Archive for April 20, 2014

 Every Martial Artist Should Cross-Train In Boxing Part 4

*Authored by White Dragon


        I have officially completed 1 month of boxing training at a real boxing gym. It has been a good experience and I feel my upper-in-guard-stance punching has improved a ton since training here. The workouts are great too and keep me in really good shape. I feel like I am stronger and have a lot more stamina. I am sore every day so that is a good thing. The only thing that is tough is knowing you will have to spar some guy who is really good and will completely own you in the ring and you will get hit in the face a lot and it will hurt. The problem is that not many guys will work with you, they see it as a competition to win against you instead of help you learn. A few guys do help me out and I like sparring with them. Every gym always has at least 1 or 2 alpha male types in it, and this gym certainly does have one that I try to avoid and do not even try to talk to because he is an alpha male type and always insulting and arrogant. He is just very sarcastic and talks aggressively on top of the fact he will spar hard and not help me learn. Anyway…

Week 5

Monday–        This was a good training session. Just good work. 3 rounds of jump rope with light shadow boxing in between. Then a stomach class for 15 minutes and after that 5 rounds of good shadow boxing with slow shadow boxing between rounds. Then i did about 7 rounds on the heavy bag with defensive drills and shadow boxing with gloves on between rounds. It was a hard workout and exhausting. Hitting the heavy bag is like doing bench presses over and over. During my training I really try to keep my confidence up and get ready for when I will have to spar again.
Today I met an MMA fighter from another state who came in to try out boxing to better his skill set. The coach had some good things to say about his idea of what a good coach is. A good coach is someone who will never get in the ring with his guys ever. You either choose to be a fighter or you choose to be a coach. You cannot be both. Once you age you are slower and not as good. If you get in the ring and beat up one of your students he will get discouraged and leave and never come back. If you get in the ring with an athletic 20-something guy and he is faster and tougher than you then you will lose respect when he outdoes you in the ring. So the best tip is to simply coach. There comes a point in every martial artists life where he slows down from older age and also injuries and he cannot be that athletic warrior he used to be. A true teacher will admit this and be the best dang coach he can be! Not that this coach cannot box anymore or sucks at fighting, he doesn’t, but he is just being real about coaching. Good knowledge.

Tuesday–        I came in and they were already finishing up stomach class. They started before, and I just joined them doing mountain climbers for 30 seconds and they finished. I went to the elliptical and used it for 30 minutes. Then I did 5 rounds of the speed bag, 5 rounds of shadow boxing, and about 7 rounds on the heavy bag. I spent about 2 and a half hours there. I did not do any sparring because that one alpha male guy was there and I knew if I sparred I would have to fight him. When I was shadow boxing he was sparring one guy I have sparred once before. The alpha male guy hit the other guy full force when there was an opening. He really did not have to do that. He hit him full power and knocked the guy backwards to where he almost fall over and out of the ring. he fell into the ropes and fell through the middle of them and he looked really rocked and dazed but recovered just in time to grab the top rope in order to keep him from crashing to the floor outside the ring. I thought it was absolutely unnecessary to hit the guy that hard. The coach just laughed like it was fine and told the guy who fell “I loved your gymnastics move there grabbing the rope!” And the guy just laughed and was like “huh huh yeah man!” and he gave the guy who punched him a high 5. I guess he was proving he is a macho tough guy and can take a hit. For me I think it is absolutely counterproductive and uncalled for and I don’t need to save face to look macho, the guy who hit him is overly aggressive and he makes me want to quit this gym and not even attempt to spar. This gym started out fun and I was learning some good stuff, but the teaching and personal attention slowed down and I was told to fight dudes who go all out on me and I do not learn. The alpha male type who punched that guy so hard is the same guy who went full power on me when I told him I am a beginner and know nothing. He is just a typical alpha male type and just very rude. I pay to learn to box, but I cannot learn in this kind of environment with people who fight full force instead of slow it down for me. Sparring is not the same as fighting in my opinion and for someone to learn concepts he should be taught very slow and have slow paced and light contact sparring to get used to boxing. They don’t do that much here except 1 or 2 times the first time you spar, but after that it seems a free for all on your head and face by the guys who are good. I do not have insurance so I do not want to get a broken nose.

