My route of entry to the world of martial arts, fitness and change was through a boxing gym across the street from where I lived. My eight years of hard training five days a week at that gym was massively formative, playing a very direct part in shaping me into the confident and disciplined person that I – mostly – am today.

There I was privileged to meet Daz Long, badass ninja boxing and silat coach, and solid gold human being. It was thanks to Daz’s recognition and encouragement that I became first a group fitness instructor and am now a Personal Trainer.

Years later, after I stopped boxing and we both left that gym, we are now husband and wife.

I’m not the only one who has been busy working on new beginnings. Daz and Dean Beach, both notorious veterans of Kings Norton A.B.C., have joined forces for a new addition to the West Midlands boxing circuit: D&D Boxing, based out of Fitness Unlimited, Millsborough House, Ipsley Street, Redditch B98 7AL.

Opening night is Monday 4th June, with a children’s class at 5:30pm – 6:30pm (£4 per session or £10 per week), and an adults’ class at 6:30pm – 8pm (£5 per session or £12 per week).

Daz is renowned in the area for his coaching skills. Many of those who he taught as youngsters are now queueing up to bring their own kids to learn from him, and his waiting list for private lessons speaks for itself. Together with Dean they have between them over 40 years of fighting, teaching, and winning experience.

I will also be offering Personal Training from this gym in the coming weeks, and we have plenty of other community-focused plans for the space.

For exceptional boxing coaching that is on a level far above the run-of-the-mill that you will find in some gyms, come down and check out what D&D Boxing has to offer.