My name is John, and I’m one of the contributors for Cannon Fights. I have some experience in mixed martial arts, but my passion is boxing. As someone who has moved around all over the country for work, I have had the opportunity to join many different boxing gyms and see a wide variety of what they all had to offer. In this article, I will answer some of the more commonly asked questions about boxing gyms, specifically about getting started.
Whether you’re completely new to MMA and boxing, or you’re an MMA fighter who hasn’t spent much time in a boxing club that focuses only on boxing, there are some things that can be helpful to know before signing up and spending money on a membership.
Probably the most common question I get asked is “Do I need to buy any equipment?” The answer is it depends on the gym. All boxing gyms will have the bags that you need to use, but personal items like boxing gloves and sparring gear may or may not be communal. If you are unsure, call ahead or visit the gym first and chat with a trainer, they’re often more than happy to help out. If you prefer to just keep your own gloves for sanitary and comfort reasons, they won’t have a problem with this at all, just make sure they’re good boxing gloves. Most gyms will prefer 16oz gloves for bag work (most common size anyway) and the majority of gyms require your gloves to have an attached thumb, especially if you’re sparring. If you want more information about boxing gloves, we find the site KO Boxing Gloves to be pretty useful. Other than that, cheaper items like a mouth guard, hand wraps, running shoes, and gym clothes are not usually supplied by the gyms, but this is easy enough to take care of yourself.
Another question I get asked a lot is what is the atmosphere like in a boxing gym and are you required to spar? Usually (but not always), trainers will be very hesitant to throw you into a program, and often times they won’t let you spar until you are both sure that it’s an appropriate step. Sometimes the first few training sessions will only include a warm up and no bag work at all (warm ups in boxing are often a workout in themselves). Then, you may work on shadow boxing with a trainer to learn some of the punching form and technique. It’s not until you have become comfortable with technique and the demands of the training that you will progress to bag work. This usually starts with the heavy bag, then progresses to the speed bags, and then a double-ended reflex bag. All gyms will have different training preferences; so again, it’s always a good idea to check out the gym in person before singing up.
Lastly, I sometimes get asked if boxing is dangerous. At the elite level, it could be considered more dangerous than some other sports for obvious reasons (the head is a target), but in regards to training and sparring, it’s actually very safe. Trainers don’t want their fighters to get hurt, and no one benefits from a royal rumble in training. Often times, if you think you’re ready for sparring and are excited to try, they will make you wait a little bit just to be sure. Even then, sparring sessions are heavily supervised and often interrupted for coaching reasons. In my experience, I’ve sustained worse injuries from hockey and football than I ever have during a boxing training session. AS long as you’re careful and practice good judgment, you will be ok.
At the end of the day, what it mainly comes down to is checking out a few different gyms in your area, talking with some of the trainers, and deciding for yourself which gym seems to be the best fit for you. As long as you don’t just jump into things without thinking, you will be well on your way to throwing some nice combos!