January 6, 2014

Aloha, Cultural Mentoring, and Boxing Gangs

Owing to some end of the year travel in Kauai, and the general chaos of the holidaze, I've not posted in a while. Thanks to a growing group of subscribers (you), the pile of suggested topics you've submitted is growing rapidly. Thanks. If you have ideas, suggestions, or stories, please send them to me.

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In this post, I offer two stories about Man-Making. Each offers a different way to reach otherwise lost young men.

Mentoring Fraternity: A mentoring group called Utah Alpha Beaus was started by the members of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity in Salt Lake. The group serves African-American boys ages 14 to 18 who live in a predominantly white, Mormon culture, in their part of Utah.

The goal of Alpha Beaus is to instill in African-American teens a sense of cultural pride, teach leadership skills and provide role models. They recognize that fathers, without trying, are the source of cultural identity for African-American (or any) young males. When young men don’t have a man in that core role in his life, that source of cultural identity, esteem, and a whole lot of what it means to be a man goes missing.

. . . fathers, without trying,
are the source of cultural identity
for African-American (or any) young males.

If you want to know how AlpaBeaus helps prepare young men "for transitioning from high school to college," contact Dr. Bryan K. Hotchkins at either apapxl@gmail.com or 405.826.3492

Flaxmere Boxing Academy: At the Academy, which is located in New Zealand, they are literally teaching young guys to be members of a gang, a really good gang. Craig McDougall is the head coach of the academy. He owns up to being a 17-year-old who made ". . . some decisions that weren't so positive," particularly around alcohol. Lucky for him, he discovered a love of boxing and contact with,". . . good men that helped mold my life." Now, 20 years on, Mr. McDougall is the one shaping young lives through the sport of boxing.

At the Academy, they say boxing is only the entry point, and from there it's about giving young guys the life skills that can change their lives. The physicality of this approach is the perfect way for young males to burn off their restless energy. The added mentoring by good men helps them to become, as one coach put it, ". . . warriors in the ring and gentlemen out of it." At Flaxmere, they teach the values of self-discipline, respect, honesty, and much more.

In the video clip below, it's fun to see young New Zealand guys stirring up the warrior energy by doing a Maori Haka. It's also fun to hear the story told by one young man when he says, ". . . before this I was sort of a naughty boy, but this has sorted me out . . . , while watching his mom (apparently) hold the workout bag he is punching.

This is another example how a man has grown his personal passion into a pathway where young men can experience high-quality man-making. I'm thinking after watching this clip, most men watching will wish they could have been part of a gang like this growing up!

If this clip doesn't show up use this link.

If you want to learn how another man is making a difference in young male lives, you can contact Craig McDougall in New Zealand through the Flaxmere FaceBook page.

CONTACT: Send Earl a message. I'm very interested in your thoughts on any man-making post or topic. I'm available to help bring man-making initiatives to your community or organization.

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