Getting into competitive boxing can be an exhilarating adventure that helps develop your athletic skills, physical prowess, and sense of confidence. Fighting at the amateur level, however, takes some time and effort long before you put a foot into the ring against an opponent. Follow these expert tips and you'll be a competitive boxer in no time.
Your training is the most crucial element to becoming a competitive boxer. Not only does a structured curriculum build discipline and confidence, but it also prepares your body for the endurance, strength, and speed necessary to survive in the ring. Do not underestimate the value of working with a skilled trainer in a professionally equipped setting. Comparing gyms can help you decide which ones will prepare you best for becoming a competitive boxer. For starters, you'll want to examine each gym you visit for location, price, basic equipment, and people.
The best way to incorporate your boxing into your life is to make going to the gym easy. If you have to run across town after work each day, you'll find it harder to fit it into your schedule. Maintain your commitment to competitive boxing by finding a gym located near your home or work. Most importantly, make sure this gym specializes in boxing, as other gyms simply won't be able to provide the necessary training or equipment.
Boxing gyms employ specialized trainers who are able to assist you one-on-one while learning the fundamental punches and moves and later on in developing a routine. The equipment they provide is the second most important element in your boxing success. Look for heavy bags, speed bags, double-end bags, and a ring. These are essentials, and having them as part of your training regiment should be non-negotiable. Lastly, every high-quality gym should attract and employ experienced boxers, who are the most valuable resource of all. Not only will they help you learn how to spar, but they'll also mentor you along your boxing journey.
Sparring is the practice of fighting with other trained individuals in a non-competitive atmosphere. While your training will first focus on learning and practicing the basic punches and defensive maneuvers, sparring provides essential time and practice in the ring. The idea is not to beat up your opponent when sparring, but to understand where your own weaknesses are in a safe arena. Not only that, but sparring with a range of individuals will give you an idea of how each person boxes. Knowing yourself and being able to better anticipate opponents will improve your game immensely.
Sparring is a bit different from competing in many regards. Not only are you not technically fighting, but you are also much more protected to avoid any unnecessary injuries during practice. Most likely you'll be required to wear protective headgear, a mouthpiece, groin protector, and much heavier gloves than when you're in the ring. Practice gloves run around 16 to 18 ounces to slow down punches. However, in the ring you'll be wearing gloves that are only 10 to 12 ounces.
The best way to build your skills during sparring is to work on a chosen combination or practice a specific maneuver or technique. Developing one skill during each sparring set will help hone your technique while giving you time to correct any flaws. This will also prepare you mentally for an actual bout. Generally experts recommend that any competitive boxer have at least nine months alone of sparring practice before entering a ring.
Rules regulating licensure for amateur boxers varies depending on your country of origin. However, in the United States you can rest assured these are the necessary steps you need to take in order to compete. First to go USA Boxing's website and read up on the instructions for athletes on the Membership Forms page. Fill out a membership application and prepare payment such as a check. Then, look up the necessary contact information for your state in the LBC Directory also located on their website. Mail in your application to the designated licensing agent. Once you are approved you are eligible to compete at USA Boxing events.
Finding an event can be difficult if you don't live in a big metropolitan area. However, there are several routes to find upcoming competitions. First, talk with your gym manager, as he or she can be a good resource for such information. Most gyms will get updates of events in the area. If they aren't informed, check out USA Boxing's website as they sometimes post local events underneath the Membership Services section. Other boxing-affiliated sites such as iSport can connect you with events in the region. Lastly, if none of these routes turns up events, try doing a search for amateur boxing events on the Internet.