Sparring At 3rd Street
You’ve trained on your offense and defense, your footwork is light and quick, and your jab is on target. You’re feeling tough and ready to get in the ring and try your skills out in some supervised sparring. There are a couple more steps you need to do before you get into the ring.
1. You need a boxing license and Passbook from USA Boxing
All boxers in the US need a license to get into the ring, whether you’re just looking for a new challenge, or are looking far ahead to a professional career. The licence comes with a Passbook and having a boxing licence and this booklet is a common requirement of any boxing gym. It is fairly easy to do, though it can take a couple of weeks. Here are the steps to get yours:
- Become a registered member of USA Boxing. USA Boxing is a non-profit organization associated with the US Olympic Committee that promotes amateur boxing in the United States, ranks fighters, and coordinates regional and national tournaments for all ages and weight classes. Register online. Membership costs about $70 per year and you will receive a membership confirmation to send to them by mail.
- Print out the medical form from USA Boxing and get it signed by a doctor. This simple form says that your doctor knows you, has performed a physical, and is clearing you to do some sparring.
- Send or bring these forms and a copy of your passport or birth certificate to your local US Boxing Chair along with two passport-sized photos. Follow the directions on the USA Boxing Website and mail in your materials with a self-addressed stamped envelope. The Local Chair will assemble your Passbook and licence and send it back to you. You can also schedule to get your Passbook on the spot by calling Celeste King at Kings Gym in Oakland at (510) 261-2199.
2. Get cleared and Matched by your 3rd Street Boxing Trainer
We won’t put you in the ring until you feel ready, and we feel that you’re ready. We’ll always match you with someone who we think is a good match for your ability and size and you’ll only spar under the supervision of one of the 3rd Street Boxing trainers.
3. Always remember, the Goal of Sparring is to Become a Better Boxer
You win sparring matches by earning points for each round from landing clean punches and defending yourself. Good sparring requires mutual respect from you and your partner so you both can learn from each other and become better boxers accustomed to multiple fighting styles. It’s not about knocking out or hurting your opponent - this does happen, but it’s not the goal and you won’t feel good if you get injured or injure someone else at the gym. So, if we don’t feel like you’re working together to learn from each other, we’ll stop the match and tell you why. And if you ever feel like your sparring partner is not respecting your safety so that your can improve as a boxer, speak up! We’ll make an immediate change.