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Boxing Is Just A Sport, Not Self Defence

Boxing Is Just A Sport, Not Self Defence

First off let me say that despite the inflammatory headline, being able to box well is fantastic for when a real fight kicks off. There is almost nothing better.

Fists are where it’s at in the situations where real violence occurs. And of course if you have a couple of assailants it makes things a lot easier if you can dispatch people with a single shot, one because it evens up the odds quickly, and two because the psychological effect on the other guy when he sees his buddy go down quickly pretty much wins you the fight.

So why then do I say boxing is no good for self defence?

Well firstly because self defence is not actually fighting. Self defence is avoiding fighting whenever possible. There are many tactics and strategies for this, but they all boil down to the same thing; awareness and avoidance.

For example, you are in a bar and you notice some shady looking character checking you out. What do you do? Simple, you just go to another bar. It’s not rocket science.

But that’s weak I hear you say? Really? Well I don’t know about you buddy but I know I can take care of myself if push comes to shove and I have nothing to prove.

Besides which, real fights are fucking scary. You never in your life get to the point where you don’t have pre fight nerves and fear and adrenaline, no matter how many times you fight. Make no mistake about it; every single time you let a conflict go physical you run the risk of being killed or maimed, or killing and maiming someone else.

So lets look at those possibilities. If you’re dead, you’re dead. All it takes is for you to take a good shot and hit your head on the ground. By the way, it doesn’t matter how good you are, there is always that possibility. Being dead isn’t your problem, you’re not going to know much about it. But what about your kids or other loved ones? How will they feel?

So let’s move on to maiming. How are you going to feel walking around with only one eye? Or a massive scar where a glass has been driven into your face? Or being not all there because of brain damage?

What about the other guy? What if he dies or is maimed? Is jail time going to fuck up your life? Most likely it’s not going to be good for you is it?

So  that is why you should avoid at all costs. Knowing how to fight is like an insurance policy, nothing more. You put it in the bottom drawer and hope you don’t ever have to use it. You don’t get car insurance and then go out looking to crash your car do you?

Now we have that sorted, let’s look at other disadvantages of boxing or for that matter any form of combat training when it comes to self defence.

Firstly there is the time investment. If boxing is your sport and you are competing, all well and good. There is a huge time investment to become good at boxing. It only makes sense if you are competing. It simply doesn’t add up if you are doing it for self defence, because the amount of times you are likely to use it for that purpose (if you practise awareness and avoidance) are virtually nil. Why then would you train twice to 3 times a week for something that is unlikely to happen?

Next there is the practical aspect of hitting people really hard in the head with a clenched fist. For those of you who don’t know, boxing gloves were originally invented to protect the hands, not the head. Boxers also have wraps on their hands when they fight.

What happens when you hit someone with a fist to the head is that you will break knuckles. Not every time, but often enough. And later in life along comes the arthritis.

So what is my answer? You want to be able to look after yourself (for the just in case time) but you don’t want to dominate your life. If you’re doing boxing, judo, karate, jiu jitsu or whatever as a sport and you love training it, by all means do it.

If not, learn about awareness and avoidance and maybe do something like hit a punching bag a couple of times a week.

One thing this won’t prepare you for of course is the fear of impending conflict, but that is a subject for another day.

Oh, and one other thing that I would like to say. These people out there peddling so called “reality based self defence”, have absolutely no idea. They put down MMA and all combat sports, spouting such rubbish like, “that would get you killed in the street”. I can guarantee you that most of the people saying this shit would be absolutely be demolished by a good boxer or MMA fighter.

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