One of the hardest things to grasp when becoming a boxer is not the likelihood that you will take a few blows to the face, but the seemingly endless options of classes and clubs at your disposal!
Not that we are complaining, of course… The rise in popularity of boxing and other contact sports is anything but a nuisance, it is making training far more accessible and convenient, not to mention offering a wider variety of activities to suit men, women and children across the country.
So, if you really want to start the new year with a fresh start and new fitness regime, then take some time to think about what type of boxing interests you the most.
Boxing, as a term, actually covers a very wide range of contact sports, including French boxing, British boxing, American boxing (which is a ‘full contact’ form of the sport) and kickboxing (also known as Thai boxing).
In addition, Boxercise and Boxfit classes for men and women have really taken off in recent years, combining the principles of boxing with a high-energy cardio workout.
Classes are usually led with the help of upbeat tracks and a motivating trainer, so you will be sure to get a great workout and burn a good few calories while learning some new skills.
Not forgetting, of course, that many other forms of mixed martial arts (MMA) come under the same umbrella as boxing – so taekwondo, aikido, kung fu, karate, jujitsu, krav maga, viet vo dao, plus more (just think, all and any officially recognised body contact sports).
Find boxing lessons near you.
Over the last ten years or so, boxing clubs have been on the rise. Plus, with so many varieties of the sport having now emerged, more and more women have taken an interest in joining classes and competing professionally too.
More and more women are taking boxing courses. Photo on Visual hunt
From London to Glasgow, you can find numerous sporting centres dedicated to boxing enthusiasts as well as many smaller clubs offering opportunities to learn more about the discipline.
If you are worrying about starting a new hobby and having to pay up front for all of the equipment before you’ve even decided if you like it or not, then don’t!
Boxing is a relatively low-cost sport when it comes to equipment and sportswear and most places will hire stuff out to you until, and only if you want to, buy your own gear.
Things you might need, depending on your chosen type of boxing, are gloves, bandages, training shoes, a mouth guard, various protective pads, ankle straps, a jock strap, shorts and training tops. You can consult sports outlets like Sports Direct or Lonsdale to find out what kind of accessories you can buy.
Aside from the equipment, you will need to pay for your training, which can cost anything from £6.00 for a single Boxercice class to £60.00 for a 1 hour one to one session with an experienced instructor.
For the most part, people who decide to box their way to fitness and/or fight for a title – be it in the ring or in competition don’t waver much in that decision. For them, it’s not a matter of ‘should I box?’ or ‘what if I get hurt?’; their mindset is more ‘I’m ready to do it!’
Competition? What does that have to do with boxing?
Boxing, a millennia-old sport, has evolved to include several other combat disciplines like those mentioned above: taekwondo, ju-jitsu and kung-fu among them. For these arts, competitions rather than bouts prove the ability of any practitioner.
So, whether you have settled on mixed martial arts in general, krav maga specifically or simply have decided to explore the art of boxing, the only quandary is where to train.
Would you work out in a franchise gym where people can train in many different sports as well as pursue other fitness activities? A place where certified trainers coach athletes in a variety of disciplines?
Or do you see yourself gloving up in a centre exclusively dedicated to the art of boxing – either traditional or in all of its styles, whose coaches focus exclusively on boxing and associated disciplines?
The answer to that question may not be as straightforward as you think…
If you are interested in Boxfit or Boxercise, those high-intensity physical training workouts that do not involve landing a single blow or facing an opponent, you may be better served in a standard gym, although some boxing clubs offer such courses along with kickboxing and regular boxing training.
On the other hand, if you are female or your boxing hopeful is a child, a boxing club may be just what you need.
