Being a competitive boxer is no joke. Saying you want to get in the ring as an amateur or pro takes a commitment beyond anything you can imagine. But doesn’t anything if you want to be the best?
Boxing is a sport that we can experience at many levels. First is the fitness level. You don’t have to experience giving or receiving punches. You get a flavor of what kind of discipline it takes to execute technically sound punches. You understand why it’s so hard to keep your hands up for 3 minutes. Fitness boxers are interested in learning an effective skill while increasing cardiovascular fitness and strength and conditioning. You get the benefits of stress release from punching. Fitness boxing is often the platform for most gyms today. Fitness boxers breathe life and new energy into a sport of repetition and bring a wider sense of community.
Recreational boxers don’t compete, but they get in the ring, don head gear, bite down on the mouth guard and face themselves inside the ropes. You have to face depths of yourself when you agree to deliver and receive punches. The way you think you will react and the way you actually react is immediately revealed. Training is about reducing your reactions and increasing your responses. You learn effective skills that translate directly to your daily life. You see dialogue as an exchange and feel the honesty in interaction different than before your sparring life.
Competitive boxers start as fitness boxers in any gym model. They must achieve a higher fitness level and learn basic punches and footwork before advancing. They can be in the gym several months before sparring. Next they put on head gear and learn what kind of reactions they have to being hit and/or hitting others. This is also a long process. A competitive boxer can spend 6 months to 1 1/2 years learning to contain their reactions. This process has to filter into their daily life. They must make changes to match what they are achieving in the gym. Competitive boxers depend on fitness and recreational boxers for support and camaraderie. They need that sense of community because often times people in their daily life do not understand what it takes to box. It helps to have others training and focusing on similar skills.
You can take on any level you want in the gym, just be ready to really take it on and be prepared for transformation!