“They got no idea what it is. Boxing is about respect: getting it for yourself, and taking it away from the other guy.” - Eddie, Million Dollar Baby
It’s difficult to start a combat sport, especially boxing. After all, there isn’t just one type of boxing. That said, more people are taking up boxing. Boxing and wrestling are behind the growth in the fitness club sector. Gyms and boxing clubs are the best places to start.
Would you like to take it up?
Here’s our overview of the different types of boxing.
Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Start Boxing
Why join a boxing club? What do you expect to achieve by learning how to box?
A lot of people feel like they need to exercise more in their daily lives. But not everyone needs to exercise for the same reasons.
Would you like to lose weight? Build muscle? Learn self-defence? Burn calories? Would you like to build your self-confidence? Feel better?
Sport encourages the release of hormones that make you feel better and improve your cardiovascular system, improving their delivery. There are also many other benefits...
You can get all this by pushing yourself and breaking a sweat in a gym.
So why learn how to box?
The world of boxing focuses on respect. Boxing is not scrapping outside a bar on a Friday night. Boxing involves intense training and discipline. You’ll learn how to channel your energy, manage stress, build muscle, and throw punches. Boxers also work on their agility and tactics, keeping their guard up as they choose the right time to strike their opponent.
Here are some questions you should ask yourself before signing up to any boxing club:
- What am I looking for? To push myself, become a professional boxer, or a new hobby?
- How often do I want to practise?
- What is my physical fitness like?
- What is my budget?
- How much does the equipment cost?
- What do I need to get?
A lot of boxing clubs will sell what you need in the club. This is useful for those who need absolutely everything at once. You can get everything you need in packs in many cases.
Learn more about losing weight with boxing.
Our Advice before You Start Boxing
There’s been encouraging growth in women’s boxing. There are more women boxers than ever before. If you’re just starting, you should start gently. Nobody’s going to make you fight in the ring on day one.
Generally, coaches will ensure that you exercise and train within your abilities. Never overexert yourself when exercising or working out. If you do, you’ll run the risk of injuring yourself.
Firstly, you might want to see if they offer free trial sessions before you sign up. Punching bags are a good way to get started in boxing before you move onto sparring partners. In this case, there’s no chance of getting hit by a wayward punch.
Secondly, you can start boxing for fun. You’ll learn about technique and tactics while practising with a partner. You’ll learn to make contact with your partner before learning how to hit them. You’ll learn about footwork and moving around. You’ll also learn how to get rid of stress. This can end up a bit like a game of “tag”.
Generally, you’ll train with boxing gloves and pads and there’ll be nobody hitting one another. Ideally, you should try to attend two trial sessions before you sign up. It’d be a shame to pay for all the gear and membership and then give it all up because it’s not for you. Trial sessions are a good way to ensure the coach or trainer is right for you and evaluate the club itself.
Learn more about using boxing for self-defence.
What Type of Boxing Should You Choose?
There are many different types of boxing from all over the world. It seems that almost every country has its own type of boxing...
Since you need to choose the right one for you, here’s a quick overview of the main ones.
Traditional boxing is probably the first thing we think of when we say boxing. It originated in Greece but the modern version was codified in the UK in 1904. This is the type of boxing that only uses punches. To improve your power and speed, this is the type of boxing you want to do.
There are three main types of punch:
- Direct punches: jabs, crosses, etc.
- Hooks: punches that land horizontally into your opponent. These pass around the opponent’s guard.
- Uppercuts: these are upward punches.
There are also several more technical punches: the overhand, the cross counter, the bolo punch, the half hook and the half uppercut. This is a sport that focuses on balancing attack and defence.
Savate, or French boxing, began in the 20th century and uses both kicking and punching. It’s a combat sport that can be used to improve your flexibility, agility, precision, and dynamism. Kicks are also allowed much like in kickboxing. French boxing focuses on the aesthetic aspect of combat, mutual respect, and mental fortitude.
Kickboxing also allows kneeing. You can strike an opponent with your shin or foot, too. While most attacks are below the waist, it’s not uncommon to see knees and kicks to the abdominal muscles, the side of the body, or the head.
In competition, kicks score more points than punches. This is a style of boxing that works on your flexibility, agility, mobility, and strength. You need to work on your defence as every time you put your guard down, you open yourself up to defeat.
Thai boxing or Muay Thai is one of the most violent types of boxing. It allows punches, kicks, knees, elbows, grabs, and throws. In Thai boxing, every single type of attack is allowed. There are plenty of different types of punches, kicks, knees, and elbows and there’s also an impressive number of positions and techniques.
If you’re not too bothered about getting hit almost anywhere, you can choose this one. Throws, sweeps, grapples, and holds are all permitted as well.
As a result, you'll need to work carefully on moving around and dodging!
Find out more about relaxing with boxing.
If you'd like to do boxing, mixed martial arts, or kickboxing classes, consider getting in touch with one of the many talented and experienced tutors on Superprof. There are three main types of tutorial available, face-to-face tutorials, online tutorials, and group tutorials, and each type comes pros and cons.
Group tutorials tend to be the cheapest per student per hour since they're all paying for a share of the tutor's time. Of course, this means that you'll get less one-on-one time with your tutor or coach and they won't be able to tailor the sessions to just you as they'll have other clients that they need to keep happy.
Face-to-face tutorials are just between you and your private tutor. In this case, you'll be paying for a bespoke and tailored service and during your lessons, you'll enjoy the tutor or coach's undivided attention. This all comes at a price and while face-to-face private tutorials are the most cost-effective, they also tend to be the most costly per hour.
Finally, thanks to the advent of the internet, you can now enjoy online private tutorials. With video conferencing software, a webcam, a microphone, and a decent internet connection, you can enjoy private tutoring from tutors all over the world. While this type of tutorial is better suited to academic subjects, there's nothing to say that a gifted and talented boxing coach can't instruct you remotely. Since the tutor won't be travelling to their students and they can schedule more tutorials each week, they can charge a more competitive rate and online tutorials are usually cheaper per hour than face-to-face tutorials.
Think carefully about your budget and your learning goals, look at several different tutors and the different types of tutorials before you make your final decision, and don't forget to make the most of the fact that many of the tutors on Superprof will offer the first hour of tuition for free. While this hour won't usually be a proper session, it's a good opportunity to get to know your potential private tutor, see if you get along with them, discover what their teaching approach is, and discuss the finer details of the type of coaching and tuition you'd like.