How To Find a Good Boxing Gym

July 4, 2010 July 4, 2010 by Johnny N Boxing Basics, Boxing Gyms 136 Comments

Finding A Good Boxing Gym

Boxing can be a dangerous sport so it’s extremely important that your trainer and gym is teaching you proper technique. Here are some tips to finding a good boxing gym.

As a general guideline, your boxing gym should be an encouraging atmosphere for learning the sport of boxing. A real legitimate boxing gym should be focused on proper technique and constant improvement. Your trainer should be able to tailor workouts to your physical abilities and explain to you the details of certain boxing techniques.

To start out, you should probably ask around through friends and search on Google Maps for “boxing” near your address. Check out several gyms and talk to a few trainers. Be honest and upfront with them as to what goals you plan to achieve in boxing (fitness, amateur competition, boxing professionally, supplementing other martial arts skills) and let them know what your budget is. Most individuals in boxing do it out of passion since the sport itself is very difficult and many people quit for that reason.

 

No-Nonsense Way to Find a Good Competition Gym

If all you want to do is compete and nothing else, ignore the rest of this guide and just read this one paragraph. Look up local amateur boxing tournaments in your area and see which gyms have the best ranked fighters. Go to that gym and see if you can get access to the same trainers. Train there until you have nothing else to learn. Win as many amateur tournaments as you can. Turn pro when you’re ready. That’s all there is to it.

 

Different types of fitness centers that teach boxing:

YOUTH CENTER

These are the typical after-school programs designed to keep youth off the streets and out of gangs. There are usually all sorts of people in here – kids, women, old men, and anyone else from the neighborhood looking for a good workout. You’ll see a few professionals and many young amateur boxers here. The atmosphere is real friendly and you’ll get a lot of personal attention here.

The cost is minimal and most of the trainers are old veterans that love teaching people for the love of boxing. It’s common for you to come numerous times and the subject of money doesn’t even come up. Just show up at the gym and ask a random person how much it costs to train there. Tell them, “Hi, I’m Billy! What’s your daily fee?” They’ll laugh because they’ll be unable to come up with a number and probably say, “Who cares? Put on some gloves… I’ll be with you in 5 minutes.” These gyms are good for learning but not good for developing advanced level skills.

 

PROFESSIONAL BOXING GYM

You’ll recognize one by its smell – like a old sock unwashed for weeks. Tons of professionals and serious fighters all crowded into one open area like some kind of crazy “boxing zoo”. You can spot the pros easily, just look for the guys wearing shirts that are completely drenched in sweat. You will get TOP-NOTCH battle-tested 110% authentic instruction. You’ll see world-class sparring everyday. The atmosphere can be quite intimidating (imagine guys cracking the heavy bag for hours without getting tired) but at the same time very inspirational and inspiring. The cost can range from $15 to $50 a session depending on the trainer’s ego.

There’s usually dozens of trainers working out of a single busy pro gym and you can shop around each day until you find one you really like. I’ve been able to work with former world champions for as little as $15 per workout! The atmosphere here might seem intimidating at first because you see few women or children but don’t worry. The fighters here are all hardcore and train to fight. Your workout WILL definitely push you beyond your limit. The trainers are old-fashion in that you’ll never hear compliments on anything you do right. The sparring here can be quite tough so don’t be too proud to ask the other fighter to go easy on you.

 

MMA GYM

MMA gyms come in two varieties – the REAL and the FAKE. The “real” MMA gyms sell themselves as the ALL-IN-ONE martial arts fight centers where they give classes on everything and supposedly “specialize in everything”. Real MMA gym will offer classes on all sorts of fighting arts such as grappling, kickboxing, and boxing. Their knowledge of boxing is pretty good. My only complaint about some MMA gyms it that they only focus only on the basics and aspects of boxing that are useful for MMA combat. They don’t teach you the true intricacies of boxing and many fun tactics are left out because they conflict with principles of kickboxing or grappling. If you run into a FAKE commercial MMA gym, then it’s really just another “fat camp” or commercial gym in disguise as a fighting gym.

 

FITNESS GYMS

These commercial gyms should definitely be avoided if you want to learn serious boxing technique. These fitness gyms are purely in it for the money and their motives are easy to spot. Their gym is very clean, often spacious, and they offer a wide assortments of price deals and training packages . The training is run more like cardio/aerobics sessions and I like to call them “fat camp”. These gyms typically have the worst boxing instruction and charge you the most money. The plus side is that you’ll see the most women here and so they are more comfortable for women who don’t like training alongside men.

 

 

My favorite telltale signs of good boxing gyms:

AUTHENTIC MEMORABILIA

The easiest way to tell if the gym is legitimate is if you see AUTHENTIC memorabilia plastered on the wall. Good gyms are typically plastered with newspaper clippings and autographed photos of their past/current/future fighters winning local & national tournaments. You will also see posters of upcoming tournaments and local boxing shows (showing their constant involvement in the local boxing scene). What you DON’T want to see is the usual framed posters of Ali & Tyson. A local gym should be excited about it’s local fighters!

YOU CAN MEET THE OWNER/HEAD TRAINER

I’ve typically found that the best gyms are ones where you can meet the owner and head trainer. You get to judge the personality behind the gym and the man behind the principles. You can see if the trainer and gym is working in your best interests.

CONTROLLED SPARRING

Watch a few sparring sessions and see how the trainers coach their fighters. You want to see controlled sparring where the fighters are being instructed TO BOX, NOT TO FIGHT. Good boxing gyms are not underground fight clubs and athletes should not be allowed to wail on each other until one quits. The key is to listen to the adjustments made by trainers.

FATHER/SON TRAINER/BOXERS

Seeing fathers training their sons at the gym is a very good sign. There is no love like a parent’s and usually a father will seek out the very best gym possible for their son to train in. If you see a father preparing his son for competition at the gym, you can trust he’s probably already staked out many other gyms.

