Ex-NBA player’s kids train in kickboxing, stand up to bullies


mark-jacksonShareef and Sammy “The Hit Man” Jackson have been training at TSMMA Tampa for over two years and both hold high blue belts.

Their dad Mark Jackson, a retired pro basketball player, and an NBA All-Star, answered a few questions about why he chose mixed martial arts for his boys.

“I knew that my kids would be playing a lot of basketball, however, I wanted them to discover other athletic movements. They both have developed increased focus, coordination and self-discipline,” Jackson said of his children. “Shareef loves training striking combinations and Sammy loves the submissions in the grappling class.”

He then explained why there was a need for something like kickboxing for his kids.

“My oldest son Shareef was the target of a bully at school and used to come home crying. Shareef had a speech impediment that a kid made fun of. Not long after he started training he actually stood up for himself,” Jackson explained.

“He told the kid that was bullying him if he bothered him one more time he would kick his butt. That was the last time anyone at school bothered him,” he added.

Jackson himself seems to like fighting, as he stated he enjoys sparring during kickboxing.

“I had a lot of street fights growing up as a kid, and I know if you can handle yourself it tends to give you a lot of confidence and toughness,” Jackson noted.

“I think if you grow up without ever experiencing getting hit and hitting back, you may become timid and that’s not what I want for my kids,” he said.

Jackson played 16 years in the NBA, for New York Knicks, LA Clippers, Indiana Pacers, Denver Nuggets, Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz, and Houston Rockets.

He holds career averages of 9.6 ppg and 8 apg, appearing in 1296 games, starting in 1092.

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