Lesson One: So You Want To Learn To Box?
Preparing to Fail
So you want to learn to box?
Don’t do it! Boxing is a tough, grueling, painful sport with very few rewards.
Not discouraged? Well I tried.
If you are intent on learning the sweet science, I will walk you through becoming good and possibly (dare I say) great starting with the basics.
The first lesson I’m convinced every boxer should learn first is possessing the right mindset.
Let’s take me for example. My older cousin began to learn to box when I was little older than 9 years old. At that time I could not convince my mother to let me follow suit, so my cousin came from practice and ‘taught’ me the art of fighting.
It was obviously the right stuff as I had success in every fight in which I engaged. My ego grew as my reputation grew.
A couple of years later, I decided to head into a local boxing gym (as my mother was pregnant and now far less protective of me) and attempt to get a real fight. The 2 old men who ran the gym were against me from the start. They knew statistically I wouldn’t stick around after the first time I got punched.
I was eager to prove them wrong but they would not let me spar. Line drill, line drill, line drill… every single day and roadwork at home. That was my life for the first 2 months.
They finally allowed me to spar against a kid my age, Eric, and it was my time to shine. A couple of weeks into sparring Eric I had perfected both my Mike Tyson and Pernell Whitaker impersonations.
It was time to step up in class. They allowed me to spar with a seasoned amateur they groomed named Tony Cygan. I jumped at the opportunity and went to work! I was a natural, jabbing my way in, sidestepping, bobbing and weaving.. this was clearly my sport.
About 3 days into sparring Tony , another ordinary day in the office, one of the coaches, Mr. Frank, looks away from a guest he was entertaining with bad jokes, and says, “Tony, you can stop taking it easy on him.”
I quickly found out why Tony’s nickname was cyclone. I had never been hit with so many hard, rapid succession punches in my entire life. Every single punch I threw was stopped and countered with devastating left hands.
After Tony was done destroying any belief I ever had in myself, I walked out of the ring, headed for the bathroom, and balled like a baby just exiting his mothers womb.
This is the first real lesson I learned from boxing. It was a lesson the coaches at LRBC chose to have me learn the hard way. I will attempt to save you the heartache and self doubt from the beginning and tell you, you are not Ali, Tyson, Mayweather, or Sugar Ray. In fact, when all those figures started, they weren’t what they eventually became either.
While you learn to box, you will get hurt, you will lose, you will be bloodied, and you will feel more pain, more consistently than any other sport can offer. Our goal is to lessen these moments with a good foundation and a high boxing iq but expect the bruised ego that will come with getting punched in the face and chalk it up to a learning experience. That is the mindset you should have in the fight game.
So do you still want to learn to box? If the answer is yes, the next lesson will be the beginning of boxing fundamentals. Hope you stick around and comment any questions you need answered.