MEN, women and children are taking up boxing in bigger numbers than ever, to both improve their fitness and learn to defend themselves.
But that is not the best thing that comes from learning the sport of boxing, according to boxing coach and Myaree’s Gloveworkx Gym owner Pep Andrikos.
He said boxing could help people become a better person, imparting self-discipline and self-respect.
“A trainer can show someone what to do, but they won’t become successful unless they actually do it,” he said.
“The discipline to work hard and do what is asked of you by your trainer, day in, day out, that is when people develop real self-respect.”
Andrikos said people from white collar workers to young children were taking up boxing.
“It’s no different to when kids saw Madonna or Michael Jackson on TV and thought ‘I want to do that too’,” he said.
“Now people see boxing on TV and they want a chance to do it too.
“But boxing is never a competition between you and your opponent. It’s always between you and yourself; setting a personal goal and achieving it.”
Andrikos, who is a former national Tae Kwon Do champion and Perth Premier League soccer player, said women were often very motivated to succeed in the traditionally male sport and parents were keen to see their children being active and learn to defend themselves.
“When I was a kid, we did combat sports to prove something to ourselves,” he said.
“Now many parents are just trying to get their children to understand there is more to life than computer games.”
As far as his latest protege goes, Andrikos said Sgt Thwaites had a good punch and “is capable of surprising people with it”.
His oldest student took up boxing at 79 and learned to throw a decent punch in less than a month.