Old School Boxing
AmeriSchools program brings boxing lessons to students.

How many kids like to box? How many would do it if it’s offered at their school? Will it attract girls as well as boys? What would it do to stop bullying? Well, Heath Kerley who runs The Old School Boxing Club in Phoenix is teaching boxing to the children at AmeriSchools Academy.

Heath suggested to Sheryl Bristow, a second-grade teacher at AmeriSchools, that she might want to try and present boxing lessons to the students at the school. And, after she heard what it would do, she got the program moving.

For starters, Heath proposed charging the kids $40 per semester for two hours a week. The price is reasonable and the fact that the parents are paying instead of getting it for free motivates them to support their kids in learning how to box.

The program has been running at AmeriSchools for two semesters and the students have been excited about it––the girls as well as the boys. As a matter of fact, some of the girls have really excelled at the sport. All in all, the program has been very popular. “So far, we’ve had a total of 21 kids go through the process, ranging in age from 7 to 12,” says Heath.

The results have been interesting. Take, for example, the ones who had been bullied by other kids. This training has inspired them to stand up for themselves because it gives them more self-confidence and actual self-defense skills when a bully might try to overwhelm them.

“It’s also very difficult and very demanding,” Heath says. “When they finish a class, they’ve had a real workout and a feeling of accomplishment and inspiration that offers more than many team sports.”

“When a boy or girl is in the class, they develop a friendship that stays with them throughout the school day. They respect one another more. They make new friends. They learn that real action is vital and important. In this sport, the kids get a lot more direct involvement in an activity. And it encourages them, not only to defend themselves but to feel more comfortable about being socially involved with other students.”

According to Heath, it’s important for parents and kids to realize that boxing is a lot safer than many other sports. Proper instruction trains them in the stance and how to protect themselves. The kids are taught so thoroughly that they usually don’t partake in an actual bout for about six months.

Old School Boxing has encouraged the kids at AmeriSchools to be proud of what they can accomplish and they end up with a strong surge in self-worth and sociability.