Marlene: On Boxing

Ten years ago, Marlene saw a poster advertising boxing as a great form of self-defense and exercise. Intrigued by the ad, she embraced this traditionally male dominated sport and to this day remains one of its strongest advocates.

Marlene is what you would call a white-collar boxer - a white collar professional who has chosen the art of boxing as a form of physical exercise. She works as a director of marketing for a tech company and as other white-collar boxers, doesn't fit the profile of the average boxer. Boxing clubs began attracting white-collar boxers to their gyms with advertisements just like the one seen by Marlene. "Boxing is the best workout in the world" beams Marlene. "It gives me great physical and mental satisfaction. Boxing is a great sport for women because it encourages you to be strong and not apologize for it. The reality of self defense training for women is that it is very hard to hurt someone as a woman, but boxing helps you find that strength."

Marlene trains in Calasanz' 6,000 square foot facility two to three times per week. She has been a member of Calasanz dojo for over 9 months. Marlene enjoys the well-rounded training program and it's emphasis on conditioning.

Because of Marlene's slim stature, she has difficulty finding sparring partners. As a rule, boxing sparring partners are paired up by weight class. Calasanz has managed to provide her with male sparring partners, as she is the only female in the boxing program. "I have found the men very welcoming and supportive. The only drawback is that they sometimes hold back when sparring for fear that they may hurt me," says Marlene.

While Marlene enjoys the sparring aspect of boxing, many who don't like to spar take advantages of the physical benefits of the boxer's workout. Calasanz offers both options at the school for those who are not interested in sparring. A boxer's workout includes a lot of bag work, shadow boxing, skipping rope and sparring with an opponent. Calasanz also adds his special conditioning program to the boxer's traditional workout to enhance its effectiveness.

In addition to the physical benefits of the sport, Marlene is also intrigued with the cerebral aspect of boxing. "You have to learn to read your opponent and anticipate how you will handle them. This is especially important for a smaller fighter who has to rely on her wits."

When asked for her opinion on the movement to ban boxing, Marlene had a different viewpoint. "Rather than banning the sport altogether, I feel that more precautions could be taken with requiring headgear for professional fights and careful, periodic assessments by trainers as to whether their fighters are physically capable of fighting."

"It is obvious that Marlene loves the sport and that she has the potential to be an excellent boxer," says Calasanz. "My objective is to help her polish her skills and become more aggressive in the ring. Marlene is serious about her training and makes the best use of her time here at the school.".