HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - At the Palolo Gym, boxing coach Joe Kim guides a student through an exercise in footwork and balance.
He teaches the youngster about striking, stance and movement.
But the other lessons Kim’s trying to impart to his proteges go beyond just how to throw a punch.
"Like discipline, how to build up self-esteem, hard work, commitment, honesty, respect," he said.
In eighteen years as coach of the Palolo Boxing Club, Kim has worked with dozens of kids. Some just come for the physical fitness, some come from the nearby housing project.
"Having something to focus on, something to have in their lives, a safe place to come and to grow I think makes a difference," he said.
Kim is also a product of the Palolo Gym.
"I boxed out of here in the 80s and 90s," he said. "I've been trying to give back ever since."
His youth classes include boys and girls. His youngest student is eight years old.
"It keeps you organized. I can focus better," Kaira Pan said.
“It really feels good just to get stronger,” JJ Rezentes said.
Kim also trains adults and up-and-coming amateur fighters.
On Saturday, the Palolo Boxing Club will host the 14th Annual Clint Shelton Invitational. Teams are coming from the neighbor islands, Canada and Floyd Mayweather’s Boxing Club.
"Twenty-four matches is what we're anticipating right now, more or less. That will involve 48 competitors," Kim said.
He's a public school teacher and a family man who believes boxing offers something other sports lack.
"We get folks that come in and say, 'What would you recommend for my son or daughter?'" Kim said. "I tell them I'd put my own in boxing because of the parallels it has with life."
Like how to push yourself, and how to get up when life knocks you down.