“If you work hard in training, the fight is easy.” - Manny Pacquiao

Even nowadays, boxing can get a bad reputation because of certain violent aspects of it. However, some adults can be reluctant to get their children involved with the sport.

That said, boxing is becoming increasingly popular amongst both children and adults and both can enjoy the benefits of boxing.

So how exactly does boxing for children differ to boxing for adults?

In this article, we’re going to have a look at how boxing for children is different from boxing for adults, the values that children are taught, how children can learn to box safely, and a number of other concerns that parents might feel that need addressing.

Boxing for Children: Combat

Generally, boxing is a discipline that can get a bad reputation as parents tend to think that it’s violent and dangerous. However, others are signing their children up to boxing lessons as it’s not very violent at all and great care is taken to teach children the right boxing techniques and the value of sparring safely.

Do children fight in boxing lessons?
Children may spar but they won't engage in full combat. (Source: sasint)

In fact, boxing teaches children a number of important values which will encourage them to see violence in a completely different light. Very young children will focus on other sporting values rather than combat and violence.

After all, children are more fragile than adults and their safety needs to be of the utmost importance. Before they start combat, they’ll learn about the other aspects of boxing and how to respect the other fighter before they put their boxing gloves.

Find out more about boxing for kids.

Boxing for Children: A Combat Sport or a Contact Sport?

Surely if boxing involves punches, it’s a combat sport, right?

Not entirely. Of all the combat sports, including kickboxing, savate, and muay Thai (Thai boxing), some sports are more violent than others.

Is boxing a contact sport?
Generally, very young children will focus on technique and boxing will mainly be non-contact. (Source: WikiImages)

That said, the violence is at its greatest amongst adults. A child won’t be expected to throw punches at an opponent until they have mastered self-control. Their coach or tutor will focus on teaching children about knowing their own strength, self-control, and preempting their opponents’ moves. Boxing can be really educational.

This is why boxing is more like a contact sport than a combat sport when kids are learning about it. Of course, adults also learn these aspects of boxing but there’s a greater focus on their strength, endurance, and fitness.

Discover the benefits of getting kids into boxing.

Different Perspectives on Boxing for Adults and Children

As you’ll have understood, boxing for kids isn’t exactly the same as boxing for adults. Adults aren’t the same as children but there is some common ground between the ways they learn about boxing:

  • The ring
  • The coach or tutor
  • The equipment (heavy bags, speed bags, mitts, hand wraps, etc.)
  • The techniques (footwork, how to throw a jab, hook, uppercut, etc., boxing stance, )
How is boxing taught to children?
Children will be taught in a different way to adults in a boxing lesson. (Source: AberroCreative)

So how does the way an adult learns about boxing differ from the way a child learns about boxing?

It’s the way we think about boxing that differs. On the one hand, an adult will be given more freedom in their learning. Children will be more regulated and controlled so that they can box safely. This is one of the boxing coach’s main responsibilities; ensuring the safety of the children practising the sport.

For example, while the basic techniques are the same, the perspective will be different. Children will be taught about self-control and self-defence. An adult should have the maturity to more clearly understand how seriously they need to take the violent aspects of the sport. Both perspectives have a particular focus on self-control.

Looking for boxing tutorials?

There are plenty of tutors from all over the world offering boxing tutorials on Superprof.

Find out more about the cost of getting kids into boxing.

Boxing for Children: Self-Control

As an adult, the way you see yourself is different. Grown-ups who practise boxing or another combat sport will focus on winning. They’ll focus on mastering their emotions, getting pumped up for a match, and respecting their opponent.

A child will see things differently as they’ll focus on techniques, self-confidence, and learning more about the sport. In this case, they’ll learn about punching correctly, avoiding punches, strategy, not losing their cool.

They need an inner balance which an adult should have already have better control. Children will focus more on the “how” and less on the “why”. You need to learn self-control before anything else.

Self-control will lead to self-confidence. Unlike what some may think, self-confidence will make you less violent, not more.

So are you ready to get your child into boxing?

Boxing for Children: Suitable Opponents

One thing that may worry parents is who their child will be facing. In a children’s boxing session, there may be multiple levels present.

Do children fight in boxing lessons?
Children in boxing sessions will be matched with suitable opponents and not encouraged to make full contact. (Source: Marvin_SNCR)

However, a child will never box or spar with an adult but always with someone who’s closer their age, weight, and ability. This means that they’ll be working with partners who are at their level.

In short, a child will never box against an adult or a bigger kid. Similarly, they’ll never properly box. They’ll be given protection and box in safety.

Boxing for Children: The Coach

It goes without saying that the main difference between adults and child boxing lessons is the coach or tutor. The coach should be familiar with teaching children and how to deal with them. Adults need to be taught differently to children and coaches and tutors need to adapt their teaching to children.

In some cases, they’ll need to be stricter but also more attentive and understanding. That said, there are certain aspects of boxing that both adults and children need to understand:

  • Respect for one another
  • Self-control
  • Discipline
  • Respecting the rules
  • Listening to the teacher/coach
  • Pushing yourself
  • Motivation
  • Etc.

As you’ll have understood, there are similarities between boxing for adults and children but there are also plenty of differences that make it suitable for kids. This means that anyone regardless of their age can learn how to box. Similarly, a martial art (karate, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, judo, etc.) class can provide similar benefits to boxing training such as helping kids get in shape, improve their stamina, and enjoy aerobic exercise.

Before a child can become a world champion, they'll need to spend a lot of time working on a heavy bag, shadow boxing, intense personal training, and learning all about discipline.

Find out more about teaching kids to box.

If you'd like to get your child into boxing, you might want to check out the experienced and talented tutors available on Superprof. While there are hundreds of different skills you can learn, most tutorials fall into one of three categories: face-to-face tutorials, online tutorials, and group tutorials. Each has its pros and cons and certain types of tutorials work better with some skills than others so it's up to you to choose which type and which tutor will be best for you.

Group tutorials are best for those on a budget as there are several students attending the tutorial and all footing the bill. While this tends to work out as the cheapest per person per hour, it also means that the tutor's attention will be split amongst all the attendees during the session. However, it also means that there are age-appropriate sparring partners available for kids.

Face-to-face tutorials are usually the most cost-effective tutorials as the tutor can put together a tailored programme for the student and every minute of the session will be spent focusing on the student. Of course, this also means that the tutor will be spending a lot of time tailoring the course outside of the sessions and this extra work also comes at a cost, which is why face-to-face tutorials tend to have the highest rates.

Finally, if you like the sound of tailored programmes but find the rates of face-to-face tutors a bit too high, you can always opt for online tutorials. Thanks to the internet and video conferencing, you can now learn anything from tutors all over the world. When it comes to kids boxing tutorials, however, you might still want to stay in the room to ensure they don't hurt themselves while training.

A lot of the tutors on Superprof offer the first hour of tuition for free so try a few out before making your final decision. After all, what's right for one student mightn't be right for another and it's important that you like the tutor, their rates, and you and your child get along with them well.

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Joseph

Joseph is a French and Spanish to English translator, language enthusiast, and blogger.