Sunday, February 14, 2010
The Science of Constantine D'Amato
On Prisca Sapientia
"There are few new things in this world, very few. That's why people that are young, if they're smart, try to profit from the experience of an older guy so they won't have to go through all the pain and suffering. But a certain amount of pain and suffering is good because it makes a person think that they've learned." -- Constantine "Cus" D'Amato, boxing trainer, 1985
On Free Will
"No matter what anyone says, no matter the excuse or explanation, whatever a person does in the end is what he intended to do all along." -- Constantine 'Cus' D'Amato, boxing trainer
"Boxing is entertainment. So to be successful a fighter must not only win but win in an exciting manner. He must throw punches with bad intentions." -- Constantine 'Cus' D'Amato, boxing trainer
"If you can hit your opponent with two punches, you don't hit him with one. Get off with some bad intentions in there. Believe in yourself. A guy can feel it if you don't believe in yourself. Set your mind to make yourself do it." -- Constantine 'Cus' D'Amato, boxing trainer
"Remember, from the side you can let that punch go with the worst kind of intentions...." -- Constantine 'Cus' D'Amato, boxing trainer
"Always keep your chin tucked down into your chest. I don’t care if you are running roadwork or just walking around school or watching T.V. Keep that chin tucked down. And your eyes looking up and out."
"Don’t watch the glove; watch the chest. Wait for the glove to move, you’re dead. When the chest flexes, you bob."
"Stay in constant motion. The head ain’t never again where he last seen it. See, you give him a target here and by the time he swings, it ain’t there anymore. But when he moves, counter. Hap! Fire to the ribs, huh. Hap! Bap! Four-one, upstairs."
"You don’t get hit, you don’t lose. It’s as simple as that. Once you learn to stay low and tuck behind your gloves, in constant motion, no one is gonna be able to land nothing."
"Which brings to the subject of head movement. The slipping, weaving and punching from angles. The effect of that is, when an opponent throws a punch, the D'Amato fighter slips it and counters while the opponent is still open. After that happens a few times, psychologically... the opponent says 'What the hell is happening?... This hasn't happened to me in the gym or in other fights before.' Then suddenly, the opponent stops throwing punches. No one knows why, not the trainers nor the people watching the fight. 'The opponent begins to think, 'I can't hit this guy... If I can't hit him, then I can't win.' Psychologically, he throws in the towel. So, it's more than just head and body movement. It's psychological. -- Steve Lott, historian, November 2005
"If you go to any gym in the world, you'll see a trainer standing next to his fighter... who is hitting the heavy bag hard and with tremendous combinations. He looks good doing it, but the kid never moves his head. They shadow box - never moving their heads. Trainers nowadays don't use those types of training methods. They just tell the kid to go in their and fight. That's why fights are so boring today. The fighters know that when they get into the ring... they're gonna get hit. So, they just peck and peck and peck. In their heart, they KNOW they don't have any defense. So what happens is, they take a position opposite each other... just out of contact range. That's why fans say 'C'mon, lets see some action!' Fighters don't want to get into contact range, nor do they want to initiate, because the moment they do, they get hit. Once in a while you get a tough son-of-a-gun who doesn't care about getting hit and he comes in. He's an exciting fighter. But the object in boxing is to be able to hit your opponent without getting hit yourself. Of course the kids today are tough. They're courageous and they're disciplined, but they're not being shown how to move their heads. Cus' style was distinctive. When you see a kid, with his hands up, chin down, slipping and weaving... you say, 'That's the Cus D'Amato style!' With any other trainer, the fighters all look the same. -- Steve Lott, historian, November 2005
"And, Cus created the 'number system.' In every sport, there is a science involved. -- Steve Lott, historian, November 2005
"Many fighters do not throw punches with bad intentions because they are worried about getting hit. Mike was supremely confident of moving his head so he rarely concerned himself with the other guys' punching power." -- Steve Lott, historian, Feb 2006