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Olympic Boxing Styles – review by Scott Smart

 

 

This years Olympics saw some excellent boxing displayed.  If you watched much of the Olympic boxing tournaments you would have noticed different styles that were on show.

There were 81 different countries being represented at this year’s Olympic boxing event. And what has become a regular occurrence in amateur boxing; Cuba reigned supreme with 4 gold medals and one bronze having entered 7 boxers.

In this blog, I will discuss the various styles of the top boxing nations, starting with arguably the best… Cuba.

 

Cuba – Cuba are renown for their excellent footwork, balance, reactions and overall fluidity. Something that always sees their boxers have success in major competitions.

This is a style that is drilled into them from when they first walk into a boxing gym. Boxing is about ‘’hitting and not getting hit’’ and Cuba embody this. Most of their training is focused on fighting drills and footwork drills with a heavy emphasis on rhythm and flow. It is said that this style was made possible by Alcides Sagarra Carón, a former Cuban national coach.

A great boxer to watch who displayed the epitome of Cuban boxing is Andy Cruz, who won lightweight Olympic gold in this year’s Olympics and was one of the stand out boxers of the tournament.

 

USA – The USA always send a strong team to the Olympics. Most of the boxers seem to have a pro style with amateur elements. They hold their feet longer (which decreasing the speed of their footwork) and are comfortable blocking and countering with speed and accuracy that you would normally see from a pro boxer.

A USA boxer who displayed the USA style very well during these Olympics which culminated into a Silver medal is Keyshawn Davis who competed at lightweight. He lost in the final to Andy Cruz.

 

Great Britain – GB had their most successful Olympics in the boxing event, winning 6 medals in total. 2 gold, 2 sliver and 2 bronze.

GB are known for their excellent fitness and forward aggression. GB boxers are usually on their toes, with a high guard and focus on straight punches behind an in and out movement. They always have fast feet which matches their fast hands.

A GB boxer who to watch with the GB style is this year’s Olympic champion at flyweight is Galal Yafai.

 

Russia – Boxing under the banner of Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), due to the decision by the World anti-doping agency (WADA) to ban Russia from all international sport for four years, after it was found that data provided by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency had been manipulated by Russian authorities with a goal of protecting athletes involved in its state-sponsored doping scheme.

ROC had 6 Medallists this year, 1 gold, 1 silver and 4 bronze. ROC have the typical soviet style. Very tall, fast feet behind a long lead hand. They throw fast combinations, leading with the jab and always have fast feet and hands and like GB, they focus on in and out movement.

A boxer to watch from the ROC is Albert Batyrgaziev who won gold in the men’s featherweight division.

We will be exploring these different styles in our skills classes in the coming months.  Kicking off September with our own GB style.

 

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://12roundsboxing.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/0ca675ea-bcfe-4b5f-a2e4-b1da853ea6ab.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Scott has been boxing since he was 18 and has an impressive amateur record of over 50 fights. His talent was spotted early. When he first walked into Islington Boxing Club he was put straight into the competitive class and had his first fight 3 months later. Scott has fought all over the country and travelled to extensively including to South Africa where he won boxer of the tournament. Now retired from competing Scott is excited to put his skills and energy into coaching[/author_info] [/author]

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You win or you learn

 

‘You win or you learn’, a common phrase used in boxing, because you don’t actually lose; you’ve gained vital information on what you need to improve on. Fighting is like life, you’re given the theory (training), then you’re given the test (bout). Sometimes you pass, sometimes you don’t, but either way your given the lesson and the opportunity to take the test again (have another bout).

 

I lost my very first fight. A mixture of nerves, fear and doubt got the better of me and I didn’t perform.

After I lost, the images I had created in my head of me winning championships and being a good amateur boxer had started to disappear. Doubt had started to creep in and I was now asking myself if I was capable. What I didn’t know though, was that my next training session would be one of my best, because I had learnt and improved a lot after that bout.

What I had learnt/Improved:

  • I have to be switched on all the time. You quickly realise that you have no time to switch off, and that’s generally when you get hit the most.
  • Body positioning, although this takes time to master, I was now aware of my positioning.
  • Speed and timing first, power after
  • Confidence; you think confident, you fight confident. You think scared, you fight scared.

 

The lesson I’d learnt had been greater than the loss, and I was keen to ‘’get back on the horse’’ as they say. And I did. Two weeks later, I had my second fight. Which I won.

 

My second fight was completely different from the first. Naturally I was nervous, but armed with the knowledge from my first fight, I went into this fight confident.

I won the fight by unanimous decision, having won every round.

The feeling of euphoria and excitement was surging through my body, and the images of me winning a championship and being a great amateur boxer, had re-appeared. It’s a buzz you cant describe, but one you wish will continue.

I’d be lying if I said I remember what I learnt from my second fight, but the feeling of winning, was enough to keep the fire burning.

 

Boxing is one of the toughest sports in the world, and a loss is not a be all or end all. The lessons learned and the experience gained serve you longer in life then a win or a loss. Keep taking the lessons on board, stay humble and stay consistent.

 

Stay humble in victory, as you are in defeat – Connor McGregor

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://12roundsboxing.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/0ca675ea-bcfe-4b5f-a2e4-b1da853ea6ab.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Scott has been boxing since he was 18 and has an impressive amateur record of over 50 fights. His talent was spotted early. When he first walked into Islington Boxing Club he was put straight into the competitive class and had his first fight 3 months later. Scott has fought all over the country and travelled to extensively including to South Africa where he won boxer of the tournament. Now retired from competing Scott is excited to put his skills and energy into coaching.[/author_info] [/author]

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Couple Goals – Eion and Helen

This fantastic couple joined our fundamentals programme pre lock down last year.

As we went into lockdown, instead of putting their training on hold Eion and Helen stepped things up by taking up our 1-1 outdoor PT option.  Over the last year we’ve watched them go from strength to strength.  Eion has not only dropped 10kg he has now joined our Fight Skool programme and is about to take part in his debut White Collar fight on 25th July at the Clapham Grand.

Helen told us she’s never felt or looked better since taking up boxing.  We suspect we will see her in the ring too at some stage.

Here’s what they had to say themselves.

‘I started boxing to get a break from a busy work week and I absolutely love it! It’s the one hour a day where the world around me doesn’t exist and it’s brilliant. I have never felt this great and been this strong before. I can absolutely recommend it’ . Helen Ness

‘Doing the fundamentals course in September was one of the best decisions I’ve made since I can remember. I’m as fit and strong as I’ve ever been, and it is without doubt the best stress buster I’ve encountered. The training really does what it says on the tin about improving your mental and physical health. All that lead to me signing up to fight school, which is unlike anything I’ve tried before and completely out of character for me. Bring it on! 5 star review’  Eion Power

Eion and Helen are one of many couples who train together at 12 Rounds.  We think getting fit and punching bags together makes a fantastic date night lol

Like the majority of our members Eion and Helen started on our fundamentals programme to learn the basics.  If you want to get involved and see what boxing can do for you, course run monthly.

You can book a space on the next course here

 

 

 

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Why boxing works for kids by Scott Smart

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Boxing is a fantastic outlet for kids. It unleashes all their natural energy, gives them an outside
focus, teaches discipline and lessons that are usually taught later in life.

I have been teaching kids since 2015 and although I was the coach, I too was learning during every class I taught.

Every child presents a challenge. No two kids are the same, so you must vary your approach.
Throughout the years, I have trained kids with Autism, Aspergers Syndrome (on the Autism spectrum) Downs syndrome, ADHD and a selective mute (who after 6 months of training, grew comfortable enough to start talking to his peers).Boxing always had a positive effect on them. They were always able to express themselves and as a result, grew more confident, started to love exercise and they gained new friends.

Children are sponges and boxing has great coaches who are willing to pass on their decades of knowledge and mentor them to become not only good boxers but humble gentlemen and women in our society.

At 12 Rounds Boxing, we offer a taster session. This is a free session where we can slowly introduce your child/children to boxing. You get to know the coaches and other children who will be just as eager and maybe a little nervous to learn
about Boxing as your child is.

