Parent Q&A

  • Boxing training for teens

    (4 replies)

    My 13 year old son loves to punch but hates to kick. So he HATES martial arts. But LOVES boxing. I have looked online and found very few places that do this kind of training for teens. I did see Boxing for Health in Oakland. Waiting for a reply from them. Any other recommendations? We live in Lamorinda and could travel to WC, Berkeley and Oakland. thanks!

    RE: Boxing training for teens ()

    Berkeley Ironworks, 800 Potter Street, Berkeley (510) 981-9900 offers Cardio Boxing as a fitness class.  My grad school son likes it.  Not sure if it's exactly what you're looking for. 

    RE: Boxing training for teens ()

    My 12-year-old son takes boxing through the Berkeley youth program at MLK Jr. Youth Services Center (at MLK and Oregon St.). He's often the youngest person there, but he loves it. Coach Ray and Coach Tone have been very encouraging. My son spends about half of the class doing conditioning work (jump rope, pushups, situps, and such) before moving to hitting the heavy bag, sparring, and learning footwork and positioning. It's three days a week (currently MWF) from 3:30-5:30 for $15/month. Sometimes he goes all three days; sometimes he can only make it to one class a week.

    For a different option, a friend and her teenage daughter take classes at Sobekick in Emeryville and love it. You could check that one out.

    RE: Boxing training for teens ()

    My son and a friend did Boxing for Health in Oakland and really enjoyed it.

Archived Q&A and Reviews


16 Year Old Son Who Wants To Box

Oct 2014

My 16 year old son has become interested in learning how to box. We live in Berkeley. Does anyone out there have any experience with finding a good boxing coach for private sessions and/or group lessons? Any advice would be gratefully received! Mom Who Knows Nothing About Boxing

My teenage daughter enjoyed the City of Berkeley boxing program offered at the gym next to Grove Park (across from the South Branch Library). You can sign up through City of Berkeley Parks & Rec or at the gym itself. Here's a link to the online guide: Marguerite

Boxing for a 12 year old boy

January 2006

I used to train at King Boxing Gym in oakland, right near the fruitvale bart station. It is a real boxing gym (andre ward, the olympic gold medalist trained there) and as far as I know the only serious boxing gym in the east bay-- but it also serves kids and middle aged adults as well. One of my students (I'm a teacher in a local middle school) trained there. The deal is your kid will sign up for lessons with a personal trainer who will guide them through all the aspects of the sport-- working the heavy bag, speed bag, conditioning, etc, for no more monthly cost than a berkeley ymca membership. They never have to get involved in contact if they don't want, but if they have a prediliction for it, it is possible as well. I think it is a wonderful outlet for anyone, as well as some of the best conditioning you can get. But it is a serious, funky gym--I haven't been there for about 3 years but I'm sure it hasn't upgraded much--just an old school boxing gym (think of the gym from the movie million dollar baby and you got a picture). It really depends on how serious your son is about the sport. I think it is worth checking out if you can get him there-- richard s.

My son an Instructor at the West Wind Karate School in Berkeley where they do train boxers also. I asked him about your questions and he said twelve is the youngest he would consider allowing a kid to box and only if the student was VERY serious about pursuing it. Generally the students take martial arts and then box at some point in their training but he said sometimes students just do the boxing. Martial arts proved, for him, to be a fantastic way to develop discipline, confidence and physical skills. I must say I worry when he is boxing because I don't think people's heads and necks are prepared for being knocked around like that but he seems to enjoy it. Go figure! Barbara S

As a neuropsychologist I would say you are correct in assessing boxing as a ''brain damaging'' activity. You may know that there is a specific dementia that boxers are susceptible to called dementia pugilistica. Why risk it? How about martial arts? These programs often include teachings on ethics and health, can provide very good exercise, strength and flexiblity, etc. My son just got his black belt after five years in the Berkeley Kuk Sool Won program (Korean martial arts) on Sacramento near Dwight, which I'd recommend. Robert

10-year old son is interested in boxing lessons

December 2001

My 10-year old son is interested in boxing lessons and a gym where he can work out. I would also like to be able to work out there if possible. Has anyone heard of such a place in Oakland, Berkeley or nearby?? andrea

Check out Emerson Fitness in Oakland - they are near 51st and Telegraph. Phone 653-8256. I work out there as well as my son he is 13 now. It is a small botique gym with trainers - very knowledgable. Owner is Mike Emerson - ask for him to help you find a trainer for your son, he is good at making matches. Deb