The sun and fun seekers of you who travel to or maybe even live for some time in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, your best choice is to check out Ipanema Fight. Internet presence in Brazil is not always the sleekest. Facebook is a good alternative for current information.
The studio is located on R. Visconde de Pirajá, 151, in Ipanema as the name fittingly suggests. Chances are you stay in one of the neighborhoods Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon or close by. It’s just a short hop from Praça General Osório, in between R. Teixeira de Melo and R. Farme de Amoedo. Through a small entrance the staircase leads up to the first floor where Ipanema Fight appears in bright yellow in front of you.
Ipanema Fight is my alma mater of boxing, my home if you so will and I will always hold it dear to my heart. It is a compact studio mostly consisting of one training room laid out with blue and yellow tatami mats overseeing the busy main street. They offer several martial arts, here I focus on the boxing class only. What makes it special is the mixed group and most importantly Elli, ruthless and equally precious trainer. Of course, Elli is tough, just as probably any trainer in martial arts is, but he cares a lot about his protégés and gets you in shape in no time.
Credits: Chris Brown
The group being heterogeneous is another asset of this studio I personally liked very much. Men, women, Brazilian, foreigners, young and older, experienced or newbie, every one is welcome and trains side by side.
As I said, I had never really boxed before. Here at Ipanema Fight it’s dive right in from the beginning. The first half hour is getting in shape in all its forms. After that a quarter of technical training followed by extensive sparring. In my experience this seems to be the approximate routine of most sessions in box training. Being new, Elli gave me an intro into the basic punches and movements. Everything else I learned together with the group as we went on.
You can always show up for a free class at Ipanema Fight. If you don’t have gloves yet, they always have a few spare community sets (Ew!.. but it’s doable for a few times). If you decide to stay you have have three time slots, one in the morning and two at night:
- 7:00 AM on Tue + Thu
- 6:00 PM on Mon, Wed + Fri
- 9:00 PM on Tue + Thu
I went with the three times a week class on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. This is the one Elli teaches and I can highly recommend it also because if you need to miss one class you still have two per week to go to.
After the free class you can join for monthly or more long-term plans. Prices in Brazil vary due to inflation and exchange rates. Additionally to a small inscription fee, I paid R$ 185 monthly at the end of 2014, that was about US$ 75 back then.
Pronta para lutar!