In this article you will find / Artículo con datos de contacto de entrenadores en el gimnasio
✔ Contact telephone numbers of Rafael Trejo Gym.
✔ How to contact with trainers using Whatsaap.
✔ Rental houses for boxers .
✔ Photos of the gym.
✔ Information about the history of the gym, location, etc.
✔ Wilson is a boxer and trainer with many years of experience both competing and coaching and sparring at Rafael Trejo Gym.
✔ Annabel is a boxer and also rents out her house to travellers interested in boxing. Her house has all the conditions and is an official rental with all the conforts.
Without any doubt, Cuban boxing is internationally recognized, and this is due to the fact that it has 11 boxers who have won two or more Olympic titles. So in this case we are going to review the history of boxing in Cuba and the reason for its popularity.
Boxing in Cuba
The first thing we should know about boxing in Cuba is that it was introduced by the Chilean John Budinich, who came from the United States. In 1910 he founded and directed the first gymnasium for the teaching and practice of this sport in the territory currently occupied by the City of Havana.
However, it was not until 1921 that the Cuban Boxing Federation was founded, presided over by Colonel Rosendo Collazo. It was in 1939 when the first tournament in Cuba was held, which was called "Guantes de Oro" (Golden Gloves).
It should be noted that the Cuban pugilistic scene was dominated by professionalism from 1910 to 1962.
As for the spread of boxing throughout the rest of the island, it is something that occurs slowly in fact it was in 1919 when in Santiago de Cuba, located on the southern coast of the former Oriente province, when boxing was seen for the first time.
In all this lapse of time great figures emerged, but the most relevant was Eligio Sardiña Montalvo, who is mostly known all over the planet as Kid Chocolate. It should be mentioned that amateur boxing has also predominated.
Basically, boxing in Cuba is considered a sociocultural phenomenon, since it is one of the most popular sports. This is due to the results obtained in the international arena in Central American, Pan American, World Championships and Olympic Games.
All this has allowed it to earn the recognition of "Buque Insignia" (Flagship) of Cuban sport.
Something to highlight about the Cuban Boxing School is that they train Cubans on a daily basis from a very young age.
This is precisely one of the reasons why boxers from this Caribbean island stand out in boxing.
Here the Rafael Trejo boxing gym is the best known, being the oldest club in Cuba, located in Old Havana, Havana's Historic District. It is undoubtedly a club that tells a story, and the club atmosphere is defined by determination, hard work, perseverance and effort. Sparring and preparation sessions at Rafael Trejo take place throughout the day and finals are held at night under the spotlight of the ring.
The Rafael Trejo club is one of the few clubs that has experience in training foreign travelers. In addition, there will be regular classes at all times of the year, although you will not be able to train exclusively Cuban, but trainers can arrange sparring with Cuban fighters.
However, if you train with other foreign boxers of all levels from all over the world.
Some train here for the Olympic Games or other international competitions or bouts. But there are also those who are only interested in boxing as a recreational activity.
Boxing is an important part of Cuban culture, so many people watch and participate in sports for fun. In fact, a large number of young people participate in sports programs with the dream of one day becoming champions.
The search for candidates is done at an early age, which is one of the keys to the success of the Cuban boxing program.
Because of the latter, the minimum age to enroll in a sports school is 12 years old, but there are many children who start training much earlier in other sports in order to develop their physical abilities.
Among the most popular activities are martial arts, such as judo and karate. Team sports such as baseball, volleyball and basketball are also very popular.
The best in these sports have the possibility of enrolling in a sports school and receiving the appropriate training at the age of 12. This system has resulted in the creation of a large pool of wrestlers.
Throughout the history of the Olympic Games, several teams have achieved extraordinary feats. The stories of these memorable teams, as well as the star players who helped light up the Olympics, will be revisited at Tokyo 2020. In this latest installment, we have the story of the Cuban boxing team that has won three consecutive Olympic medals.
List of cuban medals in olympic games: here
The great excellence of Cuban boxers ended up being recognized in amateur boxing, which was included in the Olympic program. This followed the 1959 Cuban revolution, where boxing grew in popularity as sports training programs were implemented throughout the Caribbean island.
In Cuba, boxing has become a traditional sport; in fact, in 1992 there were already more than 16,000 boxers on the island. There are currently 494 boxing coaches and 185 facilities in Cuba, and 19,000 of Cuba's 99,000 athletes are boxers.
Boxing was initially introduced as a tourist attraction, with championship bouts between North American boxers held during the peak tourist season. Havana had the first professional bout in 1909 and in 1910 Chilean John Budinich founded the first boxing academy in Havana.
However, as a result of street brutality between blacks and whites, the government banned boxing two years later. Thus, fights were only to be held behind closed doors. But that's not the only thing; despite the ban on the sport, boxing provided an outlet for poverty.
