In recent years, an increasing number of proper motions have been measured for Galactic X-ray binaries. When supplemented with accurate determinations of the component masses, orbital period, and donor luminosity and effective temperature, these kinematical constraints harbor a wealth of information on the systems' past evolution. The constraints on compact object progenitors and kicks derived from this are of immense value for understanding compact object formation and exposing common threads and fundamental differences between black hole and neutron star formation. Here, we present the results of such an analysis for the black hole X-ray binary XTE J1118+480. We present results from modeling the mass transfer phase, following the motion in the Galaxy back to the birth site of the black hole, and examining the dynamics of symmetric and asymmetric core-collapses of the black hole progenitor.