Boxing For Beginners


Want to try your first boxing class in Roanoke VA? Between my age and my physical condition, there was nothing to suggest that it would take such a place in my life. it changed me a lot, physically and mentally.

My first training were disastrous and I had a long time before the classes. Luckily, I met people who knew how to put my trust in me and share their love for the sport. Today I try to do the same thing with the new ones.

Here are some tips to help you get started in the best conditions. In this first part, I begin by talking about practical aspects.

What to expect?

The first months of the season, we see flocking newcomers – often beginners – lost in this room that feels the old sock (we do).

A first class can be scary. We imagine that we will face Chuck Norris, that we must know everything right now if-it-we-is-too-nothing-to-continue. to watch the preparation of the competitors, there is indeed something to worry about: pushed into their last entrenchments with a grimace of killers, it’s something the first time to see them hit full strength targets a coach not convenient.

Everything in its time. No pressure, we will not brutalize you. Not immediately. You will not understand all that you will be asked and you will quickly discover your physical limits: it must accept, remain humble and above all, ask questions, get closer to experienced boxers rather than stay between beginners. Mutual support is fundamental in combat sports.

What boxing?

This is your starting point because there are many different disciplines from around the world.

Start by determining if you want to do English (fists only) or boxing foot-fist.

The English is the “noble art”, it’s beautiful, powerful, enduring (12-round fights), but a bit frustrating for me who loves so much beautiful foot-fist sequences.

Among the foot-fist boxes you are spoiled for choice:

  • Savate – also called French boxing  – very bouncy, many dodges
  • Full contact – no shots under the belt, many high kicks, very aerial
  • Kickboxing – Kick at all heights, a little more “brutal” because more contact: we block attacks with shins and forearms, however, seizures are prohibited
  • K1 – also called Japan kick  – an intermediate discipline derived from kickboxing that adds knees and short shots (less than 5 seconds of memory)
  • Finally, the disciplines of Asia are a step up in terms of contact: they also use seizures, projections, and elbows – there are Muay Thai, boxing Khmer / Burma, Votudo (Vietnam) and the sand (China)

I forget of course but you have the outline.

It’s up to you to see what suits you best: each one has its gestures and its aesthetic universe. Many boxers try different disciplines to “complete their vocabulary”.

Watch some pro battles on youtube and you can get a better idea.

Choose your club

For your first class, if you find yourself surrounded by competitors, you may be mistaken for a niche or a room. (an unlikely scenario, thankfully!)

We must differentiate between boxing and boxing competition. These are not the same issues. The discipline remains the same, but the approach will be very different. Some rooms offer mixed courses competitors and recreation, this is the case of those I attend. It is interesting because the presence of the competitors is very motivating and the presence of the boxers hobbies obliges to work with more technique and pedagogy.

Many rooms offer classes very compartmentalized: leisure, women’s boxing, cardio boxing / aero kick (fitness, there is no blows) …

Personally, I prefer when people mix but to begin with it is very good to choose a more reassuring environment. The most important thing is to feel good with the other members and your coach. Take test classes in several places to get an idea. To find club addresses, visit the websites of the federations. There are several depending on the disciplines mentioned above.

Following disagreements between the different actors of this environment, some federations have split, hence the existence of several federations for the same discipline. Each has a ministerial accreditation allowing it to organize competitions and to award titles. For this reason, we have several champions of France in identical disciplines … I do not hide that it has become a little messy.

Each club decides which federation it is affiliated with, often motivated by friendships, and an affinity for the politics and organization of a federation.

Equip yourself properly

At first, it is better not to pay a fortune in the equipment. It must be realistic: most new desert after a few months. For your start to the season, invest in entry-level hardware. It will last you 6 months, just the time to know if you really want to engage.

The big chains of sports stores propose kits really cheap. I do not advise you, even for this price they are often of poor quality. There are many specialty stores that offer the same type of kits at equivalent prices, quality and more – at that price you should not expect miracles either. Budo fight, Boxing shop, Blue Dragon … They are numerous and often offer their products for sale on the internet.

