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Garfield Boxing

Azure Savage

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Walking in, you see punching bags and other workout equipment. A welcoming atmosphere hangs in the air as people are preparing for a workout.
Although they are a hidden gem, free boxing classes are available to all Garfield students who are interested. Classes run every Monday through Thursday, from 4-6 pm at the Garfield Teen Life Center. The instructor, George Credit, is currently on a break, but the classes are expected to resume by May.
“Boxing was one of my jobs, and I bought it to the GTLC. I found George Credit to coach, and that’s just how it began,” said Kevin Roberson, the co-instructor and co-founder of the boxing program.
There isn’t a ton of boxing going on in Seattle, according to Roberson. A few gyms are available, but it isn’t nearly as popular as it is in other areas. This has allowed GTLC boxing to work with the few other boxing gyms in the area.
“Sometimes we go to other gyms and see what other people are doing. We try to model our practices after professionals,” said Roberson.
The GTLC tries to give Garfield students a place to learn, grow and build lifelong skills. Similar to occupational education classes, boxing can become a job and this class passes on abilities for employment. The GTLC has offered multiple classes such as photography and fishing. Having marketable skills is an easy way to succeed later in life.
Like many sports coaches, Roberson and Credit have gone through the same training that they now instruct.
“We teach through our own experiences. We learn together and focus on what we know and don’t know,” said Roberson.
Coaches treat the class like any other sport. Hard work is asked for, whether you come one time or everyday. You can expect to be treated like a professional athlete when you show up.
“Boxing is tough, it’s an everyday thing. We try to instill professional habits that would be expected in the job and practice religiously,” said Roberson.
Every class starts with a warm up to get people moving and their blood pumping. Then it moves into basic exercises. These are the base for all boxing that happens in the class.
“We always work on hand-eye coordination, footwork and punching mechanics. All of these skills build muscle memory, which is a critical piece of boxing,” said Roberson.
After basics are covered, the class begins working on advanced technique. However, advanced is relative, as all levels are found in the class and everyone is working at their own pace.
“A lot of what we work on in this time is tailored to specific people. We work on building strengths, and more importantly, improving weaknesses,” said Roberson.
Classes aren’t all work though, and when you go you can expect to have a good time. The class is structured to be fun and have people feeling accomplished after.
“We take breaks and a lot of the time you’re free to work on what you want,” said Roberson.
Like many other sport practices, the session closes with a core workout.The class varies from about 6-8 people coming regularly, but more are welcome.
“Each class we usually have one or two people who are just trying it out, and the rest are regulars,” said Roberson.
Anyone is welcome to join the class and there is no previous skill required to join. You can earn P.E. credit, build self defense skills, and learn about boxing.

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Garfield Boxing