The sweet science of boxing can help improve your physical fitness, but more importantly it can provide a network of support and fundamental skills that carry over to life outside the ring.

That’s the outlook of Rob Fillmore, coach, and man behind the scenes at Precision Boxing Club and Fitness in Nanaimo, who has turned the small boxing workout facility into a thriving network of coaches and mentors. With their help, he’s been reaching out to the underprivileged youth of Nanaimo in an effort to help keep them off the streets.

“We just try to provide some consistency, that’s the goal. I’ve been able to establish a pretty good foundation for Precision by offering some decent programs. We’ve got good momentum and good people,” said Fillmore, as students behind us threw rapid jab-right cross combos at heavy bags held by their peers.

Boxers of all ages and skill levels are welcome to come try their hand at the sport. Fillmore has added co-ed boxing and fitness classes that include a variety of activities, including resistance training, heavy-bag drills, and basic technique development.

“We would spend a good amount of time initially making sure everybody has sound basic boxing skills, and build it from there. The first phase is 15 sessions, and each class is an hour in length. It’ll hopefully introduce you to a new way of being fit and skilled,” said Fillmore.

Bob Pegeus, another coach at the club, orchestrates a cacophony of background sound ranging from the whirring of jump rope to the whack-whack-whack of well-wrapped hands hitting leather. Both coaches train potential fighters to embrace the rhythmic nature of the sport.

It’s more of a dance; people tend to think it’s all about the hands, but it’s really about the shifting of weight, the dance we all try to master. Once you’ve found your rhythm, you’ve found your swagger and flow,” said Fillmore.  

Providing students with confidence outside the ring is something Fillmore stresses as a benefit of boxing. “It’s amazing. When a student really commits, and starts pushing their boundaries, they tend to learn about themselves.”

The gym’s members are a diverse group of characters. Fillmore takes pride in the fact the sport appears to be growing in popularity amongst the youth, along with increased interest in mixed-martial arts and boutique fitness studios. The young fighters say the unique workouts and intense coaching drew them to the sport and the gym. As well, the drop-in program begins with 15 sessions for $99. This low barrier of entry allows would-be fighters the freedom to come-and-go as they please, much like other fitness centres, while also having the added benefit of personal trainers.

For those interested in taking a swing at it, the group meets three times a week (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) with a variety of time slots available based on your aptitude and personal schedule. Precision Boxing club is located at 4286 Departure Bay Rd. Additional information can be found on the club’s Facebook page.