For years fighting has played a significant role within our Western society. From famous names like Muhammad Ali and Ronda Rousey, our western culture is enthralled with the seemingly violent art form of fighting. However, Fight Culture will hopefully be a place where fighters and pacifist can respect the sport of fighting in its entirety, whether that be professional or recreational.
My name is Kat Denney and like a lot of kids I did Karate growing up. Other than fighting with my siblings, it was my first experience with self-defense. I did Karate for five years and my older siblings did it for even longer. Weekends were spent at tournaments and several times I accompanied my older sister to the state championship. This was my introduction to the art of self-defense and I continued my training all the way to a second kyu brown belt.
I then quit Karate to join the swim team but in my senior year of high school, I returned to the realm of fighting when a boxing gym opened up in my small town of Carrollton, Georgia. It was called Cutman Boxing and there I was coached by award winning trainers for a year. I put my gloves away and instead of hitting a bag, I’ve been hitting the books at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina.
One of my coaches was Mr. Richard Haliburton, the two-time head coach for the University of Georgia all-state boxing team. A team which included four-time champion Evander Holyfield and former middleweight professional contender Harry Heatwave Daniels, Mr. Kennith was my kickboxing coach and was himself a former national kickboxing champion and, not to mention, a preacher. Someone once asked him how he could be a preacher and also fight. He responded with, “Let’s hop in the ring and I’ll show you.”
At first, I purely went to Cutman Boxing for fitness. I despised the gym and the monotonous boring workouts on a machine or lifting weights. Boxing offered me a refreshing change. Every afternoon you could find me working a speed bag or jumping rope. I became absolutely hooked on training and fighting. I discovered that boxing isn’t just about punching. It takes patience, skill, forethought, and hours of training to make those slips, counters, and combos natural. The first time in the ring is the most frustrating. You think of everything five seconds too late. You can’t counter a jab and you can’t slip a punch. Blindly swinging a wide right hook, your opponent sees the opening and knocks you dizzy with a straight right jab. The second time is only a little bit better. The third time you almost find a rhythm and in the fourth round, you think you got the hang of it, only to realize that your coach had been taking it easy on you.
Even if you aren’t a fighter, you can train like one. I will be providing weekly workouts here on Fight Culture to help you get ripped without getting hit. If you are interested in seriously fighting I highly suggest finding a gym near you. It’s a fantastic way to build a community and push you to your goals. At Cutman Boxing I found this community and it’s one of the first places I visit when I go home.
My coaches pushed me in training and my goals began to shift from losing weight to being a good fighter. The kind of fighter that sees a jab before it is thrown and dances around their opponent like a butterfly. I began researching famous fighters, their styles, fight movements, and how fighting has evolved over time. The end result is Fight Culture, a place where fighting enthusiasts and curious observers can respect the sport.
Mr. Richard loved the sport of Boxing and knew the history of it like the back of his hand. He would rattle off statistics about the big heavyweight contenders like Muhammad Ali, Jack Johnson, and Mike Tyson or shout out “Now you’re holding your hands like Foreman get ‘em up!”. These were some his favorite fighters and we would always watch their rounds. I began researching fighters such as Ronda Rousey and the development of MMA. I began digging into the development of fighting in the United States. I like to call it The Melting Pot of Fighting because styles such as Judo, Muy Thai, Irish Bare-Knuckle boxing, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu have blended together into what we now call MMA Fighting.
I hope you enjoy Fight Club and the various fighters, styles, and movements presented. Feel free to contact us with any questions, comments, or concerns! In the words of Muhammad Ali “There are more pleasant things to do than beat up people.” And maybe reading Fight Culture is one of them.