Boxing is and always has been a spectator sport. Get two people squared off duking it out, and people begin to gather to see who is going to win. Chants of “fight, fight” can be heard from a distance. It’s amazing how people will stop what they are doing to watch a fight between two people.
My mother used to say that it is just an expression of male testosterone, but then my mother was stuck in the “olden days.” Nice people didn’t fight. Getting a bloody nose or a black eye was nothing to be proud of, according to my mom. But to me and a few others, it is a badge of courage. Even if you lose the fight, at least you tried. You gave it your all.
For those in a rush, here’s a link to the INNOLIFE Punching Bag (link to Amazon).
My interest in boxing began in the 5th grade. The school bully was picking on a friend of mine and I wanted to stand up to him and make him leave my friend alone.
While I wanted to be a good friend, I was also aware of the fact that if I did that, I could make myself his next target.
There was a boxing gym in the town where I grew up and a lot of the older kids hung out there after school. I went there a few days a week to try and pick up some pointers on what to do if I had to fight. I stood in the doorway watching the fighters that came in to train.
I was amazed at their speed, their focus, and how they anticipated when to move and duck. It was awesome to a 10 yr old kid.
I also saw that they respected each other, they shook hands, and everything was done “by the book.” It had intent and purpose, and I was hooked from that moment on.
That was the day that I decided to learn boxing.
I won that fight with the bully, by the way. I punched him in the nose and he never bothered me or my friend again. I let him know that, not only could I fight, but that I would do it again if he decided to come back for more. I gained confidence in myself and was never afraid to stand up for myself after that.
The Earliest Boxing Matches
Boxing started around the time of the ancient Greek/Roman time period.
Boxing is depicted in drawings, paintings, and on pottery as early as 336 BC. It was rough, hand to hand combat, with fighters throwing punches at each other until one would admit defeat.
There was no rounds or weight classes, and no bell to tell them when to stop. It was over when one fighter signaled that he had enough, he was ready to quit.
Examples of Boxing “Greats”
If you ask most people to name a famous boxer in history they will most likely say, Mohammed Ali or Mike Tyson.
These are names they are most familiar with and come to mind easily. There have been many great boxers throughout history. Names like Jake La Motta, Rocky Graziano, Larry Holmes, Thomas Hearns, Joe Louis, Floyd Mayweather, Joe Frazier, and Goerge Foreman are just a few that have made the sport of boxing what it is today.
They laid the early foundations for what was to become professional boxing.
Unlike some other forms of fighting, boxing consists of punching techniques such as the jab, cross, hook, and uppercut. Boxing is fought using the hands only.
Some important things in boxing are:
- Safety gear
- Punching techniques
- Having a good coach
To be good at boxing you need to have a good sense of balance, good reflexes, and someone to teach you the proper techniques.
You learn how to stand properly, balancing your weight on both feet. You also learn how to pivot, punch, and block your opponents’ punches, the latter part being very important.
If you do not have a good blocking technique you will get punched in the nose frequently. So, therefore, one thing you will hear a coach say all the time is “keep your hands up.”
Some Benefits of Boxing
Boxing has many benefits that extend beyond just teaching good fighting technique.
It is good for letting off steam or just having a good time with your buddies. Besides being great fun, boxing is also good for:
- Cardio exercise
- Relieves stress
- Builds confidence
- Mental agility
- Teaches discipline
There is a strategy and purpose to boxing as a sport. It’s not just mindless punching until your opponent gives up.
There are rules, like not hitting “below the belt” (groin shots) or using your feet. There are strategies to use in the first few rounds meant to tire your opponent out, giving you the upper hand in later rounds.
The reason there are weight classes is to keep everything even and fair. You can’t pit a smaller, lighter opponent against a heavyweight. That an unfair advantage.
My Favorite Piece of Training Equipment
I have several recommendations when it comes to training equipment. The first thing you need to have is safety gear.
This is headgear, gloves, hand wraps, and a mouth guard. Even if you are just getting started in boxing and have next to no money, you need protective equipment first. You can always spar with someone for practice but you need to protect your head and face from injury while learning.
It is essential to have a heavy bag, and a speed bag later on. You should be focusing on technique and perfecting your punches, rather than speed in the beginning.
I started out with these while I was learning, and once I had gained some skill, then moved onto what I consider my favorite item – a boxing dummy that fights back!
It has a small bag on the top and a bar that swings all the way around.
The base of it is filled with water or sand, just like my BOB training dummy.
It is sturdy and adjusts to a height of 7’ft. What I like about this, and why it is my favorite thing, is because rather than being a stationary target, it moves as a real opponent would do.
You have to block like you would a real person or get hit by the swinging bar (which, by the way, hurts). It trains to keep your hands up, block your face, and hit the bag between blocks. It trains your reflexes and keeps you on your toes.
Just like a real person, this will knock you out if you’re not paying attention.
Why I Consider it a Good Investment
- Just like all of my other equipment, this one is a good investment for the money.
- I can train in my home, not having to keep an active gym membership.
- The material and quality of the products are the same as what is used in the gym.
- It can be used to train for any sport or activity that uses punching, blocking, or kicks. If you move onto another sport later you can still use it for training.
It is good for defensive training for all ages. The height is adjustable so you can lower it for kids, or teens to practice with.
It also improves your accuracy and focus. And another nice thing about this particular piece of equipment is that it can be used in pairs.
You can invite a friend over and train together. It would also be good used for drills in group training.
The reason I love boxing is that it never gets boring to me. There is always something new to learn; a new technique or a new combo. It works for me because I hate to exercise and can’t stand to jog. I get a great cardio workout and have lost 15 pounds so far. I am stoked about that. Besides getting fit, I have self-confidence and am more outgoing than I was as a shy kid. I attribute this to boxing because it taught me discipline, focus, skills, and the confidence that I could do anything I put my mind to.