The noble art of boxing has for centuries been adopted by the working classes as an answer to society’s misfits.
A place where if you had no money, or prospects, you could flourish with a fighting spirit.
Typically your life would be pretty tough, you would have come from the school of hard knocks and every day would be a fight for survival. These kids, boys usually, did and continue to do so well in a boxing gym for a number of reasons.
They have nothing too little to aspire to, getting smacked around the head is considered normal in their eyes.
Solace for them is being accepted and becoming part of a club/team. They escape their hard life by channelling it into boxing. Gaining confidence by being good at something gives them a sense of respect.
The list is endless but what tends to happen in this picture is that the child develops respect for himself and others, gains a discipline in life that he never had, starts to resolve his lifelong issues by feeling more in control and less angry and ends up sitting much more comfortably within our society.
That’s what we aim to do at our children’s boxing classes in Brighton. We literally go through the process of transforming a child to one who is confident, fit and disciplined.
So boxing can help the minority, yes we know that, but boxing gyms these days are not only full of these sorts of boys. The sport has become much more widely accepted. You’ve got heavyweight multiple world title holders with PhD’s, and the Olympics showcasing female boxing.
Suddenly the picture has become much more colourful, and so it ought to. The sport has amazing potential to help anyone take a step forward in life. Although it is probably still fair to suggest most boxing gyms are full of tortured souls in one way or another, it is also the case that you will find a business man training next to a labourer or a student.
Breaking down these socio-economic barriers is fantastic and is why sports like boxing are such a vital link in this process. Boxing is a really effective anaerobic exercise and many don’t seem to appreciate how physically demanding it can be.
Try jabbing and punching at an imaginary opponent while moving your body and feet and see how long you can keep it up for without dropping your arms. Pretty tough going isn’t it?
We encourage youngsters in the local community to take up the sport and realise all its benefits. The goal is to leave your baggage and status at the gym door and arrive ready to train and give the session your utmost whilst paying others the same kind of respect you yourself expect to receive from them.
Kirstin is part of Brightonfit Circus which provides kids boxing sessions in Brighton and offers a chance for local kids to become better members of society through this incredible discipline.