We caught up with Steve Burke, founder and owner of The Armoury Boxing Club to find out more about ‘white collar boxing.’
What inspired you to open a boxing gym?
While I have other business interests, The Armoury is born out of passion. Established in April 2010, it was opened to make boxing, and boxing-related physical training available to all (all ages, genders and races because ‘everyone is equal in the ring’). It was also created to arrest the decline of boxing, which has become increasingly marginalised as a young person’s amateur sport out in the townships, and for a select few in the professional stables. It’s funny, but so many of our new members, men and women, say ‘my father used to box’ – well now their generation can too!
What does The Armoury offer?
The Armoury offers an amazing journey of self-discovery that shows people that they are stronger, physically and mentally, than they could ever have believed and we are often told how ‘The Armoury transformed my life.’ Our classes and personal training build the fitness base and, for those who wish to experience the exhilaration of the ring, sparring and white collar fight nights offer a thrilling adventure.
Where does the name, ‘The Armoury’ come from?
I am a former officer in the British Parachute Regiment (and was the manager of the British Army boxing team), so the military connotation of the word ‘armoury’ appealed. It also means an ‘array of resources available for a particular purpose’ and that’s what we offer: the full range of resources to be fit, confident and capable of tackling life’s challenges. The real answer, however, is a little less prosaic: we established the gym in the heritage Armoury building in Buchanan Square, Woodstock, so I guess you could call that serendipitous.
How is boxing different from other types of fitness?
Good training is purposeful and is about running faster, throwing further, being able to crawl, jump and climb, etc. Boxing is the best, not just because it provides the best all over workout, but because it draws on everything – skill, fitness and heart – for the most primal purpose, which is to defend yourself and others. As the saying goes, ‘boxing is the sport to which all others aspire.’
How can females get into boxing?
Females can get into boxing simply by joining The Armoury; the only constraint is their own perception. The ‘fight of the night’ awards at our last two Fight Nights have gone to female bouts.
What events do you host?
We hold three ‘regular’ Fight Night events a year at The Armoury. We also run ‘zero to hero’ boxing courses for the financial services and professional services industries, which culminate in special events that bring their whole industries together in a spirit of friendly rivalry. The next is the Financial Services Charity Fight Night on 3 March 2016 in The Cape Quarter, which will pit bankers against insurers against asset managers. We also hold special functions, the next being a really cool Fight Night at the Protea Fire & Ice Hotel on 6 February 2016.
What’s next for The Armoury?
Next for The Armoury is launching the Armoury Academy in January 2016. The Armoury Academy will deliver basic fitness training to adults and youths through schools. It’s a great concept that makes decent physical activity affordable and accessible within the community, and we’re aligning it with healthy meals and snacks from U Cook for a full wellness offering – and the schools will get a share of the revenue, so everyone benefits.
When Mondays to Saturdays from 6 am. Last classes start at 6:30 pm. See the schedule for details.
Where Buchanan Building, Buchanan Square, 160 Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock, Cape Town
Cost All membership options are competitively priced
Contact +27 21 461 9141, [email protected], www.armouryboxing.com