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H2H: Why Boxing Should be the Foundation to All Your Other H2H Training

Good night

“90% of all fights end up on the ground”

~ MMA Practitioners

“90% of all fights end up on the ground because 90% of people don’t know how to properly punch someone so they end the fight on their feet”

~ My Boxing Coach

Since the dawn of time, when man first beat another man’s ass into the ground no other fighting technique has been studied and analyzed to near level of perfection that boxing has. Sure there are many other great Martial Arts out there, but none have been scientifically refined into the pure brutality that Boxing is.

I am by no means saying a boxer can beat any other martial artist’s ass on the street 100% of the time, such internet arguments [“MMA is better than Kali”] are gay. I am simply pointing out the substantial advantages of boxing from the point of view of someone that has been in, or witnessed a substantial amount of H2H fights in a non sport environment.

And really when it comes down to it, no matter how skilled you are in any martial art – in a real fight [be it with firearms or fists], as in all warrior skills, victory will come down to the individual warrior having the heart and killer instinct to stand victorious over his adversaries.

Now let’s jump right into some of the reasons why Boxing is the best fighting style [in my opinion]:


Yep, like so many other things it is all about the Benjamin’s. Compared to all other fighting styles boxing produces the most money and has the highest ROI for a championship fight. For example, the amount of money made from a Heavyweight MMA championship match doesn’t even come close to the amount of revenue pulled in from a heavyweight boxing championship fight.

So a boxer is more likely to spend a million dollars to refine his skill [and thereby refining the art as a whole] so that he can win 20 million – comparatively, the Kickboxing industry does not have the same resources to refine their Martial Art

Basically the boxing industry is just like any other business, one invests a certain amount of money perfecting a product based on the amount of profit that product can potentially make. And because of that, the 10, 20 or even 100 million dollars a single championship boxing match can pull in – literally hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested into perfecting Boxing over the years.

Quite frankly to improve something, be it a Boxing or a Widget – you have to invest money into R&D. And no other fighting sport has been scientifically studied for the purposes of improving it to the extent that boxing has.

Boxing skills are centered on the individual fighter’s abilities and thus is constantly evolving

Boxing is tailored around the strengths of the fighter, if a fighter has a superior jab and uppercut, then his coach will modify his fighting technique around his strengths [the jab and uppercut]. If another boxer has a devastating hook then his coach will center his fighting technique on his hook.

And unlike other more traditional martial arts boxing is continuously improved upon, if a coach, sports nutritionists or the fighter himself can change one thing to improve his performance by .001% they will – even if it is not in a boxing manual, actually there really are not that many Boxing manuals because of this [think about it, how many new boxing manuals are published every year compared to Kung Fu books].

Overall Fitness is an integral part of Boxing

I know Asian style martial artists who can smash their fist’s through 20 2X4’s like they are made of raw spaghetti, but if they tried to do that non-stop for 10 minutes they would stroke-out.

In boxing [and all warrior skills for that matter], fitness is equally important to the actual combat part. Generally speaking boxers are in superior physical condition compared to all other martial artists [given, pro MMA fighters are also in excellent shape].

Realistic pain based training and sparring

Having trained in about 20 different styles of martial arts I thought I was pretty prepared the first time I sparred against another boxer. I went in thinking that the other guy was going to punch at 10% power like I did when I used to spar in Taekwondo – wrong, I got my ass whipped and knocked to the mat a dozen times in as many minutes.

It is hard not to improve when your punishment for non-performance is physical pain, and in boxing you get hit, and hit hard during training [especially compared to other martial arts]. No pain – no gain, you improve or you will continuously to get your ass kicked – this also builds perseverance and heart.

Additionally, if you were to actually ever get into a fight you will get punched, and after you get punched you will have to keep fighting until you either win or retreat. Having been already punched in the face 800 times in the past during training will prepare you for that.

Punching is the base skill of all H2H fighting

Punching someone while standing face to face, Eye to Eye with another person is the root and base of H2H fighting. Punching is sort of like basic marksmanship in firearms training, until you first master hitting the target you sure as shit can’t be a High Speed Low Drag Shoot and Looter.

The same goes with H2H, you cannot expect to become proficient at an arguably superior “reality based” fighting technique like Krav Maga until you learn the basic skill of punching someone.

All real “street” fighting will start with throwing punches with your fists [because as a highly trained boxer/intelligent fighter you will choose the circumstances of the initial blows] so you must master this “basic” technique as it will be the most used one in your H2H arsenal.

