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Palo Alto College Boxing Conditioning I

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Published on Feb 8, 2011

Palo Alto College Boxing Conditioning I

Alvarez, Melanie c.Barrientes, Marsha R.Bustamante, Anna
Cienfuegos, Carlos D.Cruz, Andres
Cruz, Christopher A. Fowler, Marlon E.Fuentes, Jacinto
Garcia, Alejandro Gonzales, Andres D.
Hernandez, Aldo B. Hurtado, Erika M. Hurtado, Shaun M.
Lozano, Jesse J. Monroy, Edwin G. Perales, Pete
Ratyotha, Sousing Rodriguez, Jacob A. Sanchez, Jacob
Sandoval, Araceli H Velasquez, Luz M Zendejo, Diane E.
Zimmerlie, Avonlea Jason Zerda
Zoeller, Shane D.

San Antonio Express News Jan. 16, 2011 article on this class.

New course adds punch to Palo Alto curriculum
Published: 12:00 a.m., Saturday, January 15, 2011

Learning the ABC's of boxing has never been a problem in this town. If you have the desire and devotion necessary to survive, there's no shortage of gyms
and coaches available to teach the basic fundamentals of the sport.

But now, for the first time, you can get college credit for it.

Palo Alto College is offering Boxing 101.

Beginning this semester, students at the South Side campus will be taught everything from the proper stance and footwork to the basics of delivering a
punch and how to avoid them.

Officially, it's called Boxing Conditioning I, a non-contact course designed to help students develop strength, endurance and flexibility while improving body
composition. Boxing technique is a byproduct.

Students completing the elective course receive one physical education credit toward one of two associate degrees the two-year community college offers in

The teacher is Arturo Ramos, a well-known coach and former boxer who has taught the basics of boxing at his South Side gym ever since he retired from
the ring in 1999.

Ramos doesn't have a college degree, but he's a graduate of the school of hard knocks, having been in nearly 150 sanctioned bouts — amateur and pro —
since he was a youth.

Even so, he admits to being a bit nervous about entering the academic arena.

"I'm used to organizing workouts," Ramos said. "Now all of a sudden I'm having to do things like preparing a syllabus, give tests and take attendance. But I'm
excited about it."

Anna Bustamante is, too. She's the head of the department of kinesiology and health at Palo Alto and the person who helped Ramos design the course and
get it approved.

That took a little doing. Boxing's reputation as a brutal, bloody sport often precedes it, and Alamo Colleges administrators had to be convinced the course
wouldn't give the school — or, literally, any of its students — a black eye.

"They wanted to make sure it was non-contact," Bustamante said.

The daughter of a former Air Force boxer, Bustamante is counting on it. She's enrolled in the course, too.

"I told Arturo I wanted an 'A,'" she said jokingly.

But Bustamante wasn't kidding when she suggested the class can have a positive impact in the areas of health and fitness, in helping to develop good
nutritional habits and prevent chronic disease, issues confronting our community every day.

The course came about almost by accident. Juan Aguilera, Palo Alto's strength coach and an instructor at the school, began training at Ramos' gym and
liked what he saw.

"Have you ever thought about teaching this in college?" Aguilera asked.

Before long, Ramos became Professor Ramos. The course filled up before it was officially posted, and beginning Tuesday, 25 students get their first taste
of the sweet science.

Ramos is already dreaming of a level II and III class, where students can work the mitts, pound the heavy bag and — yikes! — maybe even trade punches
inside a ring.

Bustamante said that's far down the road, and even then there likely would have to be plenty of protective padding and "no hitting in the head."

She said the school has offered a cardio kickboxing course for several years, and the only contact comes in the form of students striking hand-held pads.

That's OK by Ramos, who's just happy to be part of academia and doing his part to change the image of the sport.

"There's a lot of negativity surrounding boxing," he said. "I'm happy to be able to do something positive for it."

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