HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOE LEWIS!
Today is the great Joe Lewis’s birthday and in honor of his birthday I decided to write five reasons why I am so dedicated to continuing to teach what Joe Lewis taught me and to make sure his legacy lives on. There are many more, but these are the first five that popped in my head.
Most giving martial artist I have ever met when it came to sharing his knowledge. Joe always put teaching, and the people he taught, above the money he could make. Very rare in this business or any other business!
His system is still way ahead of its time! I see many of the current Fighting champions using much of what Joe taught me, lateral movement for offense and defense, explosive speed off the line, getting off first, constant head movement, broken rhythm, indirect angler attack and having a fighting style that adapts to the opponents style of fighting not just going at it.
I also see many fighters that have not been exposed to this kind of training and are still just standing right in front of the opponent waiting to get hit ( as Joe would say) or walking in and seeing who can take the most blows.
His lack of arrogance when presenting himself to the public. Now some of you might say “Joe Lewis not arrogant? Your crazy!” Joe did have a certain level of confidence and an air about him when he competed. He told me he got it from his training in Okinawa.
But, one on one with the average guy, Joe was just Joe, never used the world master, never tried to build himself up as someone people should be in awe of. He would be friendly and talk to anyone.
He truly loved the martial arts and all the fighting sports! I have spent many of nights watching fights with Joe, mainly classic boxing matches on ESPN classics. He would just break it all down and get really excited about someone throwing a great hook or shoulder roll counter!
I am also a little embarrassed to remember sometimes getting a punch in the arm and hear “Jim wake up, this is good!” as I was dosing. It just amazed me just how passionate he was for the fighting sports.
Just a lot of fun to be around! Joe was just a big kid, he love to make people laugh. I have a good friend, Kevin Walker, 6th degree under Joe, and is the same way, always cutting up. Joe loved Kevin! I remember Joe, Kevin and I went to get something to eat after classes one night. Kevin and Joe go right at it, joking around, kidding and flirting with the waitresses and just making them laugh. Some of the jokes were a little R rated so I said, being the stick in the mud, “guys come on, clean it up my school is right down the street” from that point on, no matter what city or country we were in, Joe would say “hey guys clean it up Jim’s school right down the street”
I cannot even express how much I miss those times! Happy Birthday my Friend we miss you!