Saturday, 21 November 2015

Weird workouts: chessboxing is more than just mind games

Weird workouts: chessboxing is more than just mind gamesI arrive at my London Chessboxing class wondering if this could be the first sport I'm actually good at. As I have the physical stature of a breadstick, I'm a little nervous. But then, I was once the captain of my local chess club. When I was 11.
Fortunately, training classes are far from intimidating and there were newbies among the attendees. Recreating the rhythm of a real bout, bursts of bag-punching and exercises are interspersed with five-minute rounds of chess.
For someone as unfit as me, the challenge of thinking tactically while not vomiting up my lungs is a novel one, and a series of panicky blunders quickly sees me checkmated. So much for my primary school chess prowess.
But throughout, coach Tim Woolgar provides encouraging tips and instruction. He even compliments me on my right hook, which is by far the manliest thing anyone has ever said about me.
Watch the next match at York Hall, Bethnal Green, on Nov 28, from £21.50. Find out more at

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