Meet Ina Menzer

Former German professional boxer and up to 2010 WIBF, WBC and WBO world champion in the featherweight division.
More often than not, things do fall into place. Shortly into starting this blog through the alumni club of my university I was presented with the opportunity to train a day with Ina Menzer in Hamburg, Germany. Taking time by the forelock I include this training session into this blog.
Ina, ethnic German born in Kazakhstan in 1980, started training at the age of 14. She won the first German women’s tournament in 2003 and gave her professional debut in 2004. In her career she fought 32 fights of which she won 31. Ina ended her professional career in 2013 as superchampion of WIBF. She continues to promote boxing as personal and event trainer.

Training with a pro was extraordinary and natural at the same time. Ina is great, completely approachable and doesn’t make any fuss about her person. Ina warmed up just as the rest of us did. As this was an introductory session with most participants having zero box experience, Ina explained the fundamentals in detail. For me this was valuable as well. I started boxing being thrown in at the deep end with basic instruction and training from day 1 with an experienced group. Neither way is the superior way. You learn and improve quickly by doing. Nevertheless, even a few months in, any thorough explication is a welcome reminder for advancement. For example, I have never given thought to the correct fist clench. You will read about it in an upcoming post.

GWB meet Ina punch bag

In this session we received an overview of all 4 basic punches which we trained in pairs of two and against the punching bag. Ina gave every participant individual attention as well as cheering us to give our all. The 1.5 hours session ended with a 2 minute sparring round for every one, followed by prolongation and closing talk.

GWB meet Ina ring     GWB meet Ina fight

Credits: ALUHH e.V.

Strangely, the session didn’t feel as tough as my regular ones, probably owing to the beginner’s constitution of part of the group. If you have a good trainer at your gym you learn just as much and push yourself way beyond what you believed you are capable of. Training with a pro though, seeing them in real life, will actually let you believe you can.

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