Western Boxing- post your experience

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Post  Admin on Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:34 pm

Is it me or are western boxing schools in the USA just don't care to teach the average joe? my experience is one mostly not a great one.

I've always have had an interest in western boxing cause you need to have good "hands' to be a competent fighter. I have trained with people who have no problem teaching me "a little of this and a little of that".

Here is my experience on searching western boxing schools over the years:

Having had a Tai chi teacher teach a few boxing basics this was my first experience with boxing. (tai chi was the Yin "water" work, while boxing was the yang "fire")I was only able to pick up the basics of punching and weaving under the hook. More time and interest however was spent in Tai Chi, bagua, and hsingyi so I didnt go that boxing avenue, but the teacher was a American and willing to teach. This guy is great but i dont live in that city anymore. his blog:

12 years later when MMA was exploding, they had a boxing class at the MMA gym. I didnt originally go for boxing nor muay thai, but to train in BJJ. The boxer was cool and I started to like the mauy thai to reinforce the san shou training i had previously learned. The Pro boxer (Derek) who taught was also Crossfit certified. He was Puerto Rican (student of Robert Crawford
... and very cool and open to teach. However it was a MMA school and boxing was not the agenda. Class had some basic hands/foot stepping skills but generally was same every time: shadow boxing rounds, some focus mitts sets, strength condition at end of class, no sparring. sparring was geared towards the Muay thai and MMA fighters since it was not an official boxing gym nor did we have a ring. So the other boxers who were there went to train with Pro fighter Daryl Tyson
... but when i asked to go , the saying was, "Daryl doesn't want to meet you , he only trains fighters." Even though i was a fighter and interested in fighting more, the teachers would not hook me up, only a few of the boxing instructors were allowed to go.

Seeking other schools:

Washington Sport and Health: they had two boxing trainers, one was a pro boxer, and the other was brother of pro fighter Winky Wright. Again this was centered toward fitness boxing and very general. good cardio with a little bit of bag, mitt, and other conditioning work. However this was a general fitness class and no sparring for sure.

Olympia boxing: I wrote about them here:


However, there is no way I would want to go to that school, seeing how Coach Jones treats prospects. He locked a guy out for coming a few minutes late. Like I really need to drive across town to go to boxing and arrive late only to be locked out. there could be many factors to arriving late: issue at job, traffic, all sorts of factors.

This and last year I checked out these gyms and never heard back from leaving phone messages and email:

Arlington Barcroft Center Boxing club is close to my home: Coach Willie Taylor, they focus on young inner city "at risk" kids that compete. open gym time is not condusive since for adults gym time is like 10 am to 3 pm on weekdays and i in the office at that time. Never heard back via email and phone messages. stopped by one time, but not allowed in gym without a county membership.


Alexandria boxing club is very close to the office. Coaches Dennis Porter and Kay Koroma . Heard not to go there and they were rude to my friend when he showed general interest, and he shouldn't of mentioned he learned Muay Thai while living in Thailand. They focus on young inner city kids that compete so they take precedence. i heard you might go there and not get any training in with over crowding.


I checked out the L.A. boxing by the office for the free class but it was 60 minutes of heavy bag work, plus they are like the McDojo of boxing. they have a bag rate as well.

Never heard back from Georgetown boxing club as well.

at Dr. Ken Fish's suggestion I emailed and also left message on Sugar Rays gym and havent heard back for about 5 days now, but in all cases, I feel in the DC metro area, nobody has interest in training a kung fu white dude approaching 40 who has already fought a few times.

Last edited by Admin on Mon Apr 09, 2012 7:12 pm; edited 1 time in total


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Post  Eric_Koeppen on Mon Apr 09, 2012 1:38 pm

I'd say probably show up at Sugar Ray's if it's not too far from you.
They're a bit more mainstream than the hardcore gyms, but not mcdojo-ish like LA Boxing (though there are some LA Boxings that train for real).
Most of these gyms are not the type to return phone calls or emails.
Honestly, the best way to get "in" at gyms that focus on inner city kids is to just keep showing up and earn your respect.
It's not going to be easy, and it'll probably involve you getting thrown to the wolves at least once.
BTW - most of your links don't work.

My first experience with boxing was training with pro Sanda fighter (and current US sanshou team head coach) Yi Yuan Li (Ian Lee).
Next was Raymond "Ndaba" Herbert, one of the instructors at Wong's Kung Fu in DC - mostly a kungfu school, but Ndaba has boxing, kickboxing, sanshou, kuoshu, and muay thai experience.
From there was Phil Golbrecht at Owings Mills Boxing club (co-located with Baltimore Sanshou).
Spent a few months at Baltimore boxing under Jake Smith; spent most of my time with a trainer named Jim; he looks like John Malkovich, close with Aaron Honeycutt, and at one time was on the US Sanshou team's coaching staff.
Spent over a year at BXF (Boxing Extreme Fitness) in Millersville under Sugar Ray's brother, Roger Leonard.
The muay thai class I went to on Saturday's in Virginia was held at a Tae Kwon Do school run by a guy named Kim that came up with Sharmba Mitchell in the amateurs - he used to have me spar all his guys.
In Fort Worth, I trained with Wayne Harrison out of Armadillo Boxing gym.
Most gyms I was thrown to the pros to give them a different look (I'm southpaw), at at least one gym I was the guy that they put in with "problem children" 'coz I'd spar nice until they started getting out of hand.

Notables that I've trained with include: Tony Jeter (pro at 150~160 with some KOs), Elias "The Golden Greek" Bouloubassis (pro in the 150s and 160s with a strong record), Marcus Henry (US Amateurs team at cruiser, currently a heavy), "Country" (never got his real name, won Maryland golden gloves 3 years in a row at the 140s), Brandon Harper (won maryland golden gloves at 153), Anthony "Pancho" Villa (an accomplished amateur lightweight out of Detroit), and a guy we called "Sugar Bear" (think his real name might be Ray Flores) - a pro heavy with a couple fights out of Fort Worth.

There's probably others I'm forgetting.
In my experience, the guys that fought in the 150~160s hurt the most. They were fast so they could hit you before you could see it and their punches had a jolting power that is a bit different than the clubbing power of most heavyweights. Most of them actually walked around at over 170.


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Post  Admin on Mon Apr 09, 2012 7:13 pm

Wow nice write up Eric thanks. thanks for the feedback, yeah stay consistent with the boxers and they might let you in and train with them. Oh and I corrected the links. they should work once you login. 2 of them had an issue.


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