This article was originally posted to the USENet group “rec.martial-arts” back in December 1999, addressing how Western Boxing not only is a martial art, but its unique qualities blend well with other functional fighting skills. Enjoy.
Where would one begin?
Boxing has excellent mechanics for weight conveyance in striking.
It stresses timing, range, and angling like few other combat arts in existence.
It teaches you habits which minimize the chance of getting hit — essential in the eyes of anyone who has really stood at range and hit an opponent who was willing and able to hit back. Also an excellent complement to other defensive skills. People don’t realize this until they get into a real fight, and they get hit because their chin was up, their hands too low, their predisposition too defensive and retreating, their footwork non-mobile, and their head stationary.
Boxing combines well with the Filipino Martial Arts, with Muay Thai, numerous other functional syntheses of martial art, and also aids tremendously in one’s ability to fight on the street with modifications adding in eye jabs, elbows, head/hand/arm immobilizations, etc.
It combines well with pummeling and tie-up skills from a variety of grappling arts. In fact, they facilitate eachother very well if you know how to do it.
Boxing skills provide attacking ability which works very well in setting up your entry to grappling range, whether to in-fight or take it to the ground.
Boxing teaches you the value of making the opponent miss without throwing out your own posture for counterattack. Very few arts even teach or understand this to the degree that boxing does.
Boxing uses angles which achieve the ideal impact against an unsupported flush surface. Combinations taught in boxing are designed specifically to build into an incapacitating blow — very much like chasing someone through a maze, until they make a wrong turn and end up at a dead end.
In keeping with the above, boxing teaches the value of continuity in your motion. It would be nice to be able to dispel any attacker with a simple pushbutton solution — often espoused by “self defense” methods — but against a determined and able attacker, this just doesn’t happen.
And boxing makes you tough.
Boxing is not a complete martial art. It does not claim to be.
Boxers are generally the best at what they do — striking at punching range — but this is by no means the alpha and the omega of fighting as a whole. Beyond this, the ability of someone who trains in boxing to do well as a fighter in the street depends on a number of other things as well.
If you train in boxing, your stance must be modified to take into account other things. A person with boxing training who intends to really fight should also be trained and prepared to sprawl against a shooter, block and avoid leg kicks, protect his groin, learn good tie-up skills and how to dominate this range, etc. etc.
He should also know how to kick, grapple, elbow, knee, rip, gouge, and how to use these and other tactics as means to other ends, etc.
Also, a person who can box must be willing to leave that mode behind when the range doesn’t call for it. I could write a 10 page article on this topic alone.
There’s a lot more to this. These are some points of departure.