About Us

Our mission is to provide a safe, fun and empowering environment for women and kids of all walks of life to achieve mental and physical fitness, confidence, power, and discipline through olympic-style boxing and martial arts instruction.

Austin Boxing Babes is Austin’s only all female boxing gym and martial arts dojo created by women for women and kids. We offer daily classes in olympic-style boxing, martial arts, strength training and Yoga for beginners, advanced students and everyone in between.


Austin Boxing Babes instructors are both current and former boxers, as well as students who have attained some the highest ranks within our program. Our instructors are tough, dedicated, supportive people who continuously strive for excellence and growth in boxing, martial arts, and overall fitness.

Julia Gschwind Boxing Coach


Julia Gschwind

Julia founded Austin Boxing Babes in 2007 to give women the opportunity to train in an all-woman environment; something she wished had been available to her when she was training. A native German, Julia has been training both as a boxer and kick boxer, in Germany as well as here in the United States, since 1996. Julia trained and competed for several years in Karlsruhe, Germany under three-time European champion Siegfried Mehnert and olympic boxer Tyson Gray. She then moved to San Francisco and trained under well-known coach Sonny Marson who took several world Champions including Bash Ali, Paul Nave, Wilford Benitez to world titles. The experience of having been both a student and a trainer, under both amateur and professional coaches, has given Julia a variety of training styles from which to draw inspiration.

In 2011, Julia earned her black belt in Kajukenbo under 8th degree black belt Professor Tony Morel. She also holds a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. Julia has lived in Austin since 2004 and has two sons.


  • 3rd Degree Black Belt Kajukenbo
  • NASM Certified Personal Trainer
  • Registered USA Boxing Coach
  • Level 1 Kettlebell Concepts Instructor


  • 10–0 undefeated amateur boxing record
  • San Francisco Golden Gloves (2000) and Diamond Belt Champion (2002)
  • State Champion, Germany (1999)
  • Taught boxing at the famous Fairtex Academy, San Francisco
  • Taught women boxing seminars and private classes in Freiburg, Germany


Ashley Bazan

Ashley is always up for a challenge. As a rugby player for the Austin Valkyries, she started boxing as a way to increase her fitness. Shortly after beginning her training at Austin Boxing Babe, she became addicted to the challenging workouts, immediate results and supportive atmosphere. In 2014 she began teaching classes at Austin Boxing Babes and is constantly inspired by the progress of our ABB students. Ashley is also a competitive boxer – she is the 2016 Austin Golden Gloves Champion and recipient of the Austin Golden Gloves outstanding female novice boxer award. She is the 2017 San Antonio Gloves and Gulf Woman of Strength Champion at 125lbs. Outside of boxing, she is certified through NASM, CPPS, and has earned her 200 hour yoga teacher training certification. On the weekends you’ll see her running around Lady Bird Lake.

Alex Plichta

What started as a means of blowing off some post-work steam through boxing, quickly turned into a full on obsession. Alex’s favorite part of teaching at Austin Boxing Babes is seeing students reach milestones that they hadn’t reached in classes prior. Knowing that she helps contribute to their fitness journey is incredibly rewarding.

In addition to teaching at Austin Boxing Babes, Alex also teaches for 4:13 Fitness, a gym that holds non-contact boxing classes for individuals with Parkinson’s Disease. Outside of the gym, Alex enjoys hanging out with her cats, playing softball, and reading graphic novels.

Alex is a certified Level I USA Boxing Coach.


Stacy “Flash” Nakell

Stacy has been a boxing fan throughout her life, after watching her first boxing match at the LA Olympics in 1984. She began competing as an amateur at the age of 32, and recently fought in the Masters division with Julia in her corner. She holds a level 1 boxing coach certification and enjoys working the corner at ABB competition team fights. She is a licensee clinical social worker, and utilizes her therapy skills to help people to overcome their fears in the gym.



Melinda “Rockin” Robinson

Melinda has always been passionate about physical fitness. She joined a Kuk Sool Won Martial Arts gym for 4 years where she earned her brown belt. Once her instructor moved back to Korea, loyal to his teachings, decided on something new. After reading an article in the Statesman about Lori Lord and Amy Simmons (of Amy’s ice cream) fighting a pro fight against each other in South Texas, Melinda decided to give boxing a try.

In 1993, Melinda and her opponent were the first women to fight amateur in Texas and the second in U.S. after Dallas Malloy filed a suit allowing women to compete as amateurs in the sport. Melinda went professional in 1995 after winning 6 amateur fights. She fought Christy Martin twice, once on a Mike Tyson pay-per-view card and fought twice on USA Tuesday night fights. Melinda ended her career with 22 pro fights.

Now a retired Austin police officer of 28 years, Melinda became a horse trainer in 2002 and has trained 20 police horses as well as officers for the last 10 yrs. Melinda enjoys helping Austin Boxing Babes’ up and coming fighters any way she can.


Coach-VelaJoe Vela

Coach Vela is a former amateur champion and the last of Austin’s old school boxing coaches. He has been responsible for training, coaching, and mentoring hundreds of kids who have come through the gyms he managed before coming to Austin Boxing Babes in 2013.

Joe Vela has been training boxers for 65 years and used to operate Austin Boxing Against Drugs (A common focus of the boxing coaches is providing something healthy for kids to do, to keep them away from crime and drugs.) Vela, a former amateur champion, has plenty of advice for inside the ring and outside the ring:

Vela isn’t letting his age slow him down one bit (he turned 80 in 2015) ­ thanks to his boxing workouts he was in good enough shape to make it through a triple bypass surgery, followed by pancreatic cancer and being diagnosed with diabetes all within a few years. He intends to continue passing down his boxing knowledge to future generations for as long as possible.



Karen Giles

Karen watched and loved boxing since she was a little girl.  From Ali – Frazer to Sugar Ray – Duran to GGG, Mikey Garcia or Lomachenko today, she appreciates the art and science of boxing, its tactics and technique. Throughout her military career, she trained on and off with male boxers in the service; however, finding Austin Boxing Babes was a dream come true.  The support and positive energy from the coaches, instructors and members of the gym is powerful. When she is not working or boxing, she is having fun with her family, friends and/or pups.

Karen is a certified Level I USA Boxing Coach.

Janna Banks

Janna began studying and practicing boxing and martial arts at the age of 46 in September 2010 with Julia at Austin Boxing Babes.  At that time, she was inspired by Linda Hamilton from “Terminator 2” to be lean and fit, and was trying to find a way to attain that level of muscle tone and fitness.  She was not an athlete, but a normal mom, wife, and business professional. The intensity and joy she was experiencing in her challenging, but progressive, path in boxing and martial arts transferred to her pursuit of running longer and faster distances and the study of Aikido and Tai Chi to enhance and broaden her development in overall physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual fitness.  She is currently pursuing her Black Belt in Kajukenbo.

Janna has a passion for working with women and children and strongly believes in the fierce power, grace, and confidence of aging women and is committed to sharing her path with others so they too can work towards their unique goals and dreams as they journey through life.

She loves spending time with her family and their pets, learning about nutrition, reading, hiking, listening to music, catching waves on a body board, and enjoying the beach!

Madison Phillips

Madison has been with Austin Boxing Babes since 2016.  She grew up playing soccer and volleyball. Because of boxing she has increased her fitness, made incredible friends and is continuing to learn about an amazing sport she would otherwise not have known. Madison instructs our youth summer camps, and assists with our Off Campus Physical Education students in lecture and training. Madison is a 5th grade science teacher and is a favorite among our teens. 



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