Fitness boxing removes the bumps and bruises and glosses over the hard-core approach to a fighter’s training program. The result is a toothless bastardization of a noble sport. I understand the urge and visceral attraction to becoming fit by going though the motions that rule tough human beings perform. But most of these workout books are pale imitations of the real thing and poorly represent the sweet science. These contemporary volumes may show you some punches and a few combinations, but they have removed the science from the sweet science.

With the exception of the two fine volumes by Doug Werner and Alan Lactic, Boxer’s Start-JP and Fighting Fit (Tracks Publishing) you will find little to nothing in print that covers the deceptive tactics, strategies and advanced maneuverings of the fight game. Boxing Mastery reintroduces the scientific and strategic beauty f the sport above fitness and slugging. I seek to put the brain back into the athlete who wants to use his entire body to best effect. This book is intended for the fighter who already knows the basics.

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If you are a novice, there is much to be learned here, but urge you to take a look at the two boxing titles listed in the Resources section as well as the recommended video instruction. Boxing Mastery is intended to be a source book of strategies and tactics for the real boxer -? the individual who wants to take the sport beyond a trendy cardiac activity and test his mettle with an actual opponent. You will not find every tactic and tip ever accrued in the ring between these covers.

That would call for a much larger volume-You will find plenty to mull over, whether you’re green to the ring or have pro fights to your credit Training equipment, conditioning, speed bag work, double-end bag tips, maize ball drills, repossessing, polymeric exercises and the like are not included here. My primary task is to enlighten the fighter in the realm of ring generalship. And generalship it is. For boxing is more than survival of the fittest It is a game of conditioned reflex action, desert active exception and coordinated, exquisitely articulated physical combat.

Indeed, boxing is a science-And a sweet one at that. 8 Lead and rear hands a special note Probably a first in the annals of boxing books, both fighters in this book (Mark Watchmaker and Gory Hays) are southpaws. No problem. Right and left leads will get the same benefit from this guide because hands are labeled lead and rear, not right or left. Read the material and as you look at the photos, adjust according to your preference. 9 10 1 The training continuum There is a ton Of information in these pages. If you are an experienced fighter, feel free to ump in anywhere.

I recommend the novice start at the beginning and work through the end of the book. No matter your skill level, I recommend you take each technique or tactic and work it through the following training continuum to ensure that the information is deeply seated into your nervous system. Mirror training know it is tempting to take a new idea and run immediately to the heavy bag or get in front of an opponent, but the most important piece of equipment you can own is a full; length mirror. The mirror is absolutely the best tool for self-correction.

By working before a mirror, you provide your own dieback about your movement, technique and guard. Is as tight, fluid and powerful as need be? Work everything in front of the mirror -? footwork, offense, defense and upper body movement. Keep this fact in mind: If it anti right in front of the mirror, it mint goanna be right invaders else. The training continuum Equipment training After you’ve honed your tools in front of the mirror, it is time to apply them to solid targets. Take the selected technique or tactic and apply it to the training apparatus that will best accomplish the desired result.

In other words, select the device that will roved the most realistic feedback for that particular tool. In broad strokes, (there are exceptions) use the heehaw bag for working power, the double-end bag for timing and accuracy, the maize bag for defense, slip-sticks for upper-body mobility and so on-With this information in mind, choose wisely. Partner/coach drills This vital step in the continuum allows you to stand before a live opponent who is either gloved up himself or outfitted with focus mitts. At this point in the game you are not sparring yet, but working the designated tool or tactic in isolation, preferably in real time.

Counterpoising drills This is a complex aspect of the continuum that requires much forethought It is an absolutely vital step in moving the fighter from being only a puncher into a boxer. Situation and isolation sparring Here you finally work with an opponent, but you are not slinging leather with abandon. You and your partner agree on ground rules that limit the usual boxing game in order to emphasize the tool or tactic to be drilled. For example, to improve your clinching skills, you may have your partner spar an inside fight while you attempt to muffle his attack and clinch as he 12 Chapter 1 attempts to stave off your clinch.

Once the fight moves to the outside, you agree to bring the fight back to the inside range. Sparring Now all bets are off. You and your opponent are each trying to hone individual games while trying to best each other. It’s the ultimate goal of the boxing game, but I cannot stress enough the necessity of moving through the previous five steps before considering the sixth step. 13 14 2 Stances and guards It’s not readily apparent, but there are varieties of stances in boxing. Each stance is or Was designed to emphasize a particular offensive or defensive mint or to make the most of a particular fighter’s build.

In this section, we will introduce six guards. Ideally, you will select the stance that feels best for you and work from there. I recommend a nodding familiarity with variations of your primary guard so that you can be effective if you find yourself faked into an awkward position or you choose to use an unorthodox guard to bait or confuse an opponent. My preference, the classic guard, will be used as the demonstration stance throughout this book, although the material will work with any of the guards presented. Stances and guards Classic guard ; Picture yourself standing on a clock face.

Left lead fighters stand with their left foot at 11 o’clock and their right foot tat o’clock. Right lead fighters stand with their right foot at 2 o’clock and their left foot at 8 o’clock. Your feet are approximately shoulder width apart with weight carried equally between the two feet. Your toes face forward with only the slightest inside turn of the toes of the lead foot. ; You feel your weight through the balls of your feet without actually being on your toes. 16 Your knees are slightly bent for fluid movement. Chapter 2 Hands are up. The rear fist touches the rear side of the jaw.

The lead fist is held at the level of the lead shoulder, extended approximately one foot in front of that shoulder. Keep your elbows parallel and not flared into an inverted letter V. Keep your chin down toward the sternum. Keep your shoulders up for jaw protection. Noted proponents of the classic guard style were Gene Tunney and Sugar Ray Robinson. 17 Peek-a-boo guard ; This is a variation of the classic guard made famous by trainer Cuss tomato and Floyd Patterson. Only the differences from the previous guard are addressed. The crouch is a bit deeper to shield more of the body.