Get Inspired: How to get into boxing

Farah Jamil joined Bellahouston Boxing Club in Glasgow just to get fit and now boxes competitively

How do I start?

With the likes of heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua filling out stadiums, boxing is as popular as ever. There are hundreds of gyms all over the United Kingdom. Club finders in Englandexternal-link, Walesexternal-link, Scotland external-linkand Irelandexternal-link will help you get started.

But what is boxing?

  • Boxing is a combat sport where two participants compete against each other.
  • The aim is to strike your opponent with punches to above the waist line over the course of an allocated number of three-minute rounds.
  • A judge(s) or referee will determine who has been the better boxer, i.e. who scored the most punches/points, and award him or her the winner.
  • Another way of winning is to knock your opponent down for a count of at least 10 seconds.
  • GB Boxingexternal-link has some great resources so that you can see what boxing is all about, and have a better idea of the rules and regulations.

Is it for me?

  • There are different weight categories which means boxing is for everyone.
  • You don't need to get hurt to enjoy boxing. But most people use the sport as a way of fitness rather than getting in the ring and or competing.
  • Skipping, hitting the punch bag or pads and different exercise drills are used in training and beginners can take it at their own pace.

I'm ready to rumble - what to expect when I start?

  • You don't need to worry about buying boxing boots or gloves, most gyms will provide you with the equipment needed when you first start.
  • Beginners will be taught the basics of footwork, how to throw a punch and you may do some shadow boxing or hit the boxing bag.
  • Boxing training can be intense, but it's a sport that teaches physical and mental discipline.
  • The constant moving and throwing of punches means you are giving your body a full workout while improving muscle strength.
  • It's also a fun and effective way of developing communication skills and can help people with self-esteem.
  • Almost 40% of boxing gyms have classes that specifically cater for women and girls.
  • Boxing-related exercises such as Boxerciseexternal-link are a good way to benefit from the fitness side of things.
  • Wheelchair boxing in making the sport more inclusive and England Boxing have produced a development planexternal-link to open up boxing to those with physical and mental disabilities.

To get you in the mood ...

Boxer Lawrence Okolie on being bullied at school for his weight

All clubs need a chair, secretary and treasurer to help things run smoothly as well as officials, coaches and judges. Whatever role you're interested in, Join Inexternal-link has opportunities to volunteer in your area.