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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Boxing Basics for Those Who Want to Get Fit While Learning Self-Defense



Boxer’s Start-Up by Doug Werner offers the beginners guide to boxing. Every healthy lifestyle should include some sports and fitness activities. A variety of sports like karate, boxing, horseback riding, skiing, jogging, bicycling, etc. affords the opportunity to learn new skills while conditioning the body into shape. Boxing is a heavy cardiovascular sport and is well known to lead to higher levels of physical abilities. This may be one of the many reasons why gyms offer kick-boxing as a fitness routine. 

This book is more for those who want to understand the basics of the sport. I have watched boxing, engaged in some boxing activities, and enjoyed some self-defense sports. Moving into the fundamentals allows for further mastery of skills that come with self-defense and fitness. The book will cover everything from clothing to routines. 

It will provide information on basic learning, boxing gear, stances and footwork, punches, combinations, heavy bag, basic defense & counters, mitts, working out, sparring and history of boxing. It provides a broad overview of the sport and will give most fitness enthusiasts the necessary fundamental techniques. 

I have done some low level boxing for fitness and basic defense. This book will cover most of what I have experienced in entry level classes. As this is not the only sport I practice I would be seeking something more in combinations but this will give a person a good start. In particular, I like the pictures and descriptions that help to show the beginning, middle and end of the motion. Add that to previous experience and you have a good idea what they are looking for. 

The book will talk about the protective box that is a zone of defense for your head and midsection. It will teach you about how to block and counter. More difficult concepts include the combinations and how to snap your wrist to put extra power into your punch. Body mechanics may be something you need an expert to review with you because weight positioning and movement can be tricky. Our natural movement may not be the best movement.

As a person who believes in protecting your head I think that such a sport is great for fitness, fun, and self-defense but not as a long-term occupation. There are risks to such sports and these can be serious. Sparring is acceptable if you are wearing the right head gear and keeping speed and power down to the minimum. Any sports enthusiasts should have some basic boxing training as most of these techniques will be used in a tight situation. My suggestion is to master the basics and then move onto other self-defense sports that take less repeated blows to the head.

Werner, D. (1998). Boxer’s Start-Up: A beginner’s guide to boxing. Tracks Publishing; CA.

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