A BUSY RING

The ring is probably the most important piece of boxing equipment. That is where you learn how to fight, that is where you truly learn how to box! If you see 30 people in the gym and NOBODY is in the ring, that should be a giant flag. In great gyms, the ring is always in use—you never see it empty. Somebody is shadowboxing, hitting the mitts, or sparring in there. There should always be people waiting in line to get into the ring!

MANY TRAINERS

The best gyms I’ve been to are full of trainers. Quite often, there may be almost as many trainers as there are fighters. Aside from the fact that some pros have more than one trainer (usually 1 trainer + 1 conditioning coach + his father/brother), it’s very common for many old boxers and trainers to hang around the best gyms. You shouldn’t see 1 or 2 trainers dominating the place. It’s more like a community of trainers each giving opinions of their style and expertise discussing and refining teh sweet science together each and every day. Chances are, if the gym is full of trainers…it might also be full of talent! Even if you never get good, at least you always have someone correcting your form. In one day, I might be corrected 10 times by 3 different trainers.

COMPETITION FIGHTERS

If the gym isn’t training fighters to compete, it’s probably training them for weight loss. There’s nothing wrong with this, but just know that if you want to compete, you should look for a gym full of competing fighters. Look for groin protectors hanging around the gym. Look for guys in sauna suits.

HOW TO SPOT A BAD BOXING GYM

A bad boxing gym is one that doesn’t care for you personally. You should be noticed and given at least a little attention every time you come to workout. Boxing is a sport that emphasizes hitting and not getting hit so it’s crucial that someone is looking out for you. Many gyms disgust me because the sparring is too tough on the beginners or the trainers spend more time training their “favorites” than they do with the other kids. I’ve seen many potentially good fighters get thrown in as “shark bait” so that the better trained fighters can practice their skills on unsuspecting “new guys”. This common practice is a bit like hazing where new guys have to earn their respect before the trainers will take them seriously.

Another disgusting trait of bad gyms is how they focus more on winning than they do on boxing skills. Over time, this bad habit develops into just teaching fighters on how to cheat instead of using superior boxing skills to win. It doesn’t matter how many awards the gym has won or if Mike Tyson trained there; if you don’t feel comfortable training there, find a new boxing gym!

FINAL THOUGHTS ON GOOD BOXING GYMS

A good trainer and boxing gym will listen to your every need. You shouldn’t be forced to spar when you don’t feel like it. Your workouts should be flexible to your ability and not what the athlete next to you just did. A good boxing gym doesn’t need to have the latest training equipment, former world champions as trainers, or the cleanest facility; it just needs to have a healthy atmosphere that emphasizes solid boxing technique and gives you room to grow. A good gym and trainer should be able to challenge you without taking you beyond your limits. I do hope that you all find a good gym and get to enjoy and love the sport of boxing as I do.

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136 Comments

ADOG July 5, 2010 at 1:19 pm

Boxing Gyms
Excellent article Johnny,

It is definitely important to see if your gym has the best interest of you. I have come accross gyms where trainning session are centered towards getting the gym “favorites” ready for there matches. This is often at expense of the beginners starting off at the gym.

Another good way to guage a gym is by talking to the fighters. You can guage the “atmosphere” gym by simply talking to the fighters. You can get to know what the great things the gym is providing and also find the negative aspects as well. Some of the fighters are waiting to transition out of the gym. Finding out the reason is the key.

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boxer November 25, 2010 at 3:06 am

what about good boxing gyms for kids that really want to box seriously

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Curtis ettel October 6, 2011 at 10:05 pm

I want to become I puching and kicking bag text me if you could make this happin

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Maria February 10, 2014 at 1:48 am

Hi
My son is 15 yrs and would like to start boxing in Midvaal ( Daleside )
Will you please assist.

Regards
Maria
078 425 0777

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Johnny N November 27, 2010 at 10:08 am

good boxing gyms for kids
Those inner-city youth programs are good–the “keep kids off the street” after-school recreation progarms. Any amateur gym where you see many kids is ideal. There is no need to put them in a pro gym. They’ll see very few kids and while they learn faster, they won’t have anyone to spar with but kids of other former champions–which could be too hard on them.

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Marko August 31, 2013 at 11:26 am

I’m 15 and there isn’t any boxing gyms around where I live, how can I improve without a gym?

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Johnny N September 26, 2013 at 2:15 pm

Shadowbox at home, hit the bags, work focus mitts with some friends. Do what you can. There’s information online and then you also have your imagination and creativity. Maybe check out an MMA gym or martial arts gyms and see if there are any boxers there to train with.

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donna thompson November 30, 2010 at 9:22 pm

wellness coach – ymca, full-time fitness trainer
so glad i found you!! i love boxing,

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8-0 June 15, 2011 at 10:26 am

…………………………………
hi im from south london and have an amateur record of 8 fights 8wins 2 knocouts
i have been to 2 gyms but i didnt like the first gym because of the lack of sparring and i didnt like my second gym because of the lack of cardio

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8-0 June 23, 2011 at 10:09 am

what shall i do?

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Johnny N June 23, 2011 at 2:00 pm

@8-2 – Lack of cardio may be a good thing. Some of the best trained gyms don’t bother their fighters with cardio. It is up to you to maintain your cardio on your own time. Your trainer is there as a fight strategist and to show you new fighting skills. It is your responsibility to keep yourself in shape, for these gyms. You can also keep looking up new gyms. Or train at one gym, and spar at another. Many fighters do that out here in LA. They go to a commercial gym to stay in shape, use nice equipment. They go to one boxing gym to do workouts and mitts with their trainer. Then they go to another gym to get good sparring with different opponents.

