MAZON – Coach Nick Galvan wants to provide his students with a training experience that leaves them feeling relaxed and confident, he said.
With classes out of Mazon, the Grundy County Combat Club began in October 2019 under Galvan’s instruction. This April, the club moved into the old Mazon Market at 701 Park St.
“I moved out this way four years ago,” said Galvan, who is originally from Joliet. ”There wasn’t any training out here yet. So, there were no boxing gyms, there was no kickboxing – there was a tae kwon do school in Morris.”
“We found a 24-hour fitness gym, it’s now Fitness Premier. The previous owner, we had something worked out with him and started running classes out of there, built up our small group, and then we were at Resolve Fitness for 2 ½ years and came out here in April,” he said.
Galvan said his classes are for all levels and there are benefits for every age group. Currently, he coaches students from ages 6 to 67. The classes routinely start with warm-up exercises such as jumping rope, followed by boxing and a cool-down.
“As a coach, you have to adjust your teaching style to ensure everyone is following the moves. So, typically we try to keep the same experience levels around each other. So, our beginners are in one spot, intermediate will be in another, and our advanced students are in the ring,” he said.
Galvan said he believes there are misconceptions about people involved in combat sports, such as boxing and kickboxing.
“That’s not reality though, that’s why we train the way we do. We train high-volume rounds, that way when our practice is over, we’re done. You don’t want to go home and hang out, you want to go home and relax,” he said.
As a regulated USA boxing club, Grundy County Combat Club sends fighters to compete in national tournaments.
In November, Emma Karras, 17, competed in IKF Point Kickboxing and Muay Thai at a tournament in St. Louis, Missouri, and placed second in Semi-Contact Kickboxing.
“Training here is not easy. It’s very hard, tough. I want to be like Coach Nick when I get older and train kids. Fighting is tough for me, it’s different because I have a blind eye, but I like being Coach Nick’s student. He makes me stronger and tougher,” Karras said.
While the club trains competitive fighters, Galvan said the majority of his clientele are just trying to get into or stay in good physical health.
“Our classes are all primarily fitness based. We do have some kids, guys and girls that compete for us, but our main goal here is to get people to come in, get a good workout, and learn the sport of kickboxing,” Galvan said. “I just want people to come in, get a great workout and get an overall discipline with training.”
The gym is open at 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday for adults. Boxing classes are Monday and Wednesday, with kickboxing on Tuesday and sparring on Friday. The junior training program for kids is at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. The weekends are available for personal training sessions. Classes cost $55 a month or a drop-in fee of $10. Galvan’s first class is always free.
Galvan said everyone is welcome to train with him, whether they plan to compete or are just looking for a good workout.
“You can come in and we can help you crush any type of fitness or weight loss goal, or you can come in and just enjoy a good workout and have fun with us,” Galvan said. “I want people to understand that this is a place for everybody. You don’t have to be a fighter to train here. You can train like a fighter, but you don’t have to be one.”