All types of boxing are centred around fighting in a ring: French boxing, British boxing, Thai boxing mixed martial arts… but there is much more to them than that.
No two types of combat sports are the same, and each of them have a different set of rules.
In fact, all of the disciplines are each governed by their own official body, that is how different they are to one another. Thai boxing, for example, dates back to centuries ago when the Thai military introduced elements of it at war in a bid to win territory for their nation.
French boxing, or footfighting as it is sometimes known, meanwhile, has developed over the years from a sport where canes were used to defeat the opponent.
Despite their differences, the underlying principles are the same and they each demand a great deal of respect, technique and physical and mental strength from their practitioners.
But what are your reasons for wanting to learn how to fight? To better defend yourself, to learn how to punch, to find out how strong your body is, to prepare for a championship fight, to curb your energy or to simply improve your overall health and fitness?
Regardless of your reason, regular training is a must if you want to continue to improve and develop.
So, grab your kit (you’ll need a mouth guard, various body pads, a helmet, boxing gloves and suitable training shoes at the very least) and find out which sports centres offer boxing classes near you!
Boxing is a relatively low-cost sport but you will still need more than just a pair of trainers to train with! Photo credit: Carolyn Coles on Visualhunt
Scotland may be small, but it is indeed mighty and one of its biggest cities, Glasgow, boasts a number of sports centres where people can learn to box.
French boxing took some of the elements of British boxing – which, as you may know, only allows opponents to use their fists – and added the ability to kick. Back in the day, French boxing also often consisted of opponents contending for a win using a cane.
It wasn’t long though until the French officially introduced French boxing.
If you are interested in the variety offered by French boxing, you’ll have no problems finding a class in Glasgow.
The French form has been welcomed in Scotland with the introduction of Savate Scotland.
Savate workouts will help with various elements of fitness, focusing primarily on cardio-vascular fitness, flexibility, core strength and self-confidence.
Savate Scotland coaches at various locations across Scotland, with dates and times for Glasgow to be confirmed soon according to its website. Meanwhile, if you happen to commute to Edinburgh during the week for work, you will find details of classes there listed on their website!
Alternatively, martial arts trainer Mike Krause has offered classes in French Savate boxing since the mid 90s in his hometown of Glasgow. Salem Assli, the President of the Californian Association of Boxe Française, has commended Mike for having brought his passion to Scotland and promoting it so fiercely.
You can contact Mike to enquire about his courses by phone, email, website enquiry or by dropping into his centre on Lancefield Street.
Living in Leeds? Find Boxing Classes in Leeds here
British boxing – a so-called ‘noble sport’ – is, as you’d expect, even older than French boxing. British boxing emerged in the 18th century, when it was originally illegal and unrestricted.
Things have changed drastically since those days; then came the regulated form that introduced strict rules to abide by and cut down the risks of life-threatening injuries, opening more people’s eyes to the positives of boxing.
Now, the British Boxing Board of Control states a long list of rules for boxers, too long to list. If you are interested in reading the full copy of the Rules of Boxing, then take a look at www.bbbofc.com or contact the British Board of Control.
Here is a list of clubs whereby you can learn British boxing:
The first offers a packed timetable of classes every day of the week. With sessions for all levels of boxing taking place each weeknight from 6.30pm or later, and Saturday and Sunday mornings from 10.00am, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing a class.
They also offer kids’ classes four times a week (some are parent and child classes), circuits, ladies’ only boxing fitness classes, sparring as well as strength and conditioning.
You might do a bit of sparring in your boxing training. Photo credit: David Rosen Photography on Visual Hunt
The format at this gym is either pay as you go, at £5.00 per session for adults or £3.00 for children or alternatively a monthly membership priced at £60.00 a month for adults and £36.00 for 5-16 year-olds. Classes take place on Portman Street.
A good coaching programme will help you to build up your self-defence technique and prepare you for those explosive blows that you might be subject to during training or fights.
Highly popular in its native country, Thailand, Thai boxing is growing in popularity in the western hemisphere too.
Most martial arts descended from what are known as muay boran (traditional boxing) and krabi krabong (boxing with weapons), but Thai boxing – or kickboxing as we know it in the UK – is one of the more popular disciplines. Even south-east Asia shows preference to this activity over other martial arts.
But while it is popular, it is also quite violent. All types of blows are permitted so it understandably has a reputation for being one of the most dangerous types of boxing. That said, it is often described as a graceful and elegant sport too!
Thai boxing is so special to the region, that not seeing a fight when travelling on Thai soil is like visiting Paris and not seeing the Eiffel Tower, or going to London and not walking past Buckingham Palace!
The Thai Boxing Club in Glasgow is a good place to start. They offer Muay Thai lessons, based in the city’s Westend, making Thai boxing accessible for many city goers and workers.
With a recently refurbished gym, they offer fantastic facilities and expert coaches, training complete novices through to champion fighters.
Classes are held every day of the week, but if you are looking for a one-to-one lesson you may need to book in advance. Adults classes take place on Tuesdays from 7.00pm until 9.00pm and again on Thursdays at the same time.
Junior classes are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays too but an hour earlier, meanwhile a Junior Fight Team Training session is available on a Sunday at midday. All classes will usually involve some sparring, bag fitness and the teaching of important techniques.
Check out our tutors offering Boxing Classes in Birmingham
The very popular Boxercise is a keep fit-style class that derives from boxing, taking elements of the discipline and combining them with an energetic fitness workout. But, while Boxercise was a craze that hit many gyms across the nation, many more alternatives have since developed too.
You can now find a range of classes centred around boxing but incorporating key elements of other fitness classes. For example, there is BoxFit, BoxYoga (or YogaBox at some gyms), BeatBoxing and I have even come across one class named B*tch Boxing!
Glasgow has its very own BoxFit establishment in the heart of the city, offering Muay Thai and fitness to help all meet their weight and fitness goals.
Having opened its doors in February 2017, the club is relatively new but has already seen much success. There are no joining fees, and class schedules can be requested by contacting the team.
In most Boxercise or BoxFit classes, gloves and pads will be provided (we cannot guarantee that they won’t smell a bit sweaty though!).
It’s always more fun exercising with a group of friends than alone! Photo credit: eliduke on VisualHunt.com
Heres a few fun facts about the activity!
Did you know that…
one Boxercise class can burn 400 calories?
it improves your muscle tone as well as your upper body strength?
it is a great form of stress relief?
it teaches you about boxing moves without the contact?
it is fast and effective at burning fat and building strength?
Boxing classes can be found across many of the big cities in the UK, so check out: