The Fundamentals of Boxing

The most highly conditioned athletes in the world are professional boxers because their sport demands that they be in supreme physical condition. When a boxer is in the ring with their opponent, they have no place to hide and any conditioning weakness they have will be exposed for all the world to see during the bout.

Very few of us aspire to become a professional boxer, or for that matter, an amateur boxer.  However, that does not mean you cannot utilizing the fundamentals of boxing. Boxing training is high-intensity interval training  (HITT), providing you with the exercise of sustained intensity, followed by easier “rest” periods. During your boxing session, you will improve your hand-eye coordination as you learn how to defend yourself.  Most people do not stick with an exercise program because they find forms of exercise such as running or lifting weights boring and feel as if they are going to a job. This is not true of a boxing workout.  You are learning a skill!

Along with learning a useful skill, you are getting a calorie – burning, complete body workout of all your muscle groups. The workout is aerobic and anaerobic, benefiting your cardiovascular system, while toning and building your muscles.  You will also find that hitting a bag is a great way to relieve stress.  Another great thing about a boxing workout… anyone can do it!!

What Rock Steady Boxing Can Do to Combat Parkinson's

Member Spotlight: Allan Lowe

He was shocked when he found out. Allan Lowe was walking into the office of his wife’s doctor, to support her during a consultation, when the doctor asked Allan, “How long have you had Parkinson’s?” It made him stop dead in his tracks. “I don’t have Parkinson’s,” Allan replied.

The doctor noticed Allan was walking in a shuffle pattern – an early sign of the disease. After being tested, Allan was diagnosed with Parkinson’s at the age of 77.

Approximately 1 million Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, with 60,000 new cases emerging each year. Parkinson’s is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. Symptoms include tremors, slowed movement, impaired posture/balance and slurred speech. Although there is no cure yet, there are treatment options that range from medication and surgery to exercise. In fact, there is growing consensus that exercise is not just ‘healthy’ for those with Parkinson’s Disease; it is a “vital component to maintaining balance, mobility and daily living activities,” per the National Parkinson’s Foundation.

Initially, to combat the progression that Parkinson’s takes, Allan was doing exercises prescribed by his doctors daily, in addition to medication. But after reading an article about the benefits of boxing for people with Parkinson’s, he immediately began researching places that offered boxing classes near his home and discovered Champion Boxing & Fitness.

Allan Lowe was never a boxer and certainly wouldn’t have imagined picking up boxing skills at the age of 81 but he signed up and participated in the first ever Rock Steady Boxing class at Champion in 2016, one of only two people in the class. Now the class has six boxers and not only is he the oldest in his class, at the age of 83, he is taking the more difficult of the two classes offered.

Rock Steady involves intense exercise that improves speed, strength, balance and flexibility. It’s a non-contact boxing-inspired fitness routine specifically intended to improve the ability of Parkinson’s patients to live independent lives. Boxing works by moving the body in all planes of motion while continuously changing the routine as the workout progresses. Providing encouragement through a ‘tough love’ approach, the classes focuses on flexibility, strengthening of arms, legs, neck and shoulders, mobility and coordination. It wouldn’t seem like a fitness program that someone in their 80s would be interested it, but Allan embraces it with passion and his efforts have paid off.

In the two years since Allan discovered Champion Boxing & Fitness and started the Rock Steady program, he has noticed a positive change in his symptoms. For one thing, his balance and posture have improved significantly.

“I know this,” he says, “because my doctors point it out, saying how good my posture has stayed. Rock Steady has drastically slowed down the advancement of my disease.”

Even on a social level, Rock Steady has been enormously helpful. By being around others at the gym who are struggling with the same disease, Allan knows he is not alone in his fight. He has the support of his instructors and the camaraderie of his classmates.

Allan admits that Rocky Steady isn’t the “end all be all” treatment for Parkinson’s. He still takes medication and does his daily routine of exercises, but he strongly suggests other patients also combine daily exercises with the Rock Steady classes as he has done.

Rock Steady’s unique focus on attacking Parkinson’s at its vulnerable neurological points, focusing on overall fitness, strength training, reaction time and balance makes it an invaluable addition to any treatment plan for the disease. And as Allan has proven, you’re never too old to start the fight.

Alex Marin Championship Boxing

Alexandru Marin, a professional boxer who trains daily at Champion Boxing & Fitness, will be fighting at Eagle Bank Arena in Fairfax, Virginia on November 4, 2017.

We want to go support and watch Alex in the championship boxing match so we are looking to set up a carpool for Champion members. Tickets are $50 for general admission and $75 for VIP tickets. All tables and table seats have already been sold out!!

If you are interested contact or speak with Andy Phelps or Coach Bruce about it.

Good luck to Alex! Champion Boxing & Fitness is rooting for you!

Can Dancing Boost Your Boxing Skills

When Juan Manuel Marquez was training for his fight against Manny Pacquiao in 2011, he enlisted the help of a ballet instructor to help him strengthen his legs and improve his footwork. Timing, balance, and footwork are all essential facets of boxing and could mean the difference between winning or losing a fight. Boxers tend to spend hours skipping rope and running through a variety of drills to improve their footwork, which is one of the hardest boxing skills to develop as there are no real shortcuts to it.

While traditional footwork exercises may feel cumbersome after a while, dancing could very well be holding the key to the exact training boxers are desperately seeking. Many forms of martial arts have been compared to dancing in some form with Capoeira even having some dance moves included in it.  

How can dancing benefit boxers?

Dance styles such as ballet and ballroom dancing can boost the value of any exercise program by teaching boxers technical dance steps, balance, and rhythm. These newly acquired skills will not only help improve footwork but hip movement as well. Dancing is also invaluable as a cardio workout, especially when engaging in styles such as tap and hip-hop. Coupled with a fat shedding diet, dancing can have a significant impact on a boxer’s physique. Ballet, on the other hand, can teach boxers improved self-control, flexibility and improved balance.

Dancing not only benefits your body, it benefits your mind as well. By increasing serotonin levels your mood will be enhanced, making you feel happier and more confident, both of which will improve your performance in the ring.

Some types of dances require fast decision making as you change positions which will be beneficial to both a boxer’s mind and feet while fighting. This can be especially of benefit to boxers who take a lot of hits to the head.

Why aren’t more boxers dancing?

The answer to this question is more than likely two-fold. A lot of men steer clear from dancing because they do not think it befits their masculinity. Boxing is the epitome of manliness and somehow sweating it out in a ballet studio simply does not carry the same appeal as doing shadow-punching in a gym. The second reason dancing has not become inclusive in the training programs may be due to the fact that most boxers have simply never given it any thought. The fact that renowned boxers such as Sugar Ray Leonard, Laila Ali and Floyd Mayweather have all participated on the hit TV show ‘Dancing With The Stars’ should have hinted that boxing and dancing do complement each other, whether you consciously acknowledge it or not.

Apart from the physical benefits dancing can hold for boxers, it can also benefit them psychologically as it is a great stress and anxiety reliever. Taking all the benefits of dancing into consideration it is surprising that not more boxers have taken to the sport to help swing their odds in the ring in their favor.

Alex, one of Champion Boxing & Fitness pro fighters

We know him simply as Alex. Alexandru Marin came into Champion Boxing & Fitness for the first time a few years ago as a shy but motivated boxer who quickly showed us the bulldog fighter mentality that was inside him.

Native to Romania, Alex began training with our coaches, Bruce Babashan and William Joppy when he arrived in the U.S. then shortly began starring in professional boxing matches.

“I’d seen him on video, but we wanted to see how tough he was. Alex displayed some exceptional talent and un-teachable gifts,” said Babashan of Marin, who went 150-10 as an amateur and twice won national titles. “He came here with the specific goal of becoming a professional boxer, and I agreed to train him with very little expectation. When he arrived, he knew two words of English: ‘Me champion.’ I said ‘We’ll see.’”

In early May 2017, Alex continued his winning ways at the sold-out MGM National Harbor where he won through unanimous decision over Mexican boxer German Meraz. Alex improved his mark to 13-0 with nine knockouts.

Read more about Alexandru and Bruce in the full article on The Sentinel: