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pachanga
2/03/2005 7:20am,
Question for you guys:

I recently joined a boxing-themed gym. Not a real boxing gym, your average office worker's gym (all the usual machines etc) but also with a boxing ring, a bunch of different bags, and a bunch of classes based to varying degrees around boxing and kickboxing.

One of the free classes is marketed as a "learn how to box class;" however they were very clear that there's no actual sparring, just practicing techniques and cardio stuff. I assumed it would therefore be just some kind of boxing themed fitness class, which a lot of the other classes are. (In fact, the instructors will spar with you if you train privately with them, but it's absurdly expensive). I went along last night anyway to check it out, as our Krav class really doesn't go into anything like enough technique and critique regarding punches (we're taught when to use them, which ones to use, some combos and so on, etc, but not really how to throw them in any detail), and it seemed a bit more than just a fitness gimmick; we were taught some stuff about footwork and stances, and then practiced some combos with ducking mixed in etc. Most of it was training in partners while he went around critiquing technique and giving each person a few minutes practicing with him. About half of it was boxing and half of it cardio stuff (skipping and some other stuff, and some unsupervised "hit the bags as hard and long as possible"). It was only an hour long.

The guy teaching it seemed legit (I checked him out, he used to be fighter and had a decent record of about 30 wins and ten losses over a seven year or so career), and made it pretty clear how badly I sucked along with giving me some advice on how to punch better, what was wrong with my stance (I thought boxing stances were quite side on, as our Krav stance is, but he made me face close to straight), that seemed useful in terms of fighting. He also knocked out one of my lenses by smacking me with a focus mitt when I was too slow dipping, so while no real contact there is at least some stuff to encourage you to move properly etc.

Obviously it's hard to say without seeing how the class works, but does anyone think there's any value in this? Or without sparring/fighting, is it largely a waste of time - the McDojo of boxing? We do some sparring in Krav and I'm looking into some other (kickboxing) classes at the gym that have sparring, so I would be able to integrate some of the stuff elsewhere, but not in a pure boxing context.

Aside from this, the only other boxing options available to me seem to be white collar boxing (I'd have to give up membership of the gym to pay for this, and I really like having access to a full gym), or some other boxing/fitness variant. I've had several people suggest to me that I simply join your standard amateur boxing gym, but the ones I've checked out will only take people on if they're willing to box conmpetitively, which I'm not, and anyway won't take someone my age (26); they've all directed me to either fitness or white collar boxing programmes run at their gyms instead.

To sum up, I enjoyed it a lot, it's a much better work out than my average Krav class, and I'll l probably keep going for a while to see how it goes; but I'm also interested in what value you guys think it has in terms of helping my fighting skills. Any thoughts?

Cheers.

Judah Maccabee
2/03/2005 7:43am,
I first learned boxing technique and form in a cardio kickboxing class. The instructors were amateur kickboxing competitors who also taught an instructional class in fighting technique.

I told them that I was interested in learning how to box, and showed up 3x a week. Sometimes, when there'd only be like, 4 people in the class, it was like getting a private lesson.

I knew right off the bat I wasn't learning how to fight, I was learning boxing technique. Once I had a good handle on that, I started looking for schools to spar at and learn to actually fight, hence, where I am now. You won't learn how to fight, but spending time learning the basics is in my opinion never a waste. Later, when you DO have a chance to train harder, you have a base to build upon.

Gezere
2/03/2005 8:29am,
Sounds like a BOXEROBICS class they had here. The guy running it was a legit boxer but it was geared to pple to get a workout. As long as the pple don't think they will become prizefighters then its ok.

Lights Out
2/03/2005 6:20pm,
Couldnīt you apply the technique you learn there when you spar in your Krav classes?

Ender
2/03/2005 9:25pm,
If you can get proper instruction on footwork, stance mechanics, and the rudiments of punching and body movement, you've gotten something out of the class. That being said, without some moderate-contact sparring, it's going to be pretty abstract. Talk to your instructor and see if he can start a sparring class for those who are interested.

lifetime
2/03/2005 9:31pm,
If you can get proper instruction on footwork, stance mechanics, and the rudiments of punching and body movement, you've gotten something out of the class. That being said, without some moderate-contact sparring, it's going to be pretty abstract. Talk to your instructor and see if he can start a sparring class for those who are interested.

Good comment.
I'm of the school of thought that martial arts learning has two phases:

1. Learning the technique and performing them perfectly against padding

2. Re-learning how to do everything after you start sparring.

No matter how perfectly you execute the technique, until you've started sparring you have no idea how they're supposed to work. Once you start sparring, even if your form and technique is perfect during training, you start right back at zero and start re-learning everything, with the new emphasis in mind on actually hitting someone in the face.

When you first learn a technique you're thinking about getting the mechanics right, and doing everything properly, maintaining balance etc. After you start sparring, you go back to that technique and you start all over again, this time training the technique with the emphasis on thinking how you're going to hit someone with it.

For that reason I think learning something for too long without sparring is plain meaningless. It serves as a learning set when you DO start fighting; but it's just wasted effort because you're going to have to learn to do it all again properly anyway.

nasty_totoro
2/03/2005 9:36pm,
no sparring boxing is like taebo ...

great excercise ... nice form ...

but thats it ...

JohnnyCache
2/03/2005 9:44pm,
If the teacher's legit, he might be able to steer you toward something more what you're looking for...

lifetime
2/03/2005 10:06pm,
Actually if there's a boxing ring in the gym, they have to do SOME sparring. Right?

bodar
2/04/2005 3:20am,
no sparring boxing is like taebo ...

great excercise ... nice form ...

but thats it ...

Still better than his current, admittedly-bad form.

pachanga
2/04/2005 4:37am,
Actually if there's a boxing ring in the gym, they have to do SOME sparring. Right?


Yeah, like I say if you pay for personal boxing training (which quite a lot of people seem to do - lots of rich City types) the instructors will spar with you. But that's far out of my league right now.

Thanks for the suggestions, comments etc. I think i'll carry on with it for the moment and when I feel like I've learned something about technique will look into organising a sparring class or going somewhere else, make my world title bid etc. I can use it to an extent in my Krav class as I said, but it will be a bit different from pure boxing sparring.

Cheers guys.

Don Gwinn
2/07/2005 10:24pm,
Actually if there's a boxing ring in the gym, they have to do SOME sparring. Right?
Nope.

It'd be kind of silly, but there's certainly no guarantee that any particular piece of equipment is getting used just because they laid out a bunch of money to have it there.

For an illustration, check out the power/squat rack at most gyms. You might have to move some stuff to find it if you're not at your gym.

Red Elvis
2/07/2005 11:15pm,
Da Komrads! There is somethink to be said about this boxing without sparring...

I just Kan't think of Enklish translation? Oh well.

lifetime
2/07/2005 11:38pm,
In Soviet Russia, English Translates You!

feedback
2/07/2005 11:56pm,
Cliche overuses you!

lifetime
2/07/2005 11:58pm,
Yeah, kinda the message I was going for. It's subtle. I was trying to use it to be funny but also having a double meaning of being ironic thus people would understand it's not cool anymore. But bonus points for picking it up feedback, good job!