Unwrapping Gifts in All Minds

B1 January 17, 2014
We like to think of this as a place that
prepares you for the fight of life.
By June Fakkert
Epoch Times Staff
NEW YORK—Walk down two
floors under Church Street in
lower Manhattan, and you enter
a gym that’s as real as they come.
The concrete walls of Church
Street Boxing gym are covered
with posters and newspaper articles mostly about athletes who
have trained there. Punching bags
of different shapes and sizes dan-
We have a lot
of fun together.
We egg each
other on.
Farah, gym member
gle from 20-foot-high ceilings, and
the centerpiece is a full-size boxing ring. Other workout equipment includes barbells, kettlebells, a climbing rope, heavy-gauge
chains, and giant tractor tires.
But the gym is not just for fighters. It attracts people of all ages
and from all walks of life from
7-year-olds, to financial-sector and
blue-collar workers, and a lot more
women than you might expect.
Farah, a social worker who
takes several other fitness classes
at different facilities, said she
keeps coming back to Church
Street Boxing for the community.
“I like the people that I work out
with because everybody’s serious
about working out. It’s not wishywashy,” she said, adding that they
all give it their best. “But it’s also
fun. We have a lot of fun together.
We egg each other on,” she said.
“It’s a real fight gym, but it’s
unique because the everyday
person—the women—they feel
welcome here. They don’t feel
threatened. They get a hard-core
workout. They feel like they’re getting the real thing, but they don’t
feel threatened,” said co-owner
and senior trainer Jenaro Diaz.
According to Diaz, in some
classes they have a standing challenge that people can earn a free
personal training session if they
climb a rope to the ceiling during
circuit exercises. When someone
tries, the whole class stops and
hoots and hollers encouragement.
Famous Fighters
You Could Have
Run into at Church
Street Boxing Gym
• 1. Mike Tyson: b. 1966, Brooklyn, New York. The youngest
heavyweight boxing world
champion in 1986, also won
1987, 1989, 1990.
• 2. Evander Holyfield: b. 1962,
Atmore, Alabama. Five-time
heavyweight boxing champion: 1990, 1993, 1996, 2000,
• 3. Joey Gamache: b. 1966
Bath, Maine. Super featherweight champion in 1991.
Lightweight champion in
• 4. Felix Trinidad: b. 1973
Cupey Alto, Puerto Rico. Welterweight champion 2000,
light middleweight champion, 2000–2001; middleweight champion in 2001.
Fight of Life
The core of the programs are boxing, kickboxing, and martial arts,
but they also offer yoga and bootcamp classes.
Diaz also opened a regular class
for kids as young as 7 who want to
learn boxing—and the self discipline that accompanies fighting.
See Boxing on B2
• 5. Leslie Stewart: b. 1961
Laventille, Trinidad and
Tobago. Light heavyweight
champion in 1987.
Members work out at Church Street Boxing Gym in Lower Manhattan. Founded in 1994, the gym
offers yoga and bootcamp classes to complement its core boxing and martial arts programs.
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