Book and Profile
Blood, Brawn, Brains, and Broken Noses
This book invites you to embark on a historical, philosophical and sociological journey through time from Ancient Greece to contemporary times in order to explore the evolution and appeal of pugilism. Let us begin our journey……….
'A must-read for all serious boxing fans. It really hits the mark.'
- Ricky ‘The Hitman’ Hatton M.B.E, holder of multiple world championships at light-welterweight and one at welterweight -
Photo copyright: Holly and Lucy Soden-Craven.
Born in Buxton, Derbyshire in 1961, during my formative years I spent much time with my maternal grandfather, of Romany descent, learning boxing, and my paternal grandfather, a countryman, learning about flora and fauna. During my teenage years I helped a gamekeeper and local farmers and went shooting and fishing in order to put food on my mother’s table. In my late teens, I started my life long passion of physical culture, practising body-building, power lifting, boxing and various martial arts.
On leaving school, I worked as a gardener, married in my early twenties and started a large family. In my mid-twenties and thirties, I toiled at the Ferodo brake linings factory and in spite of the long hours and hard work, I boxed at light welterweight, earnt a black belt in Jui-Jitsu, in 1990, a brown belt in Shukokai Karate, in 1993, and, in addition, studied French. In the late nineties, I was an unemployed, single parent with six children to care for and all I can say is I did my best, virtually single handedly.
During this period, I recommenced country pursuits in order to put food on my table; became a full ABA coach at Buxton Boxing Club; worked as a bouncer; and studied, gaining many qualifications, including four A-levels, a Diploma in French and, in 2010, realised the pinnacle of my academic achievements, a first class honours Bachelor of Arts, in Martial Arts Theory and Practice and Sports Development. Whilst at University, I met and became friends with Dr. Charles Spring, my main lecturer, who taught me Krav Maga, and Robert Agar-Hutton, teacher of T’ai Chi Ch’uan and publisher of this book.
Since then I have earnt a black belt in Kickboxing, worked as a factory operative, a carer, a greenkeeper, a gardener, spent two years retired and living in France, practising Savate, before returning to England in 2016 when I started putting this book together. I still train, spar and work as a hard landscaper and live in a small Derbyshire village, with my lady, Patricia.