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#1
Old 10-15-2011, 04:55 PM
jigga5
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Default What to look for in a boxing gym?

Hey guys, I am looking to join a boxing gym/ club and my long term goal is to acquire the necessary skills in order to compete at the amateur level. I have been a serious athlete in soccer/ basketball so I am very committed to my new goal and I am going to work as hard as possible to be successful in this sport.

With that said, I recently went to a boxing club last night and got my first taste of the sport. Basically the coach is someone who used to box in London (amateur i assume) and is older now(65ish). Anyways the class started with a warm up lead by him. It was pretty good and got my heart rate going, although there was no jump rope ( the room is pretty cramped as he rents from another gym). Then we did some slight shadow boxing throwing a few combos. After that people started hitting the heavy bag/sparring while the coach worked with me and another new guy showing us the basics (stance, jab, head movement etc). He did this for about 10 minutes and corrected me when he was with me. However, there are about 10-12 guys there so he would then move to the people sparring and watch them or go help someone else out. At this point, I would work on what he told me however, I would not have any feed back for a long time and I was kind of just hitting the bag by myself for awhile.

Overall, it didn't seem to be too structured and people would just be doing there own thing while coach would come around helping/ teaching. We did one other drill called "speed power" which was structured and everyone was doing it together. I have never been to a boxing club so I really don't know if this is typical or not.

The coach himself has a lot of connections with other gyms and can easily arrange amateur fights. He also said to the other new guy that he could spar maybe in a few weeks ( he has no experience prior). Is it typical to allow sparring that soon? Anyways, let me know what you guys think and if I should go look at the other boxing gym (it is huge and has top notch equipment etc BUT it is much further away from my house). And I forgot to add, the coach himself is VERY friendly and humble and he seems like he really wants to help, I just question his structure a bit.
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#2
Old 10-15-2011, 05:42 PM
cja07007
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As long as everyone is working hard it sounds pritty normal. Most of the time in most boxing gyms its up to u to put the work in.
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#3
Old 10-15-2011, 06:03 PM
jigga5
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ya everyone is working hard. How do you feel about the fact that everyone is doing there own thing and there is little structure? Coach will work with me on a few things then I might not be able to work with him again for 20 min so I don't know if my technique is proper. Also I got minimal pad work in this class as well. I didn't see any double end bags or speed bags at all. However, there is a small ring.

Last edited by jigga5; 10-15-2011 at 06:13 PM.
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#4
Old 10-15-2011, 07:31 PM
cja07007
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Originally Posted by jigga5 View Post
ya everyone is working hard. How do you feel about the fact that everyone is doing there own thing and there is little structure? Coach will work with me on a few things then I might not be able to work with him again for 20 min so I don't know if my technique is proper. Also I got minimal pad work in this class as well. I didn't see any double end bags or speed bags at all. However, there is a small ring.
Alot of the time coaching have a lot of people to work with. the most important thing is your with people you trust and will look out for you. If you think the coach knows what hes talking about if you stick with it he will probably work more with you. I know the speedbag thing and no double end bag might be annoying because you want to hit them but they arnt essential to being a good boxer. Follow your gut though.
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#5
Old 10-16-2011, 02:26 PM
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Been only to one gym and it's been very similiar to what you describe. The training is actually very unstructured but it's understandable, they have many people to train etc. Would you as a coach give unreasonable amount of time to unproven first timers? What if they quit the following week? Secondly, even if you got more advice it wouldn't even help. You need certain basics down and some amount of training for it to be effective. You could point out 100 mistakes to newbies and it would be just useless or more likely a hinderance.

Personally in a boxing gym I look at the vibe and knowledge. Trainers who know what they are talking about but also that boxing4life attitude, love that ****. In my gym they try to get people to spar asap but always with supervision and properly skilled/unskilled opponent. Imo it's the best strategy with proper supervision and guidance.
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Old 10-16-2011, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by uu154 View Post
Been only to one gym and it's been very similiar to what you describe. The training is actually very unstructured but it's understandable, they have many people to train etc. Would you as a coach give unreasonable amount of time to unproven first timers? What if they quit the following week? Secondly, even if you got more advice it wouldn't even help. You need certain basics down and some amount of training for it to be effective. You could point out 100 mistakes to newbies and it would be just useless or more likely a hinderance.

Personally in a boxing gym I look at the vibe and knowledge. Trainers who know what they are talking about but also that boxing4life attitude, love that ****. In my gym they try to get people to spar asap but always with supervision and properly skilled/unskilled opponent. Imo it's the best strategy with proper supervision and guidance.
Great response. I sensed a commitment from the trainer and it had that attitude you were talking about. Next class I am going to talk to him and tell him how serious I am and what my goals are. He will probably have me sparring in a few weeks.

