Boxing and martial arts are no longer reserved only for elite athletes. Fitness enthusiasts and interested amateur competitors are turning more and more to both activities for exercise and recreation.
Both martial arts and boxing have rich, storied histories. The roots of martial arts lie in China. However, modern-day martial arts draws its influence from an Indian monk called Ta Mo. He taught monks in the Shaolin Temple a martial arts style known as the 18 Buddhists Fists, which evolved into the Five Animal Styles of Shaolin. Presently, there are numerous martial art disciplines practised worldwide, including:
- Chinese Kung Fu- Although China is the birthplace of martial arts, modern Kung Fu is more directly associated with Ta Mo’s teachings and influence. Its prevalence in the mainstream arena results from extensive appearances in Hollywood movies.
- Japanese Kendo- A discipline with focus is sparring. At its inception, Kendo was practised by Samurais, who used bamboo sticks for training. Its modern iteration is now a weapons training field that uses metal swords in place of bamboo.
- Korean Hapkido- A discipline that focuses on defence rather than attack. It is known in some circles as the ‘anti-martial art’.
- Brazilian Capoeira- A unique subspecialty that combines acrobatics, dance music and fighting.
- Vietnamese Viet Quyen Dao- This is a multi-disciplinary aggregation of kickboxing, aikido, karate and judo. The sport’s creator emphasizes the need to command your attack and defence skills by harnessing both mental and physical power. Viet Quyen Dao appeals most to those who want to learn a set of skills from a mix of specialties.
The birth of boxing is linked to the Sumerians who occupied large parts of the Middle Eastern regions. It was then adopted by the Greeks, who were the first to declare it an Olympic Sport. Afterward, the Romans took a liking to it. They transformed it into a spectator sport where boxing tournaments were held in amphitheatres in the presence of large crowds. Finally, after centuries of evolution and a brief outlaw period in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, boxing reemerged as the sport we know today.
Boxing is now considered to be a premier sport. Clubs have been established everywhere to offer training for anyone who expresses an interest. Most participants who join a club take up boxing as a form of exercise.
Boxing and martial arts are very taxing, both mentally and physically. They work multiple muscles and strengthen your core while increasing your metabolism and boosting fat burn. Your body also gains more muscle tone. One added benefit of a stronger core is improved posture.
There are opportunities for you to pit your boxing or martial arts skills against other participants through competition. Numerous clubs organize tournaments and bouts to allow interested parties to face other challengers.
Boxing and Martial Arts Competitions
Individual clubs regularly organize regional and national boxing tournaments to give fighters an arena to showcase their abilities. For further information about competitive boxing within your club, contact your local club manager.
Concerning aspiring professional athletes, some clubs offer training spaces where they can prepare for competitions. For example, boxing is listed as an Olympic sport; therefore, elite boxers can use the facilities available in local clubs to train for the Summer Games. In other cases, your local club may provide training for novice athletes. Such opportunities allow you to build your skills in a sport of your choosing until you attain elite status. Again, consult your club’s administrator about the availability of such programs.
Training in boxing and martial arts has long-term, positive effects. Both impart a sense of discipline and perseverance while giving you an appreciation for hard work. Moreover, participating in competitions allows you to track your progress and find areas of improvement. Your confidence can also get a considerable boost when your performance improves.
Consider enrolling in a local club today. Membership has a lot to offer, including camaraderie, a safe space where you can learn and train, the chance to make new friends while developing your skills and many more. The value of your experience will manifest in your improved character and a better sense of self.