Lets see, my grandfather was a boxer of some significance in Canada. He got me hooked on it from about the age of 4 or 5. I spent countless hours watching films of fighters like Sugar Ray Robinson, Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano etc etc, and I loved every minute of it. He started training me when I was about 5 or 6, and for the first year, all the old buggar would teach me was defence and balance. I remember hating it, because it was so boring, but he kept saying "you gotta learn to swim before you can dive my boy". I get what he meant now.
From there I continued with boxing seriously until I turned 19. I got involved in Black Dragon - Kung Fu with my father when I was 11 or 12. My dad was already a decently accomplished black belt in Karate, but had been out of practice. We trained together for about 3 years. At that point I went in to kick boxing, because I felt like I needed more contact (aka I wanted to knock some cats TFO). It was good, but because I was over 13 years old, and because I was such a big b@stard, they kept putting me in with older more experienced fighters. Often adults. I won my first 11 fights by stoppage, but then I lost my last two and quit shortly afterwards. It turned out that in order to beat me, all one had to do was last a few rounds, because I would get frustrated and start doing stupid sh*t looking for a big KO. I got out pointed by two smarter, faster, more experienced kick boxers, but hey, I learned from it.
(As I already noted, I trained in boxing right through until I was 19)
When I turned 20, a good friend and I were attacked by 5 guys with beer bottles, and my friend was hurt pretty badly. I took out two of them, but eventually, there were just too many. I didn't get hurt bad, but I was so incredibly p*ssed off about the audacity they had to assault us, without provocation, that I developed an even worse temper than I already had, and I almost immediately went about signing up for more training. (I wanted to become invincible, and I had pure revenge on my mind. - Regardless of the ridiculous notion that I would ever even come back in contact with the assailants, let alone recognize them all during daylight.)
I signed up with Ching Wu - Kung Fu, which is a combination of over 20 traditional styles of traditional Kung Fu, as well as several weapons systems. More importantly, my Sifu was incredible. The best teacher I had ever encountered. I signed up with my friend who was also attacked, but he quit shortly afterwards. I stayed for 5 years. In about my 4th year, I took up boxing again (I had always still trained with the heavybag and speed bags in the basement, but hadn't had any sparring until I went back to the gym.)
When I was 27 years old, I met a guy that was training to get in to mixed martial arts cage matches. He was an awesome fighter. He was also my new boss at the time. We started talking about fighting arts, and it turned out we had a lot in common (ie. he was a boxer/martial artist) and he went on and on about Brazilian Ju Jitsu. I went to his gym and we spared for awhile. He convinced me. I trained there for a little less than a year. I liked it, Ju Jitsu is awesome, but I didnt care for the gym, as every guy there seemed to think he was the next Tito Ortiz or Chuck Lidell. They would crank arm bars on you until you could hear your elbow crunch and it really interfered with my bodybuilding. I also have a strong preference for hitting a guy and khtfo. To each their own.
I practice my martial arts knowledge to this day, but only one day a week, for flexibility, memory & a change up in my cardio.
I still train for boxing in my basement, I probably always will. I write for a boxing publication and for a popular boxing website. It's still a passion.
Anyway, that's my 4 cents. Sorry, that post was a bit long, but I'm pretty knew on here and I have a lot of sh*t to get out of my mouth.
I also realize that boxing isn't technically a martial art, but it's a fighting art, and it's still my favorite, so I thought I'd bring it up.
Take it easy,