Air Force adds women's boxing to required class lineup

Posted at 4:56 PM, Oct 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-04 18:56:00-04

As the Air Force Academy warms up to gender equality, it's adding new classes for women -- including a mandatory boxing class.

All freshman now have to take the boxing class, as men have had to since the Air Force Academy opened in 1955. 

The move comes after the Department of Defense agreed to fully include women in combat roles in a January announcement.

According to the Colorado Gazette, which first reported the story, actual boxing is limited in the class, but still exists. Much of the class focuses on technique and bag work. 

Instructors say they're happy to have witnessed the transformation in both men and women as they learn defensive skills, going from apprehensive to confident after learning how to go on the defensive and offensive. 

According to combatives coordinator Dave Durnil, "We don't want to make every cadet a boxer. But we want them all to box." 

When it comes to injury concerns, instructors say they screen participants for concussions and are cautious in the ring. In the end, injuries do happen.

Despite the injuries, the inclusion has found support among many.

"Every woman we talked to said it's been incredible," Athletic Director Jim Knowlton said. 


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