Co-chair Katy Hinton hitting the heavy bag on Oct. 26 at Body Shot Boxing Club.
This month I had the privilege to sit down and chat with Mark Rockwood '14 and Manuel Hallivis Perez '14, co-founders of the newly-founded Chicago Booth Boxing Club. We chatted over yoghurt about boxing, fitness and discount rates.
Chicago Business: What was the impetus behind starting the Boxing Club?
Mark Rockwood: We originally started it because we love boxing, the workout and the fitness aspect. The goal is to get an interested core of people, get the word out about the workouts and the gym we're partnering with. We already have social events once per quarter but as we get more people, we want to have more events with boxing clubs from other schools and hopefully a charity boxing fight night.
Manuel Hallivis Perez: I've always been interested in boxing; Mark and I met during banking recruiting and wanted to box with others. We started talking to people and Mark was really the driving force behind getting it started.
CB: Say I have no experience in boxing and I find it intimidating, but I'm interested. How do I get started?
MR: The first thing to realize is there is no sparring so you're not going to get hit in the head or the body. It really is fitness. For those who want to take it the extra step, they can do it on their own at the gym. We go through the basics from stance and footwork, to how you put your wraps on. At the end of the day it's an hour of non-stop cardio fitness.
MHP: Seventy percent of our members have no boxing experience. Boxing works great for all fitness levels because everyone can do as many pushups as works for them. The punching part is all muscle memory and after a while everyone is on the same level.
CB: Do you have any advice for women who may be interested in joining?
MR: So one of our key members, Katy Hinton '14, is a co-chair. About a third of our group is female and they keep coming back. The intimidation of getting hit often plays into women's minds and I would remind them that you can do boxing without hitting somebody and getting hit.
MHP: The most important part of the club is the workout and so there is no risk of getting hit.
CB: I hear boxing is a lot about strategy and intellect. Do you find it mentally challenging?
MHP: You need to remind yourself of where your hands need to be and how you need to punch. Which punch and where you're going to move depends on what you're thinking. This comes much more into play when you're sparring. For example, if you get mad and you're throwing punches you've already lost.
MR: The strategy part is when you're sparring, but the mental toughness of training comes from just not quitting; when your muscles are exhausted and depleted of oxygen and you want to stop, that's the hard mental part.
MHP: That's when Mark's encouraging yells come into play. [chuckles]
CB: Do you think boxing skills apply to business school?
MR: Definitely! Not quitting applies to life - not just business school. It takes discipline and the more you do it and the more you practice, the better you get and the more fun you have. Just like business school. If you're not good at Corporate Finance from day one, practice over and over and eventually you'll love discount rates.