“It’s less about the physical training, in the end, than it is about the mental preparation.” – Jimmy Smits When someone says the word boxing, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? People often think that boxing is nothing but throwing fists at each other with high probability to cause bodily injury and causing the next bloodbath like that of a war-zone, but that is the farthest thing from the truth. In a study conducted by the American Academy of Neurology that involved 13-17-year-old athletes, they found that football ranked higher in the number of sports injuries per year than boxing. Football ranks at number two while boxing is ranked at number six. Doctors admit that boxing has a more overall controlled environment than football, which accounts for the greater safety factor.
Ray Edwards, spent seven years playing as Defensive End for Atlanta Falcons and the Minnesota Vikings now make his living by getting in the boxing ring. According to Edwards, the semi predictability of boxing has been and is safer than any unexpected hit on the football field. Edwards says, “the brutal and unpredictable nature of pro football makes my new career choice a safer option with a bigger long-term upside than putting myself on the line inside the gridiron.
Ancient history dates boxing back to 4000 BC. Early boxing does not resemble the rings and sanctions seen today, rather fights were done in open fields where spectators formed circles around to watch. Fights usually lasted until one of the opponents was seriously injured. Boxing became an essential part of the Olympics in 1904. Interestingly, with the spread of Christianity and collapse of the Roman Empire, boxing ceased to exist and was forgotten for centuries, until in 1681, when the first bought was recorded in England. Boxing was not without its faults. Early boxing had no sanctioned rules, heavyweights were fighting lightweight contenders and obviously winning. Bought lasted until one contender was no longer able to fight. These conditions lasted until the mid 16th Century, and have since such time has become safer and more regulated. “Boxing is the sport to which all other sports aspire.” -George Foreman
All sports can be said to be more than just for competition and the big win. Sports, in general, are about transforming an individual, setting aside one’s current mood, insecurities, and conflicts. Boxing is no different, it leads a path of transformation of an individual’s mind, body, and soul. Boxing should be taught in high schools across the country not only for its physical fitness attributes but also because of its commitment and self-control that it offers to the individuals dedicated enough to put on a pair of boxing gloves. Boxing does not discriminate, whether you are 10 or 60, the basics will make you fitter than you ever have been before. In boxing you can use a heavy bag, a speedball or pads, you do not have to spar with another person for it to be effective. You will do as much abdominal work for boxing as you will in any yoga or pilates class. Boxing offers more than just physical fitness. Boxing is also about your mental fitness, it helps make you calmer, and teaches control. Biggest and first lesson learned in boxing is that you can’t box without self-control. We have all seen it, children living in a digital age, disconnected to the real world, overweight youth living on junk food and fast food restaurants, anger rode teens, and society searching for an answer.
Well, the answer is simple, offer boxing. Boxing stopped being taught at schools in 1962. Although the Department of Education does not specify what sports should be taught as part of the national curriculum. Cost of placing boxing in high schools would be fairly inexpensive, with the cost of boxing gloves about $30 and cost of punching bags $100. But the overall benefits to our youth and our future generations outweigh any of the overall cost.There are concerns that boxing is too violent to be taught in schools. This is a preconceived notion that comes from a misconceived image that boxing is the sport of thugs. George Garrett, a Novelist, and amateur boxer disputed that image: ‘Many good and experienced fighters become gentle and kind people. They have the habit of leaving all their fight in the ring.’Boxing played an integral role in me becoming fit and confident. I joined overweight with confidence issues. I finished fit and extremely outgoing and confident. Boxing also helped me out in football but most importantly, when someone tried to square up on me. I had experience, I was able to keep myself and friends safe.~ Ara Hairapetyan
By placing boxing back in schools you can offer non-contact or in other words non-sparing or nonhuman contact, and see amazing results. Above all, however, they all learn that boxing has no room for anger. Boxing teaches you that life is not about being a tough guy it is about being a better person. It can provide confidence, patience, and character, helping kids on the road to success in life. It teaches them discipline. If boxing is allowed in schools, then maybe it would teach today’s youth what many of them are missing, respect. It’s time that more people accepted the benefits of teaching boxing in schools. Boxing teaches discipline and respect. Respect for the trainer, respect for each other and respect for oneself. Boxing doesn’t care where you live, what smartphone you have or how clever you are. Boxing is a way to get many kids off the streets, channel their energy, dispel their anger and help them learn to control and respect. England has seen great results by reinstating boxing as part of physical education. The chairman of England Boxing, Caspar Hobbs stated: “We know from speaking to teachers that boxing not only helps to improve health and fitness but is also a valuable tool in helping to address a wide-range of classroom problems such as bullying, truancy, and anti-social behavior.”
‘Without boxing, because of my neighborhoods, who knows what would have happened to me. It was always about following the leader. And I definitely was not a leader. Boxing gave me discipline; a sense of self. It made me more outspoken. It gave me more confidence.’— Sugar Ray Leonard