Boxing Coach Joe Vargas’ Incredible Weight Loss Transformation

Boxing Coach Joe Vargas discusses his love of running out in nature and how it contributed to his huge weight loss and transformation in this past year. Don’t wait, start today. Every journey begins with one step!


Coach Joe Vargas:
There’s something about running in the mountains, it just feels so natural. Just challenging yourself in the terrain, and it just feels like something we’re supposed to do, we just forget about it. Running and seeing the sun come up over the mountains, it’s just a beautiful feeling I really enjoy.


As I got older and I see pictures of myself, I didn’t realize how much weight I had gained. I didn’t see the same resemblance in a mirror. And that’s when I weighed myself and I weighed 245. I just challenge myself every day to run more and more. I started at half a mile, and right now I’m running about an average of 10 miles a day. Ever since I started running in February, I lost over 75 pounds. 


When New Year comes, we all have goals, and within 15, 20 days, we forget about our goals. It took me four months to feel good. So just get at it, and you guys can do it. Whatever you guys set your goals to do, you guys can handle it. Just keep, keep, keep chopping at it.

What is Your Motivation for Training?

We’re all walking different paths. Coach Charles Martinez discusses how everyone we interact with on this martial arts journey has different goals and motivations. We should help build each other up instead of letting our egos and greed dictate how we treat each other. Leading into the new year we will all grow and get stronger together.


Coach Charles Martinez:
Hello. My name is Coach Charles Martinez from The Arena and today I wanted to discuss a motivation. I want to take this from a slightly different perspective, often in sport especially in these combat sports that we all train in, the motivation is always to be the best and to smash everyone. And I think we forget sometimes that that’s not what most people’s motivation was when they came into the gym. A lot of people are training to address fears or to feel more powerful and I think a lot of times we, especially if you’ve been training a long time or you’re a fighter, or you’re a competitor, you have the tendency of looking down on people that aren’t as good as you. And just because they’re not as good as you at this sport that you’ve chosen to be good at it doesn’t make them lesser. It just means that either their athletic ability isn’t as high, but really their motivation could be different than yours.

Just because your motivation is to go out and be the best in the world, maybe that’s not theirs. Maybe their motivation is to feel stronger, to just be more comfortable in their skin every day and maybe that’s what they’re getting. So sometimes we have the tendency of getting frustrated with our training partners and kind of forgetting that we were new once also. Maybe they’re new, maybe one day they’re going to be your best training partner, they don’t have to be a world beater to give you good work.

So I think sometimes we stray away from that and we forget that we’re all walking a different path but we all ended up in the same place. So if you take that and you treat everyone as if, hey, this could have been me on one of my first days and if someone was kind of crappy to me, maybe I would have never come back. So I think once you switch your perspective, if you could look from outside of yourself and see that maybe this person’s not like you, maybe they’re scared, maybe they’re terrified and they don’t want to get screamed at. Maybe they’ve never been an athlete, maybe they’ve never played a sport. They came here to feel better and to feel empowered and how you treat them, even if something trivial, something like, hey, good job. Even if it wasn’t a good job, just that little bit of motivation might be the reason they come back the next day. And maybe one day they turn into a valuable training partner, but either way, even if they’re only here for six months and it improves their life somehow, and it was worth it, that was their motivation, not yours.

So sometimes I think we forget, we think everyone is looking at the world through our same perspective, it doesn’t have to be that way. Maybe their motivation is different than yours. You should still respect it because ultimately that’s what we’re all here for.

Arena Pro Boxer Stephan Shaw Fight Night

Arena Pro Boxer Stephan “Big Shot” Shaw is 13-0 with 10 KO’s. Tune in December 17th to NBC Sports to watch him prove he’s the next big thing in the heavyweight division! Don’t blink as Big Shot shows the world why he will eventually have a belt around his waist.


Stephan “Big Shot” Shaw:
Hey, what’s going on? I’m Stephan “Big Shot” Shaw. Fighting out of The Arena Boxing Gym, by the way of St. Louis, Missouri. 13-0, with 10 knockouts. Catch me December 17th, NBC sports fighting Lyubomyr Pinchuk. He’s 12-1. I’m looking to make a great performance, a statement performance. I’m ready to just shine, man. I’m ready to do my thing. Reign supreme and be a king.

My dad, he’s the one that actually started me in his whole boxing process. He put the gloves in my hands when I was three years old. He’s my motivator. He’s my coach and overall, he’s a great father. The groundwork that he put in just made me the man that I am today. And I’m just thankful to have him still in my corner.

Coach Basheer, he’s like an uncle to me. He’s been knowing my mother and father for over 50 years. They grew up together back home in St. Louis, Missouri. I have nothing but the utmost respect for coach. We started this journey back in 2015 and we’re still undefeated, we’re still rocking. I call him the general and I’m the soldier. And when we step in that ring, it’s like, we’re going to war.

I feel like this fight is going to propel me to the next level so I can display my talent to the world and just show them that I am the next American great heavyweight, and just put the whole division on notice with this performance. This fight is definitely going to be a great statement victory for me, and I’m already claiming it. I put the work in, now it’s time to just execute the game plan and just raise my hand and go home to my family, to my wife and my two children. After this fight, in God’s will, it’s on to bigger and better things.

