Melissa Ernst, 30,  is owner of Canvas Club Boxing in Middleton. With experience in owning health clubs before, Ernst dove into this club after becoming interested in boxing. Ernst is FEARless because she teaches empowerment to others every day.

How did you get into boxing?

I played collegiate athletics and I grew up in the fitness industry. My parents owned a health club for 34 years, and I took over that eight years ago, so I’ve kind of been around fitness and athletics my whole life.

What's your best boxing move?

I love coming in low with an uppercut and then finishing it with a chin hook.

Describe boxing in three words.

Mental, physical and spiritual.

How do you throw a punch?

Feet are spread out, hip-width apart, like you’re on train tracks almost, and you’re just in a nice solid athletic stance. And then when you throw your first jab, it’s your punch that kind of starts the ignition, kind of lets your opponent know where you’re at and that’s with your left hand, and you punch straight out in front of you and bring it back to your chin. We always keep our hands up by our chin because we’re protecting our faces.

Who should box?

Everybody should box!

Have you ever used it to defend yourself?

Personally, thankfully I have not had to, but I think what it does that we explain with our girls that take our youth classes is that just knowing, having that confidence that you know how to throw a punch and that you can get into that boxing stance and look prepared is enough to give a little more confidence.

Melissa Ernst ready to spar - images courtesy light + life photography
Olivia Jones

Olivia Jones

Olivia is the editor in chief and a senior studying communication and Spanish. Upon graduation, Olivia hopes to color-coordinate her life in pink and land a job as editor in chief at Southern Living magazine.