To the untrained eye, boxing typically appears as two large, muscular people pummelling each other. The devil is in the details. Smaller nuances often come into play when defining boxing styles. In addition to styles of boxing, there are alternative varieties of boxing and other martial arts that incorporate the use of boxing techniques. Although they share a common theme, it wouldn’t be correct to regard them as being the same.
Traditional Boxing Styles
Boxing is a larger umbrella under which several styles of the sport exist. The most common type of boxing is counterpunching, also referred to as pure boxing. This is a traditional competitive style of boxing that relies on a beat for beat exchange with an emphasis on safe distance and strategic timing. Two pure boxers matched together will often create long and suspenseful matches – at least until they figure each other out.
Brawlers, sometimes called sluggers, rely on pure aggression in the ring. It is their main goal to inflict as much damage to their opponent as possible, relying on a knockout as a ring strategy. Brawlers are notoriously fast and seem fearless in the ring. They’re excellent showmen, but they’re also competent aggressors.
The third style of boxing is called “boxer puncher”, which almost sounds redundant. The reason for the title is that these boxers are always waiting for the perfect moment to throw the perfect punch. This difficult to achieve strategy relies on the impact of sporadic but overwhelming blows placed at exactly the right moment. It’s more of a “quality over quantity” approach.
Despite its title, kickboxing is not quite the same as boxing. It’s actually its own martial art that derives many of its principals from boxing and blends them with the theory and movement of karate.
Many martial arts utilize more than just the hands and feet, preferring methods of contact driven submission to overtake an opponent. Kickboxing as a martial art merely emphasizes proper fighting style without any frills – it’s an old fashioned, proven way to fight.
Kickboxing is a full contact sport, but it’s commonly adopted as both a fitness regimen and a means of self defense. Many people take kickboxing to save time. They’re getting a full body workout while learning how to protect themselves.
Mixed Martial Arts
Mixed martial arts, or MMA, is what most people consider to be a true fight. When it boils down to MMA versus boxing, it’s hard to make a true comparison. It can never really be an apples to apples scenario because with MMA, the emphasis is on “mixed”. MMA incorporates elements of boxing, Muay Thai, judo, karate, jujitsu, and wrestling into one art. Think of it as a highly curated selection that includes only the best of the best.
Because of the wide variety of techniques utilized within mixed martial arts fighting, it is one of the most unique and versatile sports. Its application of boxing fundamentals makes it a great sport for comfortable boxers to transition into when they’re looking to take things to the next level. Athletes looking to increase their proficiency and improve their body mechanics often turn to MMA, even if only to utilize it as a workout.
Boxing is one of the oldest sports in the world, and it has established a foundation for many sports and athletic pursuits that are only continuing to grow. If you’re interested in pursuing boxing, you have multiple entryways. Pick a style or application of boxing that works for you, dabble until you find your fighting style. Focus on proficiency once you’ve established your foundation, and continue to grow with it.