Boxing falls under bout sport where contestants get placed one-on-one on an extreme physical and mental competition. Boxing has prevalent appeal and draws attention from sports sociologists. Research has stressed the strains boxers face on a repetitive basis and the means needed to counter the demands.
The sole aim of boxing is a success. To achieve it one has to improve constantly. The correct use of equipment, personal commitment, steady practice, and sufficient preparation enhance success. The paper discusses the items of equipment needed by boxers, types of gyms where boxing can be learnt examines primary boxing punches and sparing levels.
Gym Equipment Necessary in Boxing
Equipment ranges from personal protective to gym equipment. The first group comprises of different equipment. Hand protection requires the greatest concern since it becomes the primary tool for competition. Hand-wraps comprise of firmly woven fabric intended for combat sports. They help protect the knuckles and tendons when training. They maintain joint arrangement, compressing and providing strength to soft tissues of the hand during the impact of the punch. Boxing gloves fall into competition gloves, sparring gloves and bag mitts. The gloves offer padding and protection, too. They protect the nubs from a direct impact that would displace them causing injury. Mouth guards protect the teeth and the head from knock-outs, concussions, and other internal head injuries instigated by a blow to the jaw lessening risks associated with head injury to a lower level. (Sands, 2010, p. 4).
The gym requires certain equipment for the advancement of boxing. Punch bags get used for practicing body punches, developing power, and for hardening of hands. In developing maneuvering for ring movement, skipping ropes get used. The line improves timing and builds endurance. Jumping rope becomes the next best alternative to sparring. Focus pads assist in developing techniques and skills along with practicing various combinations on a moving target. Shadow boxing drills get perfected by the use of a mirror. The heavy bag allows the fighter to use different styles and techniques. The bags get used in improving speed, strength and endurance by forming the rounds, punching level, and style accordingly. Exercise mat completes appropriate groundwork for flexibility training. Boxers wishing to develop infighting techniques use maize bags as they become more efficient than a conventional wet bag. Motivational aids like sounds, posters, and training partners offer a favorable environment for top performance. Speed bags and speed balls get used in the development of hand-speed. Boxing ring becomes a requirement where boxing progression flourishes (Edwards, 1998, p. 46).
Types of Gyms Proper for Boxing
Non-sparring gyms get focused on non-contact training and drills while sparring gyms get additional equipment for safety considerations. Fitness gym contains different fitness equipment. Here aerobics and body toning fitness exercises are carried out using a range of specialized equipment. The gym may be zoned into specific areas for body exercises.
The outdoor gym can be used for the trainings of boxing. It encourages active exercises through the availability of fresh air and installed outdoor equipment. Most outdoor gyms offer free services and operate around the clock without free days. The gym provides a favorable environment for the wellbeing of boxer’s mental health.
Boxing gyms get tailored with all the appropriate equipment associated with boxing. The environment surrounding boxing gyms becomes favorable for the physical and mental welfare of the boxers. The gyms employ skilled personnel thus making boxing as a career pleasant, attractive and easy to learn (Caldwell, 2010, p.68).
Jab punch gets used mostly as a rangefinder to gauge opponent’s distance. It is mostly hit with the lead hand, weight shifting slightly forward as the hips rotate slightly. The hand turns from a neutral position in the guard to a palm-down position at the extension.
The straight punch is dealt with the leading hand and comes from the back side with more power than the jab coming second after the jab gets thrown. The conditions for dealing the straight punch require punching with the rear hand. As the back foot presses the bug, the hand goes from a neutral position in the guard to palm-down at an extension. The shoulders should continually rotate, transferring the weight from back foot to the front foot during throws. It is advisable to keep the right poise high in guard, throwing it in a straight line to the target and maintaining the flight when pulling back.
Lead hook punch comes after the jab and straight punch with the lead hand and thumb in thumbs-up position. The lead foot leans on the thumb generating more power from the hips. One should consider allowing the arm to straighten further before bringing it back towards oneself before contact. The primary hook should follow a horizontal path from the chin and back to the chin. During movement, the vertical change should become minimal.
Back overhand punch resembles a straight punch but with a semi-circular, arching motion. The punch originates from the chin rising few inches as an arm extends and curving downwards when contact gets initiated. Back overhand punch results from hitting with the rear hand as the fists make an arching motion that finishes downwards. The elbow gets poised high as the back foot squashes the bug. The twisting inward protects the interior ligament of the knee and gives more power to the punch. The rear overhand should come after a jab or lead hook.
Lead uppercut punch should be dealt from short distance to avoid counter punches and maintain power. The dynamics of the punch becomes lowering the lead shoulder and bending the lead knee. The punch comes with a bent arm, elbow down, and fist up. Rear uppercut in the basic boxing position entails lowering the back shoulder and bending the rear knee. The effect becomes appropriate as it puts the weight on the back foot making it more efficient. Like the lead uppercut, the rear uppercut can target the opponent’s chin or solar plexus area.
The lead overhand resembles a jab with a semi-circular arching motion. The fist originates from the chin rising few inches as the arm spreads and then arching downward as contact is made. The punch involves punching with the lead hand as the fist makes an arching motion finishing downwards. With the elbow poised high, the lead foot leans on the toes.
The rear hook punch mostly aims the opponent’s chin. Punching is accomplished with the backhand with the thumb in thumbs-up position. The back foot twists inward giving the punch more power while shielding the interior ligament of the knee. The punch comes after a jab or straight due to its slowness (Silva, 2013, p. 9)
For beginner sparring, the preparation and supervision should be organized by the trainer. The sparring should be positioned mainly on improving the essentials and drills. Goals and guidelines should be placed to ensure safe and useful sparring for beginners. Boxers sparring for their first time should be encouraged to relieve anxiety. A first-time fighter should wear safety equipment and gloves necessary for a safe session. The number of rounds for the first time fighters should be reduced due to fatigue. Beginners should never compete against an open class boxer other than in recognized championship.
A transitional boxer has entered and competed in Open Senior Championship, has not won a Regional Association Title but has won beginner titles. Intermediate sparring allows for a more experienced form of training. However, middle-level boxers should maintain the safety of each other while observing the rules. While sparring between intermediate boxers and beginners, the beginners receive maximum priority. Open sparring takes place only when the middle boxers have had experience with drills and practical sparring. The intermediate sparring’s sole aim becomes to improve concrete skills.
Progressive sparring should entail boxers pronounced to be above the usual standard. Advanced sparring may involve fighters of different weight categories but within the weight of the lowest group. When working with beginners, the advanced fighter should understand the idea of working with the inexperienced one. The superior fighter should not lower the opponent’s skills in such encounters but should rather maintain superiority while using a lower intensity of speed, strength, and tempo (Jordan, 1996, p.87).
In conclusion, boxing constitutes a robust force to reckon. The advantages outweigh the disadvantages in many aspects. The emergence of gyms offering support services to boxers becomes a significant achievement. Boxing equipment aimed at improving boxing and the study of boxing maneuvers enhances the sport. Rules and regulations involving interaction between various levels in boxing promote a safe and productive sparring.