Rathbone Boxing Club in London’s Fitzrovia is a real boxing gym that eschews the “spit-and-sawdust” look for L:a Bruket amenities, fluffy towels and on-trend hardwood floors. But at it’s core it’s a community: Londoners from all different backgrounds looking for an outlet or an escape. Exercise improves creativity, mood and sleep patterns. And at a time where legitimate health and wellness—not rebalancing chakras and expensive gadgetry—is more important than ever before, genuine fitness is an investment worth making.
Anika Chiaventone, Operations Lead for Spotify Studio Productions and Facilities
What do you love about boxing? Boxing is a sport that doesn’t just train your body but also your mind. It teaches you to get back up when you are down and to face your fears head on. I have learnt so much about myself through boxing, and these are lessons that I can use in everyday life i.e. breathing techniques, as well as just general confidence. Also there is nothing better than hitting a bag at the end of a busy day at work.
Why do you box at Rathbone? Boxing clubs can be quite intimidating, especially for women. So when I first attended a session, I was really scared and worried. However, upon arrival I was greeted with such a nice and welcoming atmosphere that I felt right at home. The coaches are fantastic, very knowledgeable and non- judgemental, and you can tell that there is a true passion for boxing.
What do you do in your day-to-day life? I work as a Global operations manager for Spotify Studios Productions and Facilities. I manage physical podcast recording studios, as well as operational procedures on a global scale
What surprised you most about boxing? How humble you feel stepping into the ring for the first time. No matter how big your ego, once you are in the ring and you see someone across from you who wants to hit you, that ego will leave your body. Now I love that feeling and I can’t get enough of it.When I started boxing I was surprised by how much more there is to it. It’s not just hitting someone.There is so much technique to learn.
Can anyone box? Of course! All you need is the willingness to be challenged and to sweat a lot!
What is your signature or favourite move? My left hook. It’s my favourite punch.
Loui Blake, Entrepreneur
What do you love about boxing? There’s something primal about standing toe-to- toe with someone that’s hard to get anywhere else. It’s also probably the best fitness training you can get and it’s got me into the best shape of my life.
Why do you box at Rathbone? It has all of the professional instruction and intensity of a professional gym, made accessible to anyone that wants to train hard. Great facilities, well-located and there’s a welcoming vibe.
What do you do in your day-to-day life? I have a number of restaurant and football businesses. I work odd, long hours, and I often travel for work.
What surprised you most about boxing? Every time you think you’re getting good, you discover you’re way off. It’s frustrating beyond belief, but it’s a continuous cycle of learning.
Can anyone box? Yes, absolutely. There’s something everyone can gain from boxing, whether confidence or fitness.
What is your signature or favourite move? You can’t beat a well-executed body shot.
Sidsel Rytter Løschenkohl, Technical Project Manager | Business Analyst
What do you love about boxing? The more I learn about boxing the more I become aware of how much I still have to learn, and I love being on that journey of constant development. Boxing gives me an outlet for everyday frustrations. I can literally punch them out.
Why do you box at Rathbone? I have been to a lot of different boxing gyms in London, but for me Rathbone is a perfect fit: the technical boxing is great, there is a very homey small-town ambiance where people know each other, and the facilities are clean, spacious, and aesthetically pleasing.
What do you do in your day-to-day life? I’m a technical project manager in a blockchain startup—I manage people and the development of software, which ultimately brings transparency to supply chains in the diamond and luxury retail industries.
What surprised you most about boxing? How difficult it is to master it—boxing is about so much more than hitting something or someone, and the real masters know how to avoid getting hit at all.
Can anyone box? I believe that anyone can learn how to box—but if you’re in horrible shape you might benefit from getting your cardio at a decent level at first, as you’ll need both strength and fitness.
What is your signature or favourite move? I’m not that advanced—possibly a jab and a cross followed by a left hook?
Nithijounie D. E., Law Student
What do you love about boxing? I love that boxing allows me to release stress as well as improve my fitness. Boxing provides the perfect break from being hunched up at a desk and studying all day.
