I’m not a bad guy, let alone a violent one. As a kid, I spent my time with my head in the clouds, rarely in playground conflicts.
When I came back in eighth grade, a student in the class started heckling me. Gently at first but seeing that I had no answer, he continued throughout the year. Luckily for me, I repeated my 4th grade and he moved up to the next grade. This unfortunately “comforted” me in the fact that I was not a “fighter”.
When I think back, it makes me smile. He was, however, physically smaller and less strong. But at that age, you can have moral ascendancy quickly. All it takes is a fight to lock in who dominates who.
The following year, I was robbed twice in the street, a few months apart, by local scum. The first time without violence, the second time with a good right in my face. At 15, that left its marks.
Since I was 15, I’ve always been afraid to fight. Even after I gained 15kgs of muscle with weight training (I went from 80kgs at 18 years old to 98kgs at 25 years old), I never managed to be reassured. I always had this insecurity in me when I was walking in the dark streets of Paris at night.
You’ll have to wait till I’m 30 to see a change…
Since my “mid-thirties crisis”, I have been facing more and more challenges. Each experience is often linked to a fear such as jumping in parachute to overcome my fear of heights or doing an Olympic triathlon to overcome my fear of swimming in open water.
All these challenges give me incredible energy but above all help me realize that anything is possible. Even without motivation.
05 September 2018 in a Parisian restaurant
My best buddy is friends with the founder of the Apollo Sporting Club : Benjamin Benmoyal. I had met Benjamin several times in the past but in my memories, he just had a small gym in the 11th. They now have 4 boxing club in Paris and have become the reference of Parisian boxing clubs.
Dinner is going great. After a few drinks, we talk about boxing and I talk about my fear of fighting. Benjamin offers me a deal: You come to train regularly and in 6 months, if you’re ready, I’ll get you in the ring for a real amateur boxing fight.
I look at my best buddy, who looks back at me and smiles. He knows me by heart. He knows that challenging me is the best thing you can do to convince me. “Okay, Benji, deal. In six months, I’m in the ring.”
STEP 1 > Find a good boxing club (if you are in Paris, go to the Apollo without thinking!) and buy the necessary equipment. I strongly advise you to invest in helmets and gloves. Don’t be within 50 euros because it can make all the difference. Especially when you’re going to start taking straight lines in your face.
STEP 2 > Set yourself a clear and fixed goal in time. Knowing that in 6 months, I will be in a ring in front of 300 people allowed me to stay focused and determined. This will help you especially at the beginning, during the learning phase which is destabilizing.
STEP 3 > If your goal is ambitious, I advise you to take private coaching lessons, especially at the beginning and just before the match. It is certainly an investment, but it allows you to progress much faster and to start in the right direction.
STEP 4 > Alternate your trainings. I have chosen the following programming:
- monday > sparing
- tuesday > coaching
- wednesday > sparing
- Thursday > coaching
- Friday > sparing
- saturday > bag hitting class
- sunday > jogging to clear the mind
Yeah, I trained six times a week for six months. The intensity of my training is linked to my personality and the ambition of the challenge. It’s up to you to adapt!
STEP 5 > Increase in intensity the 3 or 4 weeks before the fight. Lose weight, gain muscle and limit your outings. Be as focused as possible. By the time the bell rings to start the first round, it will be too late to regret anything!
BONUS > Make the most of the experience, win or lose. Find a nickname name (mine was “One Punch Man”), an intro music (mine was ACDC – Thunderstruck”) and even a costume (see below)! Tell yourself that getting into the ring is already a challenge in itself, a real challenge. Be proud of yourself.
Here’s the evolution of my technique over the weeks. By watching the videos one after the other, you will realize the evolution of my technique. Like what, everything is possible with discipline and training.
Ps: if you are in a hurry, you will find the video of the final fight at the end of the article!
MY FIRST AMATEUR BOX COMBAT – April 2019
I get chills when I watch this video again. It’s one of the most intense experiences I’ve ever had. The stress before the fight, the fear during the fight, the tears after the fight.
Thanks to Nacer, Benjamin and the whole Apollo Sporting Club. This memory is forever etched in my mind.