BOXER'S RANT V: Trial by Fire

  • Boxer_Daddy

    Posts: 90

    Dec 12, 2012 5:45 AM GMT
    As a veteran boxer I've been around the gym for a few years. I've seen the rookie faces of hopeful young pugilists to the dejected expression of disillusioned contenders. Throughout my tenure I've watched guys being trained as well as been asked to help train others. Its during that time that I have witnessed a recurring tragedy that shames the sport and those claiming to be instructors of the fine art. A "newbie" comes into the gym to be introduced to the sport of boxing. He finds a coach and/or trainer then asks for instruction. The newbie receives some basic teachings then a week or two later he's tossed in the ring against a well trained or highly skilled jerk of a boxer that beats the snot out of him. WTF?!?! This is WRONG! Even if the newbie asked to have his skills tested, this is FAR TOO soon and NOT the right way to introduce him to the squared circle. I'm sure I don't need to hold my tongue here when I mention how fragile the male ego is. Whether many want to admit it or not. No aspiring boxer (unless he's a jobber, but that's another story) wants to get his ass kicked the first time out. A fighter can be quickly turned off by the sport and never return. Especially given today's "instant gratification society generation" that expects to be Muhammed Ali / Rocky Marciano their first time in the ring. Oh wait, my bad that's WAY before their time, please insert Floyd Mayweather Jr / Manny Pacquaio into those previous champion name slots.

    I'd like to believe that the trainer is hoping to unlock a newbie's natural talent. But this is the wrong way of going about it. Being tossed into a gladiatorial arena is no way to root out a person's instinctive skill for battle. Mercifully the newbie's performance is not judged by an audience or he would most assuredly receive a thumbs down and have his life ended. Young hopefuls need to be skillfully guided to the top to unlock their potential. You never know who's going to be the next champion whether they come in early or late in life. Every fighter needs to be handled differently. If one method of teaching doesn't work try another. Don't just toss a guy to the wolves and let him fend for himself to see if he survives.

    Another tragedy along the same lines is when a newbie is used as punching bag material for a trainers other more skilled fighters. Again this is another way to turn off a potential aspiring boxer. If a guy gets his ass kicked enough times in the ring without learning anything he'll begin to question the validity of his chosen sport, ponder himself and why he's constantly taking this kind of punishment for no reason.

    If you're a coach or a trainer, is it worth the risk to find the next champ given the declining numbers of guys interested in boxing? If you're that "newbie" I strongly urge you to find another instructor. There are thousands of trainers out there. And if you're a witness, pull that boxer to the side and inform him of his options. You'll be better for having helped change someone's life and that boxer will be thankful to you for the rest of his life.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 12, 2012 5:23 PM GMT
    Love that line from your profile :

    ""Boxing is the only socially acceptable way for two grown men to: Strip down, wear silk or satin trunks with leather boots in public. Put on some nice gloves and step into a pretty ring to fight over a belt and win a purse.""

    As for the rant : it's a sound like a mix of hazing tradition and selection process.

    Coach using it think that if a guy get humiliated by a public beating and still come back, he is strongly motivated (and know his place in the pack).
    Coach are afraid to lose time teaching a guy for month before to see him change his mind and leave because it's too hard.
  • Boxer_Daddy

    Posts: 90

    Dec 14, 2012 2:53 AM GMT
    Thank you my new friend for your insightful words. I had not thought of this, I can easily see how this method of indoctrination could work. BUT! Not to be insulting – Only if this were the 1920's through the 1980's. Given today's "Instant gratification generation" it DOES NOT! Guys today are too mentally fleeting to endure such hazing hardships. While I'm certain the most dedicated of boxers would stick around the majority of others would not.
    As for the 2nd suggestion, I can see where a coach might do such a thing. But that's a chance every coach takes. Science has been trying to figure out the human mind since the study of biology was first created. A fighter can decide to quit at any time – some at the beginning, some at the prime of their careers and more times than naught, others long after they should have retired.
    I do see your points though, still, I RANT! at individuals who follow those practices as VERY IMPRACTICAL.
  • xxwildfangxx

    Posts: 9

    Jan 04, 2013 8:55 AM GMT
    Hello there Mr. TechBoxer I also find really hilarious your profile headline, long time I read it for the first time.

