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IronFist Boxing fights for community’s youth

Kokomo nonprofit provides positive outlet, breeds champions

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NATIONAL CHAMP - Yahsin "Iron Fist" Arrington is a 15-year-old boxer from Kokomo, and has won four Indiana state championships and one national championship. He will travel to Shreveport, La., on Dec. 5 to compete in the 2021 USA Boxing National Championships.

Growing up in Chicago with six brothers, fighting was as normal as Sunday dinner for Sieyumbe Arrington, whether it was over who sits in the front seat, who goes next in the bathroom, who gets the last piece of food, it was mandatory. Though he loves his family, the experience came with a lot of frustration, built up anger and negative energy in his house.

In other words, Arrington gets it. He knows what can trigger a child to want to fight, or just be angry at the world. When he moved to Kokomo, and later found out he was having a son, he knew his son would be a fighter. He just knew it, he said. When Yahsin was born, he dubbed him “Iron Fist” almost immediately. Years later, in 2018, IronFist Boxing Club and Learning Center was officially born.

IronFist is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization on 505 N. Philips St. and evolved as a combination of Arrington wanting to provide for his son and give the youth in the community a positive outlet and experience. IronFist provides boxing lessons, fitness training, and promotes positivity for youth and adults alike, but Arrington said the focus is primarily on children and teenagers.

“When I saw that we can help other children to stay on track, to get on track, that’s when it became a game-changer for me. Around 2014, that’s when I said, ‘OK, we really, really might have something here,’” Arrington said.

At the gym and among his students, Arrington is known as “Coach Law”. Before he was the leader of a nonprofit, he trained his son growing up, but quickly began expanding his services to other kids in the neighborhood. They all started training regularly, and soon began traveling and competing around the country under Arrington’s leadership.

There are approximately 40 boxers in the club today, Arrington said. As a nonprofit, the organization relies on donations and sponsorships for the boxers. On the website, those interested can sponsor a boxer or a class, and the money helps cover rentals, travel, equipment, maintenance and other utilities and expenses.

But the money is put to good use. Three boxers are featured on the website. The first is Yahsin “Iron Fist” Arrington, the heir. He is 15, just under 100 pounds, and has recorded more than 40 fights, and is a four-time Indiana state champion and one-time national champion.

Yahsin will travel with Arrington and his sister, Nevaeh, to Shreveport, Louisiana, Dec. 5 to participate in the 2021 USA Boxing National Championships. There are 15 other fighters in his age group, and the ultimate winner comes out as a national champion. One loss and Yahsin will be eliminated.


FAMILY - (From left to right) Sieyumbe “Coach Law” Arrington, Nevaeh Arrington, and Yahsin "Iron Fist" Arrington will travel as a family to the 2021 USA Boxing National Championships in December to watch Yahsin compete for a title.

The other boxers featured on the site are Isabella “the Killer” Cavazos, 15, and Faith “The Leopard” Merriweather, 11. Cavazos has fought just twice, and Merriweather has fought five times, is a national champion and was ranked second in the nation in her age group. The club is open to fighters of any age and experience level.

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But to see his son continue to grow and shine in the ring and in life, it’s rewarding for Arrington.

“It’s validation that you can do anything that you put your mind to. That’s what it is for me. The fact that we’re living it and we’re still building and we’re still chasing legacy, it’s validation,” he said. “Yahsin is not my only national champion. We have other national champions in the gym. He’s not the only one that my heart and my mind and eyes are set on, as far as training a national champion in the hopes of becoming a pro.”

The goal is to turn his students into professional boxers. Arrington wants to change the game, he said, and change lives in the process.

When he saw he could really give back with boxing as a vehicle for good, Arrington said his attitude and mindset changed. This organization could be a wonderful thing for lots of children just looking for something in life, another outlet to turn to, and a positive one.

“We have too many children in Kokomo that need this assistance. That’s the thing that drives me right now the most. It’s the fact that the children of the community need an outlet where they can release some of their frustration and the steam they have built up for whatever reason,” he said. “Then they can go home and have a great night and wake up the next day feeling great, because they’re not carrying that anger and frustration around with them anymore because they released it the night before.”

Boxing is a tool to release any unwanted energy, Arrington said. Growing up in the “fight scene” gives him a tool to not only recognize what may be the beginnings of a problem in a child, but relate to them in an invaluable way, in a first-person sense.

“It allows me to see the problem, deal with the problem, and get everybody back on their way smiling and happy. Because I lived it, not only in the ring but in life in general, I’m able to have that one-on-one conversation with him and her and try to get to the root of a problem and deal with it,” he said.

There’s no favoritism in the gym. Yahsin gets as much criticism and praise as any other student or boxer, Arrington said. He accepts all of his students as his own children and wants them to grow in that way and become better people in the process.

Boxing is the ultimate analogy for life. Arrington said if you get knocked down in the ring, you get back up and respond. Accordingly, life is the same way. It’s about not giving up, not letting the last punch be the knockout punch, and learning how to keep pushing and respond in the face of adversity.

These are the lessons at IronFirst Boxing Club and Learning Center. To learn more about the club, how to donate or get involved, visit and click on the “How you can help” tab.

Additionally, there is a GoFundMe account set up, asking for support for IronFist Boxing Club on the road to the national championship, which can be found on the club’s Facebook page. For easier donations, look for IronFist on CashApp or PayPal.