From there, your child/children will progress onto the Fundamentals programme. This goes more into depth on the technique and the foundation on which your boxing skill is built on.

Once you graduate from the Fundamentals, you go to the intermediate class. This is where you are taught more advanced techniques and build on the skill that you will have developed from the Fundamentals programme.

At the end of each term, we hold an end of term showcase for friends and family.  This is to show what your kids have learnt and give you and indication to what they will be able to do in the future with 12 Rounds Boxing.

I can talk about why boxing is great for kids until there is no more oxygen to breathe. But you will only really know if you try for yourself.  We are running taster sessions every Tuesday at 5pm.  You can book here 

‘The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing’ – Walt Disney

 

 

 

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Movement is Medicine

This morning I sat down to write a motivating email to our members and I have to say I really struggled.

With lockdown continuing and no end date in sight, it’s definitely been starting to get to me.

How can motivate my team, my boxing family when I can’t motivate myself I thought?

I knew what I had to do, I had to do a workout to sort out my head.

I really didn’t want to this morning, it was cold and I felt tired.

But one thing I do know for sure is that this works.

So I started swinging a kettlebell in my back garden and put together a circuit.  After the first round my energy started to lift.  That dark cloud sitting over my head seemed to just lighten.

And then the message became clear.

Movement really is medicine.   I’ve spoke about it for years in how it literally switches your brain set.

We need this medicine more now than ever to stay upbeat.

If you are feeling frustrated, sad, angry, overwhelmed – do a workout.  It will rest your brain and help you find a focus.

And if that’s all you do today, that’s ok.  it’s so hard to plan anything right now so just stay in the present moment and take things day to day.

It’s now Feb which means winter on way out and spring is coming 🙂 it’s getting that little bit lighter in the mornings and evenings so slightly more encouraging to get outside for walks and workouts.

I hope you are all coping ok.  I’m sure we are all having these fed up days.  Just get moving as much as you can and hit that re-set button.

Kat

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mental health Mindset Motivation Uncategorized

PTSD and how boxing can make you better

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Following our fundraiser for Help for Heros, Jake Duggan shares a bit of background and info on PTSD and how boxing is a fantastic tool in aiding recovery.
 
 
POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PTSD)
 
 
Here is the best example that shows how our minds cannot tell the difference between reality and what’s in our imagination.
 
If I asked you to imagine (in full detail) going into your kitchen, grabbing a lemon from your fridge, smelling it for a second, cutting out a wedge and then biting into that wedge.
 
 
I guarantee you, your mouth will start salivating and reacting as if it had just bitten into that lemon.
 
Now lets think about a traumatic event.
 
It is natural to feel afraid during and after a traumatic situation.
Fear triggers many split-second changes in the body to help defend against danger or to avoid it.
This “fight-or-flight” response is a typical reaction meant to protect a person from harm.
 
For those suffering from PTSD however, this ‘flight-or-flight’ response doesn’t stop after the event.
 
One part of our brain is call the Amygdala, which is responsible for processing our short term memories to long term memories.
 
In the case of PTSD, that particular traumatic memory becomes stuck within our short term memory.
 
As a result of this whenever someone with PTSD experiences a ‘trigger’
 
For example:
– A soldier who has been in a firefight in the Middle East = A loud bang.
– A victim of sexual assault = the smell of a particular brand of deodorant that the offender had on.
– Someone who was in a horrific car crash = a specific song that may have been playing on the car radio at the time.
 
Instantly, their mind will take them back to that particular traumatic situation and make their body BELIEVE they are there again and trigger that ‘fight-or-flight’ response sending a massive amount of adrenaline throughout their body.
 
Now imagine that happening to them and they are at a restaurant or grocery shopping?
They know they aren’t in any danger but if they don’t even know they have PTSD this can be a very frightening and exhausting experience.
 
Having to deal with constant and frequent similar episodes, they can start to seem disinterested or distant as they try not to think or feel in order to block out these painful memories.
This is what leads them down the path towards depression and anxiety disorders.
Eventually causing them to stop participating in work, social & family life and ignore offers of help, leading to loved ones feeling shut out.
Or in the worst and saddest cases, leading them to taking their own lives to make it all stop.
 