Why do you box at Rathbone? I box at Rathbone because of the atmosphere and friendliness of everyone there. Before my first session, I was a bit intimidated because I was a beginner. However, when I entered the gym, I immediately felt welcomed. It is clear how passionate everyone at Rathbone is about boxing, and it creates a really nice energy in the gym.
What do you do in your day-to-day life? I am a final year Law LLB (Honours) student at Queen Mary University of London.
What surprised you most about boxing? I was most surprised about how fast you can get tired from one round of boxing. Three minutes seems so short until you’re in the ring and doing all sorts of combinations.
Can anyone box? Yes, I believe that anybody is able to box, but I would not say that it is easy. I think that it requires a lot of patience and hardwork, but it will be worth it!
What is your signature or favourite move? My favorite combination is a double jab, cross, left hook, roll, left body-shot.
Zeeshaan Shah, Entrepreneur
What do you love about boxing? When it comes to fitness in professional sports, boxers are definitely the most fit. It is a tough sport and builds up strength, endurance, mental and physical fitness: the whole 360. The mind plays a big part in boxing; a big misconception about boxing is that the biggest or the strongest wins. that’s not true, the most intelligent wins; that’s why it’s called the sweet science.
Why do you box at Rathbone? It’s the only authentic boxing gym within central London that caters to city professionals.
What do you do in your day-to-day life? I’m a property developer cum tech investor. My work is high-pressure, with lots of travel, varying diet and late nights.
What surprised you most about boxing? How humble boxers are and the warmth of the boxing community overall. Boxing gyms have a very homely feel to them, where everyone is there to help each other be the best version of themselves. It’s quite the opposite of what you would expect.
Can anyone box? Of course. I had never boxed up until just a year ago, and now it’s my go-to for keeping fit! I actually lost 35 pounds this year and all I have done is boxing!
What is your signature or favourite move? Just working on my jab right now. It’s simplest yet most effective tool in a boxer’s arsenal.
Rebecca Brennan, Marketing Executive
What do you love about boxing? The constant learning, the discipline and as someone who has run for 20 years—marathons and ultra marathons—I am finding a whole new level of fitness.
Why do you box at Rathbone? I box at Rathbone because I love the quality of the coaching, the atmosphere and the passion that goes into making it a great place to learn.
What do you do in your day-to-day life? I work in marketing and I have been leading creative agencies as a founder and managing director for more than 20 years.
What surprised you most about boxing? How many different types of people from different backgrounds do it. I started boxing to vary my fitness routine. I had no intention of actually fighting, six months later I was signing up for a while-collar fight (cancelled due to Covid), but hopefully back on in 2021.
Can anyone box? Yep, in fact everyone should learn to box. It gives you the skills, confidence, mental alertness and emotional control to take things on in life.
What is your signature or favourite move? A screw shot to the head, or a check hook, or a jab to the head and down jab to the body, coming off the centre line.
Michael Rolph, CEO of Yoyo
What do you love about boxing? I love the mindset. So much needs to come together to be able to box, which makes you admire those who really achieve in the sport.
Why do you box at Rathbone? The location is a factor but really because it is by far the best boxing gym. It has great staff who are super talented boxers and trainers, as well a fantastic environment in terms of the set up.
What do you do in your day-to-day life? I’m the founder and CEO of Yoyo, a mobile technology company that automates payment and loyalty. We are growing superfast and every day is full of something different. It’s a great leadership challenge given the Covid environment.
What surprised you most about boxing? I grew up doing Taekwondo, so when I first started boxing, I thought it would be easy. The biggest surprise that I think hits everyone but certainly me, is just how quickly you burn out hitting the bag the first few times. It takes a long time to be able to hit and move for multiple three-minute rounds!
Can anyone box? More or less. The thing with boxing is you can choose the level you want to go. You don’t have to fight, you don’t have to spar, you can just train if you like. Of course, you can also do all of it.
What is your signature or favourite move? Not getting hit! I’m still working on that one! But my favourite move is stepping out of the ring.