Sgt. Kemuel Sanchez grew up boxing in Puerto Rico as a young boy, and later fought on the Marine Corps’ Boxing Team. Now, as a drill instructor for Lima Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, Sanchez trains future Marines with the same fighting spirit he was taught by past generations of fighters. (U.S. video by Lance Cpl. Godfrey Ampong)
I used to get bullied at the age of nine, when I was in Puerto Rico. I picked up boxing so I could defend myself and it worked in my favor, and I just fell in love with the sport and Puerto Rico’s very big on boxing, fell in love with the sport, fell in love with the way the fighting, and I just continued to uphold the tradition, so to speak.
People helped me along my path when I was boxing, it came from close friends, close family members to professional trainers, we could sit here talkabout this for days, but there was a lot of people contributed. Being a Marine Corps boxer, it’s very demanding, not just the training aspect, but the fact that the whole Marine Corps is on your back, the whole Marine Corps’ on your shoulders, ’cause you know, you don’t wanna disappoint those that came before you and the ones that are current, and then the ones that are TKO.
Being a fighter, being a boxer prepared me to be a drill instructor, I would say in the sense of having endurance and being able to keep pushing through all the pain. Same thing like fighting, I mean you know, you go in there feeling good and you get punched, you moved, you know, you get bruised up, so to speak. And you have to continue to keep pushing, same thing with being a drill instructor, I mean your feet are gonna hurt, your toes are gonna hurt, your body’s gonna be tired and you still have to keep pushin’.