09:36 – Boxing Day. When I was little–this would have been back in the mid- to late-50’s–I thought Boxing Day referred to the sport. I remember my dad and uncle and men from the neighborhood gathering around the TV to watch boxing while they smoked and drank beer, with the wives gathered in the kitchen. Even then, I hung out with the women instead of the men.
The first and only time I ever tried boxing was when I was about 11. My friend Randy McConnell had a spare set of boxing gloves and lured me into trying it. My first match lasted about two seconds. He punched me in the face and I went down. That marked the beginning of my interest in martial arts. I was determined that no one would ever knock me down again without having a real fight on his hands. And, other than during matches and sparring, no one ever has.