing an on-guard stance, keep your hands at eyebrow level and your elbows pointing down. My guest: Jason Manning from 95 KQDS.

Stand up in your normal everyday upright position and step forward with your weaker leg approximately 18 inches (this will vary from person to person). Now that you’re standing, start swaying from front-to-back while keeping both feet firmly on the ground. Adjust your feet to accommodate any balance issues that are exposed while swaying.  Take mental note of these adjustments. Repeat this process while swaying side-to-side, and once again adjust to suit you.

Once you have established a good foundation from your new fighting stance it’s time to protect your centerline. The centerline is an imaginary line that runs down from the crown of your head, splitting your upper torso into a left and right half. Keeping the centerline in mind, bend your knees a few inches and bring both hands up to your eyebrow level while keeping your elbows pointing down.  You should feel comfortable in this position (this is referred to as an “on-guard” stance).  Rock back-and-forth in your new stance with your hands held high to protect your centerline while visualizing an attacker coming into your space. You might need to adjust your stance for your height. Once you are comfortable in this position fine tune it by tucking your chin under your front shoulder and shrugging your shoulders up while simultaneously humping your back. This should put you in a very decent protective stance.

Now that you know how to stand and defend, it’s important that you learn to throw a jab. From a relaxed on-guard position, drive off the ball of your rear foot while thrusting out your front fist or palm towards your imaginary opponent’s nose. Your fist or palm should make contact with the target a split second before your front foot hits the ground from the rear push. Now that you hit your opponent’s nose you want to immediately withdraw your hand by reversing the steps.  

This is the last time that Jason Manning will have an open shot at me.

This is the last time that Jason Manning will have an open shot at me.

You need to practice this at least a thousand times. It is good to practice while looking into a full length mirror.  Another option is to review YouTube videos on how to throw a jab as well. Some key points to remember is to balance on your feet while holding your hands high to protect your centerline. Keep your chin down with your shoulders and back hunched. Elbows down. Hands and arms in front of your face and head.

Keep in mind that you might become very proficient in learning how to throw a jab if you read and follow these steps, but that this in no way going to make you a complete fighter. Please seek the advice of a boxing coach or self-defense instructor in person to improve your form as well as to give you practical advice. While seeking a coach, always ask who they have trained. Seek only the advice from those that have proof of their skills.

First Step: Realize We Live In A Violent World

I often shake my head in amazement when I read or hear of some random act of violence. Those that report on these acts always seemed shocked. Anyone that pays attention to history knows that from the beginning of time, violence has been a part of our existence. If our ancestors did not stand up to those that perpetuated violence against them, you or I would not be here. It bothers me when I hear people say things such as, “The times have gotten so bad, people have no respect anymore,” or “We are living in such violent times.” And my favorite, “We sure have a bully problem these days.” This isn’t a fad; we are genetically wired for violence from the very beginning of mankind. If some tragedy wiped out everyone but two people, they would fight till the last survivor. So the very first step for anyone wishing to be prepared is to open ones eyes, and accept that human’s will always be violent. 

Even if you'll never step into a boxing ring, it's important to know how to defend yourself.

Even if you’ll never step into a boxing ring, it’s important to know how to defend yourself.

If you want to prevent yourself or your loved ones from being victimized, you should learn realistic self-defense. I grew up fighting in blue-collar neighborhood in the northern Minnesota shipping town of Duluth, MN. Back when I was young man, bar fighting was a sport. I served in the Army, and spent time in combat. I have spent many years in Professional Boxing. I learned long ago that people that can handle themselves are not victimized. You don’t have to be the toughest person – you just don’t want to be an easy target. If you follow my instructions and put in the work you will no longer be a soft target, you will be a hard target. People who wish to harm someone will recognize that. I have seen the transformation from soft target to hard target too many times to count. I have trained people for years on how to fight. I have a proven track record with the success of my Boxers. 

My hope is by starting this blog that I may help anyone out there who is being threatened or bullied to feel safer in this violent world. I especially want to help young boys and girls out there that are being bullied. For years I have taught kids on how to box (as my Father did before me).

I have come to realize that some parents do not want to bring their kids to a boxing gym, and some kids do not want box. I understand their concern – that is why I started this blog. I want to reach those people who need help. This will not be a blog about some make believe and ancient martial art secret. This will be a blog about simple yet practical skills that almost anyone can use. It will be a free of charge resource for you to learn from.  I have been blessed with many people in my life who have helped me along my journey. This is my way of paying back. I encourage those that read this blog to show it to any of your friends that might benefit from it. Bookmark this blog on your computer and visit it often; it will be updated frequently with new material that anyone may use to not only defend themselves but also get in great shape. Simple yet very efficient workouts will be posted; these workouts are what I use to get my professional fighters in top condition. Good luck on your journey.