It was because of the latter that it was decided to give boxing a new chance on December 13, 1921 and the National Boxing and Wrestling Commission was established, thus legitimizing the sport.
As a result of the lifting of the ban, an influx of tourist dollars began as a result of the bouts.
After a couple of years a national boxing academy was created to train young athletes and the amateur sport Golden Gloves also came of age.
In the popular neighborhood of San Isidro, quite close to José Martí's birthplace, we can find the Rafael Trejo boxing gym. This is one of the oldest boxing gyms in Cuba and where great world-renowned champions have trained. To this day this gymnasium continues being an important quarry of Olympic boxers.
Hidden among dilapidated buildings, we can find the gymnasium named after a Cuban law student assassinated while leading protests against the Machando presidency in the 1930s. It is now home to some of Cuba's elite athletes, as well as a training ground for young champions.
This is a bit of a unique boxing ring, as the sport becomes more basic in this one. But that's not to say that it doesn't offer good training, as they get by with less than ideal equipment. Nevertheless, the Cubans have long managed to dominate the international amateur boxing circuit.
In fact, from 1968 to 2000, many of the Cuban boxers who have been linked to Rafael Trejo won more Olympic medals than any other country.
It should not be forgotten that, in 1961, Fidel Castro banned professional boxing in Cuba, and although some restrictions have now been loosened, the best boxers in this country face a difficult decision. Nevertheless, many elite Cuban boxers stay, opting for country over cash, tradition over celebrity.
Without a doubt, the Rafael Trejo boxing gym is a bit of a different ring, but it is quite popular. In fact, visitors feel as if the ring is home to an extended family. Here older boxers share space with those just starting out in boxing.
Moreover, all ages and abilities intermingle with a quiet grace, hitting elbows and creating training areas in far corners, under bleachers, on concrete steps. But not only that, thanks to the outdoor environment, the boxers take on a certain special beauty. In fact, visitors can almost hear the Cuban rhythm that spreads from the surrounding area as the boxers train.
Although this is a gym that is a little different from what many people are used to, it is simple, pure and intoxicating. Likewise absent from the ring is the corporate influence so visible today in most of the world's sports stadiums.
Rafael Trejo boxing gym is located at: 815 Cuba, Havana, Cuba. The working hours are from 10:00 to 18:30. That said, it is closed on Saturdays and Sundays.
Just as we indicated, this gymnasium is named after the young Cuban revolutionary Rafael Trejo Gonzalez. Trejo was a third year student of the Faculty of Law of the University of Havana, and was assassinated in 1930 in the student struggles against the dictatorship of Gerardo Machado.
He was born on September 9, 1910 in the town of San Antonio de los Baños, although in 1919 the family moved to the capital's La Víbora neighborhood. Trejo enrolled in law school at the University of Havana on September 30, 1927.
His recognition is due to his participation in the struggles of the Cuban student. It must be remembered that Cuba was in a period of political and social upheaval under the Machado dictatorship. In 1927 it was particularly difficult in the Colonia Universitaria.
Obviously the students were not oblivious to this situation and became much more involved in the events occurring on the island. On that date the University Student Directory was constituted in March, and it was in that restless university environment where Trejo acquired a revolutionary conscience. In addition, he identified himself with the program on reforms in the University, Autonomy, university democracy and moral and scientific purification of professors.
In 1930 he was elected Vice President of the Law Students Association. Then on September 30 of the same year in the Patio de los Laureles of the university headquarters, the students met and agreed to march in a demonstration to the house of the teacher Enrique José Varona. In this way, they sought to demonstrate their rejection of the alleged extension of powers proposed by the president of the republic.
Because the director knew of the students' plans, the police surrounded the Colonia Universitaria and assaulted the students belonging to them. It is here where Trejo was seriously wounded by a bullet, and after being taken to the Emergency Hospital, he died the following day (October 1) after a complicated operation.
It is worth mentioning that this bloody student protest constitutes the beginning of the end of Machado's government. In fact, it was the bloody events that moved the public opinion and from that moment on, the opposition grew and on August 12, 1933 ended the dictatorship.
The Rafael Trejo boxing gym is undoubtedly a fairly well-known place, but this does not mean that it is the only one, as there are two quite popular options where great Cuban boxing stars have trained:
Kid Chocolate Sports Hall.
This sports hall is located in front of the Capitol, exactly on the site of the former Hotel Pasaje, which was demolished in 1982. It is named after the Cuban boxer Eligio Sardiñas, who was the professional world champion in 1931 and 1932. Internationally he was known as Kid Chocolate because of the color of his skin.
