From a young age George Foreman the III, also known as “Monk,” watched his father box his way to fame and fortune. His dad, George Foreman Sr., won the world heavyweight boxing championship twice and is also the oldest fighter to win the championship in history. George Sr. retired from boxing and flourished in the business realm with his George Foreman Grills and other ventures. Later he became a prominent minister.
George III always looked up to his father and admired him. When he heard about Jesus, George III understood the Godly relationship between the Father and Jesus because of his own relationship with his dad. He saw Jesus as a Son looking to His Father just as he looked to his father. When he accepted Christ it was a very real experience.
CBN – George went to college for sports management and managed his father’s business for many years. However, he always wondered what it would be like to fight in the ring. His father didn’t want him boxing or even having a girlfriend until he had a college degree in his hand. George finished his degree and decided to start boxing. His father decided that if his son were going to put himself in harms way, he would manage him personally. George explains his first experience with his father saying, “so he walks in there, doesn’t smile at me, doesn’t tell me anything, says ‘no pointers. He goes off in the corner, puts his headgear on by himself, didn’t give me any coaching for three days and he just pulverized me.” George received training from his father and went on to box professionally for 4 years with a record of 15 wins and zero losses.
George decided to leave all the comforts of home to open a gym in Boston. He was hoping to open it in three months. However, it took two long years of searching for the right location and getting everything in order before the doors could open. During this process, he lost everything, and was sleeping on a couch at a friend’s place. His father could tell things weren’t right with his business but George refused to receive help because he wanted to win this fight by himself. He stuck to it and in the midst of working to open The Club, George found his true passion, which is helping people.
Once the doors of The Club opened, it was a huge success, though he was still sleeping on friend’s couch. George says the success of The Club is what saved him.
CBN – Fight lesson 5, “Great fighters listen to their corner,” was very helpful during this time because George received criticism from people all around him but he learned to listen to the voices that really matter, the people in his corner. He says that the crowd will tell you that you are old and slow but your corner will speak the words you need to hear.
“The Club” focuses on people’s health, fitness, and accomplishing goals or as they call it “winning your fight.” In the club they have a motto called “everybody fights.” The saying means that every person will at one time in his or her life have to fight. Humans are innately programmed for fight or flight. George says that you can only run for so long before you must face the problem and fight. The fight can be a disease, a business loss, or a relationship. George tells the story of a business man who lost his coffee shop and had to become a limo driver to keep food on the table for his children. This businessman greatly dislikes the limo job but “fights” by continuing to work the job so he can support his children and be there for them. The goal of “the Club” is to transform people so they transform their world outside of the gym. George doesn’t like hearing that someone can’t do something. He says, “You can do it! Even if it is hard.”
12 FIGHT LAWS
George says, “Every time I told my dad that I was having a problem in college, work, or life in general, he always told me: ‘Just fight!’ I did and I still do–I never give up–but I felt like that approach doesn’t always work. I wanted more than two words and a smile. I wanted some substance! I mentioned to him one day–that ‘just fight’ seemed like polite encouragement rather than a roadmap for change. His response: ‘That’s because you don’t know how to fight.’ Ouch. What do you say to that?” George’s father challenged him to examine the greatest fighters and figure out the principles that separated them from the fighters that no one has ever heard of. After studying several of these great fighters, George discovered 12 lessons that when applied separated the greats from the nameless.
- The greats never give up. George believes this is the most important fight law because as long as you don’t give up you always have a chance to come back. He says, “great fighters have a glaring will to win that seems to carry them through everything that should be a setback.”
- Great fighters always throw the first punch.
- Plan your work; work your plan.
- Pain is the middle name of a great fighter’s game.
- Great fighters listen to their corner.
- Greats never take a round off.
- In fighting, your best defense is your offense.
- When the competition is hurt or has been knocked down, great fighters do not give them the chance to recover.
- Every time your opposition hits you, make sure you hit back three times as hard.
- Perception is reality.
- Never listen to the crowd.
- The most important law: fight for love.