This might come in handy after Christmas dinner!

So what do you know about boxing?

Have you ever tried it? Do you know anybody that has ever taken part in it? These are the questions I ask people when they start their journey in learning how to box. I can then build an understanding of why they have decided to attempt it.

Boxing is without doubt one of the toughest sports in the world today! A Boxer is pushed to their limits both physically and mentally. When people don’t understand something, sometimes the stereotypical human natural response is to see it in a negative light.

For example, I’ve been told by certain individuals “Oh boxing, that’s a thug’s sport for thick people” ……pretty harsh I know!

If only people took the time to actually understand what boxing is and realised that it is one of the hardest skill sets to learn. The intricacy and delicacy of boxing is something beautiful to watch when you observe a boxer at the peak of their powers.

When I heard this individual tell me their opinion of boxing, I won’t lie, it annoyed me. Therefore, I challenged this person to do a course of 1-1 pad work sessions with me 2x per week. It was apparent from the very 1st session that they felt humbled by how hard it actually was. From that day forward they changed their outlook on boxing and without doubt felt some remorse that they had judged the sport without actually understanding it.

Let’s be honest we can all be guilty of that! However it takes a bigger person to still step forward and try it.

For the novice boxer understanding how to deliver ‘strikes’ can be quite tricky. A punch is like a kinetic chain, a surge of energy running through a series of links. If you ask most people how do you punch? The common response is “throw it from the shoulder or arm”. However, the punch actually starts at your feet! You take energy from the ground and deliver the punch firstly in the lower extremities whilst the energy travels through the hips, torso, shoulder and then ends in the arm/fist. The body when used correctly is very powerful, so you can imagine the force that can be exerted when delivering a punch in this way.

Movement is therefore absolutely key, in sessions my clients learn how to use mobility and flexibility drills to complement their technique during pad work sessions.

For example, if a person is to tight around their knees, hips, torso and shoulders this will of course have a negative effect on their ability to move effectively and in turn hinder their punching style. By using different mobility and flexibility drills we can open up each range of movement where there may have been ‘tightness.’ I call this ‘soft work’ because if we looked at it from an outside perpsective, you would probably think what has this got to do with boxing! Again, it’s about understanding why…. Simple analogies like this aid understanding.

Think about when a builder constructs a house. The painting, tiling, flooring and exterior is not completed first. The foundations of the property must be built so that the likes of the flooring and tiling of a room can be done later. Simple analysis like this helps my clients to understand that their body needs to complete these small drills to aid their overall boxing technique.

There are many different styles in boxing and theories of thought, it really is the ‘sweet science.’ Boxing is simply amazing when you begin to appreciate and understand it more. The benefits are endless, it’s superb for common goals such as getting leaner and fitter but above all it’s different to the norm.

Learning to box using pad wok and bag work is very tough but it’s so rewarding! In the sessions, you will learn how to box correctly within a fitness environment, I can’t stress enough how fun and rewarding it really is.

I dare you to try something different! If so, get in touch, oh and watch this space for some fresh additions to our class timetable alongside this theme.

Yours in all things fitness & boxing.

Mark ‘10’ Kisz

Oh and here’s a ‘Pro’ tip for free…If the ‘in-laws’ annoy you over the Christmas meal some ‘heavy bag work’ is the perfect antidote!