Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Visualization to prepare for a boxing match

In my training I have been emphasizing the mental game more, recently. I'm posting some of the tools here that have proved helpful to me. Below, I am posting a guided visualization that has proved helpful for preparing for a boxing match. The idea is really to just get comfortable and to start imagining what your win will be like. If you follow steps below, that should put you in a space where you will be in a better position to win your next boxing match. I hope you will benefit from this tool.

Sit or lie down in a comfortable position. Allow yourself to relax. Relax easily. Avoid making a big effort or forcing yourself to relax. The visualization can be a fun, pleasant, and enjoyable experience; it does not have to seem like hard work. You can do it effectively without struggling.


Find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed.

Close your eyes gently.

Take a few deep breaths, focusing on the sensation of your breath coming into your body and leaving your body.
Imagine yourself stepping into the ring. See the crowd, the lights, and the ring in front of you.

See yourself walking to your corner and sitting down on the stool.

Feel the coolness of the water as you drink it, and the energy of your team as they give you instructions and encouragement.

Hear your team telling you how well you are going to do.

Now, imagine yourself standing up and walking to the center of the ring, ready for the match.

See yourself looking across the ring and making eye contact with your opponent. Smile easily at him.

Take a deep breath and imagine yourself feeling calm, focused, and confident.

See yourself moving around the ring with ease, executing your techniques with precision.

Imagine yourself landing punches and dodging your opponent's strikes.

See yourself using your defense strategies effectively and staying composed.

See yourself winning the match and feeling proud of your performance.

Feel the referee raising your hand in victory, as you are announced as the winner of the fight.

Feel the warm inner glow and sense of accomplishment that accompany the experience of winning.

See yourself walking over to your opponent and thanking him for a good, hard-fought match.

Hear your opponent congratulating you for winning.

Hear him praising you for good technique, skill, and strategy.

Hear him praising you for whatever you did particularly well during the bout.

Hear him thanking you for being competitive, enthusiastic, and a good opponent.

Hear yourself replying to your opponent in an appropriate way, based on what he has said to you.

Imagine the crowd cheering and your team congratulating you.

When you feel ready, slowly open your eyes and take a deep breath. Bring the feeling of calm, focus, and confidence with you as you prepare for your match.

Remember to practice this visualization regularly, and before the match, in order to have it be more effective. And also, try to be in a relaxed state of mind, making it easier to visualize and focus.

Good luck in your fight!

Sunday, January 22, 2023

The Mindful Boxer

Mindfulness has been practice in Asia for millennia, in spiritual traditions such as Buddhism and Hinduism. Recently, mindfulness has come to the West, where it is frequently used in a much more secular form. 

Mindfulness can be used to improve performance in many sports, including boxing. Here are a few ways you can use mindfulness to improve your performance as a boxer:

Practice deep breathing exercises before a match to calm nerves and increase focus.

Use visualization techniques to mentally rehearse boxing techniques and strategy.

Focus on the present moment by paying attention to your breath and body movements during training and matches.

Use self-talk to stay positive, focused, and motivated.

Take time to relax and recover after training and matches.

Mindfulness meditation can help to reduce stress, anxiety, and negative thoughts, which can improve your focus, concentration, and overall performance.

Use mindfulness to increase your awareness of your body and its movements, which can help you to improve your offensive, defensive, and counterpunching technique and footwork.

Overall, incorporating mindfulness into your training and competition can help you to improve your focus, reduce stress, and increase your overall performance as a boxer. It can improve your chances of winning a particular bout, and increase the number of bouts you win overall.

As with any practice, mindfulness by itself will not make you a winning boxer. However, it certainly can help you to reach that goal.

