Local boxing gym promotes health and wellness
When customers arrive at Ludy’s Gym in South Minneapolis they can expect to be acknowledged, welcomed, and motivated to begin their fitness journey.
The new gym, a nonprofit, was established in late January 2021 through a collaboration between coach Ludy Webster and Jeremy Jacobsz of Champions Only Boxing.
The spotless boxing and fitness facility showcases a professional boxing ring, a plethora of boxing bags, jump ropes, weights, an echo bike, merchandise, and exceptional customer service. They also offer memberships and one-on-one training sessions. Everyone is welcome, from ages six and up.
Webster, co-owner and coach, grew up in South Minneapolis. He developed a love for boxing at a young age. “Wes Hayden was my coach at Sabathani [community center] on 38th, and a coach that did everything for me,” recalled Webster. Hayden was a Golden Gloves Boxing Champion and well-known coach that influenced Webster’s plight.
Co-owner Jacobsz serves in the capacities of a coach, trainer and former boxer. “I grew up in the North suburbs, so Anoka, Blaine, Coon Rapids, Brooklyn Park area. I started boxing when I was 18 or 19,” said Jacobsz, now age 30. “Altogether I have over 11 years of experience.” He aspires to help individuals in the community by offering exemplary training and conditioning.
Jacobsz added, “I was at Uppercut [gym]—so I started training there, but I changed my image. People know me as Champions Only Training, Champions Only Boxing.” He is thrilled to offer his skills and expertise alongside Webster who operates in the same space. The collaborative effort will be beneficial for everyone who subscribes to the gym.
Their new gym and fitness center “came together pretty fast,” recalled Webster. “We got a little help from USA Boxing on a couple of the items, but most of it was out of pocket,” he said. They explained that “nothing was given.”
Their teamwork and focus have equated into success in just a short amount of time. The gym is being occupied frequently and they aspire to move into a bigger space as the number of participants continue to increase. Webster noted that the Kids Boxing classes are very popular. Classes take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5 pm.
In essence, hard work is truly paying off. Jacobsz further expressed, “We didn’t save up for this, we didn’t anticipate this.” Webster added, “Everything started falling into place.” Both owners are grateful for outpouring of support from family members who helped them make the dream a reality.
The owners emphasized how boxing can serve as an oasis and safe haven. Jacobsz said, “If you go to a regular gym, you’re gonna go in there mad and angry,” but their gym focuses on enhancing the quality of life for individuals, especially if you’re having a bad day. “We’re gonna work with them—we’ll show you different things,” said Webster.
Webster and Jacobsz also discussed the multitude of people dealing with anger and stress lately. As a result, they encourage individuals to visit their facility and learn about their services. Boxing and fitness have many great benefits. “Being able to get things out in a different way. So you’re working out—it’s like a release,” said Jacobsz. He stressed that a boxing gym is “unique and going to a regular gym is not the same.”
Webster added, “I really love working with the kids. Boxing saved me; I would say it probably saved my life. I was rippin’ and runnin’ when I was young, big time, but it’s funny, as I was getting older—I would go out with my friends and knew I could only stay out so long.” Boxing taught him about making sacrifices and learning discipline.
The entrepreneurial journey has been challenging and enlightening. Perseverance is key. The owners are focused on providing a stellar boxing and fitness facility. The nonprofit organization is geared toward serving youth in the neighborhood.
Like many other local entities, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the business owners to be cautious. As a result, they are focused on keeping everyone safe and healthy. Webster said, “We were real scared about that. Things started opening up a little bit.” The boxing bags are 6ft apart to ensure social distancing. Everyone is expected to abide by proper COVID protocol, and social distancing and masks are heavily enforced.
Overall, the owners worked tirelessly to bring the idea into fruition. The neighborhood, and youth, in particular, have embraced the new gym. “We’re open arms to everybody,” said Webster.
The owners shared helpful advice for youth: “You can channel a lot of energy, bring everything here. You can explode on the bag, explode in the ring and get your exercises in.” They also place an emphasis on “respect and self-discipline.”
Ludy’s Gym, Champions Only Boxing and Fitness is located at 2235 E. 38th St. in South Minneapolis. The gym is open Monday-Friday, 6 am-9 pm, and Saturdays 10 am-2 pm.
For more info, visit www.ludysgym.com or call (612) 729-5250.