Category Archives: Training

Velvan Tan, our Super”boy”.

A legendary greeting to all of you, I’m Velvan and I just started my internship in Legends Fight Sport. So far, it has been quite an experience as I am now exposed to members in the classes & they are of different background. Usually after conducting classes, the members frequently have questions for me with regards to the class and I came across those who asked me about ‘Fight Cardio’. This struck me a fair bit and I feel that sharing this will be quite useful. Afterall sharing is caring.

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Some have come to talk to me about not feeling the effects of doing long distance running in improving their cardio in boxing. The questions led me to think that there are certain misconceptions of doing cardiovascular training in sports.

As an active athlete in amateur boxing, let me share what are some of the exercises I engaged in to improve my endurance in boxing which in turn will allow me to keep punching until the final bell.

  1. Anaerobic endurance (Exercises such as sprinting, box jump, burpees etc…)

  2. Amateur boxing is an anaerobic sports which includes short burst in between the 3 minutes round in the ring. In order to work on your endurance level in boxing, you got to find similar types of exercise that will benefit your endurance be it training or competing.

So here are some of the exercise I practice to build up on my anaerobic endurance.

  • Sprinting

Sprinting is one of the most common exercise that can put you into a higher intensity state of mind and let you have the experience of being in a fight because that is exactly how I feel when it’s time to let my hands go. What I do for sprint training? I will usually do a 1-2 kilometre(s) run to keep my body warmed up, I will then decide if I am building for an anaerobic endurance or an anaerobic power. If you are wondering what is the difference between ‘anaerobic endurance’ and ‘anaerobic power’? Anaerobic endurance is a 400m sprint whilst anaerobic power is when I have to do a short burst for 100m and complete it at the shortest amount of time.

  • Anaerobic endurance

In order to build up my anaerobic endurance, I will set myself a goal to complete the 400m sprint as fast as possible and try to maintain the same timing when it is coming to the end of the set. Some days I will give myself up to 5-6 sets of sprint and end with a cool-down jog around the track which is also known as a recovery run for me.

It can be really tiring at times but when you start telling yourself that every second counts in the fight, you will push through until you reach the ending point. I keep a positive mindset during sprinting sessions to push myself further; example being chased by my opponent during the fight, coming to the end of the final round and that’s when we need the extra push.


  • Anaerobic power

Now let’s talk about my favourite exercise which is known as anaerobic power. It involves 50m, 100m and 200m sprints. In my opinion, anaerobic power is as important as anaerobic endurance as boxing require a lot of short burst. Anaerobic power can also help you out in endurance training too when you start to repeat the set. When fatigue sets in, how about putting it to a point where you need just that remaining 100m or slightly more to put someone out in a fight, or that few metres to save your loved ones? Otherwise you can also have an imagination of someone that annoys you the most and you are trying to run away from it (E.g. Rizal’s voice when he sings and many more). All this little thoughts you have in your mind which will benefit you in your training will definitely benefit you in your fight, except eating too much and fails to make weight!

  • How often do I do in a week?

If I was given a choice to choose how many times I wanna do in a week, my answer is 0. But the motivation for me to put in the work is that I will reward myself before the start of the exercise to make myself feel guilty after checking my weight then put in the work in the end and reward myself after I am done with it just to make sure I will keep doing it again and again (for the food of course)! Jokes aside,  anaerobic trainings occur twice a week for me as I strongly believe that our legs need sufficient rest and doing boxing alone is also part of an anaerobic workout. For the rest of my days if you guys are curious about what I do, I do aerobic endurance too which most people have been doing; long distance running or swimming.

  • What I feel about letting these exercises intertwined with my boxing training?

Honest opinion… I’ll never be looking forward to the days when it comes to sprinting but I am here to give my assurance that this suicide training will bring out the best of you especially for competition because it prepares you. It trains your body to push harder for longer periods, improve on your cardiovascular endurance, mimics the intensity in the fight and also trains your muscle to adapt to lactic acid build up. It maximises your  power especially from your legs with explosive short distance sprints and you will feel the explosiveness in you when is time to throw hard shots in the bag, someone’s face or even when it is only shadow-boxing. I feel that it can benefit you not only physically but mentally too. I always love the post-feeling after my sprints because I know one out of the many hard work has completed. With that, I hope this article answer some of your queries and I am looking forward to see legendary peeps improving  together as one family! Keep boxing, keep learning. I am forever learning from my experiences and everyone in the gym; and I hope to make more improvements and better myself to answer any questions from you about the sweet science of boxing. Keep Punching.

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The Legendary Workout


Boxing is a combat sports where 2 individuals compete with each other with protective gloves in order to score points. A round is typically 3 minutes with a 1-minute rest in between. Boxing is known as an intermittent sport where it targets both aerobic (endurance) and anaerobic (explosive, quick burst) systems.