Wednesday–        Feeling discouraged and also feeling bad about my abilities I decided to take this day off. I did spend the evening teaching one of my Taekwondo students.

Thursday–        I went in today and the coach was not even there. Members were there working out and I saw one guy who is a beginner and talked to him. I asked if he wanted to practice catching jabs and so we did. Since no one was there to yell at us for doing things wrong we took advantage of the time to practice catching jabs and light contact sparring working strictly on movement and technique and defenses. It was incredibly fun! This is how boxing training should be, very fun and repetition of movements. Just drilling things to get the concepts down.  Me and him cannot do this with the regular guys as there is no drilling or working at our level, they will just try to knock us out. We hit the speed bag some and heavy bag then sparred again and then we called it a night. The coach was getting ready for a boxing tournament apparently and left the gym unsupervised that night.

Friday–        The gym is closed so there is no training today. Tonight was the first day of this gyms state boxing tournament. I went to watch the fights tonight and it was pretty cool I guess. It is amateur boxing so it is what it is. Some people are sloppy and flailing around crazy, and some have some pretty good technique, and some a very good and technical. A lot of people had the guts to go in there and fight even if they got beat. One guy I met at the gym before was a previous MMA fighter and he fought but then he really lost bad because he kept diving in forward and closing the distance and was not scoring and kept getting scored on. Boxing is not MMA and there is no Muay Thai clinch or wrestling so his technique did not work.

Saturday–        The second day of the tournament is tonight but I am not going. So there is no training today. It costs a lot of money to go each night and I am broke. Good luck to the fighters!

Sunday–        I did not train today. Doing other stuff.

Week 6

Monday–        I came in later in the evening and there were a lot of people there working out. I did 30 minutes of elliptical, 5 rounds of speed bag with medicine ball sit ups, then did a cross training routine with using a medicine ball doing elbow touching sit ups with push ups and bicep curls for 3 cycles without stopping. Then i shadow boxed for 3 rounds, then heavy bag for 6 rounds. One of the amateur fighters was in the gym and he felt really bad because he lost his last fight. He had a fluke and got a TKO and had a very sloppy fight. The thing is he is really athletic and is skilled but had a bad night. I was able to encourage him and talk for awhile and relate about losing in a tournaments and how to realize there is more to life than fighting. He had recently suffered a concussion in the gym from a left hook. I really think this gym fights way too hard in the gym where people punish each other too much. It is not the kind of place I want to spar often because it would be bad for my health. No one slows down or takes it easy. I saw his fight too and when he lost the coach was so pissed and would not even look him in the eye. That HAD to really hurt the guy psychologically. But then the coach was mad he did not do proper technique. Hmmm stuff to consider about finding a gym and a coach.

Tuesday–         This was a good session. I showed up and did 30 minutes on the elliptical, 5 rounds of speed bag and 10 burpees in between, 3 rounds of shadow boxing and 10 box jumps in between. Then about 5 rounds on the heavy bag and working on good movement. I was able to talk to that amateur fighter who lost and we talked about street fights, some MMA, and other crazy stuff. He is a pretty cool guy and has tons of stories about fights or crazy situations he was in.

Wednesday–         Today I had to teach one of my students Taekwondo for a long time. I almost did not go to boxing today because I was hungry and tired. I went home and ate some food then went to the boxing gym. I did a light workout and hit the speed bag for about 3 rounds with 15 elevated pushups between rounds. Then I shadow boxed for a couple of rounds, then did the heavy bag lightly for about 3 rounds. I also did a pad drill with the amateur fighter for about 3 rounds. Let me tell you the pad drills are very exhausting as it is non-stop punching and fast paced. It was extremely fun. It helps me learn ideas for pad drills in my own teaching. I am still sore from yesterday too. Anyway, I was able to talk even more to that amateur fighter for awhile about street fights and life stories etc.