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8-0 June 29, 2011 at 9:15 am

thankyou for replying.i have joined a gym with a national finalist who is in the weight class above me and is really good to spar with.i am 5,10 a lightmiddleweight,slim,fast but lack power.i am also a converted southpaw because i find it easier to move around.i have a lot of power in my left hand but not much in my right hand.could you give me a list of boxers i could learn techniques off with the same advantages as me? thankyou

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Johnny N July 5, 2011 at 5:05 am

@8-0, hmm…a slim southpaw with a lack of power. The first one that comes to mind is Paul Williams. Although he may be a bit lankier (longer armed) than you. There’s also Antonio Tarver, Chad Dawson, Joe Calzaghe, and Anthony Dirrell. I really like Anthony Dirrell, Calzaghe is awesome too but has a weird style.

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8-0 July 5, 2011 at 8:05 am

thanks for the list.this site has really helped improve my boxing :-)

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ATL-Brit July 8, 2011 at 3:23 am

Gyms in Atlanta
I am looking into boxing in Atlanta, so far there has been nothing that jumps of the page at me. I have found one near my work that is more of a MMA gym, called Iron Clutch Fitness. I am of there on Monday for my first ‘session’. Was wondering if you had any good insight into gyms in the North Atlanta Area. If not, ill give ICF a try. By hte way, love the website, plenty of useful info on here.
Thanks.

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Johnny N July 9, 2011 at 5:53 am

@ATL-Brit – I’ve never been to Atlanta so I wouldn’t know anything. I would suggest you walk into 3 gyms and get a feel for the atmosphere. Make sure you go at the time when they train amateurs or beginners how to box.

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lebanon July 12, 2011 at 11:11 am

i was wondering if you know of any boxing gyms in lebanon pa. please help

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Johnny N July 13, 2011 at 6:19 am

@lebanon – I’m sorry I’m not familiar with that area and never been there. Have you checked out boxinggyms.com?

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Draco July 16, 2011 at 5:03 am

Newspapaer
i read your article about authentic boxing gyms and when you said has newspaper clippings on the wall and autographed photos it reminded me of Fight Night Champion (video game) does this mean i should for look like those more hollywood cliche style gym or those high-tech gyms that are all clean and nice and have those “your one of the family” types

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Draco July 16, 2011 at 5:09 am

whats the best type of gym for me (im 13) and i want to seriously train in boxing and mma even though im still a “kid”.please help i really want to train for real not run around and gain self-confidence(those kid classes that are really just day cares).

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Johnny N July 18, 2011 at 8:41 am

@Draco – visit several gyms and see for yourself. If you’re real young, you’ll have to find a gym that has other kids for you to spar. Being in a gym where you have no sparring partners won’t be much good for you. But the newspaper clippings is a good indicator, at least for me.

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Nathan August 30, 2011 at 1:21 pm

Hope you can help!
I happened to notice the comment above with similar problems. I am 14, and I really would like to box. I live in West Virginia and the Gyms around here are new and haven’t been in business long enough to even begin training pros. I went to the gym closest to me ( School of Hard Knocks Club) and they only have 3 trainers, and about 10 boxers, none of wich were impressive. The equipment is adequate, but then again I don’t like machines, I like press ups, sit ups, pull ups, etc. I hope you can help me out somewhat, thankyou.

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dan williams September 3, 2011 at 11:44 pm

im 29 never had a gym to go to. ones just opend up and i really want to join as ive loved boxing from a young age… what can i expect? am i going to be fodder for the younger more experienced guys? i dnt mind taking a pride bashing as long as i can learn more of what im passionate about!

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Johnny N September 6, 2011 at 6:55 pm

@Nathan – you’ll have to keep looking for a better gym. Or be on the lookout for my training guides that will go up for sale ;-)

@dan williams – go to any gym and tell them you want to learn. You learn better when you’re not getting beat up. a good gym will find a way to teach you without beating you up.

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Brent October 4, 2011 at 10:10 pm

Hi i am looking to get into boxing and i want to learn the right way so i dont create any bad habits. I live in Southern California, Diamond Bar to be exact, and im looking for a good expert boxing gym to train me. Any good gym suggestions??

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Johnny N October 5, 2011 at 11:26 am

Hi Brent,

I know there’s a lot of good gyms out that way. My suggestion is to train at 2 or 3 of them and see what kind of trainer you get and how much attention they give you, how hard they spar, etc. See if they have competing fighters.

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Curtis ettel October 6, 2011 at 10:06 pm

13109864843

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IRON BOY October 12, 2011 at 4:46 am

JOHNNY, IM 5″10 74.4KG lean muscle built, im fighting in amateurs at middleweight 75kg, what would be best style for me? I am a aggresive push foward type fighter but move alot to not take shots ( if that makes sence) with preety good punch power, im shorter than the average 75kg fighter, so was wondering who would you suggest me watching to learn more from?
I have been watchin tyson, roberto duran and miguel cotto as i can relate to them. any ideas

thanks

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Johnny N October 12, 2011 at 4:49 am

IRON BOY, the answer is easy. Learn EVERYTHING. From there you can adapt and choose what is best. I would never limit you by telling you learn specifically one thing. Learn everything, that’s what real fighters do.

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A November 28, 2011 at 6:58 am

Johnny, there is a boxing gym in my area that is growing popularity at a rapid pace, my friend even tells me oscar de la hoya pays a visit to it. is that always the best way to go? to a big fancy gym? what ive noticed about gyms such as 24-hour fitness. is that they get over crowded and im not able to get the work out i need. is it the same for boxing gyms? with so many people in one gym i dont feel ill be able to get the workouts i need, and like you said in an article before that a trainer with too many fighters doesnt have time to work with each fighter individually. ive always been a smash mouth work with what i got type athlete. i would highly appreciate your opinions on this…..

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Johnny N November 30, 2011 at 3:53 am

All gyms are different so I can’t tell you what to expect. The best advice I’d say is to visit 3 gyms and pick the one you like. Make sure you go when most of the fighters train so that you can see how they really train.

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J December 4, 2011 at 1:23 am

If i see a gym online is that the same as being there or would i see something different than what i see on the boxing main page for that gym or on youtube?

