Of the many martial arts that exist, one of the most important and fundamental combat sports you should learn is the art of Boxing. Boxing itself is simple: you strike, or punch, your opponent with your hands using different sets of combinations and setups. That’s boxing at it’s simplest form, but there is so much more involved that makes boxing such a fun and complex martial art to learn.
You’re probably reading this post because you’re considering joining a Boxing or MMA gym for the first time and aren’t sure where to start. Not to worry - this post will give you an unbiased, straight-to-the-point overview of what you can expect during your future boxing training, how to best prepare before beginning your training, and best practices for future growth and success. This post WILL NOT show you how to throw basic punches and review techniques - that’s what the gyms are for.
Taking up Boxing as either a new hobby or workout can pay extreme dividends on all parts of your day-to-day life. Apart from the fact that you’re getting a great workout in, you’re also learning how to kick someone’s ass if you ever needed to (we don’t condone random violence - not cool). From experience and from talking to many students and competitors over the years, introducing a martial art such as boxing can help increase your fitness levels and confidence. With a proper diet in place, you could cut weight quite easily by just attending your standard cardio boxing classes 3 times per week.
But before we get carried away with excitement, you first need to understand why you want to get into Boxing - this way, you can easily establish a set of expectations not only of your future gym, but for yourself too.
There’s generally three factors in determining why you want to begin Boxing. From experience meeting countless students/teammates, it usually came down to:
Ironically, no matter which category you fall under, there’s always the potential for the other two categories to be tied in, unless you have zero interest in going pro, which is totally fine!
The most common reason people want to get into boxing is for health reasons. Taking up a cardio boxing class can help you lose weight quite effectively, and can also help improve your confidence day-to-day. If you fit into this category, it’s recommended that you attend as many classes as permitted each week and focus on your explosiveness and endurance first. That doesn’t mean dismiss proper boxing technique when it comes to throwing those 1-2-3 combinations.
In some cases, people seek to learn a martial art because they want to develop self-defense skills. In this aspect, boxing is one of the most important skills you could learn. Self-defense is not only about defending yourself, but also about countering your opponent/aggressor to create resistance and separation. If you’re ever in a situation where you’re being (or about to be) physically harassed and you’ve developed a solid set of boxing skills over the course of 6-12 months (with sparring training), you’re more than likely going to be equipped to handle yourself like a champ.
But don’t stop at just boxing when it comes to learning self-defense. When you’re at a stage that you feel comfortable sparring with other boxers, move out of your comfort zone again and learn a new martial art, such as Muay Thai or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Learning another set of martial arts now makes you a Mixed Martial Artist.
If you’ve ever dreamed about competing on the biggest of stages in front of thousands of people, you’re probably considering learning the art of boxing to become a professional boxer. The path down this road is a grueling and ultra competitive road - but if you’re willing to make this your number one priority in life, you might just have what it takes.
Getting to an elite-level of boxing requires hours of pad work, bag work, 5am 2-mile runs, and countless hours of sparring as long as you plan on competing. You’ll need to be able to commit to a strict lifestyle of nutrition and daily training. As you’re exploring your options for your gyms, you’ll want to make sure they’re offering both beginner and advanced boxing classes. In some cases, competition-level fighters have classes of their own, which you’ll need to work your way through. But don’t worry, as long as you find the right gym with the right coaches, they’ll help guide you in the right direction to achieve your goal of becoming a competitive boxer.
If you’re entirely new to the sport of boxing, you might not know what to bring with you on your first day of training. It’s important to prepare well so you don’t have a lackluster first day of boxing training.
The mandatory essentials for boxing training is to get yourself the appropriate boxing gear. This means purchasing boxing gloves and hand wraps to begin with. You won’t need protective gear within the first couple of months as you won’t be sparring. If your coach at your new gym instructs you to spar within your first few weeks, find a new gym immediately. Don't forget to pick up a nice boxing shirt while you're at it and show you're committed!
