With each Fitboxing session, daily tensions are eased. | M.C.

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Mallorca continues to be a breeding ground for world-class sportsmen and women. Last weekend in the famous Caja Magica in Madrid, the team from Brooklyn Fitboxing Palma, Dimonis Punch, defeated all the odds and finished second in the Fitboxing World Games 2022. Sixty-four teams from across the world gathered in Madrid for the final, for what is now a WBC recognised sport, and the Mallorcan team finished the day as the second best team in the world. The winners were Oli y Los Benjis from Los Tablas Fitboxing Madrid Central, the Spanish home for Fitboxing.

Considering there are over 160 Fitboxing centres across the world, being crowned sub-champions, having beaten a three-time world championship winning team along the way, the Mallorcan team pulled off a major result. They now have their sights set on winning the title next year.

Mallorca’s Fitboxing World Games 2022 runners-up Dimonis Punch: Matilde, Pablo, Lucia, Irene, Sion and Paula in Madrid last weekend for the world final. Photo: M.C.

The driving force behind the team made up of Lucia, Pablo (the captain), Irene, Paula and Sion is Matilde Carrara, who, with her business partner Ivan Toscano, run the centre in Palma. Matilde is a woman on a mission - she managed to whip her winning team into shape in just five months!

Originally from Italy, just like her business partner, she started out as a highly talented boxer with a great deal of potential to turn professional. But she was young and did not have clear idea of what she really wanted to do in life and threw herself into boxing, training and competing in Italy and Tenerife with some of the best trainers on the circuit. As she grew wiser and a little older, she realised what her real calling in life was, and is - to help people.

“It comes naturally to me. I realised it while on holiday with my boyfriend in Argentina. We witnessed a dreadful traffic accident and my natural reaction was to leap out of our vehicle and rush to the scene and help in any way I could until the emergency services arrived.

“My partner sat in the car calling me to come back, away from further potential dangers. But I guess we’re all different and we all react in different ways. I didn’t give rushing to help a second thought,” Matilde told the Bulletin this week.

So, after arriving in Mallorca with Ivan, they set up the only Fitboxing gym on the island and have never looked back. It is enjoying great success with members from all nationalities living on the island as well as visitors. Members can attend sessions at any of the gyms around the world.

We’re not a conventional gym. We’re one big family and that is what I love and what I am looking forward to being part of when I become a firefighter in Palma,” she explained.

However, with juggling running the business, studying to become a firefighter and also competing on the boxing circuit, time is short.

“But I am not in a rush. I know what my calling is and I will do it. Unlike the police force, men and women are treated the same when training and studying to become a firefighter; we’re all treated as equals. I think the police force now has to set aside 40 percent of places for female candidates. That’s not how it works in the fire service, and what that means is that we all have to be in peak physical condition - in addition to knowing the theory. I think I have to take six written exams, which are extremely complex and complicated, before we get to the physical side of things.

“One has to take into account that firefighters are not armed. We have to rely on our own strength, self initiative, expert training and teamwork in any situation, and that is what I love.

“I am a team player, team motivator and I love to share experiences with my team, be it boxing or firefighting. Eating together, living together, training together and, more importantly, saving lives together.

“More often than not, firefighters are the first on the scene of all sorts of incidents, not just fires. They play a crucial role in responding to traffic accidents, for example - the police are neither equipped nor capable of cutting people free from accident wreckage. And we do of course have to be extremely careful with how we handle the victims,” she explained.

Her day job keeps her in peak physical and mental condition and also gives her something to fall back on and keep her on her toes in every sense of the word.

“Everybody respects firefighters - the uniform commands respect as it should - nobody hates firefighters.

“And I believe that my calling is to save people’s lives, that’s what I want to do. In my small way through Fitboxing and its philosophy, I and all of my trainers here are helping to make people’s lives better.

Fitboxing combines different techniques and movements from boxing, kickboxing and the Thai discipline of “muay thai” with cross training.