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Johnny N December 4, 2011 at 1:50 am

J, I don’t understand what you mean by “see a gym online”. The only way to check out a gym is to go in person when the competing fighters are there. Watching their youtube doesn’t say much because many competing fighters do not put up their videos for fear of their opponents studying their style.

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J December 5, 2011 at 7:21 am

Basically what its a summary of all the work outs and how the gym is. not their whole fights or sparring but small portions like a preview of the gym

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Johnny N December 5, 2011 at 3:15 pm

You really can’t judge a gym until you see how they run their classes. Every gym will have workouts and drills and sparring but you don’t see the quality or effectiveness until you witness it in person. Just my two cents.

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J December 5, 2011 at 6:58 pm

Makes sense to me know. thank you

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moses December 12, 2011 at 7:21 pm

Hey johnny

I’ve been working out at the local boxing center. It’s a state sponsored center , so there are no “personal” trainers. A guy who I know from one of my classes (I’m in college) has managed to get one of the trainers there to be his personal trainer. I tried asking him to be my trainer as well , but he just sort of brushed me aside. I’ve only been working out there for about 3 weeks. Since I’m new to boxing , I’ve been using your articles, exclusively, to direct my training. Would you happen to have any advice ? I live in Miami ( fl), if you know of a good gym or trainer who’s super cheap ( remember I’m in college:)please let me know .

Thanks and keep up the great work

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Johnny N December 13, 2011 at 10:27 am

I’m not familiar with the boxing scene in Miami and have never been there. If you’re looking to do amateur competition, I would suggest looking up local boxing tournaments and seeing which gyms have the best performing boxers.

There is also a good list of boxing gyms here: http://www.boxinggyms.com/addresses/florida.htm

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J December 12, 2011 at 10:20 pm

Moses you can always go on google and look up trainers in your area

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moses December 13, 2011 at 9:24 am

Tried that . The trainers that can afford to advertise on Google always cost more than I can pay ! Lol

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Matt December 23, 2011 at 5:51 pm

Hey Johnny,
I’ve looked all over, but where I live right now, the closest gym that has anything to do with boxing is at least 45 mins. away. Any suggestions on finding something closer?

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Johnny N December 24, 2011 at 2:23 am

Matt, I would try looking for MMA gyms or martial arts schools that have muay thai, kickboxing, or boxing classes.

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mike January 2, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Hey johnny. A lot of gyms in the bay area (California) are now doing classes
Instead of having a trainer watch you train you. U mention trainers as to classes. Would u recommend
Looking for a gym that has that old school style where a trainer looks after you instead of having a class? Thanks

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Johnny N January 3, 2012 at 2:03 am

Mike, look for a real gym with real trainers and real fighters. How they run their classes is on them. Take a look at what type of people take the classes and you’ll know what level of boxing it is. Some fighting gyms do run circuits and classes but the real personal develop is usually during the 1-on-1 time.

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A January 9, 2012 at 7:32 pm

i was going to enter my first boxing gym today. he told me an address and it led to a middle school(i checked a day before) so the day of i called 45 minutes before, training was 6-9 mon-fri but i called at 515 just to verify where to go, the conversation was going ok, and i asked what i needed the clothes he told me to wear i did not own, i usually workout in basketball or gym shorts. then he asked if i had a beanie, i said yeah then he replied then wear that and hit me with the N word, i felt very offended and i never even seen this trainer yet he went from sir, god bless, to the N word, so i decided not to go and changed my idea about his gym period, i also shared my negative experience with other boxing buddies of mine, am i wrong for changing my mind at the last second johnny? May i please get your opinion or thoughts on this decision?

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Johnny N January 11, 2012 at 7:19 am

I think you made the right decision. Although I will say that some trainers are jerks. They grew up with a hard life and believe it’s necessary to make everyone else’s life hard. Check out another place.

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Johnny R March 4, 2012 at 12:44 pm

Hey Johnny, im 16 and love boxing and I was wondering if I should find a new gym. I go to La boxing in orlando and its 85 a month and thats just for gym access cardio classes! Any additional one-on-one training costs 40$ per half hour of training and the trainers are all fighters themselves. All the fighters have 30 pounds and 10 years age plus some experience on me. Also i found another gym thats 25 minutes from my house and costs 150 a month for 3 sessions a week and unlimited gym access. So i was wondering should i switch or stay and whats a good price for training and a gym??? BTW I had a construction job over the summer and built an out of town fitness center and the owner gave me free boxing equipment such as heavy bags, speed bag, double end, and slipbag. so i have it at my house so i have equipment but no trainer.

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Johnny N March 4, 2012 at 7:08 pm

Sounds like you have to keep looking around until you find a gym you like. If your number one goal is to learn and build experience, quality instruction should outweigh cost and convenience.

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Johnny R March 19, 2012 at 2:15 pm

I will, thank you for the advice.

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Joey R April 25, 2012 at 5:55 pm

Johnny,

What’s your take on LA Boxing Clubs? It’s a pretty clean place, but they have former pro MMA guy who is one of the GM’s and trainers. I got to meet him, seems like he’s pretty knowledgable and willing to train me. They had options for training and free classes at around 50-60 bucks a month (albeit 1-3 year contracts), and one on one “fight club” training for about $140 a mo.

I’m in north NJ, but I can’t really afford anything over $40 a month. Any advice? Am I better off going to the YMCA (boxing classes for $20 Saturdays and Sunday’s)? Or saving for a boxing rack to train on my own at home?

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jk May 1, 2012 at 9:53 am

Stay within your budget, financial discipline is important in these times. Since you’re lucky to live near a YMCA with boxing classes, I’d definitely try those. It sounds like they don’t have a 1-3 year contract so what’s the worst that can happen? If you don’t like the classes (which I doubt) then at least you’ll know!

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Johnny N May 1, 2012 at 4:23 pm

I really don’t like the LA Boxing chain gyms. They’re not real boxing gyms and function more as a business than a place for developing boxing talent. Every now and then you will find real boxers and coaches that train there but I recommend you go to a real boxing gym and see the difference for yourself. Training at LA Boxing is still better than training at home alone though.

