My boxing home is Knockout Centre in Strand, just a short journey from home, and I love this place run by the excellent Corné Blom.

Until recently we were part of the CEY family, but they needed the space for their growing Crossfit classes and the boxing side of things needed space to grow too, so it felt natural to separate the two out.

The biggest joy of now being in our own venue is that the boxing ring is back! At CEY the ring had to be sacrificed due to space demands so it's great to have it back.

Knockout Centre is the only gym in the Helderberg area with a proper boxing ring which speaks volumes about the quality of the place!

J Is For Jab

The jab is arguably a boxers most important punch, though it's probably the one with the least power behind it.

Here Conrad is ducking my jab. I'm a southpaw (that will be my U post), so I lead or jab with my right hand.

I always think one of the highlights of church is being linked with other churches and outreach projects, supporting and encouraging one another to do our best as we serve the poorest and most vulnerable in our communities.

So at The Gathering it has been a real joy to support two Soup Kitchens in Macassar with monthly food contributions.

According to Marriam Webster, Incisive means: to be impressively direct and decisive (as in manner or presentation).

I thought this was particularly apt for boxing, a sport which on the surface may appear to be one of brute aggression and the basest of instincts, but is a sport that in reality has parallels with chess. I've seen how brutal some of those chess players are!

Like many other folk I'm appalled by the illegal invasion of Ukraine by Russia and feel powerless to do anything, so I'm proud of my favourite band for joining with Andriy Khlyvnyuk of Boombox to raise funds for Ukraine.

The new track can be purchased here.

The Blogging From A To Z Challenge doesn't work on Sundays so I thought I'd sneak an extra H post in given that yesterday's letter was H. If you're visiting from the A2Z Challenge, my H post is here.

So this is H For Health - An Update...

Last year ended poorly from a health & fitness perspective. I already knew and accepted that between going on holiday in late September and hopefully flying to the UK for Christmas in late December I would be battling to keep the weight off, after all, what are holidays for if not a bit of indulgence...

Prior to the Covid lockdown we had never really given much thought to setting up a home gym but it ended up being a tremendous blessing to the whole family. You can read a bit about how and why we set up the home gym here.

Initially we only had the small punchbag, but a bit later we were able to get hold of a proper 50kg heavy punchbag and that made a world of difference to our home boxing sessions.

It was an all action night at The Gathering's Soup Kitchen last night.

Whilst the Soup Kitchen itself passed off peacefully as usual, thank you LORD! It was chaotic outside with one of the local youngsters getting herself run over causing the driver to crash in to a parked car.

Amazingly the ambulance actually turned up (they rarely do in these communities!) followed by a fire engine (why?!?) and eventually a traffic cop showed up too.

G Is For Guard

I touched briefly on this in my E Post on Evasion, but there is a bit more to say about the boxer's guard in the ring.

The guard is arguably the most important part of the boxers game, given that the defence and attack all spring from a good guard.

There are several different guards which can be employed by a boxer, but a good boxer will employ more than one, if not all of them at some point during a fight. 

Friday night is fight night - this used to be an exciting refrain to hear as a kid, and even now I find it quite exciting, though one rarely hears it.

At the tender age of just 54 I had my first real life experience of Fight Night as my boxing gym hosted an evening of White Collar (my W post) boxing.

My fight was with Conrad who became a good buddy and went on to be a great help to my son as he went to college to study sound engineering.

Anyway, back to fight night...

We had a great fight and though we were the lowest billed fight on the card that night, we were voted *Fight Of The Night* because we went heavy ad hard and really battered each other. It was a LOT of fun!

It has been said that boxing is the art of hitting without being hit. I can't find any attribution for this, but there is an element of truth about it.

It's easy to think of boxing as pure pugilism in which two opponents merely slug it out, hitting each other as hard as they can until one is knocked out. However, boxing is about the defense just as much as it is about the offense.