Your punching skill is based around knocking someone out wearing thick gloves

Your punching skill is based around knocking someone out wearing thick gloves

Do you remember when Mike Tyson punched Mitch Green bare fisted? It was devastating; Mitch Green’s face looked like he was hit by a bus.

Because in boxing you learn how to hit hard enough to knock out or disorient someone when wearing thickly padded gloves you end up with an extremely hard hitting bare knuckled punch.

I have seen underground bare knuckle boxing before and it is brutal, people throw-up when watching it. The amount of damage a highly trained boxers fist can do when unsheathed is devastating.

In Conclusion…

I wanted to add in other things like the psychological aspects; in boxing you learn to read your opponent, boxers learn how to change their technique based on the way their opponents fight or their weaknesses and how boxing is the thinking warriors martial art – but this would have been a 30 page article if I included everything, maybe I can add a part 2 later.

Also – Boxing is not without its disadvantages, it will take a minimum of a year of regular training to become a proficient in boxing. This is not a fighting skill that can be learned in a seminar or by half-assing it 1 or 2 days a week at some yuppie fitness gym [here is a hint, if you go to a boxing gym and over 70% of the people inside are white – then it is not a real boxing gym].

And if all else fails you can just kick him in the balls


~James G
Founder – Editor in Chief

James G is a Veteran Civilian Contractor who has worked in the Middle East and Southeast Asia for way too long; he has traveled to over 50 countries chasing fortune and glory. He spends his off time in Indonesia and Virginia getting drunk, shooting guns, writing poorly written articles and punching people in the face. James G. on FACEBOOK

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  1. Great article.

    In addition to the ethnic ratio, other good indicators of a quality boxing gym:

    -amount of exposed brick or cinderblocks you can see
    -amount of rust colored weights
    -number of brown stains on the canvas ring floor

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  2. Damn, I really like this website! Ive been training in one form or another , martial arts that is , for 25 years I guess and I have stopped even attending my dogo because of the focus on traditional form and style and no focus on really getting the job done. In other words , I didnt become a martial artist to look good on the mat, I did it to defend myself. Boxing in my opinion is awesome and should be a requirement in every branch of the service. Im an average sized guy, but I learned quickly that getting the conflict over as soon as possible is always good. A good boxer that can end a fight with a well placed punch has my vote any day. GREAT article James , BRAVO!!

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  3. Amazing article James! Lots of good points and has made me want to take up boxing. I’ve kicked boxed for 5 years now, but ever since my move I can’t find any gym worth while for it. Hah.

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  4. I started at a boxing gym about a year ago. It is in a crappy part of town and looks as if the building should be condemned. But a great group of guys who can really throw down. Now I have been in various martial arts since I was a kid. But I have to say what you speak is true james. First it is an amazing workout, my cardio level has risen exponentially. And I constantly get my arse handed to me. It really makes you focus on the fundamentals, I can’t use any of my tricks that I do in an actual physical confrontation. No elbows, joint locks, surprise kick to the throat, or taking the guy to the ground and choking him out with a variety of holds. You have to focus on your spacing, timing, and combinations. And have the ability to take a punch and throw one (thankfully I have a huge and hard freaking head an big heavy hands.)

    With everyone and their brother focusing on BJJ it is nice to see someone else realize need and promote the use of stand up skills. People forget that being a good fighter is to be as competent on the ground as you are on your feet.

    Great article James.

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  5. Excellent article. I have always found that when facing an opponent, take away their ability to see and to breathe and they have no choice but to stop the fight. A good boxing punch will do that in one or two strikes right off the bat.

    Great advice, great information.

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  6. Good article. Pretty accurate as well. The bare knuckle fighting I saw in Asia was best described in one word: brutal.

    It also confirmed what I’ve seen everywhere. For the most part a good solid punch to the head will take down all but the most drugged up opponent.

    The only thing Western rules boxing is missing is hand conditioning. The Asians are really good at this. That said Wester rules boxing is much more efficient on the learning curve end than 90% of what I saw in Asia.

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  7. Good article, James. Boxing is definitely an Old School Man martial art!

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  8. I know this is out of a movie but it still proves a point:

    “Why Boxing is King”

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  9. One of the most important gifts that boxers inherit from their sport is the physical conditioning. Many other martial practices fall short in this category.

