Valentine's Day | Couples Boxing: Fighting for love, fitness and self-defenseWritten by Lee Cleveland
Will you be my Valentine..er.. sparring partner?
Yes, sometimes we take shots at the ones we love - Figuratively and literally.
But a healthy, long-lasting relationship often means rolling with the punches.
So have you considered bobbing, weaving and unleashing shots on your honey (literally) all while getting in shape?
Couples boxing is a non-credit exercise class offered at the University of Cincinnati's Campus Recreation Center and some insist it's a wonderful way to bond and get in shape while learning the fundamentals of boxing.
Each person registers separately, and there are only 5 couples permitted per class.
Robert "Boom Boom" James, a former Ohio Golden Gloves and Silver Gloves champion, is the teacher and Couples Boxing is his brainchild.
"We just wanted to pique the interest of more people. The young ladies, they might think. ‘Boxing? I'm not about to do that,'" he told WCPO Channel 9 News in Cincinnati last Valentine's Day.
"Then they get in there with their significant other and the feel more secure, and are more inclined to do it."
Whether married or dating, couples who have participated seem to have had positive feedback.
"I think with whatever we do, we try to keep it nice," Lauren Jackson, a participant said. "Even though we're getting a little aggressive, you still got to keep the love for each other."
Liftting weights and jogging, like a relationship, can get monotonous so finding exercise routines/programs that both sexes enjoy can be challenging.
However, boxing's basics are easy to understand and no move, even if repetitious, is quite the same. Moreover, individuals can burn upwards of 500 calories in a hour.
"That's one of the reasons why I wanted my girlfriend to do it with me," said UC grad student T.J. Kelly.
"He was so interested in taking the class that he recruited friends to fill the roster."
"When you're comfortable with yourself and you've thought about how to defend yourself, how to diffuse certain situations, it's something you're a lot more comfortable with."
But James hopes his pupils learn more than defense, pivoting and punching techniques. After all, this isn't about competing.
"You think boxing, throwing punches at people — and you think it's about to be serious," said James. "But not at all. They have a fun time."
In the end, it's all about enhancing confidence in both men and womenwhile learning self defense and achieving physical fitness together.
Relationship experts insist when challenges and obstacles are overcome side-by-side, relationships are strengthened.
Can programs like Couples Boxing add fire to humdrum realtionships while strengthing the mind and body?
Source: WCPO Channel 9
Lee is Managing Editor of FightSaga.com, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.
A gym rat in the 1990s, Lee was trained by 1976 Olympic Silver Medalist Charles Mooney and several retired seasoned pros. He was also a sparring partner for former WBA Super Middleweight Champion Steve Little who upset Michael Nunn for the WBA Super Middleweight Title in '94.
Lee created FightSaga.com to honor and preserve boxing's rich heritage, chronicle the achievements of top fighters, celebrate the legacy of big fights and provide a fun, educational experience for fight fans.