Boxing is a combat sport in which two people, generally of similar weight, fight each other with only their fists. Some of the fundamental techniques in boxing involve stance (the placement of the feet and the alignment of the torso for purposes of setting up offensive punching and defensive tactics), punches (the four basic punches include the jab, straight, hook, and uppercut), defenses (maneuvers, such as foot work or movement, used to evade punches), and guards (the positioning of the hands and forearms for purposes of defending against an opponent’s attack). As boxers master these individual techniques they begin to acquire or develop a style. In boxing, however, no two fighters’ styles are identical because a boxer’s style evolves as he or she applies the fundamental techniques learned in practice and then performs them in a manner that best suits his or her abilities and preferences.
Boxers learn to throw the different punch types in rapid succession to form combinations. Since boxing involves strong repetitive punching, precautions must be taken to protect the hand. Combat Fitness does not allow boxers to train and spar without hand/wrist wraps and 16 ounce boxing gloves. Hand wraps are used to secure the structures in the hand, and the gloves are used to protect the hands from blunt impact.
Boxers practice their skills on various types of punching bags. Some bags are designed for speed for purposes of honing reflexes and repetitive punching skills, while other larger bags are used to practice power punching and body blows. But, there’s so much more to effective boxing than just power. There’s timing, rhythm, accuracy, range, etc. All extremely important, and all developed through focus work. This focused work is accomplished with the use of hand-held pads called “focus mitts”.
Focus mitt work creates a moving target. Only a moving target forces you to pursue the target, while learning how to form your attack around, and to capitalize on, your opponent’s directional movement. In addition, focus mitts are a critical tool for training the essential technique of maintaining an offensive strategy by throwing effective punches while simultaneously defending against counterattacks through coverage and movement. The use of focus mitts provides a dynamic training environment which is entirely different from any other training method. There is no other apparatus which develops the right offensive/defensive habits for the standing and striking exchange.
In addition to these distinctive pieces of equipment, boxers also utilize more general-use training equipment to develop power, strength, speed, agility, and superb cardio-vascular endurance. Common training equipment includes jump rope, and medicine balls. Boxing training is quite safe thanks to the equipment, and sophisticated bag and pad training.
Although formal boxing bouts often can be dynamic and fast paced, the manner and method of striking one’s opponent is heavily regulated and controlled. Boxers are prohibited from hitting with any part of the hand and/or arm other than the knuckles of a closed fist (including hitting with the elbow, shoulder, or forearm, as well as with open gloves, the wrist, or the inside, back, or side of the hand). They are prohibited as well from hitting the back, back of the neck or head (called a “rabbit-punch”) or the kidneys. They also are prohibited from holding, tripping, pushing, or wrestling.