Only negative is that the main owner closed their doors down so he had to move into a small room at another facility. It is small and cramped and doesn't have all the fancy equipment that the other gym has but I am not sure if thats too important. I am planning on travelling to the other gym and sitting and watching their class/fighters to see their atmosphere. They have all the fancy equipment and big rings etc but we will see how it goes. Price is identical but the larger fancier gym is about 20 min drive away
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Old 01-26-2013, 02:18 AM
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Overall, it didn't seem to be too arranged and individuals would just be doing there own factor while trainer would come around helping/ training. We did one other routine known as "speed power" which was arranged and everyone was doing it together.
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#8
Old 01-26-2013, 05:17 PM
Ray Corso
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I don't know a thing about a boxing club but I do know that a boxing gym isn't worth a damn if the trainer can't train multiple styles. Since your in England find "the Authority" on this site, he's a member of a few gyms I think and his son is actively competing in the Junior Amatuers! I'm sure he can guide you to a gym in your area!
Questioning someones style when you don't know squat about a sport is your first mistake! Go to a gym, work out, get a feel for how you fit in there, then see if the trainer thinks you can be "anything" in the sport. You might be the floor sweeper or worse yet the canvas sweeper, I doubt if you could fight at a high level be cause your already smarter than the guy running the joint!!
So good luck and before you spar get some health insurance.........alot! Ray.
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:21 PM
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I don't know a thing about a boxing club but I do know that a boxing gym isn't worth a damn if the trainer can't train multiple styles.
^^^ Close thread. This is HUGE! Otherwise, trainers will try to mold every fighter into the same style. Guys who opt to do their own thing will likely be looked down upon. If you're serious about fighting, where you train and who you take direction from are HUGE decisions. ESPECIALLY when you're just starting and building YOUR identity and style as a fighter.
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#10
Old 01-27-2013, 05:38 AM
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Originally Posted by jigga5 View Post

Overall, it didn't seem to be too structured and people would just be doing there own thing while coach would come around helping/ teaching. We did one other drill called "speed power" which was structured and everyone was doing it together. I have never been to a boxing club so I really don't know if this is typical or not.

The coach himself has a lot of connections with other gyms and can easily arrange amateur fights. He also said to the other new guy that he could spar maybe in a few weeks ( he has no experience prior). Is it typical to allow sparring that soon?
I have been to around 30 gyms (multiple visits to most of them) and to be honest every one of them lack any real structure in terms of teaching skills.

Some may have a "structured" time table, for example juniors train at different times to seniors, or competing boxers train at different times to the keep fitters, but none have any real structure to the actual sessions.

Some gyms "structure" their sessions with the first hour or so used for shadow boxing, pads, bags, skipping etc and then 30 minutes or so sparring before finishing of with circuit training etc. But this seems to be done on an ad hoc basis depending on who has turned up at the gym.

The reality seems to be that for the majority of the session you will be training without any real guidance. Most amateur clubs simply do not have enough coaches to give everyone individual (or group) coaching time. We have 3 coaches and sometimes we have 30+ boxer in the gym. Some boxers will have bouts coming up so obviously these lads will get a bit more attention.

This is the case in every gym I have been to - not enough coaches !!! However, don't be disheartened, almost everyone has the same issues but many boxers reach a good standard regardless.

You have to take responsibility for your own training. You have to taken on board any advice you are given and work with it on your own. Simple things like keeping your chin tucked and having your feet the correct width apart and not standing square take practice - they need to become second nature.

It's just a case of working on basics like the above till you do them without having to think about it. When you are sparring you should get some advice and then you have to go away and work on these things in your own time whist shadow boxing or hitting the bag.

After sparring you need to go home and reflect on your experience. What worked? Why did it work? What didn't work? Why didn't it work? etc You will be surprised how much quickly you learn when you get you get hit hard on the nose for your mistakes haha.

When you are watching lads spar you have to study what is going on and really think about it. You can learn a lot from other novices (and experienced lads) mistakes. Also watch as much boxing as you can but study it - don't just watch it whilst relaxing. Study with purpose i.e. how does boxer A land is hook to the body? How does he get into position to do so? What does he do after? What could his opponent do to defend and counter the hook ? etc etc etc.

Watch the more experienced lads on the bag / shadow boxing - again you can learn a a lot from vicarious / observational learning. Our brains are wired to learn from others !!!

If you go to the gym, 5 nights per week every week for a year and you you pick up one piece of information each time you then you have 260 pieces of information to think about and work on in your own time.

Another thing to remember is generally the more dedicated you are, the more time you will get. But you have to prove this. Everyday I waste my time coaching new lads on the pads only to find the have packed in after a couple of weeks - very frustrating. The head coach has seen the same pattern for 35 years and now he flat out refuses to work with any of the new guys until they have been coming for at least a few months and have proved they are dedicated and in for the long haul.

However, if the lad is dedicated, works hard and listens to his advice he will happily open the gym at an obscure time and and work with them one on one. I too do the same, as do many coaches I know. If you are hungry, work hard and listen you will get more attention !!! Most amateur coaches coach because the enjoy it and there's nothing more enjoyable than working with a hungry young lad and developing him into an accomplished boxer.

Work hard, work smart and listen. You will get there if you take responsibility for your own training. It may not seem that way if you are a complete novice but you will get there if the gym is half decent.
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