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‘Fantasy Camp’
Crackpot Mailbox: CB on Finding a Real Boxing Gym
© 2018 James LaFond
Hey James,
I have a question. A slick new boxing gym recently opened in my neighborhood. I checked out its marketing materials and it seems to be catering to yuppie women, a sort of fantasy camp, and it's expensive to join (although within reason for me). Do you think there's anything useful I could gain from this? By describing it as a fantasy camp, I wasn't attempting to lead you; just being descriptive.
Regarding my own use, I'm looking for an opportunity to fight with no intention of training to become a fighter. I'm untrained as a fighter but fought a lot as a kid and I miss it.
Would you say that there's a rule of thumb that the dumpier a place looks, the more likely you are receive practically useful instruction? This is what I've assumed when looking for a gym in my new town. I've spotted a jiu-jitsu place that looks like a right dump, so based on my assumption, it's worth looking into. But what else should I consider? That is, what factors am I not taking into account?
Dumpy places are better for boxing.
For BJJ dumpy places get you staph infection. Do not roll no-gi at a dumpy grappling school.
The first test of a good boxing gym is that there are no classes, no MMA, no kick boxing, no fitness boxing, just young men, some bags, a ring and a coach or two.
A long bag array with no ring is a sure sign of a fitness class.
Any approach that coaches boxing like martial arts is taught, in a group setting, is shitty. As you can tell by the negative sissy elements above, these are the ones which make money, so the gym that coaches fighters is unlikely to be profitable and very well may be unsustainable.
Ultimately, all you need is a space to shadow box and skip rope and bags to hit, and eventually sparring to be got in a ring.
Rating a boxing coach can be done by collecting negatives:
Negative Equipment Use
-A coach that starts you in the ring is a dangerous asshole.
-A coach that starts you on the mitts is a poser or taking your money
-A coach that starts you on a bag first, doesn’t take time to cultivate fighters and rushes things.
-The positive read is the coach that starts you out skipping rope, shadowboxing or doing line drills first.
Negative Skill Introduction
-A coach who shows you an uppercut on the first day is going to get you hurt.
-A coach who has you hooking on the first day doesn’t know how to build a puncher, let alone a boxer.
-A coach who has you throwing the right hand on the first day is impatient and unlikely to properly cultivate your skill set.
-The positive read is finding the coach who has you jab only when you start out. Any other coach is either unworthy or unwilling to couch you effectively.
For the gym in question I would ask for a fee to hit the bags without coaching. Buy wraps and learn how to wrap your hands with YouTube videos. Buy bag gloves. Get a copy of The Punishing Art—the guy is a total asshole but knows the jab progression well.
Do one round of shadowboxing for every bag round and only jab for your first month, practicing guarding, blocking, parrying, stopping, shielding, passing with the right hand. Do not hit mitts. Do not spar. Add jab varieties at 1 a week or every 5 sessions. When you have the following four jabs you are good to go on the right straight.
1. Blind Jab
2. Power Jab
3. Sneaky jab
4. Safety Jab
Practice from orthodox and southpaw guards. This improves the workout and ups your learning curve as well as avoiding use injuries caused by bilateral activity imbalance.
You should really spend a week slapping the bag with the jab and doing the touch drill, but they will think you are nuts.
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Boswald     Oct 11, 2018

I’m in a similar situation. There’s an overpriced but manageable SWPL boxing fitness class in my ghey urban area. I don’t know much about boxing but I know what we are doing in class is retarded. I keep going because the girls are hot who go there and it is quite a good work out, fun to wail on the bag. Will have to find something real sooner or later and will use this post as a guide.
Nero The Pict     Oct 12, 2018


Find a place without women.

Take my unsolicited advice for what it is worth.
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