50 years? Where did it go? Stuffed if I know, but what I do know is the changes in the fight game over 5 decades.
What started in a scout hall in winter in Victoria 1973 is still going strong today, a love of the fight game. What started as a scared 4 year old in the back of a Karate class, became a lifetime of learning different fight styles, strategies, skills and teaching or training fighters in every style of competitive fighting competition possible. Winning various titles but more importantly (to me at least) is having a big say in training 10 world title wins across various fight styles. I wont name drop, I will save that for another blog, but rest assured I have had my time in the sun.
Karate, Kickboxing, Muay Thai, Amateur boxing, Professional boxing, Shootboxing you name I have done it or trained someone in it.
Athletes became serious, professional, focused, way more than the "Part Time" people we were way back in the day. Equipment constantly improved and is still improving, the rules keep changing, or should I say the Fight Styles keep changing more than the rules and that is exciting.
Today while I still train students and clients, I run a sports equipment business, Gym Gear Australia selling sports gear for combat sports as well as other mainstream sports, AFL, Rugby, Tennis, Soccer, Swimming, Basketball, but what i am excited about most these days is the fight gear.
Boxing gloves today are a far cry from the gear we used 30-40 years ago, the quality and the availability of gear is amazing. Working closely with suppliers to create and promote the best gear available has opened my eyes to the new technologies we see in Combat Sport equipment today. I mean have a look at the mittens we used in the early years of Kickboxing, no wonder so many fighters received so many injuries.
Suppliers like Venum, Punch, Everlast (one of the OG's) Hayabusa, Rival, Windy, Twins, Sting are always working on creating the most reliable gear with as much new technology as they can.
Creating gloves that are designed specifically for Amateur Boxing, for Professional Boxing, Muay Thai, MMA has seen some amazing new creations and it really doesn't look like slowing down. Gloves keep improving.
Champions like Jeff Fenech would have definitely benefited from todays equipment, so I can only dream what new champions we will see, all thanks to the new technology gloves we are seeing.
And its not just gloves, we fought with cloth shin guards, I would have given my left ear to have the amazing shin guards we see in todays sports bags.
I found an old head guard...... Head guard? I think not, it was more like a padded decoration worn to pretend you were concerned about your well being, todays head guards boast impact memory foams and amazing design to actually provide protection, insert time machine here and bring me some back to the 80's please.
My biggest laugh came as I dug out a "Thai Pad" or something that resembled one, how we actually trained with it actually made me laugh, it couldn't handle the power and the impact of todays fighters, not like todays Thai Pads do.
I think I might have to start doing some reviews on some gear to show what suits the industry's needs, and while that takes place, lets see what the next 50 years provides for our fighters and sports.