Even though they may think they don’t need it, people with PTSD need the support of their friends and family.
 
It IS a battle that can be won team and there are treatments and support programs out there that can help and make a difference in these people’s lives.
 
Two steps forward & One step back is still ONE STEP FORWARD.
 
DEPRESSED VS DEPRESSION
 
The difference between being depressed and having depression is the difference between sadness and a mental illness and may be the most common misconception about mental illnesses.
 
Being Depressed Is Temporary.
 
Having Depression Is Something Else Entirely.
 
It can cause you to NOT do many things.
It can cause you to DO many unwanted things.
 
It can be very easy to say to someone ‘Just cheer up or just get over it’
 
But many don’t understand what’s happening within that person’s mind.
 
The effects of depression on the brain can result in structural and connective changes.
 
These include reduces functionality of:
 
– Hippocampus: can result in memory impairment.
 
– Prefrontal cortex: can result in preventing the person from getting things done (executive function) and affect their mood.
 
– Amygdala: Can directly affect their mood and emotional regulation.
 
But like all hardships, there is light at the end of the tunnel team, it doesn’t have to get sucked down in that never ending dark vortex.
If you are struggling or experiencing this or similar symptoms, the first step is always the hardest.
 
But you only have to do one thing – SPEAK
 
Once you speak, even if its just a few words then you are already on your road to recovery with the support from your family, friends and loved ones.
 
You are not a burden and you are not wasting anyone’s time.
 
Think of it this way, if your best friend was going through this, wouldn’t you want to know?
 
ANXIETY
 
It is a normal emotion. It’s your brain’s way of reacting to stress and alerting you of potential dangers ahead.
 
Everyone feels anxious now and then. You may worry about a problem at work, before taking a test, or before making an important decision.
 
Occasional Anxiety is OK.
 
Anxiety Disorders are DIFFERENT.
 
They’re a group of mental illnesses that cause constant and overwhelming anxiety and fear.
It can be challenging and frustrating to live with an anxiety disorder.
The constant worry and fear can make you feel tired and scared.
It can make you start avoiding work, school, family get-togethers, and other social situations due to the fear that it might trigger or worsen your symptoms.
 
Let alone the embarrassment of people seeing you in public when these episodes occur.
 
But listen to this team,
It’s an obstacle that can be overcome, this doesn’t have to control you,
You can control IT.
 
Boxing is a fantastic way to start as it literally takes you out of your head and into the present moment.  It gives your brain a break from constantly being on high alert mode AND allows you to re-set.
 
That’s where talking comes in.  You NEED to talk.
 
Don’t feel that you are a burden and that this is not important.
See your GP or speak to any of the available counselling services and you will see how they can help.
 
If you don’t make time for your wellness, you will be forced to make time for your illness.
 
The pics below are from the medicine ball challenge I completed.  For 14 days straight I carried this 3kg bad boy around handcuffed to me to represent the very real challenge of living with PTSD.   I’m pleased to say I raised over £300 for Help for Hero’s in the process.
 
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://12roundsboxing.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/ff3d3027-3847-44d8-a3b5-a8156b4d17cc.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Jake Duggan is one of our trainee coaches and also works front of house. You can find him helping fundamentals drill the basics or behind the front desk. Beware, his enthusiasm is infectious![/author_info] [/author]

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Punch for PTSD charity event

PTSD is a common affliction of many who have served in the forces. Our own team member Jake Duggan knows only too well the challenges of dealing with this condition. Jake wanted to raise awareness and do something to help his fellow army veterans. We know that boxing is a fantastic tool for managing mental health. Focussing on learning technique takes you out of your mind and back to the present moment providing temporary relief from stress and negative thinking. Seeing progression and improvements builds self esteem. Something we believe is much needed for our army veterans.

Check out the video here of Jake talking about his own experience and how we got involved in boxing

With everything thats been going on this year charities have taken a huge hit. With remembrance day happening this month we wanted to do something to support our military heroes who give so much yet receive very little support.

