It’s the second beautiful sunny winter day in a row in Seattle. My gym is in the perfect location for people watching and observing body language. Boxers know subtleties in body language and speech. It is a crucial skill to develop as one advances in the competitive realm. It is Ali said: “The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses – behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.” The interactions in training, press conferences, interviews, weigh-ins, ring walk, and the few seconds the boxers stand across from each other before the bell rings are all telling. You can sum up your opponent and they can sum you up just by observing your body language in your actions and engagements.
I watch people walking up and down the sidewalk everyday. I see their happiness, their pain, their confidence, insecurities and thoughts developing across their faces. I don’t know specifics but I can see the universal signs of emotions and feelings. We are creatures of patterns and habits. We cannot help but repeat thoughts and actions over and over again. It’s like our own built in learning system if we choose to use it. We repeat things until our awareness catches hold and allows us to consciously choose our same actions or different ones.
This coming week, we are going back to basics working on keeping an angled stance and using our feet and hips to propel punches. It’s this specific focus that points out to us our typical patterns and habits. How we want to square up. How we don’t use the floor to push off for power. How we let our core get lax. How we don’t use our entire body to punch and we only use our arms. We are using the physical approach in the gym to learn our patterns so that when we are operating throughout the day we are more aware and can bring it back to improve our boxing skills and change our predictable patterns in and out of the ring.