Craig Turner Bristol Boxing Coach Interview

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Craig Turner Bristol Boxing

Chris @ Enso Martial Arts Shop:

Hi Craig, thank you very much for doing an interview today.
Could we begin with you telling us a little bit about yourself and your background and how and when you started Boxing?

Craig Turner Bristol Boxing Coach:

Well I started boxing in 1983 as a 10 year old, to basically keep me out of trouble, also to keep me fit, and it certainly did that! Unfortunately my competitive career came to an end in 1988 due to a health condition so that’s when i began coaching at that stage. I have been very fortunate to work with some of the city’s most prevalent boxers, Glenn Catley and Ross Hale amongst others and have developed my coaching in that time to reach the standard of a national coach, regional coach and now a coach educator at SGS college.

Chris @ Enso Martial Arts Shop:

Have you studied any martial arts, if so how has it affected you and would you recommend it?

Craig Turner Bristol Boxing Coach:

We always look at cross training between the martial arts, such as Thai Boxing, MMA that kind of thing to basically pinch ideas from them to bring them to our sport of amateur boxing. Now I’m absolutely sure that some of the martial arts do so vice versa. There is an awful lot within strength conditioning, there are huge realms as I’m sure you will agree. There is a lot to be drawn from both sports, but particularly even Wing Chun, different defences and so on and so forth, different training and training ideas. Even that of the dummy have been employed in amateur boxing and professional boxing before now to complement each other incredibly well.

Chris @ Enso Martial Arts Shop:

So have you done any martial arts yourself, or has it just been primarily boxing?

Craig Turner Bristol Boxing Coach:

I’ve always been primarily boxing, I’ve dabbled with contact kick boxing for a little while and broadly it just wasn’t for me. Use of the legs just really didn’t compute, and as you can see I’m not as young and spritely as i may have been once upon a time, it just didn’t work for me.

Chris @ Enso Martial Arts Shop:

Can you tell us about what keeps you interested in boxing after all these years?

Craig Turner Bristol Boxing Coach:

Broadly seeing young people succeed, you get a kid that comes off the street, shy and nervous, or one who is equally offended or is in danger of offending and you bring them to the gym and work with their confidence, a positive outlet, positive release of energy and anger, it’s all there for them and it works so positively like no other challenge in the arena. The appeal of contact sports such as martial arts and boxing is that sort of tough guy image that acts as a hook, no pun intended, to bring the guys in, start working with them they become decent solid people in the main.

Chris @ Enso Martial Arts Shop:

What is the current standard of Boxing in Great Britain in comparison to other countries?

Craig Turner Bristol Boxing Coach:

It’s actually fantastic we’ve drawn from other countries the stronger countries, Cuba, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, former Russian republic. We’ve drawn from them we’ve learned our lessons and i think now in terms of amateur boxing team GB is by far emerging as one of the top if not the top boxing nation purely as a result of dedicated coaching staff, dedicated national coaches and a wealth of international experience.

Chris @ Enso Martial Arts Shop:

That’s great to hear.

Craig Turner Bristol Boxing Coach:

It’s very very good to hear.

Chris @ Enso Martial Arts Shop:

Do you have anyone who will qualify for this years Olympic Games?

Craig Turner Bristol Boxing Coach:

Certainly not this year because everyone that’s here is in further education 16-18 years, we are hopeful, touch wood that one of our young ladies will qualify for i believe its China in the next Olympic cycle. She is current national youth champion, she has won 4 titles this year and has just been selected for the England talent programme. Currently she is 17 so a lot can happen between now and then.

Chris @ Enso Martial Arts Shop:

4 years is a long time

Craig Turner Bristol Boxing Coach:

It is absolutely but we are quite hopeful, she is very talented we are hopeful she might be selected.

Chris @ Enso Martial Arts Shop:

So is she local to the Bristol area?

Craig Turner Bristol Boxing Coach:

She is indeed, she’s Bristolian, initially hailed from Indianapolis in the USA, her mums American and her dads Bristolian, so we are happy that she is in Bristol and on our side ha ha ha.

Chris @ Enso Martial Arts Shop:

Do you find that boxing is more suited to a certain type of person or do you think it has something for everyone?

Craig Turner Bristol Boxing Coach:

Would you believe the diversity we have got in the club its absolutely phenomenal, we’ve got kids from private schools rubbing shoulders from people from the travelling community, all manner of race are there and there’s no social or economic boundaries in contact sport. In terms of sport its relatively cheep to participate in and as i say the guys they get qualified training, they get a very decent facility at basically pennies that encourages participation, anyone can attend and there’s that respect as well. It’s classless in as such as it doesn’t matter how much money you’ve got or how little money you’ve got, your all one and the same in the gym.

Chris @ Enso Martial Arts Shop:

What are your biggest accomplishments and the highs and maybe some of the lows if you have had any?

