Boxers are some of the most fit athletes in the world, having to sometimes endure 12 rounds in the ring, and now Brighton residents can take advantage of their training regimen with the opening of TITLE Boxing Club earlier this month.
TITLE Boxing Club, located in the former Lady of Livingston space, across from Brighton Mall, offers group boxing and kickboxing classes called "power hours" that help women and men burn up to 1,000 calories each class.
The company currently has more than 50 locations nationwide and Brighton is one of the two first locations to open in Michigan, along with Ann Arbor.
"The Brighton location is perfect for us," said John Rotche, who became a co-owner and the franchise president in April 2011. "It's right across from Marshal's, Bed Bath & Beyond and JoAnn's. And more than 60 percent of our members are women. There's so much growth in Brighton and it's a real community-based town, very business oriented. Plus I love Brighton."
Rotche said you don't have to know how to box or kickbox in order to take the class.
"Most people (that come in) don't know what they're doing," he said. "They get in there and we teach them the basics - how to throw a punch, how to throw a hook, a cross a jab so they don't hurt themselves. And our trainers walk around to help. And they all go at their own pace."
Different colored boxing gloves are supplied during the first workout to let trainers know to give extra attention to those people during the class. Each class is an hour long with a 15-minute warm-up, 30-minutes on the bag followed by 15-minutes of core and cool-down.
"It's kind of fun when you see people with the bags," Rotche said. "You can tell who had a good day and who had a bad day."
TITLE Boxing Club is based in Kansas and is also owned by retired professional boxer Danny Campbell, businessmen Tom Lyons and Rick Washburn and Title Boxing Company, the world’s largest distributor of boxing, kickboxing and MMA equipment, apparel and accessories.
"He (Campbell) had this idea wouldn't be great to teach people the art of trianing like a boxer," Rotche said. "So they would train like a fighter without having to become a fighter. Historically, boxing has always been in a rougher part of town. And his idea was to open places in suburbia and have people come and train."
"Everything the way boxers have been trained for centuries - that's what we do," he said. "I've heard people say this is a fad, or this is the latest craze, but this was invented in the 1700s. Boxing's been around forever. And we don't compete with the health clubs. In fact, most of our members belong to health clubs. They use us as part of their fitness regimen and it's a ton of fun."
Rotche, an Ann Arbor resident, began his career in franchising with Domino's Pizza and Krispy Kreme, then grew a single air duct cleaning company to become the nation's largest duct cleaning franchise.
He teamed up with TITLE Boxing Club after receiving the Entrepreneur of the Year award during the International Franchising Association conference.
In addition to the Brighton and Ann Arbor clubs, Rotche plans to open locations in Lansing, Novi and Canton in 2013.