Jab Cross Hook
Hands up, elbows in, find your stance, step forward, step back, step to the side. Now add the jab with your step, don't lead with the wrong foot. Breathe. Try again. Cross, side to side, keep moving... Repeat.
Boxing is a beautiful sport. There is very little knowledge from most spectators regarding the lifestyle, preparation, work and mental conditioning that goes into being a successful fighter. We turn on the TV to see boxers land their winning blow and assume that's it. It's all in the punch right? Wrong. It takes a lot of strength and discipline both mentally and physically to become a successful fighter... starting with the preparation.
A successful punch is the result of many hours of repetitive practice. What ends in the fist begins in the ground. Most people misunderstand the mechanical component of punching and assume the power to punch hard comes from the movement of the arm.
The art of punching comes from the ability to move all of the segments of your body together correctly, starting with the footwork. The idea is to be grounded. Finding the correct placement of the legs in relation to the hips will help you find a proper stance in which you feel comfortable. Once you've established your stance, start moving with rhythm, then add in punches to your dancing and lastly, breathe. Stay light on your feet so that you can "sting like a bee."
Boxing is a physical sport that is fought and prepared for in your mind long before you start fighting an opponent. Your mindset changes the second you start wrapping your hands. The mindset that comes from knowing I'm going to punch and be punched.
When people step in front of the punching bag they begin working their way through a mental checklist… I want to punch this person because, I’m frustrated with a certain situation, fear that a punch will hurt, knowing their kick needs improvement.. these are natural thought patterns our mind tries to process before any physical movement begins. You have to move past these thoughts.
Boxing is an aggressive sport bringing a lot of emotions to the surface - anger, fear, frustration, anxiety. The goal is to face our ego with these emotions and channel them into something productive.
If you go through life throwing punches with anger, you will end up hurting yourself. Anger is the ultimate boomerang. It destroys. When you get punched (and you will get punched) the ego wants to respond.
“That’s the most beautiful thing that I like about boxing: you can take a punch. The biggest thing about taking a punch is your ego reacts and there’s no better spiritual lesson than trying to not pay attention to your ego’s reaction.” – David O Russell
If you throw punches with fear, you'll doubt your capacity and potential ending up hurt as well. Solid punches are landed only with the confidence and security that come from repetition, training, focus and discipline.
You can fear your opponent and try to run but eventually they catch up to you. Or you can dodge a couple of hits and wait for the right moment to land the proper punch. You have to know that you are going to receive, but you need to be smart about how you receive it.
Boxing is complex, life is complex. How we fight in the boxing ring can directly correlate to how we fight in life. Our habits start young. It's important to be smart, to watch for the openings your opponent gives you. Take responsibility for your actions and preparation. Understand your limits. Know when to step back from a fight that wasn't meant for you and prepare accordingly for the fights that are. Know when to push hard, and when rest is needed. The mental components of boxing/life overshadow the physical demands. Practice and don't stop moving.
Step forward, step back, jab, cross hook. Repeat.