    Bubba G

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  10. Ok, from some of the comments I am getting over at Facebook I can tell that people are sort of missing the point because of the title of this article – admittedly the title was a bit of a dig to grab folks attention, but I don’t want the title to take away from the heart of this article.

    So I changed the title from “Why Boxing is the Superior Martial Art” to “Why Boxing Should be the Foundation to All Your Other H2H Training” to better represent what I was conveying to people

    I will add some more notes later

    ~James G

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  11. My Dad was a boxing enthusist. Course you walk into his trophy room, with all his military stuff (ret. 1st Sgt) he also had his wall of boxing trophy’s. me being a kid, i never understood what it all meant, untill the day i mouthed off to him. yep, big mistake, he open backhanded me. his hand traveled, like 3 inches. knocked out a tooth, felt like my head was torn off, and i never mouthed off to him ever.
    He use to do informal disciplinary action, instead of paperwork action, while in the military, he was old school. He’d just have the soldier come in, look at the infraction, then point at the gloves, and say, see you in the ring in 10 minutes. I guess the level of infraction, would be the amount of time in the ring. After a few of these informal disciplinary actions, the platoon would square itself away. It never failed either, as it was repeated as we would go to other units as well.
    When i got older, he didn’t teach me boxing per say, but he did teach me a few little tricks. And let me tell you, people who think boxing is all this stand away and throw punches, Boxers have quite the arsenal. from the head, elbows to knees, they’ll use it all, and do it well, cause they’ve been coached well, and good enough, so it’s not seen easily.

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  12. Boxing is great and probarbly the most fun martial art out there. Still, being a tall and lanky MF I like the skills that Muay Thai give me in terms of knees and kicks. Imagine boxing WITH kick-to-the-balls-fu and a couple of kicks to the head and you’ve got my own perfect mix.

    That being said, one should always learn how to grapple as I will most likely be very drunk and fall over if I do get into your average bar-room brawl.

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  13. Ok, from some of the comments I am getting over at Facebook I can tell that people are sort of missing the point because of the title of this article – admittedly the title was a bit of a dig to grab folks attention, but I don’t want the title to take away from the heart of this article.So I changed the title from “Why Boxing is the Superior Martial Art” to “Why Boxing Should be the Foundation to All Your Other H2H Training”to better represent what I was conveying to people
    I will add some more notes later~James G  

    I say don’t succumb to the “my martial art is better then every other one” whiners. Because you can’t please them, ever. Saying something like that you are bound to step on some toes. But the owner of those toes at best are shortsighted and probably lack complete foundation of their fighting.

    Now you have been probably in as many fights as I have if not more. It is what we do and prepare for in our line of work. It gives us and many on this board a more realistic view of H2H combat. Also a lot of experience, and with experience lends for wisdom to come along for the ride. And with wisdom we can comprehend that there is no one martial art that is better than the other. There are systems that can counter other systems. But as far as combat goes there is no one martial art that is superior to another you take the bits and parts of a particular system of study and add it to your combat bag of tricks. And any complaining about which style is better is arbitrary and usually done by dojo tough guys that have really no footing to stand on when it comes to intelligent discussion on the subject.

    Now more to your point, we can sit here all day and argue which style is better. We can argue whether martial arts originated in India or China or any other probably possible topic that I am sure is popular on Martial Arts fanboy forums. But one thing I think we all can agree on is that it all started at one point and that point was someone somewhere threw a punch. And after that we have spent millennia upon millennia trying to figure out how to perfect that punch. Every single martial art system on the planet can be as different as night and day, the one thing all of them have in common is punching someone. It is a foundation of all martial arts and Boxing is the study of throwing the best one. The only martial art or artist that came even close to the study of the perfect punch was Bruce Lee. Because he understood that a better punch and the ability to throw them consistently and well, is the keystone of H2H combat. Without it all other martial arts lack. Even with a ground fighting art like BJJ, because sometimes you can’t lock in a hold or a choke and have to punch someone. And with that throw in the spacing and timing that comes along with studying boxing and it is even more essential, too close and you get the brunt of your opponents strength, too far and your own punches lack any stopping power. Miss time a shot and you leave yourself open. etc.

    So in a way you are right, its essentiality, not to mention the history behind the punch kind of makes it superior.

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  14. As a retired police I have to disagree. It is hard to put someone in cuffs b pyunching them in the face, unless of course they are KOed. I preach against and closed hand strikes except for the hammer fist. At the very least you increase your exposure to blood and cutting your hands on their teeth. A hand fracture many also inhibit your ability to use your weapons.

