UFC Gym strikes Norfolk with new fitness classes

Are you tired of the same bland workout routine? If you are looking for an innovative and intense workout, then look no further than UFC Gym Norfolk. It is open to all new members, experienced or not. The first class is even free for those who just want a sample of the boxing class.

Boxing Skills and Technique is offered at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Norfolk’s UFC Gym. The class offers hands-on training by extremely-experienced trainers at a high level. The class is taught by Nelson Lebron, who has 42 years of martial arts experience and currently has a black belt in nine styles. He also has experience in Boxing, Muay Thai, Kickboxing and MMA (mixed martial arts).

Coach Nelson Lebron’s passion for Boxing has been apparent since first becoming an adult. “I’ve been teaching since my 18th birthday and that was a little over 20 something years ago,”  Lebron said. Lebron’s coaching experience shows in class as he will be seen encouraging his students, critiquing their technique and just giving it his all when sparring with students.

The Boxing Skills and Technique class offers an endurance intensive workout which will make you sweat. This class teaches students different combinations of punching techniques and skills to use when sparring. Students would pair up with a sparring partner and practice a one, two, three punching combo. 

At the end of training, students would become familiar with throwing a right punch, then a left, while being able to duck under their partner’s right hook. Boxing Skills and Technique is repetition based and runs for a little over an hour with time to rest.

If you are skeptical about the training class, anyone is free to watch the class without having to participate. The class is located in an open turf grass space, which is welcoming to an audience. “I enjoyed watching it a lot, it was a very nice class. I found it very similar to the martial arts class that we have here at Virginia Wesleyan. A lot of the moves are very similar, like for instance, the horse stance, side kicking, roundhouse kicks and the punching. I found that very similar and it made me feel like I was in class,” senior Kenneth Henry said.

As a beginner level boxing class, it is advertised as a technique-based class to work yourself into becoming a better fighter. “This class is technique based, we have separate classes for the fighters and for the fight team. It is normal to push you into the better version of yourself. You’re not in competition with anybody. You’re working at your level at your speed. They are designed on basics, basics are the key to winning fights,” Lebron said.

Lebron encourages all college students to challenge themselves by giving this class a try. The basis of this class is designed to uplift you not just as a fighter, but physically. “I definitely recommend it to college students, kids, and really anybody who wants to get some physical activity. Maybe you want to learn to defend yourself, or just want to do an extracurricular activity that will push their heart rate, push your mental being and push your physical well being,” Lebron said.

If you are looking for a challenge and want to step out of your comfort zone, Boxing Skills and Technique is the class to try. “I would absolutely recommend it to anyone who wants to try boxing or anyone trying to exercise more or just to have a good time. I think it’s very good for group settings like when you want to have a birthday party. I saw they offered parties on their TV screens. So I think it’s pretty fun and a good way to stay active,” Henry said.

UFC in Norfolk also offers Muay Thai, MMA Conditioning, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, Sparring and Kickboxing classes. The gym also has treadmills, weights, punching bags and sparring mats for anyone of any experience. Boxing gloves, sparring helmets and a clean locker room are provided, but be prepared to take your shoes off in the class. The first class of Boxing Skills and Technique is free and is available at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Visit UFC Norfolk Gym at 5930 E Virginia Beach Blvd, Norfolk, VA 23502.

By Josh Heller