BOXING AND CRIME GANGS
I am glad to be back working on stories for this website. I really missed it the last four months.
This is the first article of the year.
I guess wherever you reside or travel to; there will be members of society that will not play by the rules. One of my neighbors, who is also an ex-student of mine in boxing, kickboxing and Hung Gar Kung Fu, who I trained for four years from 10 years old is now a grown man. He is a nice young man but unfortunately he is a member of a notorious gang in Southeast Washington, DC. He has broken all the promises and oaths that I had tried to instill in him as a youth when I was training him back in the mid 1980s. He has laid down his training and picked up the quick solution to his problems and a tool of his trade, a Glock hand gun.
Of course the individuals of this article cannot be named nor can I used the names of the gangs in this article. All the names are changed. I will call my ex student Cee.
In this column, I will discuss boxing & martial arts and how the crime gangs in the Washington, DC area view the pugilistic sports today and their participation in the sports. There will be three different gang members I will interview and discuss. Black, Latino and Vietnamese gang members. Cee was instrumental in helping put this article together.
PUGILISM AND GANGS
Every gang member that I had talked to for this article has had some sought of boxing or martial arts training. Most have had the training in there sub-teen years and generally ended their training in the early or mid-teen years. In a lot of cases these individuals never excelled in the classroom and some did not excel in other sports. They were low achievers in both and came from impoverished backgrounds. Usually there was always urgency in the family for money and usually the father was missing from the household.
As they grow up, their boxing coaches and criminal leaders become the strongest influence on them until they reach their teen years, then they finally let boxing/martial arts go and start a new career path in crime. If these pugilist show promise in their amateur or pro career, usually there gang members will encourage them to stick with their pugilistic career, often times stepping aside to let their member flourish with no strings attached. If he does not find success in his career, he will have an occupation to go back to.
Cee was a young man who never seems to keep his emotions in check always fighting and stealing. He formerly resided next door to me and he never knew who his father was. He had seven brothers and one sister. His mother was a low achieving student when she was growing up. She is close to fifty years old now and has been on and off drugs over 25 years. She often had to steal and prostitute to obtain her fixes. His sister was a straight A student throughout school but could not keep her emotions in check and was constantly arguing with the family. Eventually, she began a life after graduating school of drug dealing, muling and prostitution as her career path until her life ended at 26 years old with a .357 magnum slug in her head. All his brothers are currently working or going to school.
Cee loves the martial arts and he is a member of a tightly knit drug gang of 40 members. All of them love boxing but Cee is the only one with martial arts training. Ten of the members of the gang have had boxing training and 3 were regional champs. When asked why didnt they continue their amateur boxing careers, they all blamed not getting enough breaks, needed better coaching and they felt that they were not well connected. They explained that being connected was the most important aspect of having a good pro boxing career.
Joelo, Cees leader says that a lot of the fights in the DC, Atlantic City, Baltimore and New York City are JUICED or fixed. Providing the fighters handlers and organization to make money off the fighter illegally. Joelo claims that you do not need a great fighter for this type of activity. Just average to above average fighters to orchestrate an exciting fight for bets. He explained that judges are paid off in these type of activities too, to keep a fighters career going or to influence betting results. He claims that he has been part of it also.
I asked would they threaten the fighters life, if they did not comply with stage fights. He said no. That is just Hollywood. The organization will not have anything to do with him and they will fix it so he will not work in those cities again.
Boxing is the third favorite sport among this gang, with basketball and football being first and second respectively.
I asked them, if they had a beef with their customers or a rival crew would they use their boxing skills to beat the guy up. Joelo explained that they try not to do anything to bring attention to them unless it is an extreme emergency. No, they dont go out and beat people up or use their boxing skills. They noted that they do not fight in most cases, they do not train in boxing and they all lost their boxing skills. A bullet in the leg or chest seems to settle beefs faster than Civil or Small Claims Court and in 99% of the cases, the victims will not tell the police.
Their business is dealing drugs and having fun on there off time. They are very wary of prison time.
Cees gang deals with their clientele through cell phones and email. Transactions are made in various ways. But they spend little time on the streets. They keep physical contact and meetings with their clientele to a minimum. Absolutely, no fist fights. Joelo explains that after a beef with customers of rivals, they will let things cool down and deal with them a week or two later with a firearm.
I met Juan through a counselor in the Princes Georges County, Maryland School system. Juan is a native of Chile. He has dropped out of school and boxes to stay in shape. Juan was reluctant to talk about his gang, which has 3,000 members in Northwest, Washington, DC, Montgomery County and Prince Georges County, Maryland; and Alexandria and Fairfax Counties in Virginia.
Juan is 18 and very well connected. His role in his gang is an auto mechanic. He works with a branch in his organization that moves auto parts from Canada to Brazil. Stolen cars and parts is his thing. Juan says he is not in a position to get in fights with people. He is paid well and he vacations often with his girl. He says soccer is number one with his friends, but boxing has always been his favorite. He claims that he is a walking encyclopedia on boxing and he seems to know everything about boxing. Juan has not had martial arts lessons but he loves watching Kung Fu flicks.
Juan says he knows a lot of DC boxers, Black, White and Latino and he goes to the big boxing shows in Atlantic City, DC, Miami, Las Vegas and Atlanta. He says that he accidentally saw the K1 fights on cable in ESPN and liked it. He felt that it was a little slower than boxing because of the kicking. Some matches did not move fast.
His gang is similar to Cees gang. If they have a problem with someone they do not go out and box them or get in street fights if they can help it. They have people to go out and deal with enemies at the right time, mostly when they least expect it and often with a gun.
He has a little girl and resides with her mother in Prince Georges County, Maryland. He says that he and his friends including members of his gang sometimes travel together to watch the big boxing matches around the US. He says that he does not think his gang has anything to do with the fight game and never heard about them financially supporting boxers. He noted that he has sold drugs before and got in fistfights in the streets and in clubs but he says what he is doing now is safer and it is harder for him to get caught.
Juan says he an American citizen, but because of his activities he has been disowned by his parents, His father is a worker in the Maryland government and his mother is an employee at a local university in DC.
A Maryland martial arts teacher connected me with this Virginia gang member and this was a very loud interview. This guy I will call Lee. He is a martial artist that is good with just about every martial arts weapon and has turned his back on the principles of martial arts training. He is about 5 6 150lbs built life a brick house and scary.
Lees family is from Cambodian and his gang deals in just about every crime you can imagine. He will not talk about his family but he is 38 years old. He would not give me the numbers of his gang but he noted that they are a worldwide organization and they have dealt military arms to third world countries.
Lee says he loves all the pugilistic arts, except Greco Roman wrestling. He says that his organization grew so powerful at one time that they made a mistake so big that German military almost completely ran them out of Europe. Even today, they do not plan to do business in Europe because the German government is trying to crush their organization.
Lee has been shot four times and he claims to be responsible for multiple deaths in and outside the US. He is not a US citizen and he thinks he is wanted by several countries. He says at one time his organization had a policy of eliminating their enemies by any means possible, but that had brought the police at their organizations doorstep and shrunk their ranks dramatically. He says now they are trying to step quietly with their activities, but they are continually being pursued by law enforcement officials in the US, Asia and Europe.
He says that he is a great marksman and knows every firearm. He says that he works out lifting weights twice weekly for three hours a session and train in the martial arts for three hours a session. He says that he will kill anyone that would get in his way and he is not a bullsh--er. When I asked what was his specific job duty in his organization. He concluded very loudly: