If you’re looking to try a new sport that not only gets you sweating but is also enjoyable, boxing is the way to go! Now before you start groaning and shaking your head, forget about the fight scenes from Creed for a second because that's not an entirely accurate representation of what boxing is like. Boxing classes can be a safe, friendly and inclusive environment that provides you with the perfect environment for you to get fit whilst enjoying yourself. Here’s what you can actually expect from your first time going into a class.
1. A fun, inclusive community
Boxing may be first and foremost a competitive sport but going for group boxing classes offers a sense of camaraderie that’s akin to being part of a close-knit sports team. When you join a boxing class, expect to forge meaningful friendships with like-minded people who will cheer you on when you are struggling to finish a set and give you sweaty hi-fives when you need it most. Whatever aim you have in mind, you can be sure that the people around you are fighting to achieve similar goals.
2. Mental therapy beyond mere physical conditioning
While boxing is largely about physical training and being steady and quick on your feet, it can also be a truly cathartic experience. You’ll find that the force you throw behind your punches allows you to blow off steam and release whatever stress you are holding on to, and that the very act of being in control of and in tune with your body is extremely therapeutic and grounding.
3. Making mistakes is okay
We all want to perfect our moves as soon as we can, but boxing is a sport that’s all about practice, diligence and patience. You may not get the techniques right and remember the combos well enough at the start, and that’s perfectly fine – everyone else around you is taking their time to perfect their moves too. Don’t worry about not getting it right the first time and focus on mastering every move to the best of your abilities.
4. It doesn’t have to get bloody
A lot of boxers do spar in the ring, but you don’t have to if that’s not what you are looking for. Boxing can be done perfectly well as an individual sport – you can work with punching bags or practice shadow-boxing. A lot of conditioning exercises can be incorporated into boxing sessions too, so don’t let the idea of fighting with people turn you away from the sport!
5. Investing in gear
You do need to invest a little more in boxing gear than a lot of other sports. This is because the intensive nature of boxing requires you to get gear that will protect yourself from injury. This includes hand wraps, gloves and proper shoes. Some boxing gyms will loan out gloves, so you may not have to buy your own! Still, it's always a good idea to get your own gear to foster a sense of ownership and to further invest yourself in the sport.
Boxing may have a reputation for being bloody and violent but that’s really a very small part of the picture. The truth is that boxing can be a really safe, fun and empowering sport to participate in. Then again, you'll never know for sure until you give it a chance and sign up for a class!