Jim Maloney named to North American Indigenous Athletics Corridor of Fame

Jim Maloney named to North American Indigenous Athletics Corridor of Fame

Jim Maloney remains to be going sturdy on the age of 77, and nonetheless being acknowledged for his athletic accomplishments.

Whereas he continues to hit the health club often to coach martial arts fighters, final week he added yet one more honour to an illustrious profession when he was inducted into the North American Indigenous Athletics Corridor of Fame.

“This for me could be very prestigious as a result of it is an enormous corridor of fame,” mentioned Maloney, earlier than a session together with his college students. “That is truly the fifth corridor I have been inducted into, they usually’re all thrilling.”

A man wearing boxing gloves throws a punch in this archival photo.
Maloney spent 10 years competing and coaching in Boston. (Jim Maloney/Fb)

Maloney was born in 1945 on the Sipekne’katik First Nation. However when he was 16 years outdated, he left the reservation and hitchhiked to Boston.

Residing in a giant metropolis for the primary time introduced a number of adjustments, and it was in New England that he found martial arts.

“Boston was such a giant metropolis for me as a result of I believe I had solely ever been to Halifax as soon as once I was perhaps 14 or 15,” Maloney mentioned. “I met a person there named sensei George Mattson, who had studied in Okinawa, Japan.”

Quickly after Maloney started coaching with Mattson at his martial arts college, he was singled out as an up and coming competitor. He went on to be an undefeated New England champion in free-fighting and cement-breaking competitions from 1967 to 1973.

“We did not have any safety on, it was naked knuckles and nothing on our toes,” mentioned Maloney, who as soon as skilled with martial arts legend Bruce Lee whereas in Boston. “Some extent was once you drew blood, so it was a fairly loopy time to be concerned within the sport.”

A man wearing a martial arts robe, with a black belt, defends a kick from another man, who is wearing a striped shirt and white pants.
Maloney (left) is proven coaching with Bruce Lee in Boston. (Jim Maloney/Fb)

Maloney spent 10 years in Boston earlier than deciding to return residence to Nova Scotia, the place his father was ill. Sadly, his father handed away earlier than he made it again. However Maloney determined to convey his martial arts data to Halifax, and operated his personal martial arts college within the Nineteen Seventies and Nineteen Eighties.

“In these first years in ’73, ’74 and ’75 I’d have had 400 college students, with one other couple hundred on a ready listing to get in,” mentioned Maloney. “We had politicians, attorneys, surgeons and dentists, all of the skilled individuals.”

Quick ahead to 2023, and Maloney remains to be instructing. A lot of his present college students have been with him for many years.

“He is only a type, beneficiant heartwarming human being,” mentioned Lloyd Fisher, who has skilled with Maloney for greater than 35 years. “He respects all people who comes by way of the door whether or not they’re male or feminine, a boxer or anybody from one other self-discipline, he’s all the time welcoming them with open arms.”

Travis Parsons, who began coaching with Maloney in 1998, mentioned he is “by no means met anybody with a lot expertise.” 

Requested what Maloney would have been wish to compete towards in his prime, Parsons mentioned with amusing: “I hear he was very ruthless and lethal.”

A man raises a fist on a sunny day. In the background is a Mi'kmaq flag.
Maloney hitchhiked to Boston when he was solely 16 years outdated and commenced his martial arts coaching shortly after. (April Maloney)

Maloney’s spouse, Bridget Stevens, is the boxing coach at Tribal Fitness center in Dartmouth. She grew up on the Eskasoni reservation in Cape Breton and first met Maloney when he began to coach her. She mentioned the corridor of fame induction is warranted.

“He deserves this, after the quantity of labor that he is accomplished for his group, for my group,” mentioned Stevens, whose crew of boxers lately introduced residence a number of medals from an occasion in Ontario. “He’s simply over and past, and goes to the max in the whole lot he does.”

Maloney is now into his 61st yr of martial arts coaching, and does not plan on stopping.

“I by no means drank, by no means smoked, by no means did medication,” he mentioned. “I nonetheless find it irresistible and it is nice to nonetheless get out on the ground, and I can nonetheless throw individuals round.”

Jim Maloney named to North American Indigenous Athletics Corridor of Fame

The 77-year-old, who continues to hit the health club often to coach martial arts fighters, has added yet one more honour to an illustrious profession.

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