It’s not about puffy headgear, a right hook and stiff upper jab or the fact that it’s become the fashion world’s favorite way to keep fit. And while the idea of boxing might seem intimidating, Brian and Stacy Stewart of Legends Boxing in Wilmington, NC have three core values as part of their business to ensure that it's a good fit for almost everyone.
By Rebecca Doucette
“We live by three core values of: Belong, Real, Results. Belong meaning everyone is welcome, regardless of age, skill level or sex and we are a big family that we call a tribe. Real, meaning we teach real USA boxing techniques that can take you from a novice to an amateur fight. Results, meaning if you come to class and work hard, you'll see results. Boxing isn't the fad of the month, it has been around since the beginning of time and will always be popular,” says co-owner Brian Stewart.
A Sense of Belonging
The motivating factor for Brian and Stacy was to combine a business that not only kept them active and working out but also gave a sense of community. So, when close friend Rob Scott started Legends Boxing in Salt Lake City, Utah and began franchising his gym, they liked what set Legends Boxing apart from other gyms.
“At our gym, you get a personal trainer every time. You're not just another number with us because we make sure that you receive the one on one instruction to help you become a better boxer, hit your fitness goals or simply clear your head,” explains Stewart. “We like to think we’re a tribe. And it's not just a phrase but rather something we live by. We send out Happy Birthday cards, we sing Happy Birthday if they are in class, we reach out to members battling cancer or depression issues.
“At Legends, we understand that one of the toughest obstacles one faces, is the one in the mirror, so we offer a safe place, free from judgment and intimidation. Whatever goal you have set for yourself, we will help you achieve it.” says Stewart.
“Boxing has taught me to be humble and to care about other people more, because everyone has someone bigger, stronger and better at boxing than them and it will humble you when you meet that person. But, it also taught me to set goals and put in the work to obtain them. If you apply that in life, you'll succeed at almost everything.”
Real Techniques for Total Mind & Body Workout
In addition to boosting your overall muscle strength and increasing your aerobic and anaerobic capacity, boxing hones-in on a number of other skills including balance, coordination, reactivity, and agility.
“I think it's about 50/50 on the members looking for a great workout versus those wanting to learn the skill of boxing. All of our members, however, get a great total body, cardio workout while learning a very valuable physical skill. However, I think the mental benefits are more pronounced. We have members that have struggled with PTSD, depression, anxiety and addiction. Boxing is their new drug. It gives you more confidence and it’s well documented that exercise has been proven to give you more benefits for mental wellness than drugs,” explains Stewart.
“I think in boxing it's more of a battle with yourself. There are few sports like boxing. It is just you and another person, seeing who's the better boxer in front of others. You can't hide or depend on your teammate for help. I think it gives you a sense of humility but also confidence.”
Results that Go Beyond the Gym
“We try to give back and help our community that has supported us. Because we opened two months before shutting down due to Covid, it's been tough. We got Legends Boxing masks made at the beginning of the pandemic and gave them away free to front line workers, people with preexisting conditions and the elderly. We gave away hundreds for free to Wilmington Police Department, City of Wilmington and New Hanover County Medical Center. We've also held blood drives and we plan to be even more active now that the pandemic seems to be ending,” says Stewart.
"Our members care about their health and care about our community. So they are smart about how we move forward, making our gym as safe, clean and fun as possible. I do see things changing for the better and we are seeing a shift and hopefully that continues."
Legends Boxing is open Monday through Saturday. Weekday classes are at: 5:30am, 6:30am, 8:30am, 5:30pm & 6:30pm. Friday's no 6:30pm class. Saturdays 9am & 10am classes.
Schedule a free work today call 910 399-6792