The son of a boxer, Jamar “Legendary” Jackson, finds great joy in sharing his love of boxing with children ages 3 and up.
Jackson established Little Legends Youth Boxing and Mentoring in June 2016, after moving back to Owensboro following the death of his father. After setting up shop in various locations from his home kitchen to the Munday Center, he moved Little Legends to Towne Square Mall this past February.
It all began when Jackson started mentoring one child. He put that student through a boxing workout one day in an attempt to teach the child how to have more respect for his mother. It turns out the student enjoyed it. That same seventh-grade boy that came to Jackson with Ds and Fs in school, was on the AB honor roll by the end of the year.
From there the business grew from word of mouth. Jackson now has approximately 12 students enrolled, with more attending outside of football and basketball season.
“The most important aspect of Little Legends is respect,” Jackson said.
He teaches his students to respect all three people in the ring: themselves, their opponent and the referee.
Aside from mentoring his students in the areas of character and respect, Jackson also believes in the value of teaching life skills like money and time management. He does this by allowing his students to keep one dollar for every T-shirt they sell throughout their training.
The Little Legends are broken down into two age groups: the Little Legends are 4-15 years old, and the Legends are 13 and up. Classes are offered year-round, three days a week.
When it comes to awards for progress, Jackson has broken boxing down into six levels. He said in Taekwondo and Jiu-jitsu, you can’t really wear or display a belt in public, so he created a dog tag system. Jackson said the chain represents listening and the various colors represent the stages of progression in skills.
Jackson offers boxing, kickboxing, and stick-fighting. He said stick-fighting is more suited for smaller children and girls so they can learn how to properly defend themselves.
Charitie Dean’s 9-year-old son, Xavier Anderson, has been going to Little Legends for the last three years. Dean said she originally signed her son up to box as a way to get his “energy out.”
“Before he started the program, he was really mouthy and didn’t want to listen,” Dean said. “He did a whole 180 within a month. His whole attitude was more respectful.”
Dean said, not only does her son look forward to going to Little Legends, but she also appreciates that the cost is “not too much out of pocket” compared to other sports activities.
Currently, Jackson’s youngest student is 3 years old. Jackson said if children are old enough to make eye contact and mature enough to run around and listen to Jackson, they can learn the sport of boxing.
Jamar also works at El Bracero Mexican Restaurant and considers it as much of a joy as he does a job. It has also inspired Jackson to achieve another one of his goals, speaking fluent Spanish. When he is alone in the gym, he plays music with solely Spanish lyrics in hopes that he can carry those words with him in his quest to speak only in Spanish at El Bracero.
Jackson is consistently looking for projects and activities to keep his mind going and, in the coming years, hopes to add Little Legends locations throughout Owensboro, Evansville and Louisville.
Little Legends is located at 5000 Frederica St. Suite 4, inside Towne Square Mall and is open Mon. – Fri. 4:30 p.m. – 6:15 p.m. The phone number is (502) 295-9267.