    When you are putting your hands on people for a living I advise slamming them against the walls, and targeting the head, elbow, pelvis, and knees.

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  15. I have great respect for American boxing, and I believe that 9x out of 10, a boxer will best a traditional martial artist, (or the unarmed street thug.) Mainly because the boxer is conditioned to operate efficiently in an atmosphere of violence, to take and give heavy hits, and keep on going, to know how to move in and out, slip punches, put together dangerous combos and deliver a lot of power with full impact.

    The traditional martial artist, on the other hand, will have almost no experience receiving full power strikes, (when have they taken a full power shot to the body or head??) spends little time on heavy bags, mitts and pads, and just doesn’t do any serious full-contact sparring to learn how to move, hit, and survive getting hit and keep on fighting.

    My dad trained Golden Gloves with a fighter named Murphy,who was known mostly for getting beat in a pro bout by Jack Dempsey. Those old school fighters knew how to dish it out and were tough enough to take it.

    I certainly appreciate the additional weapons that Muay Thai have given me, but my roots are in American boxing. The sweet science.

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  16. @ George M, I understand your point not to mention LEOs have to put with the smart mouthed little fucker thats looking for a Rodney King front page. I dont know about others on here but in the private sector it is simple, the levels of response and neutralize the threat. If its a street fight there are a lot of countries that if you dont take them out fast it could be the long sleep for you so you dont worry about the blood ect.
    As for boxing yes it is lethal. I knew this Lad in N.I. he was not big but he was fast and could hit the target. It was like watching the western gun fight, the other dude would flinch to throw a punch and my friend would get in 3 good hits before the other dude even got his fist past waist level and that was the end of it. Just glad he was on my side!

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  17. Man, I agree with you 99% of the time, but this is that 1%. Boxing is a fantastic sport, but it has evolved to the point that it has lost practicality in the real world. The Stance, some of the movement, lack of clinching, and size of gloves have watered down the effectiveness.
    I’m not an MMA guy. I train and teach Catch and submission grappling. You get in a traditional boxing stance and you’ll get taken down; you roll your shoulders and you will catch a knee in the face (or a kick to the balls). You are just as likely to break your hand with a full force boxing style punch as break someone’s face, and you are very likely to be grabbed or clinched (There is no ref to separate you).
    Dirty Boxing/Muay Thai, submission grappling or catch wrestling, and combatives/Krav Maga (Most Krav guys are full of shit, but the principles are sound). In my opinion those are the arts that really prepare you for the street.
    In the end it comes down to live sparring and good training. Most fights don’t involve masters of different martial arts. A year of anything practical will make you tough to deal with. Still love your articles.

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  18. First off, great article James.

    I’ve been doing boxing 1-2 a week for about 6 months now and I can safely say that in terms of preparing you for an actual real-life physical confrontation it is one of the best martial arts out there to train. Why? Cause you learn how to get punched in the face (or even worse, the liver. My training partner has mastered the liver shot down to a fine art and he can put anyone down on their knees with 1 punch regardless of how big & buff they are). The importance of pain-based training with actual full force punches CANNOT be overstated. If you’ve trained for 10 years in a martial art and you get into a fight and then you get punched in the face full force for the first time, you will probably lose because you’re simply not ready for how much that shit hurts and the effects it has in your body (cant move legs properly, lose all strength in your arms, vision becomes a narrow tunnel etc..). Thats exactly what happened to me in my first boxing session, i thought i was hot shit cause i’d trained in martial arts all my life, but then I got punched for real and all that shit went out the window.

    However it stil has limitations. It does not cover non-serious violence (dealing with drunks, restraining people till police get there) and it does not cover weapons. In order to plug that gap i would suggest jiu jitsu (not the brazilian, floor-rolling kind, the traditional japanese, standing version) as this teaches you how to deal with weapons, how to deal with multiple assailants and how to restrain someone after youve succesfully beaten their ass to the ground. Combine that with the grit, determination, power and speed gained from boxing and you have a package that will get your through about 90% of all violent situations.

    Just my two (euro)cents.

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  19. My old coach, he was actually MMA, simply said that without a proper delivery system you don’t have anything. Forget technique, if you don’t know how to punch and kick you are going to get your ass whipped. And he was and is an accomplished wrestler yet he preferred to finish the fights standing.

