The first class is usually free and if you like it you can sign up at the gym on a monthly fee and join in these classes weekly.
The second way you can start boxing is to find a boxing club that offers boxing for fitness as part of their training options, most boxing clubs offer boxing for fitness or non- contact boxing classes because without it they could not afford to keep the clubs doors open. The main reason is that there are very few people that want to box competitively and the cost of running a modern gym in Australia is very high, so fee paying members is very important.
In the past boxing clubs especially, old school style clubs had a bit of a reputation for being only for tough guys who wanted to fight and were a little daunting to walk into, well things have changed and most boxing clubs which are not in back yards of houses are very user friendly and welcoming.
Most boxing clubs are not looking for fighters so don’t worry nobody is going to throw you into sparring on your second training session, in fact some gyms don’t even offer sparring. Below is some info I have written and although a little of track, I thought I would add it because it is interesting when it comes to boxing and how it works.
MOST BOXERS WOULD NOT BELIEVE IT.
Most boxers don’t become a boxer because they just decide they want to be a boxer! It’s not the tough guys you think about that become boxers, from my experience it is the quiet unassuming boys and girls that become skilled at boxing. There are many things that a person needs to become a skilled and quality boxer.
My estimate is that I need 100 boys to walk into my boxing gym and out of that 100 around 5 will compete or train at a competitive level and 1 will stick it out and become a state level boxer and most of these people would not believe it until they try it.
A boxer needs to be relatively strong for his weight, he needs to have speed of movement, coordination and most of all he needs to have heart, when I say heart he needs to have staying power, something that keeps him going when the chips are down. A never say die attitude where he won’t give up or give in Heart is everything!
Competitive boxers usually start out at a boxing for fitness gym where they went to get fit or learn a little self-defence. As a boxer progresses with his punching skills, getting fitter, learning more punches and improving his foot work and his basic are mastered, often defence is the next thing on the list is to learn defence of the punches.
Some boxers who are training for fitness decide they would like to go a bit further with it, or more often than not a coach will see the talent in them and asks if they want to move around with another boy in the gym. This is usually a bit of partner work- partner work is when two boxers will throw punches at each other in a controlled way and then the other partner will defend and then counter with punches of their own, practicing foot work, defence and attack. This should be a non-head contact training building skills and confidence.
This sort of training is acceptable to most people and often liked and enjoyed by all, this is the closest you will get to the feeling of being a boxer without the threat of being hit in the head.
BACK TO GETTING STARTED
So once you have find a club whichever way you decide, before you start there are some basic things you need, the first and most important things are hand wraps or bandages as we used to call them. These are used firstly to protect your hands and wrist from the impact of punching punching bags but also if you don’t have own gloves and plan to borrow gloves at the gym, Hand wraps will keep a layer of protection between your hands and the dirty old boxing gloves you may use. When buying hand wraps best to only use hand wraps with a slight stretch in the material, often referred to as Mexican style wraps
Avoid old style cotton hand wraps, they are harder to wrap as they are thicker and stiffer which makes them hard to wrap flat around edge or curves, they are illegal in amateur boxing matches because especially when wet tend to make the fist harder and maybe cause the impact of the fist against someone face to be harder.
Often when you start boxing your hands may bruise a little around your main protruding knuckles and the skin may get a little bit of damage around smaller outer knuckles, usually from upper cuts and hooks which tend to pull on the skin. The damage will heal over time and will become a little thicker in that area and wont usually get damaged again in the same place unless you have a long break.
If your skin is damaged it would not be impossible to have others blood that may be in the same glove having contact with your damaged skin, it would be very unlucky to contract something but why would you ever put yourself at risk. Best to get yourself your own pair of boxing gloves as soon as possible and always wear hand wraps.
The main purposes of hand wraps are-
HOW TO WRAP YOUR HANDS
There are many ways to wrap your hand and sometimes I think people like to make it complicated to justify a new YOUTUBE video, there is one simple way to wrap your and many others. You may want to add extra support to your wrist or knuckles if you have a weakness or soreness in a part of your hands.
Hand wraps come in sizes from 2.5m for small kids 3m, 3.5m, 4m, 4.5m for small women 3m should be ok, the 3.5m for small men and them up most men 3.5 to 4m should be fine. If you like extra support , like to pad the knuckles or wrap through the fingers you may need 4,5m.
Wrapping your hands is very simple and from my experience over the long term essential, you don’t need to roll you wraps up backwards or have them perfectly flat before you start wrapping. Most of the time you pull them straight from your gym bag tangled, damp and a little smelly, I know of boxers who have not washed their wraps in years.
It’s never like the videos you see, where the wraps are opened and then carefully re rolled backward then slowly wrapped around your hand by a coach. There won’t be a coach wrapping your hand and you wont have time to roll them backwards so the Velcro is up the correct way and spend 10 minutes wrapping, the warm up will be over before your wraps are on.
With a little practice you should be able to pull out of your bag, separate the pair, straighten them out and wrap each hand in around 1 minute.
HAND WRAP VIDEO
Some people like to wrap their hands by putting the wrap in between the fingers, I am not a big fan of this method mainly because, in my opinion it tends to separate the knuckles which go against the idea of holding the fist firm and compact. Professional boxers don’t wrap between their fingers, the only thing that go's through their fingers is a very thin tape which the flatten or roll to make it thin to hold the padding in place. It is up you how you wrap and there is 20 different ways to do it, find which style is for you and then just wrap them.
This style hand wrap has an elasticated glove compartment with a short wrap and a gel over foam padding over the knuckles for great hand and knuckle protection, the wrap is 1m with a hook-and-loop strap for easy on and off. These wraps are very popular especially at fitness gyms, they come nicely packaged and are a simple on and off without any instructions needed. The glove portion of this item is made of an elasticized material and stretch over the hand well coming in XS to XL sizes Girls and small ladies XS to S, M for teen boys and small men, L will fit most men. The wraps are good for getting started, easy to put on and quick, the wrap part being only about 1m long so not a lot of wrist support.
Gell shock wraps are a neoprene knuckle compartment with a Velcro tap to hold the neoprene secure, they have a 10mm gel padded over the knuckle area. Great for knuckles or hands that are sore from hard punching or injury. The wrap is 300cm long black stretchable wrap sewn to the palm of the glove with Velcro closing.
Only thing with these wraps is that they do make your fist a bit bigger and if you glove are tight they may be hard to get your wrapped fist in
PART 2 COMING SOON
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As a former boxer, boxing coach and boxing equipment designer, I have spent a lot of time using and being involved with punching bags. Punching bags are the one piece of boxing equipment that haven't changed much during all the years I have been involved with boxing and Muay Thai. They do, however, come in many different shapes, sizes, materials and fillings. More than they used to in the past. The most major change is the introduction of water filled punching bags. From how to hang a punching bag to the best sizes for you and your style of fighting, this punching bag buying guide gives you all the information you need to choose the perfect bag for your needs.