    I got a question on this, What exactly does "Instant gratification generation" means?
    Is it as the people of this post-modern age, or as the creation of the instant gratification? I don't get the idea. Hehehe

    Myself was part of this kind of practices from fighting couches, altough It was in MMA, for my first MMA fight EVER I fighted a "pro" champion of a little pro league here in Mexico, no doubt he gave me the beat of my life on the ground, but as I was aware of what happened (pride taking over me) I took the risk and came out only with a big black eye.
    Perhaps my old couch was just trying to take off that innecesary pride, or it was a great confusion since I told him I had amateur fights before, but didn't hear that only in boxing. Anyway it happened. I got out of there for different reasons, without any trauma, and continued my life as a fighter in another place.

    After that I've taking on to a couple of amateur MMA figths winning all of them, mainly because I've trained enough to my body just fight with out thinking that much, for me, how it should be.

    I can say it's hard for a young motivated one to say "No" to such an invitation, cause your pride with your coach and fightmates is on game, so most young boxers accept, but also many young boxers want to step on the ring as fast as they lace the gloves for the first time, and urge for it prematurely. Some got innate talent some don't a good comunication between coach and apprentice is needed in any case. Leaving aside any prejudices.

    The fighting phenomena is really hard but interesting to explain. Good luck in doing so!

    Grettings from a mexican Biology under-grad student!
  • Boxer_Daddy

    Posts: 90

    Jan 08, 2013 2:49 AM GMT
    Greetings XXWildFangXX

    It's nice to hear a response from a fighter even if he is an MMA guy. "Instant gratification generation" refers to the current younger society that is growing up today. With the advancements in our technology and the ability to send and receive information extremely quickly these days most individuals growing up in today’s society have adapted a similar mentality. They have to have it now, the sooner the better. No one wants to wait for anything these days including fighters that are just picking up their sport. Many fighters want to be a champion in a matter of months instead of taking the time to learn their craft and become good over time. Only a select few are “natural” fighters destined to be great, in a short amount of time. The rest must take their time and work their way up the ladder. Your story regarding your first big fight with a champion MMA fighter is a prime example. Was it ABSOLUTELY necessary for you to fight a champion fighter in your VERY FIRST match? I am taking directly from your words that your coach may have felt you were cocky thus it was necessary for you to get beat in your first match. While this may be an effective method for you, can you say that it would be effective for every fighter? Does every fighter have the same mentality that he needs to be beat down in order to become a more disciplined fighter to be great? I’m certain that more often than naught this would deter most fighters and you would have less opponents to fight against.

    Keep your guard up and come out punching
    from a Boxing Computer technician - hence Techboxer
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 08, 2013 4:15 AM GMT
    You know, I can offer a few words here since I am just starting boxing myself.

    A few days in to my training, the coach asked me to throw punches at (won't even dignify it by calling it "sparring") a old pro who had a busted hand. He wouldn't throw back; he would just dodge and move. I get practice throwing at a human being (again, this was like day 4 of my boxing education); he gets to work on 100% defense no offense. Made sense.

    Anyway, at one point, I had him backed up a bit towards a corner, and while executing my millionth same-punch-same-form, which was of course telegraphed as all hell, he smoked me pretty good. Did a dodge and duck under my punch, moving into the corner and out. Guys watching, including my coach, all yelled at how good etc it looked.

    Stung my pride, of course. Worst part is I even saw it coming before I threw the punch. No, I didn't like getting clowned that well, but thats part of training. I don't have to like it, but I need to get better at the sport before I complain about it.
    However, to the OP: if all this was going on during a beating? If I was getting the crap knocked out of me, only a few days in, it would have been damn hard to come back the next day. Would I probably have done it? I like to think so, but there is getting clowned in a way that makes me want to learn more, and then there is a way where I am humiliated and don't want to face the gym/those people again.
  • Boxer_Daddy

    Posts: 90

    Jan 11, 2013 3:43 PM GMT
    Torrent, a little bit of clowning in the gym is good for the soul and moral of the gym, including the guy that got clowned. My buds and I always mess with one another when one of us does something crazy, out of the ordinary or tags our opponent with a good shot/combo. When a newbie enters our fray we always cheer for him and encourage him to do his best in spite of being in with a more experienced pugilist. The only way for a fighter to get better is to fight a better boxer.
    When no care of concern is paid to the new comer and he's used as fodder, then there's the risk of losing him. Much appreciated for your input.