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Bengal Bouts: Activities Night choice a wise one

Kate Gales | Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Would it be the computer club? The philosophy club? The Brazil club?

Luckily for the men’s boxing club, Nathan Lohmeyer stopped at their table during his first Activities Night.

“It was freshman year,” he said. “I guess my friend and I were just walking around the Activities Night, where you have all the clubs set up. We kind of walked by the boxing stand, and he was like ‘I bet I could kick your [butt] and I was like ‘no way.'”

The friendly challenge turned into a commitment that would last Lohmeyer, a fighter in the 150-pound weight class and two-time Bengal Bouts captain, through his time at Notre Dame.

“We both signed up and from there, it’s grown into something I’ve enjoyed over four years,” he said.

The Missouri native, who spent three years in O’Neill Hall before moving off-campus, had never boxed before.

“I ran track and played soccer in high school, so more of the not-as-[much]-contact sports,” Lohmeyer said.

Initially, he got involved with Bengal Bouts to stay active after high school. The workouts are geared towards conditioning, and as a junior and senior captain, he works with novice boxers on technique.

“It’s like 250 push-ups a day, 500 sit-ups, 750 jumping-jacks, ideally,” he said. “That’s the warm up. Then we basically break it down and teach them a new technique … a jab, parry, power-block, whatever … and finish up with more jumping jacks.”

Lohmeyer estimates a two-hour practice being 70 percent physical conditioning, with the rest “teaching [boxers] what it takes to not get killed.” This is especially important for first-time boxers, who are trained by the captains.

“All the novice boxers – people who have never [boxed] before – come in in the fall, we start in the middle of October and we train for about six to eight weeks during the fall,” he explained.

Having a leadership role changed Lohmeyer’s time commitment to Bengal Bouts, but the senior finance major looks back with pride.

“It’s just kind of fun,” he said. “When you’re a freshman, you look up there and you see the guys who are leading the show, and you’re like oh, those guys are on top of things, they know exactly what’s going on, they’re not worried about taking a shot.”

Captains are also responsible for much of the administrative work that goes into Bengal Bouts.

“You’re chosen by the captains previous to you, so it was nice to step into that role,” said Lohmeyer. “There’s a lot of stuff that goes on behind the scenes.”

Money from the Bouts’ ticket sales, programs, advertising and merchandise sales goes to the Holy Cross Missions in Bangladesh. The four finance majors were able to keep the financial side of the boxing club in order, and Lohmeyer will work for a consulting firm in Chicago next year.

Lohmeyer, nicknamed “The Bonzai Kitten,” has advanced to the semi-finals in the 150-pound weight class. Although fans are nice, he encourages students to attend all the fights.

“People should come out just because they’re really, really fun to watch,” he said. “It’s the guys you see in physics class or accounting just going at it, toe-to-toe … and it’s really entertaining to watch.”

It’s more of a spectator sport than most of the other featured clubs at Activities Night, anyways.