More from Northern Virginia

Winchester Boxing owner Michael Dolman sees himself as more than just a trainer. 

“As a personal trainer and as a coach, we are a little bit of a mentor we’re a father figure. There’s so many different hats you wear as a coach,” Michael Dolman says.

He and John Custer have owned Winchester Boxing for 3.5 years and they’ve recently moved from a 1,500 square foot facility to an over 10,000 square foot facility. The duo says with the change comes a bigger focus not only on their communities physical wellness- but their mental wellness as well.

“Release that depression, release that anger, release those deep thoughts that you have that you really sit around and get into your head and think about and with them coming in here- their able to take it out on these bags that we have and also work with another individual that may be going through the same thing.” Custer says. 

Dolman also says introducing kids to boxing, may decrease problems like bullying and body shaming and their impact.

“We don’t just have the kids here working out , we attack them on a mental approach as well, starting to building more confidence and tell them that they are somebody and they are great.” Dolman says. 

“They don’t want to miss it, that means that the parents will come, they don’t want to say i don’t want to come today. The kids are going to bring them in, so with them coming through the door, mike and i look at it as – that is the future.” Custer says. 

 Dolman says the gym opens kids minds up to the possibility of boxing professionally as well. 

“Not everybody is going to be your football player or your basketball player but we have the opportunity to present some different to kids in our area.” Dolman says.

Winchester Boxing hopes to work with local high schools to bring the sport  into their athletic programs.