Then again, it depends on what your goals are. If you want to develop real fighting schools, you need to be a good gym and around good fighters for better instruction and motivation.

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montesaa November 26, 2012 at 12:46 pm

Hey Joey R, if you’re still looking for a gym in nothern NJ, there’s the PAL in hackensack that costs next to nothing and theyre the real deal. The other one i know is DMG School of boxing training in Paterson, not too much and theres a good staff and good equiptment. if you need any help you can emial me at montesaa@garnet.union.edu, it would be cool to meet more boxers in nothern new jersey even though I moved up to albany my family is still there and I train at DMG whenever i’m home

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aka April 30, 2012 at 11:50 pm

hey johnny,

just wondering what your take was on gyms that ask for an annual payment membership, not monthly?

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jk May 1, 2012 at 9:48 am

aka – an annual payment is never a good idea. Gyms want you to pay upfront because they’re know you’re more than likely to quit before the year is up. “But I’m not like those people!” you might be saying, well… everyone thinks that when they sign up but things definitely change and the gym knows it.

See if they have a monthly subscription or one that you can cancel at any time without penalty (watch out for “30 day notices” which are just another way to squeeze a payment out of you). The cost might be more, but its worth it for a couple of months to really get to know if it’s a gym that works for you. A couple of bucks for a couple of months is much better than getting locked into a year contract.

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Johnny N May 1, 2012 at 4:24 pm

I don’t like boxing gyms that are all about business. In fact, I’ve never paid a dime for any boxing instruction in my life. I had great trainers that were excited to train me for free. Annual payment is too much in my opinion.

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jackie j April 30, 2012 at 11:55 pm

Hey Johnny,

is it important to learn fundamentals while sparring, or to learn fundamentals first and then spar? My gym is just putting me in the ring, i’ve been training 3 months so far, i’m alright but not that good.

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Johnny N May 1, 2012 at 4:24 pm

Both. You need to do both to help improve both.

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henry June 19, 2012 at 6:09 am

hi,

I am fairly new to boxing. I know the technique very well. I have watched videos, had 5 lessons and really, feel i have a good technique. However, i haven’t had lessons for a few months. I struggle with footwork. i do a lot of shadow boxing to try and perfect that. Should i have a few private lessons to boost my footwork and improve my boxing significantly, or should i go to group classes and slowly learn things that way.
Thank you
Henry

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Johnny N June 19, 2012 at 2:09 pm

I would go to a boxing gym and spend some 1-on-1 time with a REAL boxing coach. The group classes are usually for cardio rather than actual boxing technique. I would also suggest for you to buy my ebook. I doubt you will find as much quality instruction anywhere for the same money.

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Tg July 24, 2012 at 9:05 pm

If you were to go to gym and found a better gym would you just disappear or tell the coach its not working to well?

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Johnny N July 26, 2012 at 3:25 am

Most people will just disappear. You don’t owe anybody an explanation unless you’ve made some kind of commitment or you would feel better about letting your coach know. In my opinion, there’s no need to give someone negative feedback if you’re not going to give them a chance to fix it.

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aka September 4, 2012 at 8:05 pm

just changed my gym…i told them I was moving (haha, the things we’ll do). Anyways I’ve found the perfect boxing gym in my area, one that’s a youth centre but trains pros and amateurs. Thanks for your article it really helped, now that I’m more learned in boxing i’ll know how to seperate the real trainers and coaches from the business oriented ones.

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Jim K. October 9, 2012 at 7:48 am

Greetings from Greece!!! You ‘re doing good work with the site, it has helped me a lot since i started boxing, so i guess… thanks. Unfortunately (for boxers) here kick-boxing and muay thai are more famous (due to fighters like michalis zampidis and pavlos kaponis), so there are not so many boxing gyms (and the trainers ratio in the existing, at least in mine, is 1 trainer/15 boxers). I would be grateful if you could suggest me some good books about boxing (i’m reading now championship fighting by jack dempsey). keep up the good work…

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Johnny N October 11, 2012 at 10:35 am

I have to say my “How to Box in 10 Days” ebook is a pretty good start. It covers a lot of boxing techniques at a more in-depth level any other book I’ve seen. If I ever see another commercial book with more detail, I will let you know.

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Blanquito October 19, 2012 at 9:13 pm

Hello Johnny, I’m from Puerto Rico and I got a serious problem in the Gym I are going the trainer want that I do exactly how he said, I fought with other styles and other techniques what do you recommend me to do change the Gym or something? thanks, and sorry for my english.

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Johnny N October 23, 2012 at 12:41 pm

I’m sorry I don’t understand your post. If you’re not happy with your gym or trainer, then try changing to something else.

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Montesaa November 2, 2012 at 8:30 am

Johnny,

I worked with a trainer back home in jersey , when I met him he didnt have a real gym but a fitness studio about the size of a garage. Tranining there was intense and got me used to the intensity of boxing training. He opened up a real gym after I left for school and invited me to come fight for him, but I got a job here in Upstate NY so I have to find another gym. I found 4 possibilities and was wondering which you though was best. I want to join USA boxing and my ultimate goal is to go to Golden Gloves or the olympics. Im gonna take a little tour and go for a free workout at each once I get my car fixed.

Gym 1: local “youth” boxing gym specializing in amateur boxing. Mostly made for middle school/ high school kids to keep them off the street but they have programs for fighters too. Low price, but I’m not sure if I would be “welcomed” at this gym because theres a bad relationship between college kids and “townies” around here. If i go to this one I was thinking of keeping my status as a student a secret.

Gym 2: Publicly funded, free boxing gym about a half hour away. I heard it gets very crowded and the long drive will present a problem.

