Boxing training is great for anyone that’s just starting martial arts. In many ways, it is the perfect gateway for various types of martial art. However, there’s so much more that goes into the art of pugilism than what it’s initially perceived. The truth is, boxing itself requires incredible discipline, thinking ahead, being aware, and being tactical all at once. That’s why it’s referred to by many as ‘the sweet science.’
That being said, building a solid foundation for techniques is important when you’re starting out. Beginners must learn the correct fundamentals of every technique, to execute them perfectly. For beginners, it is strongly advised to execute right the first time, so you don’t form bad habits as time passes. That being said, there are a few common beginner mistakes you need to be aware of. Keep these in mind the next time you’re training.
Today, Evolve Daily shares five beginner mistakes to avoid in boxing.
1) Neglecting The Fundamentals
The fundamentals in any discipline, be it martial arts or anything, is crucial for long-term success. That is why your first few months of training and learning are extremely important. Laying down the foundation of technical skills will only help you to learn and grow at a faster rate. It may be tempting to jump straight into the advanced technicalities of a new sport, especially since it’s all so incredibly exciting to start out. Especially during the honeymoon phase with boxing, beginners want to just dive right in, thinking they’re the next Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather. This results in the tendency on missing out on important lessons and aspects of the game.
Strive to learn the fundamentals of executing basic moves like throwing basic punches for instance — the jab, cross, hook, and uppercut, and knowing how to block and parry. These are all essential tools for the sport. Master each basic technique properly before moving on to more advanced variations like the shovel hook, the overhand, and many others.
2) Lowering Your Guard
A prime example of fundamental teachings is keeping your guard up and always protecting yourself. It’s a simple concept, but many fighters, including the advanced fighters, tend to lower their hands unintentionally, leaving them vulnerable because of the openings they have in their defense. As early as possible in your boxing journey, practice constantly to ensure your hands are up protecting the most crucial areas — the temple, and the chin.
Beginners tend to bring their guard down, especially when they’re tired or when throwing punches. This is one common mistake and is best to avoid. However, if you’re doing this already, try to correct it, by making constant efforts and reminding yourself while practicing. By training your hands to stay on guard consistently, you can bake this good habit into your muscle memory. Protecting yourself at all times is the core ethos of pugilism.
3) Neglecting Footwork
Another mistake beginners make when you’re starting is neglecting the footwork. Footwork isn’t the most exciting thing about boxing, admittedly, but that doesn’t make it any less important. In fact, it is arguably even more important than punching itself. Most beginners tend to focus solely on punching when they first start out training. However, the best boxing gyms and instructors will have you focus on footwork before anything else. Because ultimately, this will undoubtedly set you up for success.
Footwork allows you to move smoothly in the ring, putting you in optimal positions and ranges to either attack or defend. Having better footwork than your opponents allows you to easily maneuver inside the ring and control them with ring generalship. In boxing, you must learn how to move both your arms and feet just as well.
Many beginners don’t realize it but breathing plays a very important role in boxing. If you don’t know how to breathe properly while boxing, you’ll probably end up gassed out within the first few rounds of a fight. In fact, the reason a lot of beginners lose stamina and gas out early in training is that they aren’t breathing properly. Muscles require oxygen to function, and the only way to feed oxygen into your body is by breathing.
Furthermore, breathing in boxing, especially in a fight, is different from breathing normally. It’s hard to get used to especially when using a mouthguard at first, so we advise you to train with a mouthguard as early in your training as you can. The gist of it is simple, breathe through the nose when moving and throwing punches. Generally, you want to inhale and exhale sharply in a controlled manner when moving and throwing punches. This will train both your aerobic and anaerobic endurance.
5) Be Patient
Boxing is an exciting sport to learn, and beginners often want to see progress quickly. But another common mistake is rushing development. You must understand that even the most skilled and talented of professionals are still striving to improve their techniques and sharpen every small detail in training. As a beginner, you’re not going to get excellent at boxing overnight. It’s going to take weeks, months, and years even of practice.
Don’t rush yourself. Give yourself time to focus on the tiniest details of every technique. By taking things slow, and learning the trade properly, you’ll start to develop more as a boxer compared to your ‘rush’ training. As martial artists, we must strive to improve ourselves at least one percent each day, so be patient with yourself, everyone has a different pace.
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