‘Meditative sweat dripping’ at Emily Moon’s new boxing gym

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 5, 2022

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NATCHEZ — Emily Moon said she opened her boxing gym in Natchez to offer a “meditative sweat-dripping workout.”

Located at 108 N Union St, Union Boxing Studio opened in October 2021. Moon began her boxing career in 2015 in Hattiesburg to cope with the depression and aggression she felt after her mother was murdered.

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When she moved back to Natchez in 2017, that boxing outlet was lost. At the time, there was no specialized studio in Natchez.

In 2018, while pregnant and during her career as a dental assistant, Moon completed the Box N Burn level 1 certification in boxing fitness. In 2021, after completing level 2 certification, she stepped away from dentistry.

Around the same time, a space came up for rent behind Amanda Hudson’s Pure Strength Studio. Moon stepped into the opportunity.

She said her workouts are focused on the mental health and wellness aspects of boxing.

“Once the mental and physical connect, it’s a powerful thing when you find the fighter within you,” she said.

In each session, private or group, Moon coaches her clients through a cardio and strength workout. It might include a warmup, shadow boxing, heavy bag workouts, active recovery, a cool down and an abdominal workout.

Moon said that boxing teaches you to persevere through challenges and about the extent of your capabilities.

The range of her client’s ages is wide. With younger kids, she said boxing teaches discipline. With older clients, it can improve hand-eye coordination, balance and memory.

For all, it can stimulate endorphins and neurogenesis, the formation of new neurons in the brain.

For some clients, like her, boxing is also an outlet.

“I always say to my clients ‘leave it on the bag,’” Moon said. Her personal experience with psychological trauma, she said, guides her coaching ability.

“It is a technical and controlled way to release built-up energy. It gives clarity, and you are a better person for being able to navigate feelings,” Moon said.

Moon said there’s also a scientific explanation for the satisfaction of when the bag gives back: controlled kinetic contact.

In the future, Moon hopes to complete level 3 training. When her daughter, Ryleigh Merritt, turns 15, Moon said she has plans to get certified.

Moon said there is a network of support in the community for her clients beyond the gym, for whatever additional resources they might need.

“If I don’t have the answer for my client I find the answer,” Moons said, whether it be dry needling with Andrew Ellard or strength training with Amanda Hudson.