Thursday–         30 minutes of cardio on the elliptical, 3 rounds of shadow boxing, 3 rounds of speed bag, 3 rounds of heavy bag. Today I learned to duck under hook punches. One of the assistant coaches tied up a line in the ring across the whole thing from rope to rope so I could practice ducking under. I simply asked how to avoid getting hit with swinging punches and he had me do that. Seems to learn you have to ask questions, or else you will be left alone. I learned to roll under turning the knees inward instead of outward. Doing this a long time is a good workout.

Friday–         Day off, gym is closed.

Saturday–         Day off, I have other obligations.

Sunday–         Day off, other obligations for my weekend.

Week 7

Monday–        The place was packed out when I showed up. I began to stretch some and then one of the assistant coaches, the guy who hits really hard, yells, “Hey you!….YEAH YOU! Get in the ring!” He wanted me to get in the ring with some others for warm up conditioning. The guy is always a jerk and rude like that, he is only 23 so it annoys me he has no respect for elders because he thinks he is above me because he can box better. That is one part of boxing I don’t like, the arrogance of some people. In Taekwondo we are taught respect and humility even if you are great. Anyway, the warmup conditioning was push ups, jumping jacks, crunches, gliding around the ring and various exercises. It was pretty good. After that I did 3 rounds of shadow boxing, 3 rounds of the speed bag with medicine ball sit ups, then I was told by the head coach to give a beginning student a pad drill. He did not teach me how to hold pads, and I assume he thought I already knew, which I did. But he was just like, “You can hold pads? ok!” So in the ring I held pads for about 3 rounds for a guy. It was fun as it gives you an arm workout as well as teaches you defense by seeing punches coming at you. Also, it helps me be my own coach for my own program better. I copied the pad drill ideas that the other guy gave to me last week. After this I did about 4 rounds on the heavy bag. I asked the head coach about ducking and moving the head. He said it is for in close fighting and I am not ready yet but he showed me anyway, then he showed me how to slip a punch and where to properly put my weight, above the knee but not beyond the knee. This is good technique for me to know even if I have not sparred with it. Then the gym was closed up and I had to go. Now my wrists are really sore. Boxing does give you very sore wrists.

Tuesday-         30 minutes on the elliptical. After that I did 30 dips in sets of 10, then tried hard to do pull ups and allowed my weight to slowly lower for 30 times trying sets of 10. Something was weird about this pull up bar and it was wobbly, on other pull up bars I’ve been able to do at least 8 without stopping. After that I did shadow boxing 3 rounds, speed bag 3 rounds with burpees between breaks. Then heavy bag 3 rounds.

Wednesday–        Family stuff came up today. No training. But I did teach a Taekwondo student today.

Thursday–        30 minutes on the elliptical. Then I did 30 dips. After that I did 5 rounds of shadow boxing, During this time the coach noticed I was throwing a left hook then told me to stop and freeze where I am at. Then he adjusted my left hook higher and explained to me that you have to cover your head more and showed me the correct position to throw it. That was nice to know and have that instruction to get my left hook at the proper height. He showed me how people could counter me otherwise and how I should counter if I miss with a hook. After that I did some walking push ups. Then I hit the speed bag 5 times with sit ups and planks in between. After that I did 1 round of heavy bag. Then it was stomach class so we did 9 minutes of various ab exercises. After that I had time for 2 more rounds of the heavy bag. Today I asked the coach if it is normal to have sore wrists, and he said a big definite “YES”. That it is normal and just a part of boxing and there is nothing you can do about it, but make sure your left hook is correct. He said my right hand since it is more sore than the left, it is because of my power. After my boxing training is up I will take a break from hitting surfaces in hopes my wrists can heal. I do not want sore wrists my entire life. I also asked what weight the heavy bags are and he said 160lbs.

Friday–        Gym closed. No training.

Saturday–        Family stuff on Easter weekend. No training.

Sunday–        Easter holiday.  No training.


White Dragon is a 3rd dan Taekwondo Black Belt with over 19 years experience in the Martial Arts and head instructor of the White Dragon Dojang Martial Arts Training Program.