Friday, August 20, 2010

Bruising boxing book by Mischa Merz

Book image Vulgar Press
What happens when a journalist takes up boxing later in life? Six months after she started a boxercise class, 29 year old Aussie Mischa Merz saw off an attempted mugging and was inspired to move onto boxing classes. First printed ten years ago, she has republished "Bruising" with updates on her fights and recent training sessions at Gleasons in NYC.

The book is top-heavy with feminist thought and quotes from critics like Lynne Segal. But what keeps your attention is her journey from regular joan to fighter. Watching her discover what she calls "...this new world of simplicity" in training, diet and exercise, you want to tell her to think less and punch more but she finds that out for herself as she improves. Or you could say as the addiction grows. Some of the more fem-sport issues she raises include how hard it can be to balance growing in strength and muscle with looking like a woman. A relief to note that this isn't so much of an issue in western countries as it was when she started back in the '90s. Although it is puzzling she was never able to fight in her homestage of New South Wales thanks to some arcane laws relating to women's boxing. On the plus side, we have some entertaining thoughts on how hard it is for women to stop saying "Sorry" when we hit each other. Well-worth a read, even if I did skip some of the 1980's fem-thought pages.

You can read more about Merz or order the book from her website Mischa Merz

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