How to start boxing

“I hated every minute of training, but I said, Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.” -Muhammad Ali

Welcome to the greatest sport in the world. That’s the greatest to ever do it and he’s telling you he hated every minute of it but pushed through the pain and suffering to become immortalized.

Ali’s intentions were clear, to be the best! 

So what are yours?

Intentions

First things first, how will you be using the sport of boxing. Direction should be clear but can be changed over time so don’t stress it, just pick.

If you plan to compete, it will be a long hard road.

Or… 

You can just do it for fitness and get in amazing shape.

Either path you choose you aren’t locked into forever, but this is a young person’s sport so time is somewhat of a factor if you think you might compete.

How old is too old for boxing

Kids start as young as 6 years old in the gym, training the basics.

Some late bloomers who made it to be champs are Anthony Joshua starting at 18 years old, and Deontay Wilder at 20 years old.

After your early 20s, it’s hard to be successful with little experience. If you have some natural talent, work ethic, and the right team in your corner you can do it.

Find a gym

Okay, so this is why intentions are important.

If you want a cardio boxing gym those are a dime a dozen. They show no technique, do not have any real fighters, and it’s all about having fun and getting a good sweat in.

Real boxing gyms and I hate to say this, are rougher around the edges, not as clean but it’s old school and has trainers that can hold pads and a bunch of pro and amateur fighters working alongside you. Here you can look for a real trainer to start competing.

How do you find one?

A great question to ask, call ahead of time or just pop on in and take a look for yourself.

Benefits of boxing

There are two types of benefits you get. One you get the physical, and two you gain mental strength.

Physical gains include Improved Cardiovascular health, better overall body strength, increased, hand-eye coordination, increased muscle mass, better stamina, and endurance.

Mental gains additionally are equipping yourself with more confidence in your own body and give you an opportunity to learn more about yourself. You will have more self-belief, motivation, self-control, and focus.

Conditioning

This is the hardest conversation to have with anybody but it must be done. You will thank yourself later for doing it.

It’s hard yes, it sucks yes, but it is necessary and the only way to have a shot.

A great example is Floyd Mayweather vs Logan Paul, a young 26-yr-old YouTuber going against a retired 44-year-old hall of Famer.

Floyd actually got hit by some punches and wasn’t able to knockout Logan, Logan trained hard enough to hold for 7 rounds but wasn’t in condition to fight back.

If he had, he might actually have made it interesting. 

The point is you can look in shape and look like you are ready to go a couple of rounds but once you get in that ring it’s a different story. Prepare yourself for the road work ahead.

Run a minimum of 1 mile every other day to start.

Boxing stance

You are either a southpaw or an orthodox fighter. You determine this usually by placing your dominant hand in the back and your weak hand in front. 

This isn’t a rule this is just a guideline, successful fighters and champions like Terrence Crawford and Vasyl Lomachenko both have their dominant hand in front and their weaker hand in the back.

Why?

There are some advantages to having a strong jab and sometimes the stance being comfortable is a better indicator of how you should stand.

Boxing footwork

Believe me when I say this is crucial to master! Your footwork will set you up to punch and avoid getting hit.

When you watch a boxing match they are usually viewing the top half of the body, but the bottom half is where the fight begins. If you arent in the range you cant strike. If you are too close your punches aren’t as effective.

Start with, in and outs.

In and outs are pushing off the back foot to move forward and pushing off the lead foot to move backward. Bouncing on our toes to move.

You will almost be doing a karate-like hop back and forth continuously. The only thing we want to fix is when we bounce it is a motion going forward and back not up and down.

Defense

No one wants to get hit, but it is part of the game. Like basketball, you are going to get scored on, so accept that as a fact.

Blocking the head and the body is different. 

The head gets blocked with your hands by either parrying, rolling with the punches, or doing a slip, dip, or foot maneuver.

The body is blocked with your elbows tucked into your rib cage and rolling with some punches, like straight punches to the body. No dips no slips can protect you from body punching but you still can move your feet.

Work with a partner who will punch slow and light, create a combo you both know is coming and how you are going to react defensively. Wear protective gear.

Punch by numbers

Punches usually go by numbers not their actual names.

Orthodox

  1. Jab
  2. Cross
  3. Left hook
  4. Right hook
  5. Left uppercut
  6. Right uppercut

Southpaw

  1. Jab 
  2. Cross
  3. Right hook
  4. Left hook
  5. Right uppercut
  6. Left uppercut

I know it might be a little confusing at first but it’s simple math really, you will get used to it.

Combinations

Now that you know the count, here are some basic combos you should practice. Do not worry about working the body right away. Just shadow box this in front of the mirror. 

Don’t lose balance, bring the hands back to the face and breathe while you punch.

1-1-2 

1-2-3

1-2-5-2

1-2-3-2

Essential equipment

Talk about essential and everyone raises their hand, yes there is more I can name but remember this is just to start, all you need is hand wraps, boxing gloves, a jump rope, a mirror, and a heavy bag.

This can get you started anywhere, in your house in a garage or provided at the gym.

Beginner workout

For your training, it is going to be a free for all just do whatever you want.

Said nobody ever! 

Focus on fundamentals, conditioning, and being consistent.

Fundamentals are shadowboxing with form and correct footwork.

Conditioning is to maintain energy levels while training, otherwise a tired fighter gets sloppy and creates bad habits.

Consistency, this new skill isn’t going to make much sense to your body at first. The more you drill it into your body and brain the more sense it is going to make.

You can find everything you need here for boxing training.

Strategy 

You want to play to your strengths and work on your weaknesses. Build on what you are good at first before trying the newest coolest punch or defensive move.

Part of the strategy is also knowing what kind of fighter you are. Are you a counter puncher or a come forward slugger, maybe you are a boxer-puncher and can do a little bit of both.

Counter punchers are good at fighting on their back foot while coming forward sluggers well… they like to only come forward.

Boxer punchers can live in both worlds doing their best work in the middle of the ring controlling the fight.

Common mistakes

Not enough rest, get your 6-8 hours of rest you need to recover to keep training.

You need to eat more, training intensely needs fuel to keep up with the demand you put on your body, make sure to have a balanced meal of carbs for fuel and protein to recover.

Water! Stay hydrated your body is made up of about 60% water.

For actual training, there are so many mistakes going to be made, find a trainer to help with keeping an eye on your mistakes.

If you just cant find one here is a few tips.

Footwork and defense, before you throw a punch spend your first month on getting rid of those Bambi’s legs. Learn how to defend yourself with your hands and defensive movements.

Cardio is your best friend! Don’t neglect it.

Loosen up, staying tense will waste energy and you won’t be able to flow with your movement on offense or defense. Try thinking of your favorite song that helps you move and feels like you are just dancing.

There you have it champs to suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion. Or not… but I believe in you!

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