Gym 3: private, fully loaded gym with all the ammenities. Specialiizes in “boxercise” classes but also trains and manages fighters. I talked to the owner via email and he seemed willing to work with me but wanted to see how well I performed in the fitness classes before he let me fight (focus mitts, heavy bags, double end bag,, ect) also quite expensive and about a 20 minute drive

Gym 4: Private MMA sports complex with 2 cages and a boxing ring. Doesnt focus much on boxing but they have a former Light Middleweight champ on staff who I might be able to teach me private classes, but Im not sure the availability of sparring partners and price. Also, his experience is in Professional boxing which is different than Amateur.

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Johnny N November 6, 2012 at 6:32 pm

I would pick Gym 1. Meet people, ask around, and move on to a better full of competing fighters. Either way, you have to try them all out if you want to know for sure which is best.

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Sid Hunners December 13, 2012 at 8:39 pm

I’m a little bit anxious about finding a gym. Like, in the likely scenario I actually get in a gym -that turns out to be a bad one. By the time I would have found out, it would be too late and I’ll feel sort of like a trapped animal. Being too afraid to speak out and back out. Or at least that’s how i feel right now-I’m planning to start my road in August 2013. By when I hope to establish a clear, unbreakable will. I also read your guide on how to be great, and I wouldn’t want a crummy gym to block my path.

By the way, Huge Thanks to you! You’re a very good person to have taken so much of your time to share your passion of boxing to others. I can’t express how much I appreciate your guides! Thanks again Johnny!

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ALONSO December 14, 2012 at 8:28 pm

I live in south central los angeles california 90011. what would be a Good gym for me i am skinny tall and 17 year old about to be 18 can you suggest good gym i am looking for a gym around me.

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Johnny N December 21, 2012 at 10:41 pm

Look around, there are several gyms in that area.

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Kareem A December 28, 2012 at 4:43 pm

Hey. I’m 18 6’2 and 175lb.. pretty skinny right now as I stopped lifting weights and working out for a while. I can put on muscle quickly, and get to around 190 in about a month to two months.

Is it okay for someone to have a decent size of muscle and box, or do you have to be lean with as little muscle as possible?

I want to get into boxing and may very well do amateur, not too sure about pro. I’m looking for a gym thats serious on training novices.

I live in south brunswick, new jersey.

Any tips?

Thanks!

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Johnny N January 5, 2013 at 12:20 pm

First, you have to get into a gym and try boxing. Once you’re in there, you’ll find out what your lean body weight should be. You’ll be able to compare your power to somebody else and see what your body can handle. You’re also pretty young so your body will still be developing over the next 10 years.

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Kareem January 8, 2013 at 6:14 pm

Sorry to bother you again, but I recently joined a boxing gym.

As for the description there is a small spot where people do some type of martial arts, a ring in the middle, bags on one side, other things on other sides etc.. Anyways I don’t see any adult men training there, mostly kids and teens in their early to late teen years.

The trainers there just told me to go on the treadmill, jump rope for 3 rounds, and then told me to do shadow boxing. The trainer showed me how to throw a jab for two seconds then walked away. Second day I showed up same thing except I put some handwraps and gloves on. Was told to hit the heavy bag. After a while of hitting the heavy bag, one trainer came and showed me some moves for about 10 minutes.

He came back and talked to me every now and then. Other then the one trainer, I’m only told to do this without being watched or shown.

This really seemed like a youth center, people that come here are mostly male kids to late teens and a few females. But its $80 for admission and $30 a month for one person.

What are your thoughts on this gym? Thanks!

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Johnny N January 22, 2013 at 8:54 pm

Have a look a round and check out other gyms. See what you like best.

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hari January 9, 2013 at 7:50 pm

im from india and i want to learn boxing but we don’t have any boxing gym nearby so in that case what can i do??

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Johnny N January 22, 2013 at 8:54 pm

Watch youtube videos and read free online guides. Or move to another location where you have access to a boxing gym.

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hari January 10, 2013 at 2:21 am

hello sir
my name is hari, I’m from india. i want to learn boxing but we don’t have any boxing nearby. What can i do? plz help me

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Joe Neylon January 19, 2013 at 11:34 am

Hi mate! Im thinking of going to a boxing gym to do some training and hopefully some sparring, I’m 20 though? Would this make a difference, I have no boxing experience at all but am a huge fan so I wanted to give it a shot. Would this be a good idea or would I just be wasting my time because I’ve left it too late, also I’m 6’3 and 162 lbs, would that me middleweight?

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Johnny N January 22, 2013 at 8:54 pm

Get to a gym and start training and see where your ability lies.

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Christian Church January 20, 2013 at 8:54 pm

in your experience is golden gloves a great gym? and if their are better how do i find them? a real boxing gym not a work out place. i want to go pro with my life and am willing to die for it but i also want to be so good that i can come out with out so much brain damage that i am drooling on my self. in fact i want to be good enough that i could be a doctor and many other hard done things, i am not trying to be vain but i feel i have talent in both because my grades and physique show it and i cant chose between them so i want to find a gym that can be willing to go with me as far as they can with out ruining my chance at increasing my knowledge intake when i retire. I also have more questions that i hope you could answer. i am sorry if this was too long or troublesome to read, i have the heart just no experience. thank you for reading.

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Johnny N January 22, 2013 at 8:55 pm

Check out different gyms and see which one you like best.

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garcia leornard January 23, 2013 at 6:02 pm

hey, I am 14 years old and all of the people that train with me are a lot bigger than me, i mean A LOT, what should i do? and also we dont train on the double end bag and the speed bag, we just do some skipping at the start, technique, then sparring and body sparring then the heavy bag. Is that a sign that i should change boxing gyms?

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Johnny N January 28, 2013 at 10:42 am

Find a gym with more people your size. Checking out other boxing gyms would be a good idea.

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paige pollock February 20, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Hi! I’m paige i just turned 15 and I’m trying to find a place to teach me boxing and good cardio but i need to find a good gym and a trainer… what should i do?

