The first introduction most people might have to boxing is often at a young age in uncle Joe’s makeshift sparring ring in the basement. Or, one might have been exposed to the sport unfortunately when Mike Tyson’s ear-biting fiasco hit the headlines. Whatever the memory, one can’t help but question the audacity of two humans stepping into a ring for the ultimate purpose of hurting the other. Besides it’s apparent pugilism, one thing is for sure; Boxers are in great shape for a reason - the training!
So what would it be like to train like a boxer and have a six-pack like a boxer without the sentencing to the ring? Frankly, it would be very possible - it IS possible! In fact, all one needs is access to a heavy bag (most gyms these days offer at least one or are at least open to the suggestion of including one) a pair of gloves, some instruction and a great big heart. What better way to fine-tune an otherwise boring fitness regime than to strap on the leather and hit something that doesn’t hit back? The art of boxing and its training has become more and more recognized as a great way to get in shape and relieve stress at the same time. It’s popularity in the local gyms has been fuelled over the last 15 years by such events as the rise of respected women in the sport such as Christy Martin and Laila Ali, celebrities publicly making claims about their own great experience with boxing and fitness such as Queen Latifa or the release of a sensational movie, Million Dollar Baby which depicted a very real and raw view of the sport. Whatever the reason, the very nature of the requirements to keep one’s hands up long enough to endure one round of two minutes on the bag will humble just about any soul.
The coordination, footwork, agility, balance, timing and perception are just the beginning of what will promise to be a stimulating ride! One does not have to have all of the above for a chance to meet the bag yet one must be willing to learn because learning will inevitably happen at a physical level, mental and emotional! As it’s practise is continued, one will develop a relationship with the opponent who doesn’t punch back and it will become personal. This is the beauty. It is a committed relationship requiring synergy and attention to the lessons being learned, the lessons about one’s own personal threshold, one’s own personal potential and one’s own personal battle. The bag will not judge, nor will it wince or complain, it is genuinely supportive and will hang the same way it always does - what more could one ask from a training partner?