Thursday, April 30, 2015

7 reasons why every martial artist should train boxing

Right before the Pacquiao - Mayweather fight, boxing has caught people's attention once again. This may be the mega fight of the century performed by the two athletes with the highest level of mastery of the art of boxing. While imagining, debating and anticipating how the fight is going to be, we all have to appreciate the sport of boxing and how this ancient form of combat has come along. In my opinion, every martial artist should learn and experience boxing, no matter what your style is. Here is why:

1. Boxing is the easiest style to learn and one of the hardest style to train. This means that boxing is very simple, it doesn't take too long to learn and understand most of the techniques and movements. The rest is just training and repetition, which is the hardest part. Because of its simplicity, boxing works well with pretty much any styles.

2.  Boxing as a fighting art maybe very limited due to its lack of other forms of striking except punching, but boxing is the most natural way of fighting for everybody. This means, when it comes to fighting, for most people, it is all about punching each other. 95% of the street confrontation that you and I are likely to run into are going to be fist fights. This means, boxing is the simplest and most direct way of winning 95% of the fight against untrained assailants.  As a trained martial artist, understanding the mindset of the brawlers is a must.

3. Boxing is all about striking with hands. What if you are a grappler who doesn't like to punch? Well, in my opinion, boxing is not just all about throwing punches and combinations. The greatest attribute that comes with boxing training is the ability to bob and weave out of series of punches without being off balance. Its all about being able to slip punches with tiny movements, making your attacker commit the punches and then miss while you are still facing him at the convenient angle to strike back. This is an art that i think every martial artist should have, this ability you do you wonder no matter you are fighting in karate or kickboxing, or even Judo. After being trained in boxing, you will be comfortably starring at punches coming at you without fidgeting and you know exactly where to move and set him up with your favorite strikes or throws. 

4. Although boxing is an empty hand combat, its concept of footwork, distance management and timing will benefit you in weaponry training. If you are a weaponry master or a practitioner, you will find boxing's footwork have a lot in common with weapon strikes. Its all about angles, and weapon is just an extension of the arms. 

5. Watching people throwing punches from a third person view is different from first person view. I know a lot of boxers who look great hitting heavy bags but quickly fall apart when they are sparring. If you are not used to seeing punches directly flying at you, you will freak out, you will close your eyes and you will even turn your back. These are all natural things for us to do when we are freaking out. The fear can only be overcome by going through hours and hours, rounds after rounds of dealing with combination of punches flying at you. Boxer's hands are way faster than common street brawlers, if you are not used to the speed of angle of the punches thrown by decent boxer, you will not be able to fight well. Boxing is the style that everybody gets to spend hours and hours dodging punches, so at the end, everybody who trains boxing after a while will be able to look at punches with ease and calmness. Don't tell me this isn't important for martial artists. 

6. Boxing is a great workout, hands down. you are looking to get in shape, feel light and fast, boxing is the hobby for you. Jiu-jitsu and other grappling can be very physically intense, but go try their classes. You will see that for the most classes, they don't do a lot of physical training. Their live rolling or sparring can be a great physical work out, but often it is not depending on who you are sparring with. Boxing session on the other hand, consists a lot of bag works, mitts sessions, cardio training and guarantee to give you consistent amount of calorie burn even if you cheat the exercises.

7. Boxing is a great discipline that can help you in your journey of other styles. Take a look at boxing, there aren't that many techniques and moves compared to Jiu-jitsu, Muay Thai and Aikido. This means that in boxing, you will be repeating the same exercises everyday for years. You will be skipping ropes, hitting double-ended bags, hitting the mitts, punching the speed bag, shadow boxing every day. You will hate it, it will bore the crap out of you and you will get knocked out over and over again. But if you can get through this, you will be humbled and you will have the discipline to do anything in life, martial arts or not. 

Happy training

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