If you’re involved in boxing, you’ve probably heard it called the “Sweet Science.” With an epic history as old as civilization itself, and a set of rules that ensures its purity, it is one of the most beautiful sports in the world. While some will classify it as barbaric or brutal, boxers and boxing fans know that this sport is a dance and an art, differing very little from an art form like ballet. The casual spectator, the one who sees only the violence, cannot understand what really makes boxing special. Here are just ten of the reasons that boxing is beautiful:
There is perhaps no other sport in the world that requires the same level of focus as boxing. Unlike team sports, where the slack another player lets down can be picked up by his teammates, boxers knows that if they lose focus for even a moment, they will be demolished. It is not just focus during a bout, however, that’s important. It is every aspect of the boxer’s life. He has to eat the right foods, train for the right number of hours, and focus on his goals all day, every day in order to become a champion.
Puts an emphasis on discipline.
Boxing requires self-discipline that is not required by many other sports. Discipline is not just necessary to become strong and fast enough to win fights, it is part of the culture that surrounds this sport. Boxers are taught discipline not just in relation to the sport, but in all aspects of their lives.
Boxing originates in the ancient fighting rings of Rome and Greece. It rose to popularity again during the First and Second World Wars. These were the times in our human history when courage and self-sacrifice for the greater good were highly valued attributes. These are the values that boxing is built upon. Yes, boxing can be dangerous. It can be brutal, which means that the fighter must be ready to take on that fear and the chance that he will be harmed in order to compete.
No other sport is as physically demanding.
In every other sport in the world, there are some areas of the body that must be more developed than others in order for a person to be considered an “ideal” player. However, with boxing, the participants must be as fast as they are strong. They must be as smart as they are agile. Boxers don’t just train in the ring. They have to jog, lift weights, jump rope, swim and climb—anything to make themselves stronger, faster, and more agile.
Promotes self-control and self-governance.
Both of these characteristics are not just necessary for achievement in the ring, they are also part of boxing’s culture. A great boxer knows when to strike. He knows when to hold back but he also knows when to let loose. He knows how to control himself, how to make rapid-fire decisions that can make or break a bout, and how to control his body. Training to be a successful boxer is grueling and only those with the highest levels of self-control and self-governance have what it takes to power through the difficult days and succeed in the ring.
A battle of wills, not just strength.
The strongest or fastest boxer does not always win the bout. Sometimes, all you need to win is persistence. That is what boxing can teach. A boxer who can stay on his feet long enough for his opponent to use up his own strength and exhaust himself out is the one who will win. He who has the best strategy, not the strongest arms, is usually going to be crowned the winner.
Least discriminatory sport in the world.
There are boxing classes that encompass both men and women of all heights, weights, and skill levels, you do not have to be a professional athlete in order to box. Based on these requirements (height, weight and skill level), if you are willing to sacrifice, to put in the time and the effort to learn what is needed to box, then one’s body and mind will be fast and strong.
Teaches individuals to use their negative emotions in positive ways.
Even the most successful, experienced boxer will feel nervous, anxious, or even afraid before a bout. During the fight, he can feel frustrated and angry, as well as excited. If the boxer let these negative emotions get to him, he would lose. Boxing teaches fighters to use those emotions and to channel them into more powerful punches and more watchful eyes. The ability to harness those emotions and use them to gain a positive outcome is one of the best things boxing can teach us.
In order to become a great boxer, you can’t just be fast or just be strong. You have to be smart, too. This means that your mind, body, and soul all have to be focused and aligned. While some branches of boxing take this more seriously than others, even commercialized boxing in America believes in this tenant of the sport. There is a spiritual aspect to every branch of boxing which makes it ritualistic and beautiful, not barbaric.
Boxing is beautiful.
Boxing is an integral part of human history. It was the first sport to be televised. It also has been used to prepare soldiers for hand to hand combat in just about every country in the world. Boxing is called the “Sweet Science,” not because it is violent, but because it requires training and persistence and boxers have to be as methodical and tactical as they are powerful. Boxing is beautiful because it requires a honed body and a honed mind, the two working together to create an art unlike any other in the world.
We Love Boxing!