There are many exercises that can facilitate your improvement in boxing. Like weight lifting, is known to build size, strength that translates to power in your punches. However, there are many people who do not have the luxury of time to have a weight lifting session and boxing training included in their schedule due to commitments such as schoolwork, family, work etc. (that includes me as well…)

However, there is an exercise I found that is easy and can be added to your boxing training that targets the muscle groups as well as building up the energy system needed for boxing. That exercise is Burpees! Yes, that’s it just burpees. You don’t need any special equipment or any equipment for this exercise, just your body weight!

Burpees are great for conditioning as it targets almost every muscle group that would heavily strengthen your core and lower body. Core is important for boxing as it provides great stability and balance that translate to better footwork where stronger lower body help catalyst the knockout punch! The burpee is considered a full body exercise which includes 4 basic steps.

Step 1: From standing position, drop to a squat position with your hands placed on the ground

Step 2: Go to all 4s by pushing both legs backwards into a push up position


Step 3: Return to the position in Step 1 by pushing both legs back to the squat position

Step 4: Explode up with a jump to end it off and get ready for the next repetition


The movement of burpees and boxing are similar in the stimulation of the muscles & energy systems. Burpees has a ‘reset’ and ‘explode’ movement like the one in boxing where after a punch combination, you reset as you move around your opponents to find openings and then explode as you fire back another punch combinations. This type of movements are the ones that could get your heart rate up fast in just a short time. Compare the time where you jog for 3 minutes and doing burpees for 3 minutes straight… You’ll get what I mean.

Give burpees a try. With the availability of the exercise, there is no excuse not to try it when it could be done anywhere! Doing multiple repetitions of burpees may be challenging but hey, isn’t embracing challenges are traits of what it takes to become Legends? 😉

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Understanding punching power

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Photo credit: Kelvin Ngui

While there are many opinions to where punching power comes from, whether it being genetic, God given, natural, or developed, one thing for sure is that there are certain key attributes in fighters who are known to carry a mean punch. Below are some of the key points observed and may be worth your attention as you work on increasing the power in your punches.

Great balance

Hard hitters usually maintain a great balance when they adopt a disciplined fighting stance. With that, it is worthwhile to take note that every power punch thrown should still allow you to be in a position to follow up with another. Even though when throwing punch combinations, the body should not pitch forward causing you to lose the torque.

How to maintain good balance? Pay attention to your foot positioning. Make sure your feet are wide apart enough to give your upper body support for punching range and movement. Proper foot positioning will allow you to maintain the center of gravity and gives you great control when moving in any direction during combat.


Excellent footwork

Boxing all begin from the legs. If any boxing coach tells you differently, it’s time to look for another gym. Period. Excellent footwork will help you get into your and out of your opponent’s punching range effectively. It also helps you create angles and cause problems for your opponents. When good footwork comes naturally, you will find yourself always in perfect punching range to execute your power shots where it will cause the most damage because of the distance between you and your opponent and leverage you have behind the punch. If you’e out of range or too close, your punch force will be compromised. When you have control over the range, you have control over your opponent.

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Photo credit: David Ash | SingaporeMaven

Proper technique

If you cannot do it slowly, you will not be able to do it fast. Often, we rush our learning process and ignore the most simplest and basic thing, such as making an effort to throw a punch with proper technique. Mastering proper punching techniques will go a long way. This involves bending the knees and maximising your body weight that goes behind a punch.

Staying relaxed

Be aware of your energy levels when throwing punches. It is not advisable to stay tensed before throwing a punch. Tension adds unnecessary weight to your body. Staying “loose and relaxed” will result in a smoother flow of punches and thus, the punches become less predictable and more explosive. After all, it’s the punches that you don’t see that hurts the most!

Photo credit: Jon Yeap

Above are only some things that can help develop a strong punch from a boxing point of view. There are also ways to work on increasing punching power from a strength & conditioning aspect.

That will be covered another day. Till then!

Keep punching…


Sparring Done Right

Sparring is as close as you can get to competition and is an essential part of a boxer’s training and development.

Most sparring sessions however are basically ‘anything goes’ and boxers either sink or swim under pressure. This form of sparring is usually known as “Open Sparring”. While it is good preparation for competition and a must, it should not be done daily. This only wears the body down fast and leads to injury.


It is important to understand that there are various forms of sparring. We often get calls and e-mails from thrill seekers who are more interested with fight like sparring sessions rather than learning. Because we don’t have specific sparring slots stated in our class schedule, we are sometimes seen as not a “real boxing gym”. This is of course very wrong.

“Research into skill acquisition – particularly fine motor skills performed under pressure – indicates that a skill is easier to learn and execute if it is developed in a low stress environment. Two boxers engaging in anything goes sparring is a high stress environment and is counter-productive to skill acquisition.” –

So, I am going to explain the other 2 different forms of sparring that we practice at Legends besides “Open Sparring”.

  1. Technique Sparring
    Only specific one or two punches or basic punch combinations (not more than 3 punches) can be used, usually from a static position, in order to develop a fixed response in the form of a defensive move (with hands, feet or body).
  2. Conditional Sparring
    This form of sparring sets parameters around what can be thrown. For example, the attacking boxer is only allowed to throw straight punches while the defending boxer will have to apply appropriate and effective defence. Specific counters may be included, depending what is set by the coach. This is a more flexible form of sparring, but has constraints so that boxers practicing their attack is forced to think on how to land the allowed punches and boxers practicing their defence are not overwhelmed by having to deal with an all-out attack.

