Combat sports give you an amazing high: the rush of adrenaline, the excitement of competition, and if you’re lucky, the glory of winning. With so many different sports like Muay Thai, kickboxing and MMA out there it can be hard to pick what to get started with. Right up there at the top of the list is boxing. The king of Combat sports, boxing is a standard part of Olympic and commonwealth games, and for good reason. It has a long history stretching back to the 3rd millennium BCE. Modern boxing is more about form and rules than hurting your opponent, and it’s at the top of our list for a number of reasons:
While it’s easy to get mixed up in the different styles and rules that mixed martial arts offer, boxing is different. The rules are set in stone and simple to learn. It’s a sport for everyone because a common theme in its practice is fairness and safety. The simplicity of the moves makes it a good way to get started with Combat sports: styles can develop with time, but the fundamentals of boxing remain the same.
With its rules and rigor, boxing is an amazing way to develop restraint, control, and mental toughness. The mental aspect of it as powerful as the physical. Training and pushing your body to its limits constantly opens up new horizons for a boxer. While it may be difficult and grueling, the great Muhammad Ali said it best: “I hated every minute of training, but I said ‘don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.” Putting mind over matter is a daily routine for boxers, and it helps them grow not just in the ring but as people too.
Punching out all your aggression onto a bag is a great way to get all your stress out. Scientifically, the boost in endorphins you get from the vigorous exercise that boxing gives you is sure to lift your mood. It’s a great way to stay focused on what’s important and compartmentalise so that you’re not thinking of your worries all day. The invigorating feeling from all those feel-good hormones is probably one reason why boxing training is so popular and addictive.
Boxing training doesn’t just have to be for people who want to go on to become fighters: it’s a fantastic workout for anyone who wants to lose excess fat and stay fit. If you have a goal weight or want to trim down, incorporating boxing into your routine is a fast and holistic way to get there. It’s cardio that works your whole body: an hour of boxing can burn up to 850 calories. As a bonus, it also improves hand-eye coordination and endurance. Add in a balanced diet and you’re all set.
It’s a Form of Self Defense
Everyone wants to know how to protect themselves in a vulnerable situation, and boxing training can teach you just that. Boxing has a focus on punching effectively: jabs, crosses, and hooks, when landed correctly, can cause harm to an assailant and help to keep you protected, Boxing also has a variety of defensive techniques such as blocking, bobbing and weaving that keep you out of harm’s way without having to attack.
Boxing uses muscles in your core, legs, and arms for a full body exercise that’s sure to build up your muscles. In a boxers training, compound strength work as well as bodyweight exercises are usually incorporated to make sure their body is conditioned not just to throw punches but to effectively take a hit while minimising injury. If you have access to a heavy bag [link to heavy bags landing page], you can up your strength game as it will provide resistance to your punches.
Boxing is overall a great way to feel good about yourself. The more confident you are in your abilities, the better you are as a fighter. Once boxing training makes you feel fit, strong, and disciplined, confidence naturally comes through. The more you see yourself beating your own records, the more you feel a sense of achievement. And boxing gives you just that: achievements, even if they are against your own self.