“One of the reasons that this discipline has spread so quickly is the excellent results you obtain on a physical and psychological level.

“Its main aim is to fully tone the body, not to generate muscles. The physical advantages of Fitboxing also include the improvement and increase in resistance, agility, strength and coordination.

“Therefore, practising it regularly will dramatically improve the physical well-being of those who practise it.

“It’s the best way to calm anxiety or stress. In addition, with each Fitboxing session, daily tensions are eased. At the same time, you are having fun, while it eliminates fats and tones your body, which has a direct impact on a person’s state of mind.

“When you box, your body reduces the levels of hormones which cause stress, such as cortisol. On the other hand, practising the sport regularly increases the number of endorphins produced by the body. These are the hormones that are responsible for your physical and mental well-being.

“Appropriate and constant Fitboxing training makes you breathe more deeply during the entire session and therefore forces the heart to pump blood more vigorously. As a result, as with other disciplines, this strengthens and improves the health of the cardiovascular muscles and prolongs a healthy heart.

“Yes, it’s high intensity training in a very short period of time - the sessions are 47 to 50 minutes - but it’s the complete package for mental and physical well-being, plus it’s fun and that’s what we demonstrated at the World Championships. So many of the teams took it so seriously, we just had fun and before we knew it, as we neared the finals, teams and their supporters from other parts of the world were backing us. It was an amazing experience and I think the Mallorcan team brought something new to the games,” she said.

Matilde and Ivan taking a training session this week in Palma.

But now, after a few complicated months at the ‘office’, it is back to studying at least three hours per day for her firefighting exams.

“And the more I look at this messed-up world, the more I realise people need help. It’s an increasingly tough and hard world we live in and I want to do something special.

“I want to do whatever I can to try and help create a better world, a better society. Although I am just a small cog in the greater scheme of things, by becoming a firefighter I believe I can help to make a difference and, more importantly, help to save people’s lives in any situation we may be called to respond to,” she said.

“But like I said, I am in no rush. I am in no panic. I have a plan and I want to get it right. Poc a poc, as they say in Mallorca.

“The business is going well, we’re getting more and more people joining by the day. The latest stats from head office show that Fitboxing has grown by 40 percent over the past two years and I think that is mainly because we offer much more than a traditional gym. We provide trainers who are extremely experienced and they are on top of you, pushing you all the time.

“And what is interesting is that some 80 percent of our members are women. I think that is because many are professional people who work and appreciate the massive benefits Fitboxing has to offer the mind and body in a relatively short period of time. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great fun, but it demands a great deal of concentration, and that is when you can forget about the world around you and just focus on yourself. Have some real me-time,” Matilde explained.

“Having had to learn so many techniques and discipline myself as a boxer, that is going to help me when I join the fire service. I know that from what I am learning from my studies, many of these techniques will stay with me for the rest of my life. So I can already see the advantages of being a firefighter and I have no problem with being a woman in the service. More and more are joining along with people of all ages.

“Amongst all the confusion in the world right now, and I cannot see it getting any better soon, I want to help bring some stability and order into society. It gives me great satisfaction that I know I have found my path and that I am on the right journey in my life.”

“For so many years I was worried about keeping up with my biological clock, questioning myself about what I was going to do. Will I have left it too late by the time I decide? I was putting so much pressure on myself. But now I know what I want to do and I am in no rush. I have not wasted any time. On the contrary, I think everything I have done, especially in the world of boxing and Fitboxing, has prepared me mentally and physically for the next chapter in my life,” Matilde stressed.

“I am studying at the Academia Vives, which was founded by one of Palma’s great firefighters and is now run by his daughter, and they have already made me feel part of the team and the family. So many positives have come out of this and I just want to bring some happiness to the world and I know it’s going to happen,” she added.

And if there are any holidaymakers on the island or second home owners who fancy pulling on some gloves and having a go at FitBoxing, there is a special offer for visitors. So get in touch via social media. It’s yet another world-class sporting activity Mallorca has to offer.