Friday, January 20, 2023

A Friendly Boxing Match: Memories

The ring is set, the crowd* is loud

As we both step inside

My heart is pounding, my palms are sweating

But I won't let my nerves decide

My best buddy stands across from me

With a look of fierce determination

But I know deep down, we're just friends

Playing out this friendly competition

The bell rings out, the fight begins

We dance around the ring

Trading jabs and hooks and uppercuts

As the crowd watches, cheering

We're evenly matched, it's clear to see

As we trade blow for blow

But I can sense my buddy's tiring

And I know I have to go

I let loose with a powerful right

That lands square on his jaw

He stumbles back, and I press my attack

Knowing this could be the final straw

But my buddy's not done yet

He rallies with a will of iron

And lands a punch that rocks my head

But I refuse to fall, I'm rising

We trade blows with all our might

Till the bell rings out the end

The crowd is on its feet, cheering

As we embrace as friends

The judges' decision is in

And it's a split decision win

For me, but it doesn't matter

We both gave it our all, and that's the real win

We raise our gloves in triumph

As the crowd roars its approval

This was just a friendly match

But the memories will last forever

We leave the ring, arms around each other

Knowing that our friendship is stronger

Than any punch, any blow

We'll always be there for each other

Through the good times and the bad

Through the wins and the losses

We'll always be the best of friends

And that's what truly matters.

* This boxing match was a friendly bout, held in our gym. Therefore, the "crowd" is about 10 people. 

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Boxing and Male Friendship

Why Do Men Like Boxing So Much?

There are many reasons why men and boys may be drawn to boxing. For some, it may be the physical challenge and the sense of accomplishment that comes with training and competing. For others, it may be the excitement and thrill of watching a live match. 

Additionally, boxing has a long history and tradition as a sport, which can make it appealing to guys who appreciate its cultural significance. Some may also see it as an opportunity to channel aggression in a controlled environment, and in a socially acceptable manner. Ultimately, the reasons why an individual man or boy may be drawn to boxing will vary from person to person.

Boxing Is an Important Part of Men's Lives 

Boxing can be an important part of men's and boys' lives for several reasons. One reason is that it can provide a sense of discipline and structure. The training and dedication required to become a successful boxer can teach men and boys valuable life skills such as goal setting, hard work, and perseverance. Additionally, boxing can serve as a form of physical and mental exercise, helping to improve overall health and well-being.

Another reason is that boxing can give a man or boy a sense of identity and belonging. For some, being a part of a boxing gym or team can foster a sense of camaraderie and belonging, and can also provide a sense of purpose and self-worth.

Boxing can also be a way for men and boys to express and channel their aggression in a controlled and safe manner. It can help them to learn how to control their emotions and to channel their energy in a positive way.

Finally, boxing has a rich history and tradition, and for some, it can be a way to connect with and appreciate that history.

Overall, boxing can be an important part of men's and boys' lives as it can help them to develop discipline, self-esteem, and self-awareness, and can provide a sense of community and purpose.

The Friendship Between Men and Boxing

Whether it’s in the ring, the gym, or the streets, boxing is an activity that binds men together through the challenge of physical competition and the sopirit of camaraderie. While there are many reasons why men enjoy boxing, it is the friendliness of the sport that keeps them coming back. Through the punches, jabs, and defensive blocks of boxing, many men form lifelong friendships. 

I guess it's a "guy thing." Although some women have taken up the sport in recent years, I have no interest in women's boxing--or women's MMA, for that matter. People can infer what they want from my distaste for female combat sports; I don't care. Women fighting each other simply holds no appeal for me. It's nothing against women as a group, or against boxing and MMA. It's just a personal preference; it resists rational explanations. 

Getting back to matters germane to this post... 

The Bond of the Gloves

The gloves used a boxing match represent much more than just protection for the fighters. The gloves symbolize the bond of respect that is formed between two men in the ring. Every punch, every block, and every dodge has the potential to create a deeper connection between the two boxers, regardless of whether they win or lose. This respect is only strengthened by the contrasting emotions of fear and excitement that all boxers experience when they step into the ring. 

