Our Member of The Month for June is Indu Iyer. Indu has been training at Contenders since January 2016. She attends 3 to 5 classes a week, and her hard work does not go unnoticed by not only our instructors, but also by her fellow members.
Indu had always wanted to do boxing as a kid, but “coming from a strict, conservative family, this was not an option for a girl”. She says “I put my energy into things like theatre instead, but I don’t know if anything suits my natural love of competition and physical intensity as well as boxing.”
As to her favourite classes at Contenders, Indu says “I’ve gained a lot from all the classes, and the class I want depends on how I feel. If I want to focus on strategy or sparring skills, Seb’s and Kevin’s classes fulfill that, but when I feel like working on combos, finesse, overall fitness, Richard and Yo’s classes give me what I need. Overall, however, Sebastian’s classes are always pedagogically perfect: he breaks things down and builds them back up, so you’re able see your own competence grow even in the course of an hour. He also tends to use quarky analogies to explain the relevance of a move or tactic, which is entertaining and helpful.”
When asked about the appeal of boxing to her, she states “It’s the perfect sport, it has everything. The most visible aspect of boxing is its unforgiving brutality, and that’s part of the thrill, but that’s just one aspect. There’s so much grace in the physicality of boxing, and rhythm and timing are as important as brute strength. There’s also so much camaraderie, which balances the violence of it. Even between opponents, to embrace after bludgeoning each other with fists, it’s an incredible thing. I love the strategy of it, it’s deeply psychological and deeply personal. The choices you make always say something about you as a person, you can’t hide in the ring. I love the physical demands of the sport. To throw a punch well, it really does start at your toes and ripples through your entire body. The cardio is insane.
She brings up a fantastic point when discussing her motivation to continue boxing
“There’s still not as many women sparring, or seeking to fight, so I want to make sure people see that women are just as valuable as men in the ring. Women’s boxing is gaining momentum in the mainstream, which is amazing, but so many great female fighters aren’t well known. Claressa Shields was one of the first to really change that, but Jelena Mrjenovich, Cecilia Brækhus, they’re at the top of their game and don’t get the acknowledgement, or pay, they deserve. I look forward to seeing female boxing champions as respected and remunerated as Joshua or Lomanchenko.”