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Johnny N February 20, 2013 at 3:53 pm

Look up boxing gyms or MMA gyms on Google. Go into one and ask around. Look up local fighting events and see what gyms the fighters are representing.

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paige pollock March 1, 2013 at 1:50 pm

Thank you

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tony February 20, 2013 at 4:40 pm

I purchased your advance training videos..great stuff. You’re such a good teacher. I’ve purchased a lot of boxing training videos and none have broken it down like you. I’d really be interested to attend one or your workshops. Do you have plans to do any more? I hope so. What city(s) do you offer the workshops? I looked on the site and the net to try and figure out where you’re located…but no luck.

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Johnny N February 26, 2013 at 9:32 am

Hi Tony,

The easiest place for me to offer workshops is in LA. I’m willing to do it elsewhere if the demand was high enough to cover my transportation and lodging costs. I would enjoy doing some more in the future and would be nice to have it organized through a gym or organization or somebody who can help promote the event.

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tony March 1, 2013 at 1:42 pm

well that works out great cuz I’m in LA too. So do you have a place on your site where you list your upcoming events?

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Johnny N March 7, 2013 at 2:04 pm

I’ll definitely post it up when I have one coming up and announce it in my newsletter and Facebook. Right now, I don’t have any scheduled but I’ll definitely consider doing one this summer.

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Mel March 17, 2013 at 10:32 pm

The paragraph about controlled sparring – I could not agree more. You don’t learn to have heart and keep fighting by being regularly beaten up. Also something I’ve found (a tip for other women) – if you’re in the right gym, you can be one of a handful (or the only) woman in there, and you’ll be comfortable anyway. I train at a competition fighter’s gym, I’m usually the only woman in there, I walked in there not knowing a thing, and the guys have never been anything but supportive. Which includes honest feedback, honest training, honest sparring – they ‘go easy’ because I’m not at their level, not because I’m ‘a girl’. It’s very much worth looking around for somewhere you’re comfortable, it’s a great sport for women as well!

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Johnny N March 21, 2013 at 3:52 am

I’m very happy for you, Mel. I wish more women could find boxing gyms like yours.

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Kevin March 23, 2013 at 9:41 am

Is it possible to do amateur fights or even become pro later on in boxing by training in a MMA gym, because there are no other gyms near me, also the MMA gym focuses more on muay thai, and grappling/BJJ than boxing self.

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Johnny N April 2, 2013 at 12:46 pm

Training in an MMA gym is better than nothing but you should ultimately move to a boxing gym as soon as possible if you want a real chance at having a successful boxing career.

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victor alika March 28, 2013 at 5:51 am

Good Day Sir.

Sir i am victor the boxing coach from Nigeria,i saw your gym in the inter net,and i want to make use of your gym to train my boxers,your gym is a very good standered gym,in Nigeria we lack of boxing equipment,please sir kindly respond to me quickly,looking forward to hear from you soon.

Victor

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Johnny N April 2, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Hi Victor,

Are you planning to bring your team to the states? I don’t understand what you’re asking for.

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Chelsea April 28, 2013 at 2:19 pm

So, I am about to join my local LA Boxing facility and I had my free class today. There wasn’t anyone in the ring. I was just wondering if you had ever been involved in LA Boxing and your honest opinion on it. I’ve also considered Title Boxing which is a bit further from where I live. Could you possibly compare the two? I’d actually learn how to fight and spar.

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Johnny N May 6, 2013 at 11:41 am

I’ve been to LA Boxing before and it’s pretty much overpriced boxercise. There are legitimate trainers at certain gyms but the atmosphere and environment is not built for actual learning. It’s expensive and lacks the authentic rawness that you find in real boxing gyms. My suggestion for you to is check out several different boxing gyms (JUST LOOK, NO SPARRING) and you’ll get an idea of where you think you’ll fit in best.

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Chelsea April 28, 2013 at 2:21 pm

Sorry, I meant to say I’d like to learn how to fight and spar (legitimately)

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jedi August 19, 2013 at 11:34 pm

hey johnny i just stumbled onto your site not too long ago and i am impressed by the amount of knowledge you have of boxing. im looking to get into boxing to get into shape and be to hopefully one day compete have you ever heard of Primetime Boxing?

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Johnny N August 27, 2013 at 11:45 am

I’ve never heard of Primetime Boxing or at least don’t think I have.

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Randy Avellaneda August 26, 2013 at 1:37 pm

Johnny N, do you know of any good boxing gyms in the houston area? I know you live in LA but maybe you have been here before and that I should personally check out the gyms, but can you please give me a suggestion of good gyms in the area to look? Thank you.

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Johnny N August 27, 2013 at 11:45 am

I’ve never been to Houston and never trained out there. Shouldn’t be too hard. Check them out and see what you find.

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Tyrone September 13, 2013 at 6:04 pm

Does anyone know whether LABoxing( UFC Gym) is a good gym to improve on boxing skills and amateur fighting?it seems like “fat camp”

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Johnny N September 26, 2013 at 2:17 pm

LA Boxing kind of is “fat camp”. Back when I was training in Orange County, our gym basically won every smoker match against the local LA Boxing. Even our girls were scoring knockouts against them. It’s a heavily commercialized gym with “fight classes”. I’m sure some of them have legitimate instructors but in my opinion, if you want the best learning experience: go to a boxing gym and train with amateur boxers.

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Amir October 15, 2013 at 3:06 pm

I live in Bloomington IN,and currently a college student. I’m planning to join the Olympic 2016 in Rio. So far,I just train by myself; shadow box, jump rope, jogging. I can’t find any boxing gym nearby my area, so, what should I do?

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Johnny N October 17, 2013 at 8:25 pm

Move. Find a good gym and start getting some amateur experience under your belt.

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Telly November 14, 2013 at 10:40 am

Hey Johnny. I’m looking to start soon and I love your blog! What I get from this is that mma gyms aren’t good enough for boxing?

