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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, June 6, 2010

More women enjoy taking jab at boxing

 •  UH strength coordinator walks for his daughter

 •  Total Recreation

By Ferd Lewis
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Doreen Stabilio of Honolulu puts up her guard during Snooky Fujikawa's class at Powerhouse Gym in Kaka'ako.

KENT NISHIMURA | The Honolulu Advertiser

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When Cookie La Madrid first tentatively slid her fists into a pair of 8 oz. boxing gloves, it was intended to be a brief and casual acquaintanceship.

"I had a knee injury and couldn't jump rope or do some of the other things I wanted, so Snooky (Fujikawa), Bobby (Nakaji) and some of the guys (at Gold's Gym) suggested I try boxing to stay in shape," La Madrid said.

Three years later she is a twice-a-week regular in Fujikawa's Mono e Mono boxing classes at Powerhouse Gym in Kaka'ako.

"I was able to learn the basics and when the injury got better, I got stronger and really liked it, so I stayed with boxing," La Madrid said.

A 53-year-old office manager for a downtown architectural firm, La Madrid said she has found boxing to be "a good combination of an upper body workout and cardio."

Indeed, boxing trainers say women form a large number of their students these days, hardly leveling off from the boom of several years ago. "About 80 percent of the students I get are women," said the 42-year-old Fujikawa, who has spent more than half his life in the sport.

"A lot of women find it a great workout and empowering," Fujikawa said.

La Madrid said, "I like that it also gives me confidence that if I'm in a threatening situation I can get in a couple of shots and get away." In addition, she said, "it is a great stress reliever. Some days you want to really hit that bag hard and get a lot of frustrations out."

Carole Ikeda, a marketing executive, said she "got into it primarily for its health value, but it is also a good workout mentally. You have to remember the different type of punches and be able to throw them in combinations when the trainer calls them out. It keeps you alert, even when you're tired."

When she first took up boxing more than a year ago, Ikeda said her husband "thought, 'OK, here she goes again.' " But, later, on a trip when he observed a workout and she told him that's what she does, "he said, 'wow! Really?' "

But he won't be joining her in class. "No," Ikeda said. "When I'm at boxing, that's my time."