To give you an overview of where you could learn boxing, engage in sparring and – yes, even take part in competitions if you so desire, we’re arranged some of the best venues around the country in tabular form.
|Name of Club||Contact Information||What You Can Find||Notes|
|North London Boxing Club|| 4-6 Station Parade, Southgate, London N14 5BJ|
tel: 0794 742 6099
|Classes for everyone, even children!||Personal training available|
|12 Rounds Boxing Gym||1A St Johns Hill, London SW11 1TN tel: 793 278 4547||Boxing fundamentals|
Box-Ying (women only)
|Membership open to experienced boxers only|
|Henrietta Street Gym||6 Henrietta Street, Birmingham B19 3AB|
tel: 121 233 3696
White Collar boxing
|No classes or lessons for youths|
|The People's Gym||Wham Street|
tel: 0790 705 6211
Juniors: 4 to 10 years old
|Personal training available|
|Salisbury ABC||Strada Hall, Salisbury Street, L3 8DR||Boxing classes for all ages, starting as young as 8||Matchmaking utility for championship bouts|
|Alliance Boxing Club||The Bank House, Marshall Terrace,|
Cross Gates, Leeds LS15 8EA
tel: 0796 984 4309
|Fitness, strength and conditioning classes; amateur boxing||For adults and youths|
|Viewpark Boxing Club||31 Burnhead Street|
Glasgow G71 5AT
tel: 0169 881 5525
women's and youth classes
|Train with World WBU champion Lawrence Murphy!|
|Wales Krav Maga and Kickboxing Association||Units 14-16, Curran Road. Cardiff|
tel: 0797 710 6213
Krav Maga, Boxing
|Kids and women-only classes|
|Welsh Boxing Association||http://www.welshboxing.org|
Various clubs around the country
|Amateur boxing||This association supports various charities around the country|
Which of these two sports have combined to provide a unique mental and physical challenge? Source: Pixabay Credit: Pixaline
Chess boxing is a competition wherein the opponents fight a round in the ring immediately followed by a confrontation across a chess board.
Each bout, whether chess or boxing, lasts three minutes. Between bouts, there is a one-minute lag for the fighters to get prepared.
This odd juxtaposition of alternating cerebral and physical engagement started as an art performance which took its inspiration from, of all things, a graphic novel!
In that illustrated tale, the opponents fought an entire boxing match before squaring up across the chess board.
Iepe Rubingh, the Dutch artist who conceptualised chess boxing from the graphic story, found that boxing an entire match left the contestants too tired to effectively strategise their chess game. It was he who drafted the rules for chess boxing; indeed he is considered the inventor of the discipline!
Today, the hybrid sports-and-intellect pursuit is a worldwide phenomenon that gets its guidance from the World Chess Boxing Organisation (WCBO) as well as the World Chess Boxing Association, who report that the activity is most popular in Germany, India and the UK.
In fact, Briton Tim Woolgar, who currently holds the heavyweight chess boxing title, is the president of the WCBA, which is headquartered in London!
Does this unique combination of intellectual and physical ordeals appeal to you? Would you try your hand and your head at it?
Would you like to know where can you cultivate chess boxing skills in the UK?
Unfortunately, for now, chess boxing only takes place in London. Should you be a Londoner interested in this decidedly unusual workout, you may join other enthusiasts at the Islington Boxing Club on Hazelton Road.
They welcome male and female contenders familiar with either chess or boxing, or not.
Your training will consist of learning boxing techniques and chess coaching as well as high-intensity training in the form of Boxercise. Naturally, all of this is preceded by a warm-up session and followed by a series of stretches.
Not a bad workout for £10 per session!
London is a pretty big city, so you can expect to find lots of places where you can go and do boxing training in London. But how do you know which lessons are taught by the very best or which centres have the most modern training facilities?
Our advice is to do your research, visit clubs in person and/or ask for recommendations.
Before you jump into the ring though, there’s a few things you might like to know about your new passion, especially if you’ve never boxed before.
Boxing is obviously a great way of maintaining your fitness while also toning and building up muscle. What you may not know though is that it is also great training for the brain. The focus and discipline required stimulates your mind and helps you to release energy thus helping to reduce unwanted stress and anxiety.