    The other point is by virtue of being a sport you train in a reasonably safe setting so you can learn how to punch and probably as important how to take punches.

    I would personally put Muay Thai as more efficient than boxing but then I’ve never looked at it from the money perspective. Great article.

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  20. I learned early on that most boys/men don’t know how to properly throw a punch and that the first one to get a good punch to the head in usually ended up the winner (sometimes the one and only blow!).

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  21. Punching someone in the face is a great way to break your hand.

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  22. H2H training… Can’t beat it, even if only for the confidence it builds in a person. Great article bruvva, but what happened to the newest podcast??

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  23. Punching is just on aspect of a well rounded H2H practitioner. The Gracie family proved what can happen to a boxer or any martial artist, if he tries to stay on his feet.

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  24. Punching someone in the face is a great way to break your hand.  

    Only if you don’t know how to punch.

    I have street fought for close to 20 years(til I had kids), and have yet to break my hand. Never had a fight go to the ground either, though some have tried. I just hit them harder.

    Gym where I work out, the instructor there teaches primarily Muy Thai. He had some MMA types that said a boxer couldn’t take them. So he had a friend of his that boxes semi-pro come in for some demo work. Every guy that went for the take down ended up face down on the mat from the fist that hit him in the side of the head. They finally pissed the boxer off, and the demo had to be stopped when he had one of the MMA guys up against a post just pounding the crap out of him. That guy ended up with a broken ulna in one arm, the radius and ulna broken in the other arm (from trying to block), multiple broken ribs, and a broken clavicle. They never took him to the ground, and he fought round robin. Most of the MMA guys never made it a full 3 minutes against him.

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  25. @ LEW:

    I agree that Muay Thai is a great Martial Art – but if you watch Muay Thai fights very carefully you will notice several punches every minute that connect solidly that would have been a disorientating or even a knock-out punch if they were thrown by a boxer.

    Quite frankly Muay Thai fighters are weak punchers because the punch is not taught as a fight ending move for them during training, they use punches for pushing an opponent back, keeping them at bay or as a way to distract their opponent [like causing involuntary blinking] for a follow up knee, shin kick or elbow

    Seriously, out of all the Muay Thai fights I have seen in Thailand [this is more noticeable during live fights] I have only seen one that has ended by a knock-out punch – and that guy was also a pro boxer.

    But – after one has become proficient with punching in Boxing I always suggest that they then train in Muay Thai because when you combine the devastating punches in Boxing with the knees, shin kicks and elbow strikes in Muay Thai along with no padding on the street you will dominate with the empty hand

    @ George Matheis

    I agree – Boxing is probably not an ideal Martial Art for Law Enforcement especially considering liability issues [imagine bringing someone into court that looks like old Mitch Green up there] and you can hardly cuff someone while boxing them.

    @ Muscleshart

    I can’t say I agree with you that Boxing is in any way watered down, like I say in the article it is the only Martial Art that truly evolves especially comparing it to other forms of Martial Arts [Asian ones in particular].

    You said in a traditional boxing stance someone would get taken down – it is true in any real world fighting situation one may get taken down to the ground but in my experience it is rare [for myself] to get taken down to the ground after I have punched someone in the face 3 or 4 times. This sort of goes back to the quote at the beginning of this article about most people not knowing how to properly punch someone.

    So let’s just agree to disagree this 1%

    I do agree with you when you say “In the end it comes down to live sparring and good training” – and that is where Boxing truly excels. Very few Martial Arts [MMA being the only other I can think of] have you spar or compete using the full power of your strikes.

    @ PogueMahone

    That is one of the big points on this article – If you can deliver one or more good solid punches in someone’s face or organs, then the majority of the time – that is the end of the fight.

    @ Gregory

    Errr… are you serious dude? Maybe if you have girl hands – lol

    But you do bring up a good point, you must condition your hands for un-gloved fighting if you are a boxer.

    @ Justin F

    You bring up another good point that I didn’t have space for in the article [it was the “Heart” part]. Training in boxing increases your confidence exponentially, that is one of the reasons why it is taught to at-risk juveniles.

    Also – when you are beat up and exhausted to the point of throwing-up and you look down to see someone sprawled out on the mat sleeping from one of your punches – What more could increase your fighter self-confidence?