Craig Turner Bristol Boxing Coach:

Biggest accomplishments, certainly now I’ve produced three national champions, two England boxing champions and one British Universities champion, I’m very proud of that. I think my biggest achievement though personally is since we started the program here at SGS College no less than four competitive boxers have gone on to university education having not planned to do so before they came. To me historically boxers the sort of guys who have got no choice and the rough around sort of guys, these are superbly fit intelligent people and as i say they dispel the myth of the thud and blunder. They have gone on to further education to be sports psychologists and physiotherapists one of them; and it all mix in and works very positively for combat sport and discipline it offers.

Chris @ Enso Martial Arts Shop:

What would you say is the biggest positive influence Boxing has had upon you?

Craig Turner Bristol Boxing Coach:

I’ve met some great great people in boxing, there’s no better people to grow up around because there honest and down to earth. I have to say there’s a gentleman in Bristol he now cleans windows for a living even at 76 years of age, former number 10 lightweight in the country a guy called Peter Richards; and he’s forgotten more about the game than I’ll ever know. He really has taught me not only how to be a coach not only to be an educator but to be hopefully be a decent person as well and that’s the truth of contact sports there’s no hiding, there’s no hiding who you are or what skills you’ve got, it’s there for you all to see.

Chris @ Enso Martial Arts Shop:

What’s the worst injury you have received through Boxing?

Craig Turner Bristol Boxing Coach:

The worst injury I’ve received personally is i kept breaking my Scaphiod in my hand, it’s at the base of the thumb and it’s a pressure injury almost a defensive injury if you were to fall and put your hands out to save yourself, your hands forced back and you break it. I’ve done it through boxing 6 times, once while actually boxing and 5 times on the pads because the pads force the hands back and break the Scaphoid, it’s known as a boxing injury and certainly one of the more prevalent managers in Bristol Chris Sanagar has got the same injury which he had to have pinned as a result of the same thing.

Chris @ Enso Martial Arts Shop:

So do you find it causes you any grief when your coaching?

Craig Turner Bristol Boxing Coach:

Well being a tragic old man as i am now during the cold weather it tends to hurt and your kind of aware of it at any stage it could go again, it’s such a fragile bone, but as i say touch wood nothing more serious than that.

Chris @ Enso Martial Arts Shop:

If you could give one piece of advice to somebody that is beginning there boxing journey now, what would it be?

Craig Turner Bristol Boxing Coach:

Train hard fight easy.

Chris @ Enso Martial Arts Shop:

Easy as that?

Craig Turner Bristol Boxing Coach:

Easy as that.

Chris @ Enso Martial Arts Shop:

Can you tell us about your coaching career?

Craig Turner Bristol Boxing Coach:

Yeah, I’m lead to believe i was one of the youngest level 1 coaches in the country because i had to stop competitive boxing around about 17, i believe i wasn’t quite 18. So i was mentored by a wonderful guy called Kurt Ernest who was a coach educators in the country at the time and he was a national coach, very influential man, very knowledgeable man, ex professional, actually fought for the British title as a professional, been all over the world with the Olympians so on and so forth, so he mentored me until i was 18 and able to hold the qualification. I believe i was about 19 when i took the level 2, appointed 21 Signal Regiment boxing coach around about that time which was a voluntary post but looked great on the CV, i did a good job, i must of done because they never shot me. We gathered pace from there round the St George Amateur boxing club, i coached for the police community clubs of Great Britain. I’ve done a lot of coaching work within the police force when i was a police officer and as i say now i work for England boxing as Child Welfare Tutor and also here at SGS College for the AASE program which is the Advanced Apprenticeship for Sporting Excellence. Over the years I’ve worked with some really good boxers, the crowning glory of that was obviously Glenn Catley who’s the absolute pride of Bristol. I was very very fortunate very early on to work as a pad man for Glenn and he never hit me that often, i have to say sometimes he slipped or did he! Yeah i worked with some great guys and continue to now.

Chris @ Enso Martial Arts Shop:

What are your aims and goals in training and outside of training?

Craig Turner Bristol Boxing Coach:

My aims and goals in training is to provide the kids in Bristol with the very very best we can offer them in terms of knowledge and in terms of equipment and everything we can get them. Nationally we are seen as the poor relations down in the west of England and i really want to dispel that myth. I want that to go with a wealth of talent, we have a wealth of very strong gifted kids that with the right push can go certainly all the way. The times of any exclusion in sport are long gone and we are still as a region trying to emerge from that. The main trust of all my coaching and teaching as well is the kids are involved positively and not up the jail…….ha ha ha ha ha.

Chris @ Enso Martial Arts Shop:

Brilliant, that’s great stuff, thank you very much for doing the interview today Craig.

Craig Turner Bristol Boxing Coach:

That’s my pleasure.

www.bristolacademyofsport.co.uk