Woodstock. Once a dodgy part of Cape Town that the city’s suburban set tried to dodge. Today, you struggle to get a table at The Test Kitchen, reputedly the best restaurant in town, while Michelle Obama recently chose The Kitchen for her one and only lunchtime outing in the city. Industrial-Victorian Woodstock is also paved with art galleries, and there are new boutiques and stores every week. If you’re looking to bump into absolutely everyone you know on a Saturday morning, you know to hit the Neighbourgoods Market—although chances are you’re going to pick up a few pounds in the process. However, if you’re looking to prepare your body for summer, you’d best sign up at The Armoury Boxing Club, far and away the best of gyms in Cape Town. It’s not just the most authentic space to work up a sweat during the week, but The Armoury will also be the scene of yet another action-packed Fight Night this Friday, when it stages the second of this year’s popular white collar boxing events. Hg2 Cape Town author, Keith Bain, prepares himself for another evening of nail-biting entertainment.
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The Armoury is no treadmill training ground. It takes fitness very seriously. You come here for a gruelling workout regime—and you get what you came for under the watchful gaze of committed, hands-on trainers. From its weekly army-style squad runs, to kettlebell and TRX classes, it offers unique training systems that make the regular gyms look mundane and tedious. You don’t stand around chewing gum or posing in the mirrors as you wait for the machines to free up.
And then, of course, there are the boxing fitness classes, and the focus on the ring that stands at the heart of the gym—they’re sign that these people mean business, and there’s a dedicated space that says as much. Step inside The Armoury and you feel the urge to start training. Or perhaps go a step further.
Besides the chance to get tuned up and fighting fit, The Armoury is also a place where sweat, tears, and the occasional bit of blood, can be forged into an opportunity to put all that training to the test. Many arrive looking to shed their middle age spread or unload after a tough day at the office, but—having witnessed the radical transformation that boxing training brings—end up signing up for Fight Night.
These white-collar boxing events happen just three times per year, pitting ‘ordinary’ men and women against one another in a test of skill, stamina, and both physical and mental fitness that pushes them beyond their own expectations. With a recommended three months of preparation time (which means dedicated, hardcore training that toughens you up and brings on a revolutionary level of fitness), The Armoury believes it can prepare just about anyone for a night in the ring. White Collar matches consist of just three rounds of two minutes each, but the experience is life-changing. Besides the physical challenge, there’s the effect of baring your soul in front of a large crowd. Fight Night is supported by a fantastic contingent of Capetonians from every possible quarter of the city. It’s not exactly underground, but for the fighters, it’s the ultimate test of body and heart.
With all the anticipated ringside action, there are also bars, a DJ, and plenty of the city’s in-the-know crowd giving furious support. It’s as much a great start to the weekend as an evening of visceral entertainment, with a serious injection of adrenaline, nervous energy, and full-throttle sportsmanship. Arrive early to grab a spot close to the action (it’s standing-room only), and prepare for a night of unexpectedly civilised one-on-one action.
The Armoury Boxing Club (www.armouryboxing.com) is in the Buchanan Square development in Woodstock, which lies just east of the city centre. Fight Night kicks off at 7pm; you can grab tickets at the door.
Read the full Hg2 review of The Armoury here