- Title: CHINA: With boxing gloves, brides prepare to say "I do"
- Date: 26th July 2008
- Summary: (L!2) HONG KONG, CHINA (RECENT) (REUTERS) BOXING COACH WATCHING WOMEN ROPE SKIPPING, EXERCISING WITH THE SQUAT BALL AND PUNCHING BAGS BRIDES TO BE DOING FLOOR EXERCISES JULES PEEDOM EXERCISING IN FRONT OF PUNCHING BAGS WITH OTHER WOMEN WOMEN SPARRING WITH BOXING GLOVES WOMEN WEARING BOXING GLOVES WOMEN SPARRING WITH BOXING GLOVES WOMAN HITTING PUNCHING BAG TWO WOMEN HITTING PUNCHING BAGS WOMAN STANDING NEAR PUNCHING BAG (SOUNDBITE) (English) JULES PEEDOM, BRIDE TO BE, SAYING: "I am just exhausted. I am shaking all over my whole body, I'm so unfit. Just my hands, but yeah I feel good, but my arm is shaking." WOMAN AND HER FIANCÃ‰ CHATTING WITH EACH OTHER IN BOXING RING WOMAN PUNCHING BAGS COUPLE DOING EXERCISES TOGETHER (SOUNDBITE) (English) FIONA CAMPBELL, BRIDE-TO BE, SAYING: "Yeah, trying to get fit, trying to lose weight and tone up at the same time. So, got really fed up with cardio in the gym, so I thought it is a good alternative." BRIDE-TO BE FIONA CAMPBELL ENTERING THE BRIDAL DRESS SHOP IN HONG KONG CAMPBELL SELECTING BRIDAL GOWNS SHOP STAFF HELPING FIONA TO TRY ON DRESS SHOP STAFF HANDING A BRIDAL DRESS TO FIONA IN FITTING ROOM SHOP STAFF DISCUSSING BRIDAL GOWN FIT WITH CAMPBELL CAMPBELL LOOKING AT WEDDING CAKES BOXING COACH TEACHING CLASS BY SPARRING WITH ONE OF THE BRIDES-TO-BE COACH TEACHING BOXING CLASS (SOUNDBITE) (English) ANDREW WONG KEE, BOXING COACH AND GYM OWNER, SAYING: "What I do is I get them training together and then I get them training individually and then get them in as a class and a group environment, So they can experience different environments. Obviously a group environment, they can kinda relax a bit, take it easy. But when it comes to one on one training, then, I get the whip out out and they can't hide." VARIOUS OF COUPLE SPARRING WITH EACH OTHER
- Embargoed: 10th August 2008 13:00
- Location: China
- Country: China
- Topics: Light / Amusing / Unusual / Quirky
- Reuters ID: LVAA5VUU2FL2J325J3IZLDW6GZM
- Story Text: What a way to start a marriage.
Putting on the boxing gloves and taking swipes at punching bags, a group of women prepare for their wedding day by undergoing intensive training at a sweaty boxing gym.
Crunches, push-ups, swiping at punching bags and sparring are all part of the tough, pre-nuptial regimen designed by boxing coach and Hong Kong rugby player Andrew Wong Kee who spends most of his time training stressed-out executives.
Wong Kee's JAB gym also tailor-makes diets to ensure brides look their best for the big day.
Boxing bride Jules Peedom, a recruitment specialist who is getting married in England next spring, said the training left her drained, but exhilarated.
"I am just exhausted. I am shaking all over my whole body, I'm so unfit. Just my hands, but yeah I feel good, but my arm is shaking," said Jules Peedom.
Marriage is big business in Hong Kong, a city steeped in both Chinese and western traditions, where brides often look forward to lavish weddings in white wedding gowns or red silk dresses. Bridal shops, stocked with both white gowns and traditional Chinese red silk outfits, line the streets of posh neighbourhoods and elaborate wedding banquets are common in Chinese restaurants and hotels across the densely populated city.
Many brides spend their time ahead of the big day in planning the banquet or party venue, selecting photographers and consulting a fortune teller to select an auspicious date for the wedding.
But these brides-to-be are undergoing both group classes and individual training sessions. They expect to train for up to a year before the wedding, hoping to lose weight and tone up for the big day.
"I'm trying to get fit. Trying to lose weight and tone up at the same time. So I got really fed up with cardio at the gym, so I thought this was a really good alternative," said Fiona Campbell who comes to training classes with her fiancÃ©e, a boxing enthusiast.
Trying on traditional wedding dresses and eyeing potential wedding cakes, bride-to-be Campbell aims to trim down a few dress sizes for her wedding day. She models a few of her dream floor length white gown and veil.
Campbell has done yoga and gym exercises before, but finds the boxing training as part of the challenge of preparing for marriage.
At JAB gym, brides-to-be can opt for one-on-one training sessions or group classes that range from HK$750 to HK$1,560 ($96-$200 U.S. dollars). Most train for up to a year before their nuptials and Wong Kee ensures there are no slackers in his class.
"What I do is I get them training together and then I get them training individually and then get them in a class and a group environment. So they can experience different environments. Obviously in a group environment they can kinda relax a bit, take it easy. But when it comes to one-on-one training then I got them to work out and they cannot hide. Basically they work a lot harder," said Andrew Wong Kee, owner of JAB gym in Hong Kong.
After a few sessions, the blonde brides say it will probably be worth the aches and pains. Although boxing is not the most feminine of sports, they see it as a fresh way to get fit.
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