In recent times boxing has become a very popular form of fitness training. Many health club style gyms across Australia and the world operate boxing fitness classes (commonly termed boxfit) for the general public. These classes are boxing, but with the important exception of no contact, therefore utilising most of the fitness benefits that boxing provides. This popularity has turned to a stimulated interest in competitive boxing.
No sport can provide the showmanship, action, drama and physical entertainment that boxing can. In Australia this has been shown in recent years by Anthony Mundine and Danny Green, and across the world by the likes of Floyd Mayweather and Roy Jones Jr.
Boxing as a form of fitness training is certainly nothing new, in fact it could be said that it is the original form of fitness training, with the sport dating back many hundreds of years. I like to classify boxing fitness as an underground style of training, as it is an original form of fitness training. Fitness training with a purpose.
I have had the opportunity to view world champion boxers such as Mundine and Kostya Tszyu sweating it out in the gym. Both trained with pure purpose, they did not care what they were wearing or who was there for a chat. Just good old fashioned hard work.
The fitness benefits of boxing are aplenty, with aerobic capacity, anaerobic threshold, speed, power, strength, reaction time, flexibility and agility just some of the qualities of fitness that are worked on.
But, if taken beyond the level of just boxing for fitness, there is so much more that can be gained from boxing. Boxing is the toughest sport. There is nothing like being in a ring with a person standing opposite you looking to strike you in the most primal form of all, with the fist.
All of you fears and insecurities are laid out right in front of you.
Do you back your self physically? Can you overcome any physical limitations with a strong mind, not worrying about possible outcomes? Can you look past hurdles, such as copping a blow and move forward with an eye on the ultimate prize? Are you not concerned about what people are thinking?
These are all questions that are asked when you step into the ring, whether it be for a sparring session or competitive bout.
These are the questions we face in everyday life.
Champions and successful people answer these questions.
There is no where to hide in the ring. You are back to how the cavemen lived, how we developed as humans. It is fight or flight.
When competitive boxers are ridiculed by media and public for various reasons such as not showing enough courage or not fighting solid enough competition, very rarely would these critics have experienced what it is like to be in combat in the squared circle.
Boxers which are labelled taxi drivers, or even bums would dispose of such critics without much effort, if any at all.
Whist many will never decide to take the opportunity to spar or even have a competitive fight, it would be of great benefit to do so. After you have experienced the caldron of the boxing ring during battle not much else in life seems to difficult. It would be of exceptional benefit for individuals suffering from stress related illness, and especially athletes and even sports enthusiasts to step into the ring.
Whilst mental toughness can not be defined, time in the boxing ring will certainly make you feel although you have it, and are ready to take on whatever life throws at you, whether it is work or play.
Of course there are issues to consider, such as physical limitations and insurance. But if these areas are appropriately covered, then the opportunity should be seized.
So next time you are watching a bout which is considered a mismatch, just think what it would be like in the ring. Whatever it is that you think it would be like you can multiply it tenfold.
Take the challenge; you will be a better person for it.
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