"Coffee, tea, and some psychology", how does boxing fit with this concept, is it a tender talk?
Boxing is a wonderfully tender talk. Body language during boxing exercises tells us more than a thousand words. As such, boxing offers a good fit with methodologies I apply in "normal" sessions. It fits and often goes hand in hand. A boxing therapy session starts in a similar way as a tender talk, and also ends by wrapping up via evaluation of the session. It's only the methodology in between that's slightly different.
What is the objective of boxing therapy?
In general: In boxing therapy you may pick up a lot of understanding about your automatic responses to triggers in the environment that can 'move' you. Move you both literally (by defending against soft punches) as figuratively (emotions). Often, our bodies mirror quite automatically the responses we also encounter in talking therapy. This may help to gain more direct insights into your anxiety responses, your coping mechanisms, and your emotions. Boxing therapy can help you to feel more self confident and increase your comfort and trust in your own body and its strength. Of course, we'll determine your personal specific goal for boxing therapy at the start of the trajectory.
Boxing therapy, do I need to be an experienced fighter?
No. There's no fighting experience required to join in boxing therapy. We start very calmly by paying attention to the right techniques. This is necessary to prevent injuries as much as possible when punches on the punchbag increase in intensity.
Am I going to be hit?
Safety and the prevention of injuries is a prime objective. And by safety, I also refer to your subjective experience of security and comfort. You will be repeatedly invited to share your experiences and clarify and expand your boundaries. A boxing therapy trajectory builds up gradually from attention to techniques and movement towards more advanced interventions. For instance, we might start with practising via punches in the air (shadow boxing) or on the punch bag. Only when the basics are covered we'll move towards punching on the therapist's punch-pads or gloves. This facilitates the experience of reactions to an attack by stepping out, moving away, defending by blocking, or counter attacking. Always mild and with attention to physical and mental responses. When you start feeling more confident and are advancing technically, we might eventually include some practice fights (sparring); again, safety first. For instance by agreeing only to aim for the body and not for the head. All this is constantly monitored to fit your situational needs and the objective of your treatment trajectory.
Do I need to be fit?
If you would join a local recreational boxing club you'd definitely need to be fairly fit from the onset, or at least you'd be building up your physical condition rapidly. The attention and improvement in resilience, power, and speed make recreational boxing a 'hit' for many who dare trying. In therapy, the use of boxing techniques serves another purpose and everything will be paced a lot more. I can adjust the exercises and intensity to your level of fitness; for it's not the objective to improve physically or to become a great boxer.
Do I need to buy boxing gloves?
No. I have gloves available you may use. I do have to ask you to purchase a set of washable inner-gloves prior to the first session. Various online stores sell these for under 10€ (e.g. Bruce Lee brand).
What should I wear?
Wear comfortable clothing, and also bring a small towel. Please bear in mind there are no facilities to change cloths or shower.
Given the current pandemic, is boxing therapy possible or allowed?
Naturally, we will follow all guidelines as set forth by our local and national government. During boxing therapy we will be cautious and wear nose-mouth protection. As long as COVID-19 impacts daily life we'll ensure a safe distance (by making more use of shadow boxing and punch bag exercises). If you experience complaints potentially related to corona I can still ensure continuation of treatment by adjusting our trajectory to 'normal' sessions via video-calls, while still keeping the treatment objectives in mind. Boxing therapy is not physical exercise, but if the intensity goes up to ensure treatment progression, we do have the possibility to work outdoors.
Come and give it a go!