Malik: This year kind of unfortunate events happened. Lost my job, lost my place, and spent two or three months homeless, getting to a point where literally you don’t know at the end of the day where your head is going to be. Whether you’re going to have enough money to be able to buy food. I was only eating every two days. Thankfully now, you know, that’s not a thing I have to worry about anymore.
Ramuel: So when I first met Malik he was actually referred to me by his youth worker, and his youth worker found out that he used to do boxing back in the day. Before we even practiced we just got to know each other and from there I asked him, what boxing - what kick-boxing - means to him, and you know, I saw the light in his eyes.
Malik: Last year I lost my place, got kicked out by my family, had to stay at another shelter, and I told myself I would never get there, and then I got to the end where I was like oh man, things are back to square one, trying to figure out how I’m going to balance getting to my program in time when you don’t have enough money to even get bus fare. It was a really dark period for me, honestly.
Kick-boxing is really a stepping stone for me. It’s also very much a spiritual thing. When you get to a point where you feel like you’re physically tired and you can’t make it anymore, and knowing that, hey no, I’ve been through this before in more ways than one, this is just another step in breaking through that barrier.
Ramuel: I had a lot of conversations with the youth and, you know, they would always say how “because of what I learned through kick-boxing I learned that life is like a fight,” that no matter who is in the ring, no matter who their opponent is, whether it’s addiction, depression, anxiety, that they know that they can overcome that opponent. And one day they’re going to knock out depression, they’re going to knock out anxiety, they’re going to walk out of that ring a whole new person.
Malik: Things that Ram does are pretty incredible and it just was happenstance that I found it.