THE FIGHTER IN YOU

FOL­LOW­ING THE UP­TAKE OF COM­BAT SPORTS IN FIT­NESS TRAIN­ING, THERE’S CLEARLY MORE TO THEM THAN BLACK BELTS AND BLACK EYES. THOUGH, ARE THEY WORTH THE RISK?

GQ (Australia) - - GQ TASTE+TRAVEL -

Not so long ago, if you wanted to start box­ing, the only op­tion was a sweaty old build­ing re­sem­bling a ware­house more than a gym. In­side, the sound of heavy breath­ing ac­com­pa­nied by the pound­ing of cowhide leather on pads (or flesh). Now, the story is dif­fer­ent. Walk into most ma­jor gyms in the world and you’ll find an ar­ray of classes in any­thing from box­ing to Brazil­ian jiu-jitsu. Dis­ci­plines once con­sid­ered an ex­cuse for mind­less vi­o­lence have be­come le­git­i­mate sports – more so, some of the hard­est in the world. And for good rea­son. One hour of box­ing will burn close to 750 calo­ries, com­pared to 470 dur­ing cir­cuit train­ing. And that’s with­out even men­tion­ing the tech­ni­cal dif­fi­culty in­volved. Yet, the ques­tion still re­mains: with a full-time job, daily meet­ings with clients and a gen­eral de­sire to keep your face in­tact, is it pos­si­ble to take up com­bat sports with­out risk­ing a col­lec­tion of un­flat­ter­ing bruises for all in the work­place to see? Speaking to Thi­ago Ste­fanutti of Mel­bourne’s Ab­so­lute MMA, the an­swer is a re­sound­ing yes. As some­one who has trained mul­ti­ple world cham­pi­ons in Brazil­ian jiu-jitsu, he tells us, “Mar­tial arts are the fu­ture of the fit­ness in­dus­try”. “Lots of peo­ple want to train like a fighter but they don’t nec­es­sar­ily want to be a fighter,” ex­plains Ste­fanutti. “They don’t want the scary part… I’m to­tally happy to see peo­ple use mar­tial arts to im­prove their fit­ness.” Tempted to ditch the tread­mill for the gloves? If so, use this break­down to dis­cover which sport, from the clas­sics to the new­bies, is right for you. And whether you want to ac­tu­ally en­ter the ring – that’s en­tirely up to you.

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