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Boxing Strength and Conditioning Training for Mixed Martial Arts

Boxing is a combat sport in which two people engage in a contest using nothing but their hands.The two forms of boxing are amateur and professional. Amateur boxing is an Olympic and Commonwealth sport and is a common fixture in most of the major international games - it also has its own World Championships.

Boxing is a major component of Mixed Martial Arts

Boxing is supervised by a referee over a series of between one to three minute intervals called rounds. The result is decided when an opponent is deemed incapable to continue match by a referee or if an opponent is disqualified for breaking a rule, resigning by throwing in a towel, or by judges' scorecards at the end of the contest.

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The birth hour of boxing as a sport may be its acceptance by the ancient Greeks as an Olympic game as early as 688 BC. Modern boxing evolved in Great Britain and United States. In 2004, ESPN ranked boxing as the most difficult sport in the world.

Today, boxing competition is divided into a set number of rounds, three minutes long with a one-minute rest period between each round. Championship bouts usually last for 12 rounds, but because there is no real governing body, rules vary from state to state in the US. Judges determine the winner using scorecards as the fight goes on. There is a referee who determines if illegal moves are made or if a fighter is too injured to continue the match. In some cases, the referee calls a "knockout" when an opponent has been knocked down or knocked out.



Let’s take a look at the difference between the way a boxer boxes and the way a MMA fighter boxes.

The main differences are…

How to cover up and absorb punches to the head – The gloves that are used as a boxer are quite a bit bigger than the gloves used in MMA. This gives you a larger shield to hide behind when your opponent attacks. Also the impact the fighter receives is not transferred to the head as much with the large gloves of a boxer as it is with MMA gloves. So where as a boxer may cover up by putting his gloves directly in front of his face and letting the impact be absorbed by the gloves, a mixed martial artist needs to defend differently. The preferred cover up method for MMA is to use the forearms and elbows. For a straight punch the hands are placed palm down against the top of the forehead, which puts the forearms in the correct position in front of the face. For hooks, the palm of the hand is slid to the back of the head, which brings the entire outside of the arm into position to protect the side of the head. 

How to duck under punches –
In a fight, a boxer will commonly duck under a punch by bending forward at the waist. In MMA your opponent is allowed to knee and/or kick you in the head. So if you duck a punch by bending at the waist while in a MMA fight, you could be asking for trouble. It is a much better idea to keep your body upright and bend your knees to duck under the attack. This will protect you from eating that unwanted knee to the face.

Why you pinpoint your strikes – In both sports it is important to throw accurate strikes. If you hit a vulnerable area of an opponent’s body, you will cause more damage and that is the ultimate goal of throwing your strikes in both sports. But with the lighter MMA gloves on, there is one other reason to throw your punches accurately. They don’t offer your hand as much protection as a heavily padded glove does. If you miss your target and hit the forehead for example, it could result in a broken hand a lot easier than if you had larger gloves on. So when you throw your punches, aim.

How hard of a punch you can take – A professional boxer wears gloves that are usually around 10 oz, but the gloves used in MMA are only 4 oz. This drastically changes how hard of a shot you can take without going down. Now this does not mean you should be passive and not engage the opponent out of fear of taking damage. It only makes the instruction all fighters are given “Protect yourself at all times” that much more important. Hit and don’t be hit.

Although there are many differences between how you would regularly box and how you would box in MMA, they do remain small differences. For the most part you can take the skills you learn as a boxer and directly apply them to mixed martial arts. There only needs to be a little tweaking.

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