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Ian Burbedge Interview

padbox_logoIan Burbedge is the technical skills behind one of the most realistic and in my opinion most versatile fitness boxing systems on the market.  Pad box uses Ian’s experience as a amateur boxer and couples this with his skill as a personal trainer!


Tom Godwin: May I first of all thank you for giving up time in your busy day to take part in this interview.

TG:  Let’s start from the beginning, what got what is your history in the worlds of fitness and boxing?

IB: I started boxing when I was twelve years old and continued competing until I was in my mid twenties, as a senior at my club we’d sometimes help coaching the juniors, so you could say I’ve been training people since I was 18, I always trained a couple of people after I finished competing, before personal trainers were about ha ha, but having always kept myself fit, I was encouraged by a good friend of mine at the time to take over the circuit class he ran at his gym, so I did a basic Instructors qualification to take the class over, and then moved on to take further qualifications to advance my knowledge not only for my benefit but for that of my clients as well.

I also hold a professional trainers licence and I work with English Light Welterweight Champion Lenny Daws and a couple of other pros as well.

TG: Who have been your major influences in the world of boxing and/or fitness?

IB: My first boxing coach definitely he really looked after us, whereas when I first started boxing there wasn’t many coaches that did, from that it was boxers such as Charlie Magri and Jimmy Flint, who were very good British pros’’ in the early eighties and I used to go and watch them train, which was great for a young amateur, on the world scene I loved Sugar Ray Leonard.

On the fitness side of things I tended to stick with boxing, but there were some good instructors in gyms I used who I often used to bombard with questions, I firmly believe we should never stop wanting to learn, even now Andy Scott (who I run Padbox with) often discuss and try out new and different training methods, we’re never going to re-invent the wheel, but as coaches we all must keep evolving.

TG: Boxing is having a bit of a surge in popularity with a lot of schools adding boxing to their curriculum.  How important do you feel that it is that boxing is supported at a grass roots level?

IB: Vital, it’s where the next generation is going to come from, I believe with school children, teach them non contact boxing and give them the option to see whether they like it or not, if they do, then they’ve got a basic knowledge to take to a club, I think clubs are getting better at looking after all the boxers they have, it can still improve because quite often only potential winners are looked after, I’ve seen boys who weren’t good at the start of their boxing blossom and become quite good, and they could be lost to the sport if they’re not encouraged, everyone who climbs in the ring even for sparring is very brave and deserves to be looked after.

TG: What are the benefits of Pad Box training for the average personal training client?

IB: Because we’ve tried to make it as realistic as possible, without anyone being hit, I think it gives people that have never boxed before an idea of what boxing’s all about, and for those that have boxed they can get a good workout without the full on training demands they had to have previously.

Then looking at it from a fitness point of view it’s the cv and muscle toning that most clients are after.

TG: Your Pad Box courses are hugely successful here in the UK, tell us a bit about your motivation to launch the course?

IB: It started by seeing fitness instructors in gyms and parks, holding pads miles apart and just getting their clients to smash pads without any real knowledge of what they’re doing, then the client says “I’m doing boxing” where my point was “ no you’re not you’re just smashing pads”, I used to do a workshop every now an again for a good friend of mine who runs a personal training company teaching padwork, and she challenged and encouraged me to develop the course, and with the help of Andy we did just that.

TG: What do you feel sets you apart from the other boxing courses available to personal trainers?

IB: It’s realistic, the methods we teach are all “proper” boxing punches and moves, we get through a lot on the course which is all practical, but it’s taught in a relaxed atmosphere, because feel that if people are paying for a course they should get a lot from it and enjoy it as well.

The other thing is I vowed if ever I did a course I would look after the people who come to do it, like many others out there I’ve done many many courses and once I’ve paid my money that’s me done, with Padbox our first retake if needed is free of charge, people who have passed the course can come back and practice with us on a course again free of charge, and we’re only at the end of a phone or email for advice if needed.

In the new year we’re hoping to set up various workshops and refreshers for all of our coaches.

TG: You have just developed a Level 2 course, tell us a bit about what this covers and when will you be launching it?

IB: We’ve developed six more reactionary moves to add to the four on the Level 1 course, so the Level 2 qualified coaches will be able to take rounds of boxing just by holding the pads and not having to give any instruction at all, so the client becomes a boxer having to react to the coaches pads as they are now a “live” opponent, which will be as realistic as you can get without being hit.

The first course is in September this year.

TG: So what is the best bit about your job as the Course Director for Pad Box?

IB: It sounds really corny but it’s been meeting so many  people, I’ve made some really good friends out of it, and I really enjoy doing the courses, especially after getting all the paperwork done, we’ve got a good friendly team and we enjoy the courses and without coming across arrogant I think that comes over to our students, because as I said earlier we want them to enjoy the course as well as learning about boxing.

TG: What plans do you have for the future of Pad Box?

IB: There’s a Level 3 in the future definitely, Although we’ve had people travel from all over the UK to us at the World famous Peacock Gymnasium,  We’d like to get around the country a bit more, although we’ve done private courses in many areas our first “away” open course is in Manchester in October this year which we’re really looking forward to.

So a few more around the country would be really good to do, there’s also a possibility of doing courses in Spain which would be very nice indeed, but we want to keep Padbox moving forward which means not only the courses but also the work we do in schools.

TG: Ian, thanks for giving up time in your day to talk to us, it has been a pleasure.  Good luck with Level 2

Thanks very much Tom, it’s been a pleasure, and please accept my apologies if I’ve waffled on too much, all the very best on behalf of myself and the team.

Read my Review of the Pad Box course.

I strongly recommend the Padbox course to any personal trainers out there, have a look at our review of Level One here.  A review of Level Two will be posted in the near future.  Fore more information on PADBOX click here.

This entry was posted on Monday, September 28th, 2009 at 10:00 am and is filed under Interviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.