Taking up boxing as a legitimate sport is a great and encouraged thing. Some people take it up as a workout routine as well in order to get themselves into shape. But if push comes to shove, Is Boxing For Self Defense Effective in situations of life and death?
This is a question most asked by people who wish to take upon a fight form for self-defense. Traditional martial arts like karate, kung fu, hapkido and such are proven to be self-defense fight forms that are usually taught when taking self-defense classes as a method of protecting yourself on the streets or anywhere else in case a situation arises.
But the bigger question here is whether boxing can be seen and used as a self-defense technique, which is what we discuss here in this article. But in order to do that we first will have to know about the advantages and drawbacks of boxing when looking at it in the light of self-defense.
Where boxing can work in actual life scenarios
It can allow you to deliver a knock-out using just one punch
When you are in a situation of life-or-death, you need to be as quick and as clever as possible in order to escape your attacker fast and run for your life. For that, obviously, you will need to attack them in order to save yourself. When we talk about punches in boxing, we must know that it is perhaps one of the only sports that trains its part-takers to deliver the strongest of punches.
For instance, actual, well-known boxers such as Mike Tyson are to knock their opponents out in just one punch in that past, and that too with about 8 to 10 oz gloves on. This is not normal, and it is not impossible. It can be achieved through vigorous and regular training, and boxing does just that.
The reason a heavy and impactful punch like this is able to be executed is because in boxing, we do not just look at the wrist strength but also, train the leg movements and upper body pivots in order to add extra weight and strength in the punch when delivering it. This technique can be extremely useful in case you manage to master it to be used.
It allows for more accurate and faster punches
Power and strength in boxing do not solely originate from the training that you acquire in boxing. Sure, through vigorous and regular training you can gradually improve your performance and punching power, but, that power also still depends on your natural abilities and attributes.
For instance, your punching power may definitely be influenced by your weight, your muscle fibres and your muscle attached to your bone. These are things that you mostly cannot change or improve and because of which you might not be able to execute the one strong punch. But you can use other elements to your power and use them in a street scenario instead.
So if you are someone who is small, you can still use forces of volume, accuracy and speed to deliver a string of accurate punches that can still lead to your attacker losing their guard. And more importantly, boxing is a sport where the techniques allow you to train to punch fast and punch accurately, allowing you to strike your target properly and bring them down.
It emphasizes on Defense strategies
In boxing, more importance is given to defense moves rather than the offence. This is because you need to learn to evade and dodge punches when you are facing an opponent. And in all of the combat sports that are performed standing up, boxing is the one that provides more training and excellence in defense techniques. This element comes in handy to a great extent since in a dangerous situation, these moves will help you save yourself from rogue attacks.
Moreover, when you are training in boxing, you are taught the right way to punch from the beginning. You are taught to deal with several street fighting scenarios by learning the various kinds of skilled and unskilled punches that you can encounter. This helps you keep yourself alert and you will know the right way to punch and the right way to dodge a punch. In a good time, you will know how to deal with any kind of punch that might be thrown your way.
It allows for a more confident attitude when on your feet
Boxing is a sport that is performed by standing on your feet. The role of your feet in boxing is a major one. Footwork is an important aspect to work on when boxing. The movements of your feet, the shift in your stance, the sturdiness of their position so that they can add to your punch, all of this involves a role of your feet which is what keeps you upright.
And when wrestling, standing on your feet may allow you to be more confident in your punching. Especially, when you come across a situation in a street, being in a position where you are already standing on your feet after wrestling will give you a good advantage so that you can run away when you find the chance. Being more confident in your punching style and strength will allow you to better stay on your feet.
It may allow one to fight multiple opponents
Traditional martial arts have the ability and provide space for a person to be able to tackle more than one opponent. Their techniques are such that they can attempt to stop attackers from more than one side. However, in boxing, going up against more than one opponent may be a bit of a problem. Sure, if you are good at attacking and defending yourself, you may be able to take down two opponents.
But, this can be possible only if you are absolutely good at gauging your attackers and their movements. In case you engage in wrestling, it will become such that if you are faced with even two opponents, you may not be able to handle both of them together since when you are fighting one, the other may tackle you to the ground from behind. So, if you have the exceptional skills and training, using only boxing you might be able to take down multiple opponents.