Training at a club or attending Boxercise/Boxfit classes is therefore very beneficial physically and emotionally.
Boxing requires lots of self-control and a respectful attitude, so it’s often been referred to as a noble sport.
As part of your training, you might do a range of physical activities directly linked to the requirements of boxing, like skipping to improve your footwork, punching bags to practise technique and using a speedball to improve your reactions and reflexes.
Find boxing classes in London.
Using a speedball can improve your speed and reactions. Photo credit: keith ellwood on VisualHunt.com
With violence still haunting the streets of many big cities, some believe that these offenders might be better off putting their energy to better to use by being taught some respect and limiting their fighting to inside a ring, rather than causing havoc outside popular places like PRYZM or The Old Joint Stock.
But do we really want so-labelled “delinquents” hitting our Birmingham boxing clubs? Are you among the believers that sport can turn someone’s life around and make changes for the better? One thing we can say for sure is that if any sport is going to rehabilitate an offender, boxing is by far the one that will teach them the most respect and discipline.
Genuine boxers respect their opponents and understand that there are different divisions of sportsmen in their field, classed by their weight. They are as follows:
Why not start boxing classes! Find boxing clubs near you in Birmingham.
Manchester is renowned for starting the Industrial Revolution, and is often nicknamed Cottonopolis, 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.
When it comes to contact sports or martial arts, there are various classes on offer in Manchester that can help members to maintain fitness with the help of highly trained and qualified teachers, all in a sociable and friendly setting.
Once you’ve found a suitable boxing centre in Manchester and completed a trial session, you can sign up for regular classes to keep up a good pace, which is a definitely something that is needed in the world of boxing.
What makes the perfect uppercut? Who offers British boxing? How do you use a punchbag effectively? Find out the answer to these questions and more with our guide to boxing in Liverpool!
There are many types of boxing you could start in Liverpool. The main draw of French boxing, known also as Savate, boxe française, French kickboxing and French footfighting, is that it allows you to train and develop the lower part of your body (namely the legs) whilst also being able to use your lower and upper body to hit your opponent.
Followers of this sport will know that you can also hit your opponent below the waist line.
In traditional British boxing, meanwhile, which we know as simply boxing, it is against the rules to punch your opponent below the waist.
In British boxing, you can’t punch your opponent below the waistline. Photo on VisualHunt.com
There is certainly no lack in classes designed to sculpt your body and highlight those pecks around Liverpool. Be sure, wherever you decide to train, to warm up before any class or session to avoid painful injuries, like tearing a muscle or ligament.
Remember, take your time and you will get fit in no time!
Leeds is known for its contemporary culture, with sport included. Boxing is a sport well adapted for people of all ages looking to find a friendly and supportive form of relieving stress built up as a result of a hectic lifestyle.
Boxing clubs in Leeds, or most cities for that matter, have no place for thugs or bandits, and are professional centres offering suitable equipment and expert trainers.
Boxing was already being played in the 6th century before Jesus Christ, when it was described as a ‘noble art’. They saw the principles of boxing for what they really are: precise, respectful and technical.
Let’s face it, who hasn’t had a punch bag in their room and pretended to be Muhammed Ali competing for the title, or joked about being able to ‘take’ the invincible Anthony Joshua in a punch up?
If you really want to up your game though and improve on your boxing technique, then make boxing training a part of your life. There is no better way to implement this change than signing up to a boxing class in Leeds.
Please note: Most sports centres will insist you produce a medical certificate before you join to ensure that you are fit and healthy.
British boxing as a style, in its basic form, has been around since the 19th century thanks mainly to those who used to work the UK docks.
Yet French boxing made its appearance far earlier and often consisted of opponents contending for a win using a cane. This shows just how different yet similar the two forms of the sport are.
The city of Glasgow offers boxing opportunities to train in either of the two disciplines, as well as proposing Boxercice, Boxfit and other related classes.
A tailored 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.
