The first time that I walked into a gym that devoted to boxing, I put on a game face and swaggered up to an older man who I thought was the coach. I had been told by the field house staff that the coach preferred to talk to people who were interested in the program before they signed up. Much later, I learned why.
The older man indicated in his broken English that he was not the coach. He pointed to a younger man who walked in and eyed me suspiciously before taking a seat at his desk. The younger man told me that he ran a traditional gym, and was not in the habit of babysitting anyone. In other words, people were expected to work while they were there. Fortunately, I had been in a martial arts school the year before, and had taken a boxing class. The boxing instructor at the martial arts school there was a nice guy once you got to know him, but he was tough. He often put people in to spar early on. I told the young coach before me that I understood, and I would be signing up. He still gave me a dubious look, but gave me the okay.
During the first year or so that I was at that gym, muay thai paris I was the only woman in attendance. Slowly, other women joined, but they didn’t last long. Some left in the middle of a session, and some were gone after a couple of weeks. Very few actually stayed for the whole eight weeks, and of those who did, seldom did any sign up for another session. It’s not that some of the guys who came in weren’t dropping out but it was just that the women’s absences usually happened faster.
Women have boxed for a long time. There was a woman who stepped into a boxing ring back in 1772. It’s only in the 20th century – and late in that century – that female boxers were considered to be contenders who could draw people into arenas. Women still have a long way to go in the sport, however. Pick up any popular boxing magazine, and you’ll see that very little ink is given to female boxers. Not even the more well known boxers like Laila Ali, Christy Martin and Ann Wolfe get more than a few words, let alone sentences.
It also doesn’t help that there is not a clear career path for women fighters to follow. Males can come up through the amateur ranks, learning their moves by way of local boxing tournaments, charity boxing shows (or “show” fights), and the Golden Gloves. But it is not the same for women, many of whom start in the sport later, while in their teens and twenties, while most boys started formal training around age eight. Opponents for males are practically falling off ring aprons, while females find themselves hunting, sometimes fruitlessly, for other females who want to fight.
If a woman walks into a traditional boxing gym, then she must prove that she is there for a purpose. It doesn’t matter if she wants to compete or is just there for the workout. The world of boxing is still predominately male, and the girly-girl stuff is not going to work – at least while she’s inside the gym, anyway.
Do not come in expecting personal treatment unless you have paid for it beforehand. In a traditional boxing gym, the fee you pay – whether you pay it monthly, quarterly or yearly – only entitles you to come in and use the facilities to workout. That’s it. Some gyms offer group boxing lessons, and most have trainers that will work with you one-on-one, but those things cost extra. Keep in mind that you are not at an exercise gym with a juice bar and sauna rooms.