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Q. What sorts of people come to the club?
We get all sorts - you could call it a lively mixture. Some clubgoers live and work very locally whilst others commute into office jobs in the centre of town and come boxing to relieve their white-collar stress. Ages range through kids who come along with their dads (and sometimes mums), through teenagers, and a diverse crowd of 20-40 somethings. Probably our oldest regular at the moment is in his 50s. The club is popular with women - we have half-a-dozen regulars and many more who come in and out.

Q. What should I wear?

Most men wear a T-shirt, shorts and standard trainers. If you get bitten by the bug there are various pieces of more professional clothing you can buy later, including boxing boots.

Most ladies wear a T-shirt and track suit bottoms or shorts and standard trainers.

Note to both sexes: if you have long and flowing hair you will want to bring a hairband of some sort. You won’t be able to push your hair out of your eyes once you’ve got your boxing gloves on.

Q. Sparring in the boxing ring?

I get a lot of questions about this - some newcomers are eager to jump straight into the ring and some are less sure. First of all, no-one is obliged to spar. Then again, for those who want to give it a go there’s plenty of encouragement. Everyone gets at least two rounds of sparring per training session, but many do plenty more than that. Newcomers do body-sparring ie there are no punches to the head - it’s neck down only. When you get more experienced you can have a go at the real McCoy wearing the appropriate headguard, under supervision. Until then, you’re unlikely to get a black eye, a fact which most clubgoers seem to appreciate. 

I won’t say that no-one ever leaves the club with bruises because that wouldn’t be true. But you can choose how hard to go in and with which sparring partners so the chances of getting hurt even in a minor way are very low.

Ladies: we have a selection of protective upper body shields for ladies who wish to use them - I help you get them on and away you go. Many girls who fancy a go in the boxing ring start off with them and then chuck them aside once they realise they can defend with their elbows, like we’ve taught them. If you get really into it, there are special types of protective underwear for lady boxers - ask one of the girl boxers at the club for advice on this.

Q. Will I lose weight and tone up?
Oh yes - as long as you come regularly. You can wave goodbye to beer guts and double chins or wobbly bums if you show up a couple of times a week and watch what you eat (which is much easier if you’re enjoying your exercising). We can advise you on diet if need be, but I generally find that those who have the motivation to come to the club regularly, also have the motivation to stick to a bit of a diet. Recently, for example, one of our male boxers has trimmed down over a few months by several stone into a lean, mean fighting machine and one of our female boxers will tell you she has dropped two dress sizes. All that said, you’ll certainly tone up from the exercise alone, so if you’re happy with your weight, but just want to look a bit firmer, that works too.

Q. How fit do I need to be to start with?
If you’ve already got some level of fitness - great. If you don’t, well you soon will. The beauty of the circuit arrangement we work to is that you get a minute’s break every three minutes, or you can even sit out a three-minute block if you’re knackered. All shapes and sizes come to the club. We’ve got some superfit male and female supermodels, of course, but the majority of clubgoers will forgive me for saying we’re all pretty normal really