What should beginners expect from their first boxing class with you?
Beginners take part in the general warm up alongside everyone else. All our boxing classes are mixed level/mixed ability lessons and no special skills are needed for the warm up. If you’re healthy, you can do it. We’re not testing you, when you come and train with us, you just do your best – it’s not an exam.
If you haven’t trained in boxing before, I’ll take you to one side and explain some of the very basics of boxing. Your journey starts by learning the fundamentals. People have different capabilities, if you’ve done sports before, you’re a sporty person, it will help. If not, it’s not a problem. Everything is about eye, hand, foot co-ordination – and you use that in daily life – so you will be okay. Boxing starts by putting the foundation blocks in place, learning how to move, doing dry drills. This is where you literally learn how to move yourself, and certain areas of your body. Once you can do this, we look at distance, timing, and then working with a partner. You then build up from there, and getting closer to reality – what most people would recognise as boxing.
Why should I train boxing? Is it good for self-defence?
Boxing is one of the greatest sports there is. Every combat sport teaches you distance, timing, how to strike, how to attack, how to defend, but boxing is – from the psychological point of view – I think the best. We attack the head a lot and we, as human beings, identify ourselves through our faces. So, from that point of view, self-defence/self-awareness through boxing is perceived in a different way. It’s much more personal. A leg strike, for example, is much less personal than a punch to the face. Boxing feels different. Boxing is good for self-defence and teaches you awareness, and how to measure distances. For example, how close someone can come to you and what you would do in different circumstances. For example, if someone attacked you in an elevator or if someone attacked you in the street, where you have more room to move. You will be more aware of these things and able to judge and create a set of skills.
What sort of people come to your classes and start training with you?
We have all sorts of people from all walks of life. We have fit 50+ year olds and we have 14/15 year olds who train with us. And everyone in between. We have people who compete and others who want to train for a hobby. They love boxing, and love to practise and that’s great. We have men, women, boys, girls, for various reasons they like boxing, and like to get fit. I think everyone also likes the confidence boost that it brings. Once you learn how to deal with the anxiety about what you would do if someone punched you, then your confidence increases. Boxing is a great skill to have.
How fit do I need to be? What happens if I want to throw up during the class?
You don’t have to be super fit, it is not an exam and it is not a test. Come and just start something. It’s like when you learn anything, like learning to swim, no one will throw you in the deep end. You will start to learn a new thing, a new skill, you start with the basics. You will get fitter and fitter. You need to healthy. If you’re healthy then everything else can be achieved.
If you feel like you need to throw up, then we tell you where the toilets and bins are – try to aim! If you feel unwell, come and let me know and be reasonable. You can stay on the side, watch some of the lesson, have a breather, it’s not a big deal. You don’t have to push yourselves to the extremes. You have to do 100% over the week, the month, the year – consistency. That will build you up. Don’t smash yourself in one day and then, after that, for three days you can’t train. Be consistent.
How do beginners progress/how do you track this?
Beginners, and everyone, has to work on the basics, on the fundamentals, and get them right. More than anybody, the beginners have to do this. Once you have the fundamentals, and you have a decent set of functioning skills, then the progress is there.
The closer that members move to sparring, and sparring is the closest to the reality of the ring/a boxing match/a boxing fight the more they are capable of movement. To punch when moving, to defend, to avoid from movement. They will know, I will know, everyone will know that progress is there. From the beginning, and standing still, you become like a fish in the water. You see people moving well, understanding distance, understanding timing, controlling the jab, and that’s a good sign for a beginner.
What equipment will they need to buy and when?
At the beginning, not much. We provide boxing gloves, you can buy boxing wraps for £10. Later on, when you’re at intermediate level, you’ll need a mouth guard. And if you want to invest in your own gloves that is good, it’s good to have your own kit, and boxing boots.
What are the do’s and don’ts of joining one of your classes?
Just be respectful, respect the gym, your coach – if you want to learn from them, and your training partners. And come and do your best. Don’t forget why you came in here, and don’t forget it’s not a competition – it’s a place where you come to train and do your best. To gain some skills and knowledge. It’s a great place to make friends and we’re big fans of positivity. As long as that’s your vibe, then it’s all good.
The do nots, like anywhere else we have rules. They are there to make you comfortable, safe, and to work for you and everyone else. So just follow the rules. For example, no shoes on the mats and no bare feet on the concrete floors. Please follow the rules and any instructions we give you.
Will I feel weird if I come on my own?
No, it’s easy. London Fight Factory is a martial arts place so we’re all about discipline, respect and it’s safer than almost anywhere else.
What sets your classes apart from other boxing instructors? What will I gain by training with you?
You’ll benefit from my experience, my background, my knowledge and a no-nonsense approach. I respect myself, my job and my students. I really want them to do their best, achieve their goals, and reach their potential. If you’re ready, then let’s do it.
What’s the community like at LFF? What sort of people train here?
This is one of the best places to be. In sports, and as a gym. There is always some natural selection, in life, and we have that here. It’s a great place to practise sports, take yourself to a higher level, and to make friends. We are driven by the same energy – we’re either trainers or students – and it’s a great place to be. All sorts of people train here, everyone from all walks of life, backgrounds, ages, countries, are represented here.