My hobbling 68-year-old cousin breaks the ribs of a would-be mugger in West Palm Beach before the guy flees in agony. Somewhere there's a very stupid criminal who is having a lot of trouble breathing today. This may be the feel good story of the year. They did a segment with him on it on Fox & Friends yesterday.
When I was growing up, Steve was my idol. He was continuously getting challenged by local rednecks who were *almost* bad and he always ended up putting them on their ass. He won fight after fight at the old WPB auditorium, and really was a local hero.
He asked me to come by his gym a couple of years ago when he'd just opened it up and he was helping me with my technique. I kid you not, when he hits a heavy bag it still sounds like a goddmn cannon.
Best Posts in Thread: My Cousin, who is a 5 Time World Champion Kickboxer vs. A Mugger; Segment on Fox & Friends
Somewhere around 1975-76 or so I was with some friends and leaving Big Daddy’s Lounge on Southern Blvd. Steve came out of the bar right after us with a very attractive girl. As he was walking to his car some wannabe badass started taunting him and calling Steve a pussy and followed him to his car. Steve calmly and quietly told the guy several times to settle down and leave them alone. Then the dude pushed as Steve was starting to get in his car. The next 20 seconds or so was an absolute blur of punches and kicks. By the time he was done he had beat the living shyt out of the guy and left him laying in the ground. Steve Shepherd was a legend in WPB. We all looked up to him and I had several friends who went on to have many kickboxing matches at the WPB Auditorium. We grew up fighting and it was a natural transition for them. I used to come home on leave from the USMC to watch them fight. Those were the days, my friend.
His father eventually convinced him to join the Marine Corps, which was a big mistake for a guy who was 100% wired to reject authority. At Parris Island he jumped the wall and was AWOL for a full year and a half. When the shore patrol finally caught up with him after all that time out, they threw him in the brig. He ended up getting in enough trouble to end up in solitary, "the hole," for six months. No light and nothing but bread and water to eat.
What followed after his release was a string of problems with law enforcement and the justice system. What eventually saved him was karate, something he excelled at so much that he earned a fifth degree blackbelt and eventually won five kickboxing world titles. That number would have been eight had it not been for his constant warring with the PKA, who was kickboxing's sanctioning body at the time. Steve beat sitting world champions in multiple weight categories eight times, but the PKA refused to sanction three of them. Perhaps his most famous fight was when he beat the heavyweight champion, who weighed in at 46 lbs. heavier than Steve at the time.
He married a sweet woman, Donna, who eventually died in a house fire, which meant he had to raise his daughter Suzy on his own.
One interesting historical note, is that before Steve was sent to Puerto Rico by his father, he and his brother were drinking at a Lake Worth bar one night when Charles Whitman, (yes, THAT Charles Whitman), walked in. Whitman began shooting at people in the bar, but through a stroke of luck killed no one. One of the the bullets whizzed by Steve's head and struck Steve's brother, (my other cousin) in the arm. Steve knew Whitman's brother pretty well, and so was able to identify the shooter. That is certainly one of those moments in history where if the right people had done the right thing, a lot of future lives would have been saved. According to my cousin, the police viewed it as an act of a jealous lover, which he believes led to a lack of effort to prosecute. Not too long after that, Whitman killed 17 people and injured numerous others while perched atop the tower on the University of Texas campus.
When I think of all the dangerous stuff I've done in my life - drag racing down the Lake Worth Bridge, flooring it down Alternate A1A at 135 mph with my headlamps off, diving head-first into a sinkhole in Gainesville in the middle of a moonless night without checking the water level first, etc., etc. - I count walking into that bar for the first time as a 118 lbs high-schooler wearing a polo shirt and khakis and sitting down to order a drink like I belonged there as one of them.
Back in my day we were hitting the Tigers Paw, Royal Dutch, Kiki Lounge and everybody’s favorite dive....the Plush Pony. Later it was HonkyTonks and Fillies.
Best pizza place was the Sportsman’s Inn.
Loved those days. Use to cruise Lake Worth beach nearly every night with my 1973 Mach 1 looking for races. Then of course spring breaks in Ft Lauderdale were legendary! Great time to grow up in SFla.!
When I was in college Steve opened up a bar in West Palm. The doorway ended up being a magnet for all these idiots from Loxahatchee to come to in their pickup trucks thinking they were going to make a name for themselves, sometimes two and three at a time, by beating Steve Shepherd. He'd kick their asses in seconds every time. He has never been an imposing figure. He fought at between 156 and 159 Lbs usually. I guess people have always underestimated him.
It sounds like you and I probably knew some of the same miscreants that hung around Steve's gym. Steve trained under Mark Herman, who later achieved infamy by getting convicted of murdering a classmate of mines father, Richard Kruesler.
BTW, thanks for your service in the USMC. Also, that Big Daddys is still there. I think the same people are hanging out at the bar that were there 40 years ago.
I think his son’s name is Bink and still plays. I went to school with his drummer Jeff Helvie whose daughter is a national recording star Brooke Eden.
I loved their song “Florida Cracker”. It was practically our anthem back in the day. “We drink beer...our women chew tobacca...we ain’t nothin but a bunch of Florida Crackers”
Street Man (name we use for bad guy in the street) is typically out of shape and lacks technique. If you can last 45 seconds against Street Man, you should be fine. Seen way too many younguns come in the dojo with their Youtube Jujitsu black belts. They will get tapped out 10 times or so and we don't see them again. NONE of them have any stand up technique so they are really worthless.