This remembrance day weekend we are holding a Punch for PTSD fundraiser event to raise money for Help for Hero’s Charity.

Come along and join us for a military style boxing workout where all proceeds go towards Help for Hero’s providing support for ex-military personnel.

Workout takes place at 1pm on Sunday 8th November and is suitable for all levels of fitness and boxing experience.

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Meet our team – Jake

Jake signed up for our fight skool programme last year. As an ex-soldier who’d been in the Australian military for 9 years Jake was struggling with ptsd. He needed something to focus on to get out of his head. Jake found that boxing and joining fight skool provided the perfect remedy.

Learning boxing skills gave him a focus and kept him learning week in week out and the support and camaraderie from the group was exactly what he needed. Since completing the programme and winning the fight Jake decided he wanted to share what he’d learned and become a coach. He is also so passionate about helping ex-military boost their mental health and cope with ptsd that he is running a charity day to raise awareness this remembrance week.

Hears Jakes story in his own words

What go you into boxing?

After being discharged from the army after 9 years service I was looking for a new challenge and something to get me up and going in the morning. I wanted something to strive for, to better myself and achieve something. I came across the fight skool programme and it seemed to offer just that.

What did you enjoy about the training at 12 Rounds and what made you want to get into coaching?

What I loved about the fight skool programme was the community and cammadradie in the team. You really do develop that family type bond. You are all there for each other and push each other, even though there’s also some friendly competition. That’s what makes you want to come back. The other thing I loved about the training is that you are always learning. There’s always something new to learn. After successfully winning the fight I wanted to do my part and give something back. I wanted to pass on the knowledge that I’ve learned to help others

What’s been your biggest highlights from training/coaching?

Firstly there was the actual fight night and seeing how well both myself and the rest of the team did on the night. Then there was the after party…..that was fun
In terms of coaching running my first classes with Rich and seeing the members enjoy the sessions and progress has been fantastic. It’s also really encouraging when members come up and thanks me afterwards, it’s a real sense of achievement to know I’ve made a difference

What challenges have you faced?

The biggest challenge has been getting out of my own head. You’re biggest obstacle is always yourself and I’ve had my own struggles with managing my ptsd. But as I said 12 Rounds is such a positive environment and that helps you take that step to get out of bed, get out your house and come down here as you know you will feel better.

Tell us about the Remembrance day event you are organising

From 1st Nov till Remembrance Sunday on 7th, the theme is remembrance week. I wanted to do something to raise awareness and raise funds for both veterans and military personnel who need support. I know from my own experience of ptsd how difficult it is to cope with and find support. I was shocked to find out how poor the support system is for these men and women who’ve served and fought for their country. I think that getting involved in boxing is a fantastic way to help as takes your mind away from being stuck in that dark cloud. Focussing on a skill like boxing where you are always learning and seeing yourself progress takes you into a different mindset. It’s also a positive outlet for any emotion and you see growth not just in terms of technique and fitness but in yourself. Boxing really does make you better, I’d 100% recommend it.

We are super excited to welcome Jake to the team and love his genuine passion and desire to make a difference. Jake teaches Fundamentals and taster sessions on Saturdays and you’ll find him on reception Tuesdays evenings and Friday mornings.

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Exercise Tips Fitness Regime mental health Mindset Motivation Uncategorized Weight Loss

Alex’s journey

Find something you love and get consistent with it – the physical results will come as a by product of feeling good

After battling with depression and piling on weight Alex decided it was time to make changes.  Last April he walked into 12 Rounds Boxing and started our boxing fundamentals programme.  18 months later he’s worked his way through our skills levels and is itching to get in the ring and have his first fight.  Oh and he’s lost over 4 stone in the process.  Check out his before and after pics below!

Results don’t always happen Instantly, they take time and commitment and Alex has certainly put in the work.  We are so proud and inspired by him that we interviewed him to hear his full story.  

Here’s what he had to say:

What got you into boxing? 

I’ve always been really interested in combat sports, boxing and MMA. What also interested me was the mental side of it, the chess game that you play with your opponent in the ring is unlike any other sport I’ve played.

