4 things Boxing taught me about myself


“I’ve little or no interest in combat sports. I want to love, not hurt people,” said a much younger and poorly informed me.

Since then I’ve talked about, followed and even interviewed a few big-ish name fighters from George Groves to my mate Paddy Blight who tours MMA under-cards around Britain and Ireland

The idea that boxing is a thuggish sport isn’t far off the mark, but one undoubtedly held by those who haven’t felt and tasted the demands the sports training puts on an athlete.

“The fatigue in my shoulders from hitting pads got me thinking, am I even fit?”

A few sessions in and I began to see the light.

Focus under fatigue…

Powering through a HIIT session, it’s easy to lose technique as you get tired. This is harder to do in Boxing.

When punches go soft and guards drop there’ll likely be a sharp shock to the nose that’ll surely wake you up ;).

Focusing through every movement when you’re Chin Strapped maximizes the mind | body development you’ll take from each session.

No surprise to see hard-ass UFC fighters plastering photos of yoga sessions on Instagram.


Screenshot 2017-07-05 10.17.21.png
Connor McGregor also trains regularly with movement guru Ido Portal

Am I even fit? 

Blasting though my CrossFit AMRAPs and HIIT sessions in Gymbox is the norm for me. I push hard but I know exactly what my capabilities are and what buttons to press.

But three minute rounds in a boxing ring hit me like a steam train and before long I was completely gassed.

The fatigue in my shoulders from hitting pads got me thinking, am I even fit? Any strength and endurance I thought I had seemed to go out the window. It’s a proper fitness test!

Coordination Coordination Coordination

This harks back to the first point about keeping your guard up when you’re wrecked (literally and metaphorically).

The complexities of movements are uncanny.

Hip movements using your entire body for maximum power, taking the momentum from a defensive block to go seamlessly into an offensive combo, and footwork to glide around the ring picking holes in your opponents defense.

Every limb and plane of movement has to work in tandem, and I’m a long way from cracking it in this case.

Imbalances are rife

As with anything your body isn’t used to, it’s hard to be really prepared. That’s why its recommended to switch up your training ever four to six weeks to avoid plateau.

Boxing – as it happens – leaves no hiding place for any body part, it’s not long before weaker muscle groups start having serious words with their owner.

My shoulders aren’t as strong and durable as I thought, my calves and feet muscles seem to spend most of the time half asleep, and my core feels non-existent.

Boxing, and by extension all combat sports demand a level of fitness and cognitive skill simply unparalleled in other disciplines.

MMA fighters recently replaced gymnasts as the fitness all round athletes.

But since the vast majority of us don’t fancy going bare-knuckle in an octagon, or doing back flips off a beam, I’d recommend Boxing as one of THEE ways to get fit.

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