It’s Not Just about the KO
Boxing is easy to learn but to do it well can take years. Unlike punching. Anybody can incorrectly wind up and throw a punch. Anybody can get lucky and KO their opponent with a wild swing that despite bad technique and all, somehow finds its mark. Punching randomly and waywardly without a plan isn’t usually successful and isn’t boxing. Boxers have a plan. That’s one of the reasons why boxing is often called the “Sweet Science”. It takes years to “perfect” the small details because it’s so detailed. Sure, it’s tough but it’s super technical and tactical too. Power and precision.
N.B. The Sweet Science has been shortened over time from the original phrase — the Sweet Science of Bruising. The words are the journalistic work of English sports writer, Pierce Egan. He coined the phrase in the early 1800’s to describe the duality of boxing.
At it’s best, boxing is:
- Rapid movement
- Reflexes and anticipation
This is an incredibly skilful and intricate sport with fine-point details. Sure, there are raw and brutal slugfests — fights big on brawn and little else. Then there’s finesse. The finer aspects. Poetic contests where tactical, technical and physical abilities stand out and that makes boxing a Jekyll and Hyde contradiction. Analytical and yet potentially monstrous.
If you want longevity in the sport, whether competitive or simply training and sparring, a tactical or ‘scientific’ approach is recommended. Poetry not thuggery.
This tactical approach to training should encompass all aspects of boxing and not just brute strength and crude toughness. Attack and defence should be given equal consideration. Be smart. Hit and don’t get hit. And obviously, to do both effectively and efficiently takes countless hours of practice. Lots of practice. The secret to learning smart boxing isn’t a secret. As Manny Pacquiao said, “If you work hard in training the fight is easy.” So find a good trainer and then commit to spending the time to work hard physically and mentally, on both big and small details. Happy training.
Yours in boxing,