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Johnny N November 22, 2013 at 9:23 pm

I can’t agree with that as a blanket statement. Some MMA gyms have dedicated boxing trainers which would qualify them for boxing but overall, I feel MMA gyms don’t have the best learning environment for boxing.

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Devin in lancaster November 29, 2013 at 7:40 am

I live in Lancaster California, about an hour’s drive north of Los Angeles. I was wondering if you know of any good boxing gyms near me. I’m 16 years old (about to turn 17), I don’t meet your list of conditioning requirement recommendations for starting amateur boxing mostly due to being out of shape and overweight (need to lose a good 30lbs of fat, 5, 7 tall & 180lbs when lean muscle) but I would like to get into great shape and then try to get to amateur boxing level. I have a friend who is an amateur MMA fighter (he is REALLY good). He may be able to help me train (mitts, sparing, and stuff like that) as his background is boxing, muay Thai, wrestling, and BJJ.

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Johnny N December 4, 2013 at 10:03 am

I haven’t boxed up there but I think there are some pretty good gyms for amateur boxing. Look around and see.

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jay December 6, 2013 at 3:15 pm

i read that you never payed for boxing lessons but what is the ideal price range in your opinion? right now im paying $195 for 1 on 1. i feel that advance group classes would benefit me more because im working with other people as well. what do you think?

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Johnny N December 11, 2013 at 6:04 pm

The most important focus to me is not price but quality of instruction. With that said, the cheaper the price the better I like it. I’ve never paid for boxing lessons so it’s hard for me to tell you what’s good out there. Even if you gave me the price sheet and class description, I still wouldn’t know how beneficial the lessons were until I saw the instruction myself.

I would recommend for you to look around, try different options, and pick the one you like best.

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jay December 11, 2013 at 9:59 pm

Thanks

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Christan Church December 12, 2013 at 11:00 am

I know this answere already but i am a very sturdy guy and was woundering if you would interview me to be a trainer at your gym?

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Johnny N December 13, 2013 at 6:54 pm

We’re not looking for any trainers right now and I don’t personally do the hiring part. It’s a private gym where different trainers and fighters come together to train and spar with others. Where are you located?

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Christian Church December 13, 2013 at 7:04 pm

Texas.

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Johnny N December 13, 2013 at 7:07 pm

Ooooh… ok. Well if you’re ever in LA, you can contact me.

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Christian Church December 13, 2013 at 7:09 pm

Thank you. I will.

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boxinggod January 27, 2014 at 10:38 pm

Do you know any good boxing gyms in Tampa Florida

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Vanessa February 26, 2014 at 12:27 pm

Hello. I started taking boxing lessons recently in this gym. It’s pretty new and own/run by a married couple who are also boxers. Both Christina and Silky do the training. There are group conditioning classes and individual training. Also you are free to use the gym at anytime while they’re open. Their website needs some working, but you can check out their Facebook page and Youtube videos.

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Vanessa February 26, 2014 at 12:28 pm
Kyle March 23, 2014 at 5:51 pm

Isn’t number of successful fighters an important factor too? There’s a gym here that has that youth program and is free, but it’s also turned out 14 Golden and Silver Gloves champions, the current national champion at 141 pounds and at least a couple notable pros.

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Johnny N March 23, 2014 at 7:02 pm

Well yes, good gyms will typically have champions. I would say you have to be careful about that. Because every legit boxing gym will have at least a past or current champion.

And the problem is that just because you see champions in there doesn’t mean you get access to the trainers of those champions. I’ve seen many nice gyms where the good trainers and fighters come only to use the ring and equipment. But they’re all off to one side doing their own thing while everybody else is on the other side doing the basic cardio-boxing BS.

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Nick May 22, 2014 at 7:22 pm

This is good advice . I started a new gym on a month to month. Big place with regulation ring and two smaller. Big and newer which didnt have thevfeel of s serious gym.They train competing guys but the trainer is in his twenties so i asked around snd went with another trainer. He speaks no english. First day he did mitts with me forvfour rounds and just said harder with no technique then had me do heavy bag speedbag jump rope and sbs and run 25 miniutes. On my second day he told me what to do and watched his one guy spar train another one and text. After an hour and a half of constant training he asked through his othrr student if i could get h blood pressure medication because im a nurse. Ive decided if i have to drive to the bronx from jersey ill do it. Lucky its a no committment gym.

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Tanveer Shera May 26, 2014 at 8:39 am

Hey Johnny, just recently switched to a new boxing gym. Reason I switched was because the old gym was only an MMA gym and didnt give the true boxing experience to me. Went and checked it out today and trained. Looked like a pretty good Gym to me lots of polite people, the ring was in use most of the time, lots of amateurs and pros training at the gym. The only thing that makes me worried is that when I came into the gym the Trainer said hi talked to me for a bit and let me do my own thing for the rest of the part. Is that how its supposed to be in boxing gyms because at my MMA gym there was more instruction I guess. Just a bit confused about that. Other than that the Gym is great the trainer is nice and same with all the pros. I think he was paying more attention to his pros because both of them are fighting next week and they were getting in some sparring. Just wanted to know your opinion on it.

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Johnny N July 22, 2014 at 8:39 pm

Spend some time there and see how you like it. Every gym has it’s own culture. Sometimes they don’t want to give you too much instruction because they don’t want to put too much pressure on you.

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john.bila June 6, 2014 at 1:28 am

i’m looking for boxing train

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brian June 23, 2014 at 7:38 pm

hey do you know any boxing gyms in new york/brooklyn that have decently priced gyms?

Thanks!

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Donna June 24, 2014 at 7:05 pm

Check out The Boxing District when you are in LA. Great authentic boxing gym.

https://www.facebook.com/BoxingDistrict

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Donna June 24, 2014 at 7:05 pm

Los Angeles that is*

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Joey matos July 2, 2014 at 8:03 pm

Im 16 i have a little mixed martial arts experience i stopped for a while but im looking to get back into it any gyms near woodbridge new jersey?

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