We don’t know about you, but when we moved to Ultimo, one of the first things we went out to find was a decent boxing or kickboxing class.
Good quality kickboxing is the cornerstone of a solid neighbourhood, we think. Well, that, and mixed-use zoning, a sustainable development plan, affordable housing and childcare, good coffee, heritage protection, and eyes on the street. Oh, and cute men on bicycles, that generally helps too.
But you’ve got to have decent punching and kicking outlets: walkable, smelly, with good gear and wise instruction. We can’t emphasise this enough.
With all due respect to the bells, whistles and white-tiled niceness of the Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre Gym, their “boxing” classes are, well, boxercise for aging blokes. They’re disorganised, poorly explained, with little emphasis on technique. Bam bam bam. All the punches fly wild; it’s all chicken elbows, and no one is protecting their face. An uppercut merges into a hook, and sometimes even the instructor can’t throw a decent sharp jab.
Now, just to clarify, this is not an “underground kickboxing club”, so it’s by no means as hardcore or serious as they come … and the standard of the participants varies wildly, from extremely good, to complete beginners. Look, they all look so friendly:
What we like is the culture: serious, yet somehow hilarious. Extremely hard, yet somehow achievable. No bullshit, plenty of yelling, plenty of pay-outs, punishments and hard labour … and yet the abuse isn’t personal. We never feel shit about ourselves. Hard work is rewarded. Laziness is punished. The first few classes are mildly terrifying, but then you learn to use the adrenaline to your advantage.
Classes are held as follows:
Tues 6.15pm (arrive by 5.45 to sign up) - Beginners and everyone
Thurs 6.15pm - Advanced
Fri 6.15pm - Intermediate
Oh yeah, sometimes the aircon isn’t working…
Anyway, they have a Bootcamp coming up, on December 4 and 5, with at least five instructors, including Ben Ly, Lucy Day, and someone who looks and acts remarkably like Borat.