Kris Goodbody takes a hit for the Otwo team when he attempts boxing…
In the aftermath of Ireland’s Olympic triumphs, boxing shuffled into the spotlight and grabbed the nation’s attention. In an attempt to get to the bottom of all the hype and stigma surrounding the sport, Otwo donned some gloves and got involved in a session with the UCD Boxing Club.
As you may imagine the club consists of over 300 members, which are mostly men. I trained with ten of the senior members, who were all male with the sole exception of a female trainer.
A typical training session begins with twenty minutes of hard-core skipping, and before anyone scoffs and gets reminiscent about schoolyard games this is an entirely different animal.
The skipping is not only great cardiovascular exercise but is great for teaching budding boxers how to
stay on their toes which is vital in the sport.
After this. a further 30 minutes is spent doing various strenuous exercises and practising poise and form by shadow boxing, while at the same time keeping moving and staying loose. By the end of
which not one man there isn’t feeling it in every muscle.
Next on the agenda was some work with the punch bags, unfortunately though as I had no idea how to punch or even stand properly, I was taken aside for a crash course. Boxing is certainly not just getting into the ring and flailing wildly until someone falls. The idea is to keep constant defence of the body, mainly the face and as much of the torso as possible while retaining a position of attack, which is much more difficult than it sounds. I was also told to keep my chin down yet stand as tall as possible, never to cross my legs, lean on my toes but not to lean forward enough to fall if a punch didn’t connect and much more. So while attempting all this, add in another person who wants to rip you to pieces and that’s where the difficulties really begin.
This club is not for the faint hearted, not only because of the serious training or the difficulty of the sport itself, but also because it takes a certain amount of gall to take to the ring and learn from the school of hard knocks.
Though this is by no means should put anyone off, if you’re looking for a great way of getting fit, maybe for some self-defence skills or even just an adrenaline rush this is the club for you.
The members are friendly and focussed and seem to have a lot of love for the sport, while the coaches have a lot of patience and a solid, hands on approach to teaching.
I’m now firmly on my way towards a life-long goal to become welterweight champion of UCD.