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One month into 2013 and it is possible that some of our readers are already considering cancelling their gym memberships and going back on that New Year’s resolution to get fit and shed a few pounds in the process, writes Joshua Richards.

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However, World Muay Thai Championship bronze medal winner Ruqsana Begum believes she has the perfect solution.

The martial artist currently teaches ladies-only boxing, kickboxing and Muay Thai boxing classes at the Arches Boxing Gym in Bethnal Green and is launching new classes at the Ringside Gym in Canary Wharf – such has been the popularity of the sessions.

“Running on a treadmill gets boring,” said Begum, a science technician at Swanlea School in Whitechapel.

“Our sessions will be different every week, whether it’s circuits, conditioning or challenges. You will be learning new skills all the time.

“It’s great for improving general fitness and learning self defence. I’m a qualified boxing coach, as well as a Thai boxing coach.

“We’ll be working on building strength and stamina, so it really is a full-body workout.

“One-to-one sessions cost £40, two in a group is £50 and so on. The bigger the group, the cheaper it will be.”

Begum’s love for her sport has seen her scale incredible heights to become British Muay Thai champion as well as clinching gold at the European Club Cup.

And, despite taking on extra coaching commitments this year, the qualified architect is not ready to hang up her gloves just yet.

“I’m going to do more boxing,” she revealed.

“It’s an Olympic sport now and if I can achieve the same success as I have in Muai Thai I will be very pleased.

“It will be hard for me to let go of kickboxing though, so I’ll still do that.

“I have a chance of making the Great Britain team for the World and European Championships this year and in March is the Euro Club Cup in Latvia, where I won gold last year.

“I’m still looking for a sponsor too. At the moment I am paying for the equipment I need to put the classes on myself. For example, a set of good quality pads costs £80. The expense adds up very quickly.”

 For more information or to sign up for a class visit www.ruqsana-begum.com or e-mail ruqsanakickboxing@hotmail.co.uk.

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