My Diary – Why Boxing Is Good For Kids

Children boxing is a taboo subject. Mentioning it to parents finds many of them in complete uproar and absolute despair at the idea of such a “violent, dangerous and aggressive sport” being forced upon their children. The funny thing about that is that I completely understand where they are coming from. From the outside looking in, boxing can definitely be perceived as a sport that thrives solely on violence, danger and the risk of knockouts or injury. But, with 16 years experience in boxing in an amateur, professional and coaching capacity, I couldn’t agree less.

My Diary – Why Boxing Is Good For Kids

Boxing changed my life. I was an incredibly energetic, highly active and mischievous child with a sharp mind and a cheeky grin. I never got myself in any huge trouble but I always skirted the boundaries fairly close. Boxing taught me how to manage my energy, invest it sensibly and safely into my own wellbeing and how to understand and control my mind. Boxing is a journey of learning that never ends. Incredible amounts of self discipline, hard work and dedication are required to succeed in boxing – or even just to learn boxing. I spent 13 years under the tutelage of an incredible man who, whilst teaching me the skills required to become a successful boxer, taught me lessons about life including the importance of inner calm, mental composure and a capacity for understanding and acceptance that very few people possess. Through boxing I became an amateur national champion (Junior Novice), a Junior ABA semi finalist and a senior ABA area finalist. I then turned professional and retired after 7 fights unbeaten due to unfortunate medical circumstances completely unrelated to boxing. Now my focus is on teaching others the boxing skills that can help them, not just in boxing, but in life.

My Diary – Why Boxing Is Good For Kids

Here are a list of mental and physical qualities that boxing instils in those that dedicate themselves to it:

  • self control and self restraint – and understanding of how to manage emotion, maintain composure and think your way through precarious or challenging situations.
  • the ability to cope with pressure – dealing with high pressure situations and overcoming obstacles in your path in spite of that pressure is a part of every training session a boxer undergoes.
  • focus and dedication – being prepared to solely focus your entire mental capacity on the improvement of your skillset, your fitness and your mind set is an incredibly transferable and effective skill in all walks of life.
  • respect for others – boxing teaches you that respecting those better than you and those with less skill can aid you in furthering your own skill. Working with more experienced fighters teaches you to be faster, fitter and think quicker whilst working with less experienced fighters teaches you to be controlled, composed and gives you an opportunity to try those new skills you have learned. You quickly learn that by giving respect to those around you, you receive it back and that goes a long way in life.
  • the importance of mind and body- a sharp mind and a fit body should be a married couple. They work completely in symbiosis and, as such, one furthers the other. Boxing teaches you how to be fit, how to look after your body and how to utilise your mind in an effective and co-ordinated manner.
  • basic motor skills – reaction time, co-ordinations, agility, speed and power are all functional, useful and effective parts of day to day life which can be applied to a plethora of different tasks and scenarios to improve your efficiency, ability and safety.
  • coping with adversity – boxing teaches you one thing very, very quickly. Not everything in life goes your way, and it never will. You face constant challenges, obstacles and difficulties which force you to cope, adapt and develop mentally and physically. They build you into a more complete and capable person ready for real world challenges.
  • better physical health and well being – the physical danger of boxing is an angle a lot of people pursue and yet, like most martial arts, boxing requires a physical prowess far beyond that of the ordinary person. Cardiovascular fitness, muscular endurance, muscular strength, explosive power, speed, agility, co-ordination and muscle definition are just a few of the incredible benefits of a dedicated boxing regimen. It’s incredibly rare to see a fighter in poor physical shape.

 

My Diary – Why Boxing Is Good For Kids

Kids particularly struggle to find an outlet for their stresses, their angers and their discontent. Boxing offers them an opportunity unlike ay other sport. They are given a chance to release frustrations in a safe and judgement free environment in which they are monitored, protected and taught an incredibly effective means of moulding their feelings into a positive and progressive aura that will travel with them throughout their lives. Boxing is, undoubtedly , a dangerous sport to compete in. And yet, specifically in England, the safety record is incredible. We are one of the safest countries in the world in which to compete and the medical processes required to box at any level are hugely stringent – and rightly so. Your child doesn’t have to compete at boxing, have any form of contact when boxing or be “punched in the face” to learn a lifelong skill. Boxing, like all martial arts, requires a lifetime of dedication to master, incredible mental fortitude to understand and a positive attitude to stick with. I cannot recommend a sport more highly than boxing for teaching your children some incredible lessons about themselves, about others and about how both of those are treated.

My Diary – Why Boxing Is Good For Kids

In conclusion, I realise that the point of this article and the words I have written will, perhaps, be lost on some of those reading. I know that combat sports aren’t for everybody and, in spite of my love for boxing, I would seek to dissuade people from relying on it as a livelihood. However, boxing is something that people across the globe have enjoyed for millennia and in recent years, the science and artistry of boxing has moved beyond a simple fight between two men. Boxing offers those with difficult lives an opportunity to escape and excel. It offers those with no experience of adversity to face it and address it. It offers children an opportunity to relieve stress and stay fit. It teaches, nourishes and invigorates whole communities across the UK and worldwide. I love boxing, and one day I will teach my children to box. I will never suggest to them that they should compete, but if they choose to follow that path then I will support and encourage them as best I can. If boxing isn’t for you and this article hasn’t changed your mind then that’s fair enough. But, if you want to know more, want to learn more or want your kids (or yourself) to try boxing, then I recommend heading to your local amateur boxing club and finding out what all the fuss is about.

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