2002, $1.99, at Goodwill on Magnolia in Burbank
First Impression: You too can learn to box from a pirate!
Second Impression: Jab-cross, ahoy!
Any time someone rocks an eye patch, you know there has to be a story behind it. An eye patch lacks subtlety. It says, “a glass eye is for liars and dark sunglasses are for Ray Charles.” So, Longtime Readers, please forgive my morbid curiosity about the ocular circumstances that got us here.
We open on a blurry image of our host, eyepatch wearer Michael Olajide Jr., sitting in a boxing ring as a voice-over tells his story:
“I began amateur boxing in 1979…”
Yes? Is that before you had the eye patch?
“In 1981 I turned professional…”
Yes, what of the eye patch?
A small window opens up in the corner of the screen, showing a younger version of himself in action, and this is the important part, without an eye patch.
“In ’91, suffering reoccurring eye injuries…”
Ah, there it is.
“…I stopped boxing. It was premature; I remained hungry.”
Well, that’s actually really poetic, Mr. Olajide.
Do I seem more than a little obsessed about the eye patch? Admittedly, yes, but let’s consider that the instructor is teaching us how to do the very thing that cost him an eye.
First things first. We get a step-by-step on how to do Jabs, Power Punches, and Combinations. It weird to think that, unlike “kickboxing” workouts, this is not theoretical. It’s a set of instructions on how to hit another human being until they give up and admit that you are better at punching. The Sweet Science!
Moving on to the Warmup! Look how attractive and smiling these folks are:
I would not describe any of them as having a “punchable” face, and yet, here we all are.
They lead a shadow boxing workout, which is basically aerobics with punching, but let’s not tell them because they are working so hard to impress us.
Next up, the heavy bag! This makes me think of that season of Riverdale where Archiekins gets out of prison and decides he should become a professional boxer, but he gets overconfident and books two bouts in one day, passes out, and loses everyone’s respect. That poor actor. He’s all, “Can we have a season where Archie gets a job in a library so I can eat carbs and wear a shirt?”
After a demonstration with the trainer’s mitts and the speed bag, we’re back with a jump rope session with the gang:
Then they toss around a medicine ball. I was always taught never to play ball indoors, so I skip this part, and so can you!
The cool down is uneventful except for this one very effective shoulder stretch that necessitates pressing your eye down onto the floor: