Australian aspires to pass on the spirit of boxing
Writer: Chang Zhipeng | Editor: Zhang Chanwen | From: Shenzhen Daily | Updated: 2023-12-05
Neatly laid-out training facilities, huge punching bags, and a photo wall narrating the owner’s personal journey in the world of boxing... that would possibly be one’s first impression upon entering Jason Cortis’ boxing studio in Shekou.
A lifelong practitioner and boxing teacher for nearly 30 years, Cortis, originally from Australia, fell in love with the sport at the age of 16. Boxing has since become the focal point of his life, and his aspiration is to pass on the spirit of boxing that he has cultivated over the years.
Cortis’ connection with China began when he met his Chinese wife in Australia. His wife was born in Zhongshan, Guangdong Province and was raised in Australia. When she decided to return to China for familial and career reasons, Cortis followed her to Hong Kong, working as a freelance boxing coach and personal fitness trainer, before eventually moving to Shenzhen.
Last year, Cortis discovered a compact but suitable space in Shekou, which led to the opening of his boxing studio, Speed Boxa.
An overview of Jason Cortis' boxing studio in Shekou. Photos by courtesy of the interviewee
To ensure personalized attention and a better learning experience, Cortis keeps his class sizes small, usually with fewer than five trainees. This approach ensures that each participant receives ample one-on-one time with Cortis, fostering a comprehensive understanding of the sport.
Cortis punches a boxing bag in his studio.
In Australia, Cortis attended both amateur and professional boxing matches, and even won a regional championship in a national boxing competition.
“As a boxer and trainer, my goal is not just to have my students come and sweat or burn calories. I want to teach them authentic fighting techniques, even if they don’t aspire to be fighters,” he said, adding that he finds joy in passing on the spirit of boxing.
“Boxing has taught me so much. When you step into the ring for a match, it’s just you and your opponent. You’re the only person you can rely on. I believe this perspective extends to life as well. It’s the most significant lesson I’ve learned from boxing, and it’s what I strive to impart to others.”
A photo wall illustrating Cortis' personal journey in the world of boxing.
Reflecting on his current life in Shenzhen, Cortis expresses contentment. Every weekend, he travels to Zhongshan to reunite with his wife and son. Mondays and Thursdays are dedicated to Hong Kong, where he continues to train former clients.
The training facilities inside Cortis' boxing studio.
Looking ahead, Cortis envisions opening more boxing gyms, provided he can assemble a team of qualified staff and identify suitable locations. “It’s not just about making more money; it’s about giving back what I’ve learned through boxing,” he said.