It builds a fighter mind-set
Training in boxing is very rigorous and involves a lot of pain that the fighter will have to bear in order to become well-versed in the sport. So, if you are a fighter taking a punch to the face, or bleeding, or getting hit hard, or even experiencing pain will not be as much of a challenge for you as it might be for those who do not engage with the sport.
In case a street scenario arises where you are attacked, and you decide to fight the attacker, even if they are a good match for you, and you keep getting attacked and punched in the face or anywhere else, you will still be able to go on. This is because boxers, through training, are able to develop the physical and mental ability to withhold resistance and tolerance towards pain. This will allow you to fight harder and longer in any given dangerous situation.
If you learn and perfect yourself on the basics of boxing, then you have nothing to worry about in taking it up as a method of self-defense in a street scenario. The three basics to know:
- Utilizing and perfecting a jab in order to maintain distance and try different combinations
- Using foot work to keep yourself steady on your feet and as a defense mechanism
- Maintaining good timing in order to punch, parry or block as and when necessary
Learn and perfect these three basic techniques of boxing and you have got nothing to fear.
Drawback of boxing in an actual Defense scenario
Looking at the drawbacks of using boxing as a viable method of self-defense is important to understand why one may not be able to take it up to defend themselves.
The ground is not a place that boxers are used to
When boxers are trained in the sport, they are trained accordingly so that they are able to compete inside the ring under supervision. When we talk about a scenario of a boxer fighting an attacker upon the street, we need to understand that fighting on the streets is much different than sportive boxing. Specifically, the kind of stance you are able to maintain inside and outside the ring are two different things.
Upon the streets, a boxer cannot use his boxing stance and position because inside the ring, the boxer stands close to his opponent as is necessary. But, doing the same in a street fight will only cause them to get injured since the short distance will allow the attacker to grab them easily and injure them while having them locked in position. This might not play out well or in favor of the boxer when he is trying to defend himself.
Gloves become an important part of boxing
In the modern version of the sport of boxing, covered and protected hands are a must. Boxers are trained with these gloves on and they have to bear the weight of the gloves and must learn to navigate their hand movements with the gloves on.
Previous and ancient versions of boxing involved bare-knuckled fighting which involved different kinds of methods and techniques so that the boxers do not hurt themselves as badly. But today, the boxer cannot fight without his gloves because that will result in them severely injuring their hand in an intense fight. Moreover, with the way the attack techniques are designed, the lack of gloves would only give the opponent a much larger opening for them to make a strike.
Clinch fighting in unfamiliar territory
Boxing requires the two individuals to keep a certain distance from each other in order to throw full-arm punches. In a proper match, if the two fighters end up in a clinch fight, the referee steps in to separate them so that they can revert to fighting in the right way. Because of this restriction, boxers are not very well trained in clinch fighting which is what might be needed most definitely in a street fight where no rules exist.
Takedown Defense technique is poor
In the proper rules of boxing, taking down your opponent while using defense is not allowed and does not count as a legitimate move. This is why boxers are not trained well or at all in take down man-oeuvres since they will not need them inside the ring. This may pose to be a limitation when in a street fight since taking down the attacker is vital.
Lack of leg Defense
In boxing, leg kicks are not a legitimate move. The only use of the feet is to direct positions for stance and balance. Otherwise, there is no leg strength. But with other fighting styles, especially Muay Thai, the leg kicks are the most painful attacks that one can encounter, so much so that they can stop the function of the part that they impact for a while. This is another limitation in self-defense that we can see when it comes to street fighting.
Conclusion – Is Boxing For Self Defense Effective?
Keeping the two sides explained above, we can see that the drawbacks may outweigh the advantages. The advantages seem to work only if you are a top-notch, highly skilled boxer who can anticipate and deal with every attack and move that might come their way. Otherwise, an average boxer would not be able to deal with the rogue nature of street fighting which will hinder them from defending themselves as effectively.
Traditional martial arts seem to be a more viable option when it comes to self-defense and that seems to be for a good reason. Either way, if you are still adamant about taking up boxing as a self-defense strategy, you may do so, but you will have to be prepared for various scenarios that you can try and fight against.