Cap Kotz has been training people to box for more than two decades. While Cappy’s Boxing Gym has moved on to new digs, Kotz said he’s brought all the grit along with it.
The Central District boxing gym moved into its new space in the basement of The Valley Building at Martin Luther King Jr. Way and East Union Street in mid-June.
“It is a step up,” Kotz said, “but I feel like it feels more like home.”
Kotz started as a personal trainer, and opened his boxing gym at 20th and East Union back in 1999, and then moved to a former auto shop space at 22nd and East Union two years later.
“We did quite a buildout for it,” Kotz said, “but now that the neighborhood is busier and shinier, it’s really interesting to be part of that culture.”
Anticipating the building would eventually be sold for redevelopment — much like a lot of the Central District over the last several years — Kotz said he went to an early design review board for The Valley Building, which was developed by father-son team Marty and Max Liebowitz, owners of The Madrona Company.
“It was the way they are, the way they represented it,” Kotz said of the new development, “we knew this would be a good fit for us.”
The hard part was waiting for the mixed-use development to be constructed. Kotz said Cappy’s found interim space above the Columbia City Fitness Center, which used to be Everybody Health and Fitness, and is where Kotz was working when he was inspired to open his gym.
Cappy’s Boxing Gym is now accessible through a door in the alley of The Valley, 2719 E. Union St.
“I love going through the alley and down the stairs,” Kotz said. “We have all our posters there; it’s real neat.”
Fitness boxing doesn’t involve getting hit, but does incorporate all of the techniques one might use if they were going toe to toe with an opponent in the ring.
“Our unique approach is, we really focus on self-awareness,” Kotz said. “I think the classes are tough enough that they actually feel like they did a few rounds.”
The Cappy’s owner said he’s considering adding more Boxing 101 and Sparring Skills classes, and instructors are working on a shadowboxing workshop that could be developed into a series.
“It’s so good to have our ring back,” Kotz said, “so July 28 is our opening Sizzler.”
Cappy’s Saturday Night Sizzler is longstanding tradition that includes live boxing matches and demonstrations. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. July 28, and the grand-opening event starts at 7. A $5 donation is suggested to support Cappy’s Boxing Club.
“That’s a cool thing, because it is all experience levels,” Kotz said of the friendly exhibition.
People have been coming down to check out the new space, and Kotz said he plans to soon start leaving coupons around neighborhood hangouts for a free first class.
Find out more about Cappy’s Boxing Gym at cappysgym.com.