“The important thing in life is not victory but combat; it is not to have vanquished but to have fought well.” - Pierre de Coubertin

Famous for being one of the most complete sports, boxing involves athleticism, uses almost every muscle in the body, and requires agility, endurance, and core strength. Since the Olympic Games in 2012, the number of boxing clubs has increased.

There was a 10.2% rise in sports clubs across the UK and boxing and wrestling have been the driving factor behind them. While boxing had the image of being a violent sport for men, its image is changing.

So what type of boxing should you do?

Here’s our advice for choosing the right discipline.

What Type of Boxing Should You Start With?

Before you join a boxing club, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself. The most important one is which type of boxing you should do.

What are the different types of boxing?
There are different types of boxing and each has its advantages and disadvantages. (Source: tacofleur)

While the main type of boxing like in the Olympic Games, there are also other types of boxing. There are other disciplines relating to boxing including savate, Thai boxing, and kickboxing. These European, American, and Asian combat sports have also been adapted for fitness purposes with cardio boxing, fitness boxing, aerobic boxing, etc.

You should try a few of the different disciplines before you sign up for a whole year as this will help you pick the right one.

You should also think about your personal goals.

Would you like to tone your body, lose weight, build your self-confidence, improve your health, or go pro? How hard do you plan on working out? Would you like to learn self-defence, get rid of stress, or hone your reflexes?

Here’s our advice for starting with boxing. As we mentioned earlier, there are 4 main types of boxing:

  • Boxing
  • Savate
  • Kick-boxing
  • Thai boxing or Muay Thai

Traditional boxing was inspired by Greek boxing and spread throughout English towns in the 19th century. This boxing uses only punches and focuses on strength, speed, and defence. A skipping rope is one of the most common tools for warming up before boxing.

Savate, or French boxing, began in the 20th century and uses both kicking and punching. It focuses on flexibility, tactics, precision, endurance, and agility.

Kick-boxing was created in the 1990s and allows kicking, punching, and kneeing. You can strike your opponent with your shins or feet as high as their head. This type of boxing focuses on flexibility, strength, agility, and technique.

Known for being particularly violent, Thai boxing also allows elbowing. In short, almost any blow is allowed. Choose this type of boxing if you like combat shorts but expect to spend time wringing out your clothes after each session. When it comes to Thai boxing warm-ups, get ready for burpees, squats, push-ups, and a lot of ab workouts.

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Which Combat Sport Should You Learn for Self-defence?

Would you like to learn some self-defence?

A lot of women choose to learn combat sports or martial arts such as Taekwondo, Krav Maga, mixed martial arts, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and boxing to defend themselves.

It’s a falsehood that boxing clubs teach you just how to scrap... Nevertheless, the techniques taught can be used to help you out in one.

How can you learn to defend yourself?
Learning to box isn't about going out and picking fights, but the techniques can help get you out of dangerous situations. (Source: Claudio_Scott)

So which type of boxing is best for defending yourself?

Any of them can be useful!

Boxing is a high-intensity physical activity that’ll improve your endurance, strength, determination, and discipline. You’ll also hone your reflexes, think strategically, and tone your body. Boxing is a way to learn how to fight using powerful and measured blows. Similarly, the combat techniques learnt (blocking, tactics, punches, footwork, etc.) can also be used to defend yourselfThe goal is to avoid conflict rather than to get involved in it.

Respect is one of the most important aspects of boxing. To defend yourself in the street, however, you won’t be fighting to Queensbury Rules. Similarly, boxing bare-knuckled can cause injury and when you have to defend yourself, you won’t have your usual protection including a gum shield, shin guards, or a cup.

When it comes to self-defence, we could also mention Brazilian jiu-jitsu, mixed martial arts (MMA), and Krav Maga. These are all combat sports and martial arts that include techniques for neutralising an opponent. Whether you’re a man or a woman, all types of boxing are useful for defending yourself.

Here’s some key advice for boxing:

  • Learn to box in tight spaces
  • Be aware of your range
  • Stand correctly
  • Be fluid and flexible so that you can avoid your opponent’s attacks
  • Breathe with each punch
  • Keep your guard up
  • Look your opponent in the eye

It’s also a good idea to pick up a punching bag for your home and a skipping rope.

The Best Type of Boxing for Relaxing

Another reason people box is to get rid of stress.

What are the benefits of boxing?
You'll be surprised at just how relaxed you'll feel after boxing. (Source: leninscape)

You can practise punching and kicking on a punching bag or with a sparring partner with pads and blow off some steam while you do. Boxing classes with coaches and trainers are also a good way to get rid of daily stress. Stress can build up daily and regularly practising a combat sport is a good way to manage it.

In addition to being a great way to stay in shape, it’s great for dealing with stress. A 90-minute boxing session spent focusing on your punches is a great way to relax.

The same is true while you’re thinking about your footwork. You need to think about the present. There’s no time to think about other concerns.

So which type of boxing is best for unwinding?

No particular type of boxing is better than another. If you’d prefer something technical, opt for savate. If you want to throw punches like Muhammad Ali, traditional boxing is the way to go. To get your heart pumping, choose kick-boxing. And if you want to tone your body while getting rid of stress, some cardio boxing on a punching bag is a great choice.

It all depends on your tastes.

The Best Types of Boxing for Weight Loss

So how can you lose weight?

Burning calories at a boxing club, of course!

How can you lose weight with boxing?
If you want to lose weight, there are few activities better than boxing. (Source: PublicDomainPictures)

The good thing is that there are often multiple sessions a week.

Boxing is a way to fight obesity. You burn a lot of calories during each session and convert fat into muscle. You’ll probably gain muscle mass but also lose weight. However, since muscle ways more than fat, the number on the scales may be bigger. That said, you’ll be in much better shape with a leaner and more toned body. Boxing is a good way to achieve a healthy body mass index (BMI). Again, you’re probably wondering which type is the best.

So which type of boxing is the best for losing weight?

No matter which type you do, you’ll break a sweat and tone muscle. All types of boxing make use of almost every muscle in your body.

Scientific studies show that an hour per week isn’t enough. On average, a 90-minute session will burn around 1,250 calories, which will result in around a pound lost each week. You could lose around 4 pounds a month if you attended 4 sessions a week. Of course, this weight-loss will plateau and you’ll start gaining muscle weight. Furthermore, boxing burns more calories than surfing or cycling. To lose weight through boxing, we recommend that you do at least two sessions a week.

If you'd like to do boxing, mixed martial arts, or kickboxing classes, consider getting in touch with one of the many talented and experienced tutors on Superprof. There are three main types of tutorial available, face-to-face tutorials, online tutorials, and group tutorials, and each type comes with its pros and cons.

Group tutorials tend to be the cheapest per student per hour since they're all paying for a share of the tutor's time. Of course, this means that you'll get less one-on-one time with your tutor or coach and they won't be able to tailor the sessions to just you as they'll have other clients that they need to keep happy.

Face-to-face tutorials are just between you and your private tutor. In this case, you'll be paying for a bespoke and tailored service and during your lessons, you'll enjoy the tutor or coach's undivided attention. This all comes at a price and while face-to-face private tutorials are the most cost-effective, they also tend to be the most costly per hour.

Finally, thanks to the advent of the internet, you can now enjoy online private tutorials. With video conferencing software, a webcam, a microphone, and a decent internet connection, you can enjoy private tutoring from tutors all over the world. Since the tutor won't be travelling to their students and they can schedule more tutorials each week, they can charge a more competitive rate and online tutorials are usually cheaper per hour than face-to-face tutorials.

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Krishna