Before every boxing match in which I've competed, I've experienced the so-called "butterflies in the stomach." This intense, but manageable anxiety seems to go with the territory. No matter how well I expect myself to do in the bout, I still always feel nervous before a contest. Invariably, all of that anxiety disappears as soon as the first punch is thrown. 

The bond of the gloves is further strengthened by the mental challenge of boxing. While boxers are physical athletes, the true challenge of the sport lies in the minds of the fighters. Every boxer must first understand their opponent before they can launch an effective attack. This form of mental chess builds a new level of respect between two men who are willing to put their bodies on the line for the sake of a good fight.

The Appeal of Competition

Competition is another strong component of men's boxing experience. In the ring, every boxer is trying to out-perform his opponent in the hopes of winning the match. This competitive spirit helps to push athletes to their full potential, creating a sense of camaraderie between the two fighters as they push each other to do better. It is this competition that helps to create bonds between men in the boxing ring. 

It is also the competition of boxing that helps to deflect the negative emotions of envy, jealousy, and anger that can arise between two men in a physical confrontation. Because boxing gives them a safe, structured environment to practice and test their skills, boxers can work out their differences through physical competition and camaraderie.

A Risk: The Potential for Falling Out

Despite the potential for friendship, it is important to note that boxing can also lead to a falling out between two men. The sport can be intense, and there is always a chance that one fighter may be too aggressive, leading to a feeling of resentment or anger among the other fighter. It is important for fighters to be aware of the potential for falling out and to be prepared to handle the situation if it arises.

It is also important for fighters to understand that while boxing can be a fun, friendly activity, it can also get heated. It is important to remember that aggression should never be taken personally, as it is just part of the sport. If a fighter is ever in doubt, they should take a step back and remember that the goal is to have a good, friendly fight. 

I enjoy the heated action. It ratchets up the challenge for me. When my opponent is and I are really mixing it up, I know that I am getting the best possible challenge. On the contrary, if I expect that my opponent or sparring partner is holding back, I take offense. Aside from being hit with a foul punch, that's the only time I ever get angry during a boxing match or sparring session. If the other guy is holding back, that tells me that he does not think I am capable of standing up to the real thing.

Obviously, even this situation does not create a hard and fast rule. There is certainly an important time for practicing and working on things easily with the sparring partner. Going all out every time you spar is really a bad idea. In addition to the potential for injuries, that approach will tend to alienate the other guys in the gym, or wherever you happen to be training. It's not going to impress anyone, so I simply don't act that way. If I have a partner who starts boxing that way, I will call him out on it. If he continues to act that way, I will probably end the session and work with him some other time, when he's able to be in better control of himself.

The Power of Friendship

At the end of the day, boxing is a powerful tool for making friends. Through the punches, jabs, and blocks of the sport, many men form lifelong bonds of friendship. The respect and camaraderie formed in the ring also allows men to manage their emotions and stay away from the envy, jealousy, and anger that can cause relationships to sour.

 Ultimately, boxing allows men to form strong, lasting relationships that can last a lifetime.

Morphing Enemies Into Friends 

Somewhat surprisingly to many people, boxing has helped two men who initially disliked one another to become friends. Indeed, many times, boxing has fundamentally transformed the relationship between two men. The intense training and competition can lead to a mutual understanding and respect, even between guys who initially disliked each other. Through working together towards a common goal and overcoming challenges together, individuals may come to see each other in a different light and develop a strong bond. Additionally, the focus on discipline, self-control and respect that is often emphasized in boxing can be a positive influence on personal relationships.


Boxing has the power to bring men together through the challenge of physical competition and the spirit of camaraderie. The bond of the gloves and the appeal of competition create a strong sense of respect between two fighters. While there is always some potential for a falling out between two men in the ring, the power of friendship is usually strong enough to keep boxers coming back for more. Whether it’s in the ring, the gym, or the streets, men’s boxing is an activity that brings them together in a unique way.