After you supply yourself with quality boxing gear from ATL Fight Shop, now you’ll want to start scouting your potential gym. Picking and choosing a gym for your long-term boxing training can be tricky as you might enjoy the day-1 workout. But BE CAUTIOUS - pay close attention to the way your coaches teach you and the class. Are they doing their due diligence to correct your form as your throwing your jabs and crosses? Do you see other students throwing sloppy punches that you know doesn’t look right, and the coaches are casually ignoring the students? That’s a red flag. We’ll be writing a separate article on scouting combat sports gyms, so be on the lookout for that blog post on our site.
Lastly, you’ll want to mentally prepare yourself for your upcoming boxing training. There’s a common phrase in the combat sports world: check your ego at the door. Don’t know what this means? It’s simple. Don’t walk into the gym with a sense of arrogance and cockiness. This basic rule applies to everyone: new students and experienced fighters.
In case you may not know, your first day in the gym is going to be awful (in a good way, of course). You’re more than likely going to get your ass kicked in the gym and leave with new muscle groups aching in soreness the next day. No need to panic though, we got you covered on how to best prepare for your first day of boxing class.
Prior to attending your first boxing class, we strongly recommend you go out for a jog or a run a couple of times one week before your first class. Because you’re going to be doing cardio-intensive movements that require explosiveness and constant mobility, your chances of gassing out (a fight term also meaning “getting tired”) are significantly higher if you don’t condition your body for moderate levels of cardio. It would suck for you to show up to your first class and gas out 20 minutes into class. Be prepared.
We cannot stress it enough when we say “Check your ego at the door”. You might be in-shape prior to attending your first boxing class, but that doesn’t mean you should handle yourself with an aurora of arrogance. Trust me, we can sense it - and we will judge you.
Come to your first boxing class with an open mind, ready to learn the basic concepts of boxing with your new coaches and teammates. Get along with your teammates, because later down the line in your boxing journey, you may have to sparr one another. It’s always better to sparr with teammates you get along with, versus sparring with people you’re not very fond of.
As you’re starting fresh into the world of boxing, it’s up to you to do your homework on what type of gear you should be buying. From what we’ve seen, traditionally, students will run to their local general sports supply store and pick out a basic pair of $30-$60 Everlast gloves that blow out in less than 6 months and feel like crap on day one. The general consensus is then: well, you should have gotten better gloves.
But how would you know, as a beginner, what good gloves look and feel like? Well, that’s precisely why we started ATL Fight Shop - to be a reliable and trusted resource for combat sports gear for all stages of your martial arts journey, no matter whether you’re just beginning your path into the boxing world, or you’ve already had a couple of amateur fights.
My previous statement about Everlast gloves isn’t to state that they’re a terrible brand - on the contrary, they have some of the most attractive and comfortable pair of gloves we’ve ever tried, along with their boxing essential accessories, such as boxing hand wraps and mouth guard. This is why we carry Everlast gear at ATL Fight Shop, both online and in-store. Below, you can find a set of recommended essential gear for you to be prepared for your journey into the world of boxing.
One of the essential pieces of gear we strongly recommend you get comfortable with is the hand wraps. Probably the most tricky pieces of gear to put on yourself, the hand wraps are important to wear every time you are boxing to help protect your hands and wrists. Not knowing how to put on hand wraps can lead to a 5-10 minutes lost in your first day of class. Go prepared, familiarize yourself with the hand wraps, and show your coaches you’re dedicated to learning how to box. This video is a solid example of how to apply hand wraps yourself.
Your journey and success into the sport of boxing will ultimately come down to two factors: your determination to improve as a boxer and the people you train with helping you to learn and grow as a boxer. Make sure you find a gym with quality coaches that have patience with new students. Take a free trial class and gauge the vibe of other students. If they’re coming off as aggressive and looking for a fight, that’s often a bad sign. If you ask other students questions about certain techniques and they gladly assist, then you’re in good company.
We know this probably isn’t the tutorial you might have been looking for, but it’s definitely a set of tips that can help you in your journey into boxing. We’re extremely excited for you to learn everything that’s possible when you take up boxing, and we extend our hand of support if you ever need anything. At ATL Fight Shop, our main goal is to be a trusted resources for your combat sports needs - that definitely includes boxing. Shoot us a comment below, follow us & DM on Instagram for any questions. We’re here for you.
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