Ulises Sierra Prepares for Tough Fight VS Edgar Berlanga

Tune in to ESPN tomorrow to see Arena Pro Boxer Ulises Sierra (15-1) slay the beast Edgar Berlanga (15-0) and line himself up for a world title fight! CiCi is ready to go out there for the performance of his life, drag Berlanga into deep water, and drown him. Support Cici and Coach Joe!


Coach Joe Vargas:
We’re wrapping up camp now. Ulises Sierra we’re going up against Edgar Berlanga, who is 15 and over, 15 knockouts. He hasn’t made it past the first round. He’s a very strong fighter, but he’s an untested fighter. And we’re going to jump on that. Find that weakness in him, try and to take them into the later rounds.

Of course, we’re going to take a risk by challenging the monster. You know. You got to come after him. He’s so used to walking everybody down and knocking everybody out in the first round. We’ve got to withstand that.

We wrap them camp sparring Jaime Munguía, the WB All Super Middleweight Champion of the World. Jaime Munguía almost simulates the guy we’re fighting. That’s the best guy to grab for sparring. So we were so honored to come down there and work with him to wrap up camp.

This fight for Ulises Sierra is huge. If he wins this fight, and the fighter too, he will be fighting for a world title, the Intercontinental Title. And it puts him in a different level in his rankings, if this fight was to go his way, which everything looks good for him. So, it’s a battle of who makes the best adjustments in this fight. And like I said, Ulises winning this fight would put him on a different platform.

So tomorrow, tune in on ESPN App. We’ll be the first fight on the card. So you guys see The Arena’s own Ulises Sierra go against the undefeated monster, Edgar Berlanga. You guys tune in and help support us.

Enson Inoue Speaks About His Interpretation of Victory

Everyone has a different interpretation of the meaning of victory. Master Enson Inoue shares his warrior spirit outlook on what victory means to him. For sport or for life, ultimately you must give your ALL.


Enson Inoue:
Everyone has different interpretations of victory. And it can be real superficial, it can be really deep. Some people, victory is getting your hand raised at the end of the fight. Some people, victory is coming home alive. That is a form of victory. But then if you go deeper, there’s another form of victory. Like Glenn said, giving everything you got. Win, live or die, giving everything you got.


So that, I believe, is controlled. You can control that victory. Winning and losing is hard to control. I always told you guys before, don’t dwell on wins and losses, just give everything you got. Whatever comes with it, it’s like the tail of a dog. When he turns the corner, if the dog walks around the ring right there, I don’t know if his tail is going to be on the left side or the right side, but I know it’s going to be on one of those sides.

It’s like when we fight. We don’t know if we’re going to win or lose, but we know it’s going to be one or the other. And can you control it? You can try. You can train hard. You can get ready. You can fight hard. But you can’t control it. So no sense to dwell on it.


My view of victory in the fights is not getting my hand raised, it’s giving everything I got to the very end. My sign of victory in life, I always have this image of a building burning and a child on the second floor. My sign of victory isn’t walking, going home that night. My view of victory on that is running into the building and see if I can save that person, whether I live or die. That’s my victory. Okay. So just food for thought. Yeah. It’s a different range of success and different ideas of what people view as success.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Martial Arts Training

Here’s Coach Charles Martinez discussing the effective mindset of learning martial arts techniques. How you learn can be as important as what you learn, take two minutes and listen to some advice about how to get the most out of your training.


Coach Charles Martinez:
Hey, this is Coach Charles Martinez from The Arena, and today I wanted to talk briefly about how to get the most out of your learning. Now, sometimes in a class setting, maybe there’s multiple things being taught. They might not all specifically apply to you in your game right now. But in a class, I feel like when I’m teaching, I usually feel like I’m teaching to the middle of the room. Some of the technique is above the head of a new person, but it’s a little too simple for the advanced person. As you’re learning things, maybe you could be attracted to certain technique more than others, and maybe that’s… It could be a body type, it could be where your skill level is currently, so when you’re taking in information, this is kind of the information age for martial arts. Everything is out there. Fundamentals are fundamentals across the board, but then after you learn basic fundamentals, you want to start developing your own game.

There’s this Bruce Lee saying of, “Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, and then add what’s specifically your own.” I think that’s important, but first… You don’t know at first what’s going to be the most useful for you. So when you’re taking in information, try and take it all in. Maybe there’s a piece today that you can apply today. Maybe the bare bones of what’s being taught today is important for your fundamentals of your game. Maybe one of the moves, or one of the versions of the move, just doesn’t make sense to you; you just don’t get it. And that’s fine. Maybe it’s not applicable to you today, but it could be. It could be as you get older, whereas maybe you have an injury, or maybe there’s an easier way of doing it. When you’re young, you have the tendency of behaving one way. When you’re older, maybe you find a path of least resistance a little bit easier. So the technique often is taught across the board, to everyone in the room, regardless of tall, short.

A good coach, as you start to develop, if you’re training specifically for yourself, you can start to tailor and decide what’s best for your body type, and your game, etc. But first you have to have the basis to build that on top of. Sometimes the technique is just not for you; maybe it’s just not for you ever, maybe it’s just not for you right now. I think when you have that mentality as you’re learning technique, it will be a lot easier to develop what is your own, but also have an open mind of other technique that could be applicable down the line, or it could be applicable against a different opponent, or a different body type. I think once you have that, you can draw something useful out of all technique, rather than being like, “I like this. I don’t like that.” Maybe you don’t like it right now because you don’t understand it right now, but down the line, you might be able to really draw something from it that benefits your game. That’s your tip.

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