In general you need:

  • Boxing: Training gloves , the size is to choose according to your weight, ask a seller. There are competition gloves, these do not close with scratches but are usually laced. The bag gloves are especially designed to protect your joints on powerful strikes ; of mittens or bands , a protecting tooth (preferably thermoformed)
  • Boxing foot fist: boxing kit + shin guards and kicks ( the protection of the foot is very important, there are many bones that easily break ), a shell man or woman, a chest protector for women ( I never wear it but for a larger breast it may be wise )
  • Thai boxing and others: Boxing foot fist kit + elbow pads and knee pads .

Do not bother with a helmet, they are almost never used except in real-shot sparring in preparation for fights. In this case, you will be loaned.

In kit, you will get out on average for 50 €. Also plan a jump rope and water. I can empty a liter in summer.

Often material will be loaned for the first class, the smell will encourage you to buy your own equipment very quickly!

You can discover here an article devoted to my method to wrap your hands .

What do you do during a boxing class?

There will not be two identical courses, so you have to take this description with tweezers. This is what I like in this discipline, you never know what to expect. It is destabilizing but we learn to let go and be guided. Muscle level is very interesting because the body does not have time to get used to a routine. It is effective for developing your ability to adapt and excellent muscular endurance. But it also means that you will be condemned to live with aches! I often feel guilty about not having enough work if my body does not have pain …

The warm-up is a mandatory phase. Do not arrive late, start training without warming up is risking a muscle or joint injury. It is very painful and the recovery can be long. The warm-up usually includes joint preparation, running, muscle exercises, or skipping rope.

The shadow boxing can be used as heating or in transition. This is boxing in the void, an imaginary opponent, often in front of a mirror to adjust his investments. It’s embarrassing at first because we do not know what to do, but it becomes natural with time. You can shadow several times in a class to relax the muscles and calm the pace.

The physical work is essential in this sport, so there are a lot of exercises devoted to building muscle. We look for the speed / power combination, and a good cardio for endurance. The work is oriented in this light: specific weight training exercises and fractional cardio exercises . Cardio is fundamental in combat sports. The heart must be strong enough to be able to withstand the intense acceleration during a fight, and return very quickly to a quiet rhythm in moments of rest. Fractional is exactly that: to raise the heart very high then give it a short time of rest to go down again, to raise the heart very high again, to rest … and so on.

The technical work is just as important. You will be taught to make beautiful gestures, to have an effective and precise boxing. For that there is only one method: repetition. These are called themes. You will repeat sequences with a partner until you completely master them and integrate them into your box, little by little.

Physical and technical work can be done with a partner, but you may also have to practice on a punching bag or on targets (pao or bear paws).

Finally all this preparation has put you in condition for the sparrings , also called assault or free are the fighting at the touch (no strong strikes), the duration of the rounds vary, themes can be given to you (eg: no low kick, no back arm, one person attacks the other in defense …) and we usually change partners in each round. It will be a little difficult at first, but it is with practice that we learn the most. We will always adapt to the level and size of his partner.

The course will end very often with series of pumps and abs .

Finally it will be time to go to stretching .

Respect and autonomy

Do not expect that we regularly come to you to supervise you, often the instructions will be too complicated and we will not dwell on the details. It is a sport that requires a lot of autonomy. You will be little accompanied in your debut but it is also part of the spirit: you have to have character and hang on. It is for this reason that we forge strong ties. Your partners will correct you very often.

This is not fight club, we are not there to let off steam on others. It is important to respect our partners, we must support each other.

Here for the outline.

Now that you know everything about an organization, in the next article, I will focus on the human aspect. Some stereotypes deserve to be revised. It’s not just a question of maintaining one’s physique or letting off steam, there is a lot of richness in diversity and mutual aid that can be found in a club.

I can also testify to an aspect that concerns me directly, how to find its place in this hyper-masculine environment as a woman

Get more information, here