IDAHO FALLS – Two competitors get into the ring. Their hearts are pounding and the crowd is pumped. When the bell rings, they stand with fists close to their face, ready to block the oncoming jabs of their competitor.
This is a scene you may recognize from movies like “Creed” or “Cinderella Man.” But it’s also something you’d see in Idaho Falls at Razor’s Edge Boxing Club.
Razor’s Edge is a nonprofit organization affiliated with USA Boxing that fosters Olympic talent. Members of the club train to compete at the regional, state and national level.
“We compete regularly,” Holly Gregson, the club’s President and Head Coach tells EastIdahoNews.com. “We train three nights a week and we open our sessions on Monday night to beginners where we do orientations, teach fundamentals, and give people an opportunity to try out the club before there is any commitment to join our program or USA Boxing.”
Three nights a week the group meets for practice that begins with a running or jump rope routine. Club members then break out into stations with a boxing bag. Those training to compete, work with a coach one-on-one. The night usually ends with a sparring session.
But the club isn’t just about training athletes.
The club was formed in 2006 as an outlet specifically for at-risk youth.
“Not everyone fits in with school sports and those types of activities. This is something a little more individualized. A lot of people find this is exactly what’s been missing in their lives, especially if they need a place to go regularly (as) an outlet for aggression.”
Kids as young as 8-years-old participate in the club.
Adrian Jurado, a 12-year-old participant, has competed in three matches since he joined the club seven months ago. He says boxing has allowed him to let out his anger in a constructive way and get in shape at the same time.
“I just want to get active so I won’t be lazy at home,” says Adrian.
Kids in the club who want to compete in the Olympics have to wait until they’re 16.
Those who train competitively follow a daily exercise routine and a restricted diet. Though boxing is a physically demanding sport, Goma Loera, who started training with the club nine months ago, says boxing is just as much a mental sport as it is physical, and nothing like how it’s portrayed in the movies.
“You have to pay attention to angles — what punches can land at what positions. You have to pay attention to how you’re standing to throw a punch,” says Loera. “You’re always in danger of being hit and you have to be ready to block them. There’s so much (technique). It’s like violent chess.”
Gregson says the nature of the sport requires a lot of commitment to be good at it.
“It’s a lot of hard work. It’s a big commitment — three nights a week. And they’re expected to train outside of class,” says Gregson. “Our kids work very, very hard and are dedicated.”
The group currently meets Monday, Wednesday and Thursday nights inside the Idaho Falls Activity Center near the airport. The Activity Center is located at 1575 N. Skyline Rd. Classes are held 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays and 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursdays.
Gregson says they hope to eventually have their own permanent location and are working to make that happen with grant requests. The club is saving money to host a show for the community.
“Anybody who would like to donate or offer any support to our club, we absolutely could use all the help we can get,” says Gregson.
If you’d like to participate, the cost is $40/month for individuals or $50/month for a group up to four people. There are also scholarship opportunities available to kids who are interested. To learn more, visit the Razor’s Edge Facebook page. You can also give them a call at (208) 201-5896.