Boxing class offered in recreational center


Kimberly LaRiviere

Nick Villa Practicing his boxing form.

Kimberly LaRiviere, Staff Reporter

Punching bags, padded gloves and training tape are not unusual sights for the boxing class  known as Group X; located inside the Recreation Center. The class runs every Tuesday and Thursday from 6-7 p.m. 

Junior boxing instructor Olene Togiailua said he did not intend to teach a class at CWU. 

“I was boxing here at the REC center, doing my thing,” Togiailua said. “One of the first guys I ever talked to came up to me and asked if I was a pro. I told him I was an amateur and then we began talking about boxing. I started teaching him a few things and gave him a few tips. He came by daily and I would teach him. This would eventually lead me to forming the Group X class.” 

Togiailua said that the boxing class’s routine is dependent on who shows up that day and who teaches that day. Additionally, he said he has a different plan for newcomers in comparison to his more experienced students.

“Examples of what students want vary from shaping punches, or type of footwork patterns that help you escape from being punched,” Togiailua said. “We also go over some reflex strategies as well. In general, the sessions last an hour, but I can do over time for thirty minutes.”

According to Togiailua, anyone can come to his classes and learn to box, regardless of experience. Togiailua said he specifically designed the class for novices.

Olene Togiailua teaching student Nick Villa. (Kimberly LaRiviere)

“One of the key benefits is being mindful of what you’re doing and how you do it,” Togiulia said. “Although it’s a solo sport, it’s more of a collaborative sport where you have to learn from everyone.”

Robert Kariuki, a senior boxing student, said that his favorite aspect about taking the class is the intensity it provides. 

“I like the physical aspect of getting to sweat and learning new skills,” Karuiki said. “I also like getting to express myself and doing cardio.” 

Togiailua said that the goals he has for the boxing class include obtaining more funding and institutional support from CWU. 

He had also said that he plans to create higher level classes in the future and to make a workshop where students can assemble their own boxing gear and to destigmatize what boxing is. 

“There’s this stereotype of boxing where a boxer is some tough guy, who wants to beat someone up,” Togiailua said. “That stereotype is useless. You should just feel at ease when you’re boxing and have some fun.” 

For more information on how to sign up for the boxing class, go to the Group X tab on the recreation website.