Manchester is renowned for having started the Industrial Revolution, and is often nicknamed ‘Cottonopolis’ as a result. But it has also been dubbed ‘the sporting capital of the UK‘.
When you put aside the famous football clubs, Manchester takes some beating when it comes to its sporting achievements: Ricky Hatton and Tyson Fury are just a couple of prime examples of the calibre of Mancunian sportsmen. But, of course, it’s not just male sportsmen from the city who have found great success in sporting achievements.
In 2012, Team GB was represented by 542 athletes, among which 262 were female. Four years later, in Rio, the team was made up of 45% women with the same percentage of medals being won by female athletes.
With few challenging opportunities for young female boxers until the London 2012 Olympics, boxers like Stacey Copeland struggled to turn professional in their sport. Copeland, who is now a three-time national champion, is just the kind of female boxing role model that young athletes need. Her work outside the ring celebrates women in sport and encourages more and more girls to follow their dream to become a professional boxer.
The recent growth in popularity of boxing as a sport is no doubt down to the fact that sport is no longer seen as solely for men.
Manchester, above all, is dedicated to offering a range of sports centres in which boxers can practice and train. Whether inner-city bass or in the suburbs, you will find a class that suits you.
In boxing, you are always prepared for the worst case injury which is why most boxers wear all sorts of protection during training exercises. To be certain to that you won’t be harmed during a training session, you will need to invest in a helmet, a mouth guard, various body pads, bandages, gloves and suitable clothes and suitable footwear. In fact, most clubs will insist that you have all of the gear or will hire it out to you. There’s no bare knuckle fights in regulated boxing!
You will need a mouthguard among other pieces of equipment when boxing. Photo credit: MartialArtsNomad.com on Visual hunt / CC BY
There are various types of combat sports, including French boxing, British boxing, kick boxing or Thai boxing, martial mixed arts, aikido, taekwondo, full contact, jujitsu, karate, kung fu and krav maga.
The purpose of this post is to inform you of the many classes and styles of boxing available to you in your area, as well as teaching you a bit about the sport you are about to undertake.
Boxing is no longer a sport reserved for men. As proof, even Mohamed Ali’s daughter has followed in her father’s legendary footsteps by becoming a pro boxer. Add to that list Holly Holm, Regina Halmich and Anne-Sophie Mathis, and there’s a very impressive group of female boxers.
2017 was a very sad year for female boxing, however, as Angelique Duchemin, born in 1991, died at just 26 years of age. During the summer, she was training when she suffered a cardiac arrest. Duchemin was a triple-time French champion, double European winner, as well as the female world champion in her weight category.
Since the 1990s, British women’s boxing – which is indifferent to mens British boxing in its rules and disciplines – soared in popularity thanks to the success of the female competitors in the World Olympics and other international contests.
That said, the announcement that the London 2012 Olympics would include women’s boxing as a competitive sport influenced by far the most female athletes. As a result, there are many places you can begin if you wish to start boxing as a female novice.
Elite Boxing, for example, is a sports club based in Bolton (around a half hour car journey from the city but with easy access transport connections) which offers women’s only classes, as they are aware that some women find training with men a little daunting. Classes can be paid for by lesson and, since they are held in the evenings, classes can have half a dozen or more participants.
Take yourself to their gym on a Tuesday or Thursday at 8.00pm to give it a try. Classes last one hour.
Alternatively, if kickboxing looks more like ‘your thing’, why not join the Chorlton Women’s Kickboxing Club which holds classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 7.00pm and 8.30pm, and Thursdays from 10.30am to 11.30am. Sessions cost £5.00 each and can be payed for as you train. Dedicated to female customers, the classes are taught by female instructors and are suitable for beginners.
If you feel uncomfortable training with men then try to find a women’s only class. Photo credit: SurfaceWarriors on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-SA
According to research, French boxing originated in the 18th century, with opponents using canes whilst fighting with their feet and fists.
SBG Manchester is a club that specialises in Savate boxing among other disciplines. The Manchester Martial Arts Centre too offers classes in the native French martial art. Look them up online to learn more about the elegant sport and to find out when you can attend classes.
British boxing is a combat sport whereby two opponents of the same weight category and same gender compete in a fight inside a ring wearing gloves.
Where it differs from French boxing is that you can only use your hands and you must only hit your opponent above the waist.
Here’s some Manchester based clubs.
plus many more.
The first, highly-rated by customers, is located in Ardwick and offers one-to-one courses at £200.00 per eight sessions or £100.00 per four. All sessions are mixed, so male and female participants are invited to come along any weekday from 6.30pm to 8.00pm.
Membership options include 12-month entry at £400.00, or £50.00 a month (for non-members) or you can choose to pay as you train which costs £5.00 a session. There are many more options available to you, which can be found by visiting www.mancunianboxingclub.co.uk.
The club has limited changing space so you are asked wherever possible to come in already dressed in your boxing gear.
If you don’t already have gloves and want to become a member of their gym, then remember you can qualify for a members’ discount on some boxing equipment!
While you may have thought long and hard about the pros and cons of British boxing in comparison to Thai boxing, did you ever consider how the cost of the equipment differs? Having the right equipment is vital to training properly.
You can consult websites like Lonsdale to get an idea of what kind of boxing equipment is out there and how much you will be looking to pay for each item.
If, like many, you’re a serial mind-changer and spend your time flitting from one hobby to the next, you may be wise to do a trial session first to see if it is for you before spending a fortune on gear!
If you’re interested in kickboxing classes in the area, then why not get in touch with Master A’s Muay Thai club, which is based in Manchester’s northern quarter. There is no joining fee and you can make the most of monthly payments ranging from £40.00+ for students.
Alternatively, you can benefit from private lessons for any level (beginner to expert) with a highly trained instructor for just £40 per hour.
Thai boxing is an elegant form of boxing which is supposedly based loosely on ballet! Photo credit: MartialArtsNomad.com on Visual hunt
Boxercise is a keep fit-style class that derives from boxing. But, while Boxercise was a craze that hit many gyms across the nation, many more alternatives have 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!
If you are looking for energetic boxing classes in the Manchester area, then consider going to the Box ‘N Burn class held at Bells Gym in Altrincham (30 mins from the city centre). They also offer classes called Box Circuits, Box Fit, Fight Club, HIIT Boxing, HIIT Skipping, Bag Circuits, Hard Core, Teen Box Circuits, Kids Gloves and Bags, Pads and Abs… there is certainly no shortage of choice here!
See their timetable online to find out more about times, instructors and class availability.
A city centre alternative is Studio25‘s BoxFit Boot Camp classes which run on a Monday from 5.30pm-6.30pm costing £5 per session. They have a Facebook page detailing their class info and more, so go and visit them by searching ‘studio 25’. The gym can be found on Church Street, M4 1PE.
Moving around the UK? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. You can find out where to find Boxing Classes in the capital, check out the Boxing Classes on offer in Birmingham or doscover different types of Boxing Classes in Liverpool.