The best way to get into boxing is to go to a local boxing club and sign up for a beginner’s boxing class to see how you get on with the sport and to make sure you learn all the correct skills and techniques from the start.
But walking into an established boxing club can feel really intimidating to a beginner, walking in and seeing people fighting in a ring for the first time can feel quite worrying, so here are a few tips to make getting into boxing less frightening.
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Find the Coach
When you arrive don’t be put off by how much punching and hard work is going on around you, they were all beginners once too. Find the coach and introduce yourself to them. Most good clubs will offer you an initial lesson for free.
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Do the Paperwork
You should be asked to complete some paperwork including a medical form and application to join the gym, as well as a liability waiver. Make sure you are given all of this before you start undertaking any kind of practice.
Join Your Class
Make sure you arrive in plenty of time to get ready for your class, you don’t want to be late or wrapping your hands while everyone else is already sparring. Arrive on time and normally you can expect a format similar to the following:
- Warm-up exercises such as jump rope
- Wrapping your hands – Shadowboxing
- Put your gloves on – boxing bag work
- Further body weight-based exercises
- Cooling down exercises
Don’t Try to be Sociable
Generally, nobody will be chatting while working out as the exercise is too intense so don’t disturb them but don’t take it personally either. There will be time to be sociable after the exercise class has finished, or during breaks.
Get Used to the Coaches
The coaches will most likely be working with people in the ring and walking around checking techniques and offering advice, or correcting mistakes in form so as a beginner you can expect to be the focus of their attention.
By all means, ask questions of the coaches but it’s worth remembering that in a boxing club many are there to train only and some are training for fights so will be very focused. You will soon learn who the best people are to chat to.
Have Realistic Expectations
It’s important to know that you won’t be going into the ring for a bout on your first day and to have realistic expectations about how long it will be before that happens. The coach will be watching your progress and won’t put you in the ring until you are ready.
Teach Yourself to Wrap Your Hands
There isn’t time for the coach to show you how to wrap your hands at every session so spend some time using online videos and wraps of your own so that you can get the hang of this quickly and do it yourself easily at the gym.
Research the Basics
You will feel less intimidated if you do some research and spend some time on boxing websites to learn some of the basic moves such as how to stand, move, defend and punch. If you can show you are genuinely interested and have made an effort it will go a long way.
Don’t Go in with an Attitude
If you have learned a few things first, to give you confidence, don’t walk in acting like you know everything, you need to let the coach teach you as that’s what you are there for. Learning basics to give you confidence is not about showing off.
Get Fit First
Boxing is hard work so it’s no good turning up at a boxing gym if you are totally unfit and not willing to put in the effort. It’s best to get yourself fit first before heading to a boxing gym if you want to be taken seriously.
Learn to Jump Rope
Most boxing gyms use jump rope as a warm-up exercise so make sure you buy a jump rope and practice at home so you don’t make a fool of yourself on day one of the boxing gyms. They are cheap to buy and easy to use.
Don’t turn up at the gym without any gear, make sure you have your own jump rope and hand wraps and you should turn up with your own bag gloves and a bottle of water. Be dressed in clothes that are flexible enough for boxing practice and the right footwear.
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Go with a Partner
If you are too intimidated to go in alone then go along with a friend who can become your boxing partner so at least you have someone to compare notes with afterward and you can navigate the club together.
Be Prepared to Fight
The ultimate aim of getting into boxing is to fight with someone so you need to have the right attitude from day one and be prepared to actually fight. It won’t happen for some time but you need to be prepared for when it does.