[en] An overview of Italy’s anti-fascist gyms and boxing clubs

this is how we do it

Struggles in Italy

Credit: Palestra Popolare San Pietrino Credit: Palestra Popolare San Pietrino

Politics has never been far from the surface in the world of combat sports. Whether we think of the boxer Primo Carnera, an icon of fascism in the 1930s, or Muhammad Ali, an icon of black power in the 1960s. Or of the predominance of Jews in East London’s boxing clubs before and immediately after World War 2, often using their training against Mosley’s British Union of Fascists. Even today, in the world of Mixed Martial Arts we have, on the one hand, the Finnish neo-nazi Niko Puhakka, while on the other, the anarchist Jeff Monson.

With this in mind, Italian activist circles have been developing this progressive element. Over the past decades, self-organized popular, antifascist sports centres have been flourishing in the Italian squats. They mostly (but not exclusively) offer boxing and other combat sports.

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