Recently, I turned up early at the boxing club where I train. The kids class was just finishing. David, one of the coaches, was holding the pads for a boy, probably 8 years old. This kid showed off his combinations while David encouraged him and shouted across the gym “we’ve got a superstar here”.
Where I train (Granite City Boxing) the kids - many of whom have a difficult background - get a healthy dose of self-esteem and self-respect - two of the many benefits of boxing.
Boxing has a certain reputation, but only among people who knownothingabout it! Without exception, all the kids I’ve met at the boxing gym have beenpolite, respectful, and well behaved.
I had a hard time at school, I had low self-esteem and got the cr@p bullied out of me for a few years. I wish I there had been a boxing gym near me at the time and that I had attended. Not so much for the ability to fight, but for the confidence, self-esteem and believe it would have given me.
Even if you don't like the idea of kids taking part in a sport that is violent; there’s no reason kids can’t at least take part in training.
This one is obvious. We’ve got an obesity problem. Not only are there more overweight and unfit people - the issue is extremely alarming as it relates to children.
At 30 years old, I am thefittest I have ever been - primarily due to boxing training. Sure, I am not as strong as I was when I was lifting, and Crossfitters might tell you that I’m not fit across all aspects of fitness. But I feel better than ever. And that is what matters. I’ll be the judge of that.
I hated PE at school. There was nothing worse than cross-country during the Scottish winter.
If only I had been able to hit the heavy bag, do pad work and learn the skills of boxing. A session in the boxing gym is never the same, and includes so much variety - it isimpossible to get bored.
Boxing makes yousupremely fit, many of older guys and girls where I train have been boxing since they were small children - and it shows. They are far fitter than everyone else!
Where I train, kids from the local school can come at weekends for free classes. These kids have been identified by the school as being vulnerable and needing something to focus on.
Bruce Lee said that behind the punches a fighter learns to sit with himself and see where his weaknesses are.
In the boxing gym no one is looking at their phone. There are no screens, TVs, gimmicks or distractions.There is only hard work and sweat equity. As a boxer, kids learn what it is to be still, challenged, and focused.
In our current ‘everyone-gets-a-trophy culture’ learning to accept the tougher times has been lost. In boxing, kids learn how tofail with dignity and come back stronger.
Kids quickly learn to focus and concentrate on the next thing, rather than dwell on past disappointments. For example, when the coach taps them on the head with the focus mitt because they dropped their hands, there is no use worrying about it. They’ve just got to pick their hands up and focus on the next move.
Moreover, learning to take a hit is the best way to learn to avoid getting hit. As one gets used to taking punches, you relax and better protect yourself by responding, maneuvering and anticipating. I wish I had learned this as a teenager!
I see first hand the confidence instilled in the kids who train at Granite City.
However, the children are also taught to use their confidence and boxing skills in the right way.
Good boxing coaches will teach children that there are no tough guys. It is vital to have that sense of respect and true confidence. This way, kids learnrespect for others while using their confidence and self-belief in the right way.
We all know the cliche from films like Rocky; boxing builds character. It is true. Boxing helps peopleovercome difficulties and find inner strength.
It may seem strange, but kids who box are likely to be less aggressive because they soon learn that angry outbursts are not the way to win! Boxers learn to develop self-awareness andcontrol over their emotions
Boxing is a lesson in focus and determination - two skills which will be of benefit in any walk of life. Thesustained mental focus which boxing requires is also a pretty important trait in the classroom!
Boxers learn to tap into fear, intuition, and courage and connect the physical and mental aspects of these emotions. For example, a boxer is “not paralyzed by fear”. A boxer channels fear and use it to his/her advantage - understanding their own weaknesses and using their intuition to know what to do in response.
Good, clean boxing informs life, and vice-versa.
I see first hand that kids benefit from boxing. Find your local club, have a chat with the coaches, and take it from there. A good coach will be more interested in the benefits to the kids, than making them the next Mike Tyson.