This form of sparring narrows down the focus and goal for the specific round for both boxers. Boxers are advised to throw punches with realistic speed and controlled power.

If you are already training with us at Legends, you will be familiar with Technique and Conditional sparring as we do this a lot in every class. The great thing about Technique and Conditional forms of sparring is that they can be used with beginners right through to elite level boxers. Remember that the goal of sparring is not to beat each other up. There is no such thing as winning or losing in sparring.

Train hard and train smart people!

Keep punching!

Pesta Pulau Pinang 2016 – GOLD!

Hey guys, thank you for the wishes and especially to those who played a part in helping me clinch the gold medal in the Pesta Pulau Penang Boxing Championships 2016. Just a small token from me, I would like to share my experience in preparing for the tournament, me being there for the first time and how I beat the odds.
Believing is the first step to winning
Few weeks before the Pesta Penang Boxing Championship kicks off, I remember telling Head Coach Ridhwan I was confident of winning a medal there. And the night before my first fight in Penang, I could tell that the team manager, Rizal was worried about me not getting a win especially with how boxing politics can be. These were the exact words I said to him, “Don’t worry. I am going to win tomorrow night” and we did. Just my two cents worth, I believe anybody can just show up at the gym and train hard, but if you do not have faith in what you have been doing, everything else will go wrong no matter how good you are in sparring. Whenever I took the train to the gym, out during my morning run, or even while taking a shower, there is nothing else I could think of other than I am going to win the matches.
Doubt is only removed by action. Have faith. Believe.
Do what it takes to win
Sharpening your boxing skills in the gym alone is not going to be enough. I always try to find ways to better myself in other areas such as Strength & Conditioning as well as fitness. I believe these are the things that people tend to overlook. No matter how strong you are, how fast you are, how fit you can be, someone is going to better than you in some of these areas. T overcome this is to work on those areas specifically. I visited Habit gym and the guys there definitely did a wonderful job in conditioning my body for the one week tournament. On top of that, I end my morning run with sprints to push myself to help me cope with the intensity. If you train hard, the fight would be easy and you will actually enjoy your time in the ring.
It’s better to be good at one thing than trying to be good at a thousand and one
Eight weeks is the perfect time frame to prepare for a tournament. Not too long nor short. I try to not do so many things at once which can mess my momentum at the end of the day. The focus was to snap the jabs, move my legs and the counter to my step back was a straight hook. I practiced it too many times with my head coach Ridhwan during training, and it paid off in sparring. The hard part was to keep on repeating the same punch, to make it perfect, to make it second nature without getting bored.

As Bruce Lee once said, “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times”

True enough comes fight night, I did gave my opponent from Batam the same stepback straight hook counter which lead to a standing eight count.

Actions speak louder than words
Social media can be a distracting tool if you do not know when and how to effectively use it. I try to keep myself away from telling people over the internet on how much I have trained today or if it is my second or third session for the day. I prefer to let my actions back my performance over the week. Holding back from posting what I have been doing in training somehow gives me the itch to prove to myself and others come fight day.


Jab…to the body!

The jab is most certainly the most important punch in boxing. Time and again we practice the jab. The different jab variations, the timing, the speed, the accuracy, the angles when throwing the jab and many more.

“If you want to be a good boxer, forget the jab. If you want to be a great boxer, use the jab”

There are of course many ways to fully utilise the jab. All of these jab strategies cannot be explained in one simple article. Therefore, this article will narrow down our focus to JABBING TO THE BODY.

Some simple uses for the JAB TO THE BODY

  • You jab to the body and your opponent puts his hand/s down to protect his body.20161117_131045-copy
  • Now with the opponent’s head unprotected you can throw an overhand right to the chin.20161117_131119-copy
  • By throwing an accurate jab to the solar plexus of your opponent, you disrupt his breathing and slowly takes away his stamina and energy. A good jab to the body will take a little steam out your opponent.
  • Time your opponent’s jab. When your opponent throws a lazy jab to your head, you duck down and throw a jab to the body at the same time. When done correctly, this disrupts his timing and makes your opponent hesitant to commit to his jab. Like this, you successfully take away his jab…and confidence20161117_130855-copy
  • When you possess the ability of jabbing to the body together with the standard jab to the face, your opponent will have to be more cautious because now they know they can be hit in the face or the body with your jab. When your opponent becomes passive, it becomes easier for you to do what you want to do to them
  • After a while you can make the motion as if you are jabbing down to the body and when your opponent reacts to this feint and decides to defend the body, you change your level of attack and go back upstairs by throwing a hook to the head
  • A jab to the body can help maintain distance between you and your opponent especially if your opponent likes to put relentless pressure

However, it is important to be alert and careful on your part. One thing to watch out for though when using the jab to the body is not to lunge in with it and put too much weight behind it. Try your best to make sure that you are eye level to the target when jabbing to the body. Keep your other hand up and chin down when jabbing your way in.

Keep punching,