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Boxing is one of the world's toughest and most compelling sports. It is also a metaphor for life. When it comes to our common vernacular, boxing is the ultimate activity for conjuring up images and phrases that transcend both sport and life.
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Depends on the boxer’s strengths and weaknesses or opponent’s strengths and weaknesses, boxers can choose compete using different distances tactically. Distances can be determined in three; long distance, medium distance and short distance. In these different distances, different punches and movements are made to successfully land blows.
Long distance is the range that the distance from the opponent is far enough that the boxer cannot deliver the punches without stepping forward. Therefore, when the boxer wants to deliver punches in long distance, he/she has to step forward. Mostly straight punches are used when boxing at long distance. Therefore, long range is preferred mainly by tall boxers with long arms. Long range boxing usually occurs at the center of the ring and boxing in long distances, movements are more visible to the judges
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Medium distance is the range that you can deliver the punches without moving forward. Therefore, when boxers fight at medium distance against each other, straight punches without full extension of arms or hooks are used. This style requires boxers with more movement, because punches can be exchanged without the extra effort of moving forward.
Short distance is the range that boxers’ gloves almost touch each other’s. In short distance boxing, boxers can only exchange short range punches such as short hooks or uppercuts. This style is mainly preferred by boxers who have short heights and are physically strong. Also, similar to the medium distance boxing, boxing at short distance also requires good physical preparation and fitness level.
In the earlier part of the Coaches Manual, we have covered the basic part of boxing skills, techniques and boxing related information that fits with beginning level to 1-Star level coaches. In the advanced part of the Coaches Manual, we will explore the boxing techniques and coaching preferences in four different countries. These countries and region includes Europe, Russia, USA and Cuba. Furthermore, in the advanced part of the Coaches Manual, advanced level of training exercises and methodology will be presented along with individualization of training and control and monitoring (evaluation) of the boxer’s performance and skills.
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Before moving on to learn the advanced technique, the coach must understand and make sure that the boxer has mastered the basic boxing stance, basic punches, defenses and movements such as bodyweight shifting, upper body movement without moving the feet, feet movement without losing balance, etc. Mastering these basic skills will allow the boxer to launch different attacks freely and effectively. Basic punches learned in the previous part of the Coaches Manual are the basis and foundation of the boxer’s attacking skills. It is very important for the boxer to understand that the attacking skills taught in the advanced technique portion are variation of the basics learned previously
With the efforts of the coaches to develop the boxer’s technical skills with individual strengths and weaknesses, each advanced boxer has different boxing stance. However, all boxers alternate their boxing stances with different weight distribution to their legs, shoulder, arm and hip positions and standing up or bent down. Decision to alternate the boxing stance is based on the offensive, defensive situations and tactics of the bouts.
Psychological preparation in boxing is very important. Boxing is a combat sport which requires good physical and technical-tactical skills but also good psychological preparations, such as bravery, overcoming fears, pain and other circumstances. It has been witnessed many times that the boxer with weak psychological preparations does not perform with full capacity of their skills in the competitions. Therefore, psychological aspect of boxer is also very important element for the succession.
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As much as the physical, technical and psychological aspect of the boxer, tactics plays important role in every bout in tournaments and competitions. Good tactics allow boxers to win bouts with less physical effort and stay in good condition for next bouts. Overall tactic application depends on the individual skills-level of the boxer and tactics for bouts depend on the opponents’ skills-level. In Europe, due to the large number of competition available, boxers have more opportunity to implement the tactics learned and gain experience to adopt quicker to change in tactics against the opponent. In European style of boxing, many tactics were no longer applied or modified in the tournaments and competitions due to the changes of rules and utilization of new technologies such as, gloves and head guards and scoring machine. For example, previously, some coaches ordered boxers to be more aggressive at the beginning of the bout and fight passively in final two rounds. Now this tactic became ineffective due to the changes of rules.
Russian boxing style, originated from Soviet Union style of boxing, has been kept many core characteristics from its origin, famous for its skillful boxing style with accurate punches to the opponent’s target areas. Style has gradually changed its style and orientation from the power boxing to the boxing with active movement, aggressive boxing to now the universal style of boxing which carries combinations of all previous boxing styles. From the past to today, Russian boxing style is still the one of the dominant boxing style, with the advanced techniques and skills influence many neighboring countries. Technical preparation of boxers are very important skills than others in Russia, however these techniques are individualized by the physical skills and physiological aspect of the boxer, therefore physical preparation and physiological aspect of the boxer also play important role in Russian boxing style. In advanced level of Russian boxing, boxers alternate their boxing stances and apply different punching, movement and defense technique by shifting the distribution of bodyweights, the boxer uses balanced or bodyweight shift to lead leg or rear leg depending on the tactics and situations in bouts. Additionally, boxers use lead hand for feints and other preparation and main attack follow with one accented strong blow with rear hand or series of blows.
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With the gradual changes in boxing style and its form, many boxers today have balanced bodyweight distribution to both legs to perform their universal style of boxing. Depending on the opponent and tactics, boxers alternate their boxing stance by shifting bodyweights and by the alternate arms and hands position.
The preparation period is divided into three phases. General physical phase, special physical phase and direct preparation phase. In each phase can be 6 to 9 weeks or less than 6 weeks depending on the competition calendar. The training focus is different and its goal and objectives. Between each phase, a week of active-rest period will be given to allow boxer to have good physical and psychological recovery, not only for each phase and period, but also throughout a year.