What do you enjoy about training at 12 rounds?  

The atmosphere at 12 rounds is amazing, everyone is there to have a good time and really put in work, once you’ve been there more than a couple of times, the coaches know your name, they’re joking around with you and that laidback atmosphere couple with really focussed and high quality training is a winning combo.

What’s been your highlights/biggest achievements? 

I did my fundamentals last year in April and around that time I was about 19st 7lbs, I was able to work my way up through the programs, all th way to sparring which I love, and as off the last time I weighed myself I am now 15st on the dot. Losing all that weight is great, but the mental focus has had a huge impact on my mental health and my outlook on life. So really, I suppose my biggest highlight has been all of it, because it’s really helped to transform my health and life 😊

What’s been biggest challenge? 

The biggest challenge for me has been getting my head around footwork, anyone can throw a punch but it’s being able to move around and create angles and opportunities that also come with the mind games. It can be quite difficult to wrap your head around, but once you pull of your first pivot and angle out of a combination, it makes it all worth it.

What’s next for you? 

For me I’m preparing for when COVID restrictions are lifted and the fight school is back on, my goal has been to fight and before lockdown went into effect i was getting ready to sign up. Now that I’m down to a more natural weight for me, I’m hoping to continue working on my strength and do ruining to get in the best shape possible for a training camp.

What’s your fav class and why?

I have a real love/hate relationship with the bag and burn sessions 😅 if you want a good all body work out, those are the sessions for you; Rich and Chloe are always their to push you to your absolute limit. I also love the technical sessions, learning more about boxing and how to chain all the skills you’ve learned together is really satisfying.

 

We love Alex’s story and how boxing gives you the mental clarity, focus and feel good factor to keep going.  To get results in anything requires consistent practice.  Luckily boxing is something that’s easy to get addicted to 🙂

 

 

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Boxing tips Fitness Regime Latest Motivation Uncategorized white collar

New coach in the house


At 12 Rounds our focus on real boxing technique is something we are very proud of.  Teaching our members skills by nailing the basics from the ground up is a big part of our ethos.  To learn to box properly is an art form, you must get your balance, footwork and hands all working together to throw basic combinations before you can progress.

We also believe that the best people to teach you are those who’ve walked the walk themselves.  Our trainers are all competitive boxers and Thai boxers and we are very pleased to welcome new coach Scott Smart to the team.  Scott comes with vast boxing knowledge and experience with over 50 amateur fights in the bag.

We’ve done a little Q&A so you get some cool info on the newest member of the 12 Rounds family:

Name:Scott Smart

Amateur Bouts:55.  Wins – 39, Losses – 16

Previous Club:  Islington ABC

Favourite bout– Scott’s favourite bout was away in South Africa. He and his team travelled to South Africa in 2013 to box against the Johannesburg boxing team. They were there for 10 days for a training camp and at the end of the camp they had a tournament against the Johannesburg team. Not only did Scott win his bout, but he also won the boxer of the tournament award!

Toughest bout –Scott was a guest boxer at a show against a travelling team from Denmark. The bout ended with a split decision loss, however the loss wasn’t the toughest part to take. The boxer Scott faced was extremely aggressive, constantly coming forward with little let off. By the time Scott had worked out how to box against him, it was too late.  If only he had had another round to go…

Favourite punch –Lead upper cut.  “It’s a really nice punch to land”.

Favourite boxer –Pernell Whitaker.  Scott describes him as the “perfect southpaw”.

What are you excited to bring to 12 rounds – Scott’s excited to show his perspective on boxing.  He is looking forward to teaching his style, whilst working with the 12 rounds members to develop their skills.

What excites you most about joining the team?  Making new friends and enjoying what we do!!

We are so pleased to have such an experienced boxer and coach joining the team.  If you’ve been thinking of learning to box, even if you just want to do it for fitness, our fantastic coaches are there to teach you the ropes and are in your corner all the way.

Why not join us for a trial session?  Head over to our calendar and choose taster session to book yourself in for a free trial.

We can’t wait to meet you

Big love
The 12 rounds team!