Indeed, Cardiff has the largest collection of Edwardian, Victorian and modern-day indoor shopping arcades in Britain!
But if you’re interested in boxing, you probably don’t much worry about where you can go shopping unless it is for sporting gear. You’re likely more interested in knowing where you can go to work the bags and get some sparring in.
We are happy to report that Cardiff, that city with such a long history, does indeed have some fine venues where you can learn how to box and get paired up with likely contenders in your class division.
Have you ever heard of white-collar boxing?
This unusually-named type of boxing consists of people in white collar jobs – management, or office jobs, who, with no previous boxing experience are given a bit of coaching before being pitted together in the ring.
This type of boxing is relatively new, having started in the 1980s in New York City. It made its way across the pond thanks to the efforts of Briton Alan Lacey who thought that branch of boxing could really take off. He was right!
The UK’s inaugural event saw a planeload of Wall Street bankers fly to London and fight under substantial media and press scrutiny.
Such a hit was Capital Punishment, as that first event was called, that Mr Lacey quit his (white collar) consulting job and dedicated himself exclusively to the development and promotion of the sport all across the country.
He must have done an excellent job because white collar boxing is a hot topic in Cardiff!
These fights are generally held for charity, with fighters raising funds that are paid out to that event’s target charitable organisation should s/he win the match.
NOTE: naturally, you do receive a bit of training before stepping into the ring so, if you’d like to participate in the next event (held in June), you still have time to train and raise funds for cancer research!
Women do get passionate about boxing! Source: Pixabay Credit: Ryan McGuire
Ladies, you might be happy to know that no type of boxing, white collar or otherwise, is off-limits to you! The enthusiastic trainers at Box4Fitness will make sure you feel included.
If you want a dynamic workout routine to shed your winter weight ahead of swimsuit season, Box4Fitness has a programme for you.
You may sweat it all off in their intensive 6-day body makeover course or participate in their 2-week body boot camp that will work you hard but reward you with the tools to maintain fitness for life.
Actually, this centre is unique in that it offers workout regimes as well as dietary and fitness education.
On the other hand, if you were looking for a regimen of discipline that will get you in fighting shape and teach you one of the most effective styles of self-defence, this centre offers krav maga lessons and kickboxing classes.
They also have lessons for kids as young as four!
As a way to shake the winter blahs and shape up for the year ahead, you can’t beat Box4Fitness… unless you train really hard!
Ladies and Gentlemen; children of all ages!!!
That surely must be the call issued by WKMKA, as the Wales Krav Maga and Kickboxing Association is known as.
Indeed they welcome athletes of all ages, regardless of gender, who wish to learn and train in these fighting arts.
You may join one of their regularly scheduled classes (sparring every Friday starting 5:30!) or arrange for private lessons before stepping up competitively.
Exclusively for ladies: if you feel the need for an intense workout, why not sign up for their Box for Fitness Bootcamp? Twice a week, you will be subjected to one hour’s worth of one of the most rigorous regimens in Cardiff!
At what price, you ask?
You may purchase a block of 10 lessons for £325 or partake of them individually for £35 per hour.
You may also invest in membership for £80 per month which affords you 28 sessions. You may then devote your lessons to krav maga, kickboxing or boxing, or any combination thereof.
You may accuse us of saving the best for last; that was, in fact, our intention!
This association has clubs all over Wales so, if you were looking for amateur boxer training, you would be best served by turning directly to them.
Here, the focus is strictly on amateur boxing: shorter bouts conducted with technique and precision is exactly what these boxing coaches will teach you!
Whether children or women are welcome is up to the individual boxing centres; you may direct yourself to the association’s web page to find the one nearest you.
People are quickly coming to realise that Cardiff really does have it all: lots of history and tradition, amazing food and interesting venues – why else would all of those tourists come?
And Cardiff also has fantastic fitness facilities where virtually anyone may box their way to fitness.
Whether you’re in Cardiff or anywhere in the UK, we hope we’ve helped you find your place!