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Monday, July 11, 2016

It keeps you fit and healthy and is a really fun workout! If you want to learn how to throw a punch like Mary Kom or Muhammad Ali, Jagruti Verma tells you everything you need to know before you put on your boxing gloves

Boxing is back in the spotlight, unfortunately because the world lost a legend when Muhammad Ali — almost unanimously touted as the greatest boxer of all time — passed away last month. His passion brought glory to the sport and if watching videos of him on social media (or re-runs of Will Smith’s portrayal of him in the film Ali) have made you fall for the idea of boxing, this is for you. Here, we tell you what you should know about boxing before you take up the sport, and suggest a few places you can visit to try your hand at it.

First things first
“Speed, agility and strength are the three most important things you should concentrate on if you want to get into boxing,” says celebrity trainer and fitness coach Rakesh Udiyar. A boxer needs to be fast and flexible. “You need to work on your fitness levels, and only then will you be able to learn how to box effectively. It will help you to perform without injuring yourself and it will also prevent muscle wear and tear,” adds celebrity fitness expert Vinod Channa.

However, it’s not just about being strong. A lot of it also depends on you staying calm. Rakesh tells us, “You need to be mentally calm if you want learn how to box. Positivity is another essential, because with all the negativity around, you could lose focus.” To stay focused, he suggests listening to music, watching motivational videos or going swimming — an activity he insists is a great stress buster.

Down to the essentials
Boxing involves a lot of movement in the ring and so, you need to practice for a long, long time you before even consider stepping in to fight — even if it’s a hobby or for a friendly bout. “To keep yourself in peak fighting condition, you need to perform strength exercises at least twice a week. I recommend agility training and lots of skipping for mobility,” Rakesh says.

Protein builds muscle, fats give you energy, and carbohydrates help store glucose so that your body can utilise it whenever it is needed. “Your diet should be modified according to your exercise regime. Boxers (even runners and wrestlers) who perform agility exercises should pick a moderate carbohydrate diet with high fat and high protein. With high intensity exercise, you definitely need more carbohydrates in your daily diet,” he adds.

But, simply being physically prepared and eating the right food is not enough. Confidence, overcoming the fear of failure and the will to keep trying are also essential if you want to continue to train in the demanding sport. “If you’re considering taking up boxing, remember that it is a combat sport, but don’t be scared of possible injuries. You must always have full faith and trust in your coach to train you well,” says Aayush Yekhande, a sports physiotherapist at the H.E.A.L Institute, in Khar.

The myths you need to bust
Even though boxing is often associated with aggression and violence, there is no room for those qualities in the game! Confused? Aayush explains: “Boxing helps with anger issues because the boxer’s energy is channelled when they’re training. Eventually, it also improves stress levels, anxiety and anger as you progress towards more advanced stages of the sport.” Rakesh tells us that though the sport involves being aggressive, with proper guidance and good self-control, one learns how to control their aggression over time.

Vinod adds, “A lot of people, especially youngsters, think that they can beat up anyone just because they know how to box. However, boxing isn’t meant to fight people! It’s a tool for self defence and it helps you gain a certain level of agility, mobility, speed and body coordination, which even helps in day-to-day life.” Yes, with great power, comes great responsibility.

Remember that injuries are part of almost every sport. As Aayush explains, “One of the biggest misconceptions surrounding the sport of boxing is that you are more prone to injuries than with other sports. However, being associated with the Indian boxing team for over a year now, I can tell you that this is not true. In fact, I’d like to highlight how boxing is a combat sport, and that the chances of injuries have reduced considerably over the years due to advanced safety and training equipment.”

And, you don’t have to be muscular to be a boxer! Rakesh tells us, “Although people believe that boxing is only suitable for muscular street fighters, in reality, inside a boxing ring, size does not matter. The most nimble person who has trained sincerely and has been disciplined with regards to their diet and exercise regime can go toe-to-toe with bigger opponents. Those who are successful in this field have merely stuck to being active and gutsy.”

“Professional boxers are required to survive twelve rounds, each lasting for three minutes, while amateur boxers are required to make it through three rounds that last for three minutes each. Professional boxers also need more explosive strength because they aim to deliver knock-out punches, while amateurs require high intensity punches to be able to score more,” Aayush says.

Vinod adds, “While professionals have to be very particular about their nutrition and have to practice regularly in order to win tournaments, amateurs can learn how to box as a hobby when they have spare time. It’s a good tool for self defence or to add new fitness techniques into their workout regime. So, training for one is very different from the other.”

Beginning any new sport is always tough, but with the right class, everything gets a lot easier. Aayush tells us, “All you need is to be physically and psychologically fit. Simply go in with an open mind and don’t forget to enjoy your very first class!” Wondering where and how to start? We’ve got you covered with a few places you should consider.

On offer Boxing, kickboxing, Thai boxing (Muay Thai), Hapkido (self defence classes)
Where Adhityamik Kendre Hall, Yogi Nagar Association Garden, Behind D-14 Bldg, Opp. A-12, Yogi Nagar, Borivali (w)
Contact 9867932494

On offer Kickboxing, Krav Maga, Muay Thai, Kung Fu and MMA workout
Where Block No. 1, Room No. 7, Tulsiwadi, B N Rathod Road, Tardeo, Opposite Sitaldevi Mandir, Near Race Course 3, Lower Parel
Contact 33126190 (Ext. 20)

On offer Boxing and kickboxing classes
Where 202, Libra Towers, 70, Hill Road, Bandra (w)
Contact 9821622122

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