Mission: St Johns Boxing strives to be Portland's most supportive, fun, and community-centered environment for boxers of all fitness and skill levels.
We are a small, woman and queer-owned Portland boxing gym located in the St. Johns neighborhood. Our goal is to provide a safe, fun, and inclusive space for people from all walks of life to learn and practice recreational boxing. We are the only North Portland boxing gym to offer group classes with mitt & glove style training–which is the most fun kind of training!
Our group is made up of former coaches and boxers from a gym called Sweet Science Boxing, which operated until 2020, when complications due to the Covid 19 pandemic forced gym owner Laurie Gold, to close the gym and move to Maine. Sweet Science was an inclusive gym space where folks of all ages, fitness, and experience levels came together to support each other’s goals and have fun. It was a special place because it had a sense of community. Some people had lots of prior boxing experience, others showed up and were taught how to wrap their hands on day one. Everybody was encouraged and the environment was positive. These are the values we’ve carried forward into St Johns Boxing.
After Sweet Science closed, during the height of the Covid 19 pandemic, our group began regularly meeting for boxing workouts at the James John Elementary school playground in St Johns. In the summer of 2021, with a group of about 15 people, owner Lisa Titan decided it was time to start a new gym based on the successful model of the former Sweet Science Boxing gym. This was the start of St Johns Boxing. Lisa has over 16 years experience in combat sports, including Boxing, and is passionate about the sport as both spectator and trainer. As a long-time member of Sweet Science, she recognizes Portland’s need for another space like Sweet Science. She hopes to encourage more women to participate in the sport, recognizing its value for staying healthy, dealing with stress, and building community.
In our experience, the fitness community can often seem exclusionary and inaccessible to people, especially within the sport of boxing. It can be very male-dominated and competitive, often inaccessible to women, members of the LGBTQ+ community, older adults, and people with disabilities. We believe people should find empowerment through fitness, no matter where they are in their journey and we’re here to offer encouragement, guidance, and support along the way. St Johns Boxing focuses on boxing as recreation and we take pride in being a safe and positive environment. We just want to have a good time, make some friends, and get a great workout!
Our trainers are USA Boxing and Safe Sport certified, and we emphasize safety over all else. We offer a range of class types, as well as personal training and private group lessons. Our primary mode of training is in the form of adult group classes. Members are taught how to properly hold punch mitts and, under guidance from the instructor, partners work through various punch combinations, learning important skills such as ducking, slipping, footwork, and punching technique. The advantage of this format is that it’s low-contact, safe, mentally and socially engaging, and effectively trains both form and strategy for real-life boxing scenarios.
Boxing is a great way to get in shape, build confidence, and deal with life stressors; it’s benefits include:
- Improved heart health
- Better body composition and weight loss
- Boosts whole body strength
- Improved balance
- Increases cognitive function, decreases stress
- Lowers blood pressure