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Shannon Dwyer Talks About Legacy Sparring


Seven years ago, Shannon Dwyer was at a local Pilates Studio and overheard a client talking enthusiastically about Cappy’s Boxing Gym.  Intrigued, she stepped through Cappy’s doors for the first time a few days later.  She was immediately impressed by the welcoming atmosphere, and the intensity and variety of the workouts kept her coming back.

Shannon states, “I’ve enjoyed learning how to defend myself, gaining the confidence that I can handle stressful ife situations.”  She goes on to tell a story when she went a round with Queen and took a stiff punch to the sternum which brought tears to her eyes.  Coach Margaret was right there to help her get through the moment.  Margaret said, “You are not a boxer until you cry in the ring.”  Shannon describes this experience as a pivotal moment for her, realizing that getting hit isn’t always the worst thing that could happen to her.

Shannon’s motivation to start sparring was a Saturday Night Sizzler.  It was scheduled for the same date her sister died some years before.  She had always admired her sister’s courage, and she thought, “It doesn’t matter how I do in the match, it matters that I do it!”  She recalls preparing for the match, remembers stepping through the ropes, but doesn’t remember the actual three rounds.  Afterwards, however, she felt incredibly happy.  Walking home, she stopped in a park to soak in the glow boxing gave her.

Six months ago, Shannon began to feel her training was getting stale.  She approached the gym owner, Cappy Kotz, for advice.  He recommended joining the Legacy Sparring program.  When she asked what that was, Cappy replied, “We will match you with a sparring partner, you will receive spar plans for each sparring session, which you and your sparring partner will follow.  Afterwards, you will answer a series of questions.”  Shannon decided to give it a go.

She is pressed for words when asked to describe how the Legacy Sparring has impacted her.  “It’s been like a whole lot of therapy crammed into a short period of time.  I’ve learned more about myself and how to put the learning into my body than I thought possible.”  She went on to describe one sparring session in which she and her partner took turns using bully behavior and bullied behavior as the intent behind the punches.  When she was being bullied, she flashed back to a time in her life when she equated getting hit as something she deserved.  She felt helpless to do anything but stand there and let herself get hit.  But then, she got to use the bully behavior, and suddenly something clicked.  “I understood on some level that I don’t deserve to get hit, but that I needed to feel that sensation.  And when I got to be the  bully, I kind of understood that there are some aspects of bully behavior that are strengths.  It was a very empowering experience.  It was similar to having a really tight muscle and going to a masseuse for relief.  That moment when the tension releases is wonderful.”

Cappy’s has sparring classes Tuesday and Thursdays 7:30 – 8:00, Saturday 1:00 – 1:30 and Sunday 9:45 – 10:45 $10 per or 10 classes for $90.

Cappy’s also offers Legacy Sparring on a one to one basis $50 per 1/2 hr.  For more information click here

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