There are many misconceptions about combat sports. One that springs to mind is that combat sports are likely to make an individual more violent and/or aggressive. Anyone who has spent a sizable amount of time learning a martial art knows the opposite is often the case. However, in this article we are going to address another common misconception, that you need to fight to take part in boxing classes.
1 The illusion
Media has you confused
Many that are interested in combat sports are often concerned about being beaten from pillar to post! Media certainly plays a role as they help create the misconception that this is a necessary part of boxing classes.
Watching professionals fight
You see a boxing match and assume that to learn how to box you need to do what they’re doing on TV.
Watching a boxing movie
You watch a movie about boxing and see the dramatised version of a boxer preparing for a heavyweight championship fight (i.e. Rocky).
2 The reality
The reality is, you can learn a considerable amount of boxing without ever fighting if you take part in the right boxing classes. Can you become a complete fighter ready to win a world championship without sparring at all? Unlikely. However, you can most certainly improve your physical fitness, ability to box and overall aptitude to defend yourself. Many TFC members that train with us demonstrate this. Many have gained a very respectable level in the sport ability-wise without having ever competed.
3 How you can learn
Take a credible online program
You could, for example, take an online program developed by certified professionals. There are pros and cons that you need to be weigh up with this route. For example, it most certainly is an excellent option for those that do not have a suitable boxing gym for their needs nearby. Additionally, it is a great option for those that are always on the move or have a very restrictive schedule. The drawbacks with a solution like this, is that motivation can be an issue, while we do have some solutions for this with our program, nothing really beats being able to join a gym that has an atmosphere you absolutely fall in love with to keep you motivated.
“I was skeptical about how much you could learn without being in person, but I thought, why not give it a go? It was being designed and run by a former world champion afterall. Can’t put into words how amazing it has been, learned so much and really excited to meet Ben and the team in person!” – Joey Rogers
Join a suitable gym
If you have the time and the option available to you, joining a suitable boxing gym with well-run boxing classes is unquestionably the best option. This will allow you to improve your skills while having an absolute blast! The reason why we emphasise suitable is because boxing gyms come in all sorts of varieties, regarding their purpose.
Put simply, they fall into two main categories. Category A – run specifically to train fighters to become champions. Category B – as a fitness class for the general public using boxing drills. As you can imagine, if you simply intend to improve your cardiovascular fitness and have no intentions to compete, joining a Category A gym is likely going to end up as an absolute disaster potentially putting you off learning to box completely. There is also another Category, however, it is far less common. This is a Category C gym, where they meet both the needs of Category A and Category B. As you can imagine, this requires a very careful approach to execute smoothly. At TFC we are proud to say that our approach has allowed us to fall into this ‘hybrid’ category.
“I wish every gym was like TFC, I almost gave up until I walked through their doors. A true family feel, top-quality instruction and a whole load of fun!” – Sarah Lockheart
4 The journey to mastery
Many students see boxing as a life-long pursuit of mastery once they get their teeth into the sport. What started as simply a fun way to get fit, turns into an integral part of who they are. For many it is a reliable source of multiple benefits both mentally and physically.
Sparring is a benchmark test
While sparring isn’t essential to get to an exceptional level of boxing ability, it is a challenge that one can begin taking part in when they are ready to unlock higher levels of mastery in the sport.
Check out our video on sparring etiquette here.
5 Your reason to box can change
Getting into boxing to lose weight and then deciding to compete later down the line isn’t uncommon. Once the boxing bug has bitten, the desire to test oneself against other technicians surfaces for some students. While this would require a change of gym if one initially started at a Category A gym, a hybrid approach offered at Category C gyms allow for a smooth transition from ‘fitness only’ to ‘competition ready’. At TFC we require the athlete to demonstrate a certain level of dedication to transition into our fight team. These are what we take into consideration: how long you’ve been training for, how consistent you are with your training, your attitude towards training and the reason why you want to compete.
Boxing shouldn’t be seen as a sport that is only available to those that are interested in competing. By accessing the right resources and becoming a student of a suitable gym, you can begin your journey towards mastery without any concerns related to needing to fight to take part.