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Fight club

Samantha Chiew
Samantha Chiew • 5 min read
Fight club
Put up your dukes – boxing is great for working out
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Put up your dukes – boxing is great for working out

SINGAPORE (Feb 14): Although the first rule of Fight Club is to not talk about it, Options is about to break that rule and reveal some places in Singapore to learn how to throw a proper punch. Apart from martial arts being a good form of self-defence, it is also becoming more popular as a form of exercise as you get a solid full-body workout from every session.

Main image: Learn martial arts and know how to defend yourself while getting a great full-body workout

Recently, I had the chance to try out a boxing class at Evolve Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Singapore. They are touted as Asia’s premier championship brand for martial arts. Evolve also prides itself on its champion instructors, all of whom have scored wins in many competitions. In fact, I was told the company also has the most number of world champions out of any martial arts school in the world. Apart from boxing, they also offer other martial art classes such as Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), MMA, wrestling, self-defence classes and more.

I was impressed. And I knew I was in good hands. The boxing instructor that led the boxing class I was in was Drian Francisco. The man had a string of wins under his belt – a WBA Boxing World Champion, WBO Asia Pacific Champion, WBA International Champion, IBF Pan Pacific Champion and more. The Filipino is known for his powerful punches and aggressive style, not surprising for someone who came up and trained alongside Filipino world champions Manny Pacquiao and Jerwin Ancajas.

Despite his rather scary resume, Francisco turned out to be a very patient teacher who taught me the in and outs of the sport in just one lesson. When I arrived, the first thing Francisco did was teach me the “boxing stance” and how to move around the ring. Having never tried it before, it felt foreign but having an encouraging coach helps. The trainer wrapped my hands up and then put them into a pair of boxing gloves. It was time to box. In that one session alone, I learnt three types of boxing moves – jab, hook and uppercut. Finally, I had to incorporate my footwork and boxing techniques together in a sparring session with Francisco. The end result was a good full-body workout that especially works the muscles in the arms, shoulders and thighs.

Whether or not you lead an active lifestyle, it is recommended that first-timers join a one-on-one course to familiarise themselves with the basics before joining Evolve’s group sessions. Here are some places we recommend you try.

Bashing away your work stress

There are plenty of martial arts gyms in the city but here are some places we recommend you try.

The Jungle

It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or an advanced fighter, the classes at The Jungle are catered to all. Members are separated into groups according to their experience level. The most popular class here is the Muay Thai class that is scheduled five times a day. This gym also prides itself on its high member retention rate as most who join are satisfied with their fitness results and many end up competing in martial arts events.
35 Boat Quay

The Ring

Pick from over 70 classes a week at The Ring, all sure to give you a good combination of cardio and resistance training. The Ring’s 7,500 sq ft flagship outlet in River Valley is filled with specialised equipment but its newest outlet in Cecil Street focuses on boxing and fitness offerings. It also prides itself on being the only authentic boxing gym in the city, that teaches boxing the “old school” way.
137 Cecil St, Hengda Building #01-02

Impact MMA

Impact MMA was founded in 2010 by professional fighter Bruce Loh and claims to be a “real fighter’s gym”. The gym also produced Singapore’s first and only Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter, Royston Wee. Just last year, Impact launched a Junior Squad Programme for children to learn martial arts in a fun and safe environment. Walk-in classes start at $42 per class for non-members, but you may contact the gym and attend one free trial class.
3 Shenton Way, Shenton House #03-06A

Gear up

A big part of working out is about what you wear. Here, we pick out something both functional and fashionable.

Stay connected

G-Shock’s latest G-Squad watches allow you to track your workout while looking fashionable. Once the watch is linked to the G-Shock Connect mobile app, you will be able to access functions that can help enhance your workouts.
From $149 G-Shock Casio

Ample support

Keep your chest in check with The Upside’s “Poppy” sports bra made from four-way stretch fabric that wicks away sweat and dries quickly. Perfect for your next yoga session!
$60.28 Net-A-Porter

Full movement

Have unrestricted movement between asanas with matching “Poppy” leggings from The Upside. These leggings are topped with an elasticated waistband and trimmed with dark-green velvet side stripes.
$105.62 Net-A-Porter

Safe keeping

Keep your things safe while you exercise in the Nike Tech Hip Pack. This sturdy waist pouch features two zip pockets to better store and organise your stuff, as well as an adjustable strap to customise your fit.
$65 JD Sports

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