Ponce Carrasco Gymnasium
Located in the Colón neighborhood, the Ponce Carrasco Gymnasium is a factory of champions in Centro Habana, where children train in order to become boxing champions. Obviously achieving this dream is a bit complicated, full of bumps and bruises. This is a place sponsored by INDER and constitutes a portfolio of the high performance pyramid of Cuban sport.
If you've read this far, you're probably interested in traveling to Cuba to train or watch boxing training.
Here are some tips for organizing your trip to Cuba, with special advice especially if you are an athlete or boxer.
Organizing a trip to Cuba to participate in boxing training is not that complicated, however, there are several aspects to take into account, especially in this case that we are planning a trip to train boxing.
The organization of a trip to Cuba for boxing training is similar to a touristic trip, so there are basic aspects to consider. That said, we are going to give you all the information you need:
Although this is a practice trip, it is important to have a visa/tourist card. That said, to get the visa you must have a valid passport that expires in more than 6 months from the visit. We remind you that the tourist visa is only given for leisure and tourism purposes and is a mandatory requirement to enter the country.
It is worth mentioning that when you travel to Cuba with a tourist package, travel agencies usually carry out the procedures for the tourist card in your place. Otherwise, you will have to do the paperwork yourself. However, this is not a complicated process at all.
This is another important point in the organization of your trip to Cuba, especially in this case that we are going to participate in boxing training.
Keep in mind that this is also a mandatory requirement to visit the country. In fact, if you are asked for it when entering the country and you do not have it, you will be obliged to take out the country's national insurance.
Obviously accommodation is also an important aspect, and on this particular aspect, the tendency is to stay in private homes. Basically, it consists of renting a room in a Cuban family house. In addition, the best thing about casas particulares is the flexibility it allows.
When you arrive at a place and see an area you like, look for a facade with the symbol of a casa particular. This way you can see the room and if you like it, you can ask to be accommodated.
My suggestion is to write to Annabel, she trains at Rafael Trejo and also has a beautiful rental house specializing in boxing fans visiting Cuba.
A detail to take into account is that in Cuba the medicines on sale are very few, so it is recommended to bring the essentials from home. In this particular case, it is essential to bring medicines, since we will be practicing boxing.
Transportation is also important, and the most comfortable buses to move between cities are those of the Viazul line. Although there are also those offered by national tourist agencies. If you wish, you can also rent a car, although you should know that the prices are very high, the roads are not the best and there are no signs.
So, if you do not have internet or signs, it is quite easy to get lost.
Boxing is an important sport in Cuba, and there are several options to choose from. However, one recommendation is the Rafael Trejo boxing gym, which is the most popular in Havana.
It is a gym that can be found in the popular neighborhood of San Isidro, very close to the birthplace of José Martin.
This is one of the oldest boxing gyms in Cuba, where great champions with world recognition have trained. Its name is due to the third year student of the Faculty of Law of the University of Havana, assassinated in 1930 in the student fights against the struggle against the dictatorship of Gerardo Machado.
It is a gymnasium nestled in an open-air courtyard, between the two three-story apartment blocks with open windows in the training area. Although this place has an old-fashioned ring and rudimentary facilities, it is still an important training ground for Olympic boxers.
In general, the simplicity of this venue is distinguished by its authenticity for the amateur of the sport, which makes you work to the maximum. In addition, you will be surprised to find many foreigners who travel to the island and train in the gym. Rafael Trejo is undoubtedly an excellent option for boxing training.
Another aspect that cannot be overlooked when organizing a trip to Cuba to participate in boxing training is the equipment. We must not forget that in boxing this plays a fundamental part, then, the ideal is always to take the necessary equipment, this includes:
✔ Boxing bandages: the role of these bandages is to keep the hands firm and protected, which is essential considering that the hands are the protagonists to practice boxing.
✔ Boxing gloves: gloves also play a fundamental role, so we should not overlook them. Now in the market it is possible to find a large number of models of very good quality, we just have to choose one that we like.
✔ Boxing helmet: it is no secret that in boxing you can suffer many injuries to the head and face, so a helmet is necessary. In this way, injuries can be avoided. As with the gloves, there are many options to choose from, so it is up to you to select the one that best suits you.
✔ Boxing pants: this is another important element, especially because the movement of the fighters has to be fluid and agile. That's why the pants have to be comfortable enough so that they don't feel like a burden and should allow for leg movement.
✔ Boxing shoes: last but not least, you should choose good boxing shoes, which can withstand long training sessions without causing any discomfort. It should be mentioned that it is recommended that they are breathable and sturdy yet lightweight.
I hope this article has been useful to you, if you have reached it is because you are interested in Cuban boxing and I hope I have solved some of your informative doubts about this sport and the possibility of going to practice it in Havana, Cuba.
Enjoy your trip and learn a lot from your experience.
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