PRACTICAL BOXING

Concepts

Here are some useful guidelines for fight training and similar topics. These concepts relate to training, competing / fighting and generally how we need to think about what we do and why.

There is always going to be a stark contrast between the mindset in practical boxing and that commonly seen in martial arts, since all we are interested in is building efficient fighting ability in a reasonable time frame. Martial arts are a lifelong study - but fighting ability is a different thing, and needs to be acquired fast, to basic level, then built on.



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Here is one of the most important of all principles:

Training just gives you the tools to start your learning process, which is in fights.

The purpose of training is to get you to the point where you can safely compete, which is where your training proper starts. You can only learn how to fight, in fights. Veteran fighters are light years better at fighting than novices because they had a lot more fights; it's nothing to do with gym time. Get your fights in or be a perpetual novice.


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You can only gain fighting ability in fights.

Although this is simple logic, it's often forgotten.

A person with 1 year's training having their first fight is a beginner at fighting (and as this is our goal, they are indeed a beginner by our measure); a person with 5 years' training entering their first fight is also a beginner.

Years in the gym don't make you a fighter - fighting does. A person with 4 fights who trains at a boxing gym is a boxer (at novice level). A person with 3 years' training at the same gym but no fights is not a boxer, they are a fitness enthusiast or boxercise fan. A boxer is someone with a fight record in boxing.

Several successful street defences make you a fighter, a similar but different thing.


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You need ability in both striking and grappling to be a competent fighter.

Boxing and wrestling (for example) are two sides of the same coin.


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A grappling-based approach is not the best choice for fighting multiple opponents.

Neither is going to the ground deliberately.

No more to be said about this. It is what it is.


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You want to win fights? Need a good way to do it without any flim-flam? OK, good:

Use simple moves, applied with relentless pressure.

That's all. No need to make it any more complicated than that.


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Are you a coach? Looking for an edge? That's good. Maybe you'll find a big way to change up your game and get a ton of wins; maybe you won't. In the meantime, while you're waiting for that big new thing, try this:

The Aggregation of Marginal Gains.

It means to get 1% better or even just 0.5% better at a whole bunch of things nobody else can be bothered with as it looks like it's not worth it. When all those little things add up, you've got enough boost overall to make things happen.


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Do you believe without question in the doctrine passed down to you? In that case you will be as mediocre as your teachers. Dare to be different.

Step right in fights. Step right on the punchbag.

This means, when facing an opponent and you are both orthodox fighters and lead with the left foot, you should step right not left when circling the opponent. I've explained this at length on Quora.com so there is no need to do it again here. You'll never be able to do this for real as it's difficult and unnatural unless you train this way on the bag. Once you automatically step right on the bag, not left, then you'll find it easier when sparring. When you get it slick in sparring, you will find it useful in fights. This tactic wins fights.

Of course there are counters to this - as for everything. And then there are tactics to use against their counters - of course. Essentially you take their back and that is a fast win in a fight, and a route to a win in boxing for those who are coached correctly.

If you aren't coached right then nothing will win for you, even getting behind the opponent.


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The people I most like quotes from are Mark Twain and Yogi Berra. Twain is a bit obvious, perhaps - he spoke the unwelcome truth; but Berra put a lot of real world wisdom into his output and although most of it sounds pretty funny, he is usually dead right.

This quote is about baseball batting, naturally, but it applies just as well to boxing. He is absolutely 100% spot on.

"You can't think and hit!"
  - Yogi Berra


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A sombre note now: a quote that addresses a universal truth. It is a truism - something universally true because it applies to everything. Any field you think of: this applies. Without doubt it applies to anything we are concerned with around here.

This quote is attributed to many people, in different forms.

"Progress advances one funeral at a time."

If you need it explained, it means that nothing moves forward until the old fossils die.


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Learn the difference between...

straight and crooked thinking

...because it is almost the key to everything. You'll figure that out later. Propaganda and convention are traps for the unwary. They are designed to keep you down.


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There you go. A few things to ponder. They win fights, or direct you to think right - which can take you there as well.

If either interest you, it'll pay off.