    @ To ALL

    One thing that I should have mentioned more prevalently in this article is it is written from the perspective of someone who is training for actual Real-World fights out on the streets or wherever. As in people that will 100% have many H2H encounter this year, and next year, and the year after due to their occupation

    Their are many great styles of fighting that work in a verity of encounters, but from my experience very few things will end a fight faster than a very solid combination of punches to the face and organs.

    I have seen this both in fights I have participated in and observed in a verity of situations – from a Bar Fight in DC to being attacked by cops trying to shake me down in the Middle East to PSD gigs in Indonesia.

    Another thing I have observed [especially in 3rd world environments] is if a fight goes to the ground for more that a a second or two you have lost [even if you win against the dude you are roiling around with on the ground].

    Ether his buddies will stomp the shit out of you [In the Middle East men in clubs and on the street run in packs – I learned this lesson the hard way when I pounded a guy I went to the ground with just to have his Hajji boys kick the shit out of me, I have seen this same scenario many times]

    Or you will get arrested by the local 3rd world cops and thrown into jail for months [I don’t know how many times I have had to try and negotiate with the local cops in some 3rd world crap-hole because they have locked up an American for fighting, I have done this so many times I am somewhat known as a “fixer” for that situation]

    It is easy to accidentally kill someone by slamming them to the pavement with your full body-weight behind it, guess what happens if you [an “unclean” foreigner] kill a local Arab dude in Saudi Arabia in a street fight [that should have ended with just a broken nose]?

    Also if you are on a PSD gig you can hardly go to the ground with some fool attacking your client, you would be abandoning him and leaving him unprotected.

    So I do look at Boxing from a different prospective than some people, for me Boxing is a Skill for my employment and the places where I operate.

    But nonetheless I still stand by my original statement that Boxing is the Superior Martial Art – but opinions are like ass-holes right..

    Thanks for all the comments and conversation on this guys, your participation is what motivates me to write.

    ~James G

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    • I’m very late to the party but here goes nothing:

      You changed the title to a very appropriate one, but the content doesn’t reflect the title. For me, it still reads “Boxing is The Shit”

      Boxing, and any single style for that matter, has it’s (shit load of) limitations, and this line: “Very few Martial Arts [MMA being the only other I can think of]” makes me a little doubtful about you fully knowing what MMA really is.

      MMA began with pairing up guys from different styles (or no style at all) but long before the time of this article it became something completely different, the best off all worlds, with striking and grappling, groundwork and standing…

      Ground beef does not a burger make. Without lettuce, bacon, tomato, onion, pickles, cheese, mustard, mayonnaise and ketchup, all you got is shitty ground beef.

      Pound for pound, pro-level fighters in any one style versus a pro-level MMA fighter is like bringing a tank to a gunship fight – forget about shit like “my instructor said”, or “my instructor brought a semi-pro boxer who beat the crap out of some random MMA fighters” there’s your first clue, your instructor put together a professional against Joe Random Bigmouth…

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  26. Started boxing as a 10 year old kid at a local club. Spent the next 15 years on and off competitively boxing as well as dabbling in various martial arts (judo and karate mainly). When it came to a street fight I always reverted to the boxing skills and now as a 44 year old copper, I still do. I don’t fight in the ring anymore but a large part of my fitness training is taken up with rope jumping and bagwork as well as shadow boxing as a warm up. Anyone who is looking at taking it up,please do. Great sport, great fitness training and you will meet some great people.

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  27. You may remember that boxing used to be bare knuckles and the fight continued until there was a knockout. These guys knew how to throw a punch and yet boxing matches went on for over 6 hours in some cases.

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    • hi!,I like your writing so much! pecatnerge we keep in touch extra approximately your post on AOL? I need a specialist on this house to resolve my problem. May be that is you! Having a look ahead to look you.

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  28. Oddly, this subject here starting a multi-page thread…,7150.0.html


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  29. Thanks for another great article, James. Glad to hear you mention street-level fighting such as Krav Maga. What about wrestling? I’m surprised nobody mentioned wrestling as an important aspect in fighting.

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  30. Thanks for another great article, James. Glad to hear you mention street-level fighting such as Krav Maga. What about wrestling? I’m surprised nobody mentioned wrestling as an important aspect in fighting.  

    Wrestling has its place. But in a street/bar fight, would you really WANT to go to the ground and try to submit or pin someone? Its risk is much higher than its reward, imo. You are an easier target for any other people that jump into the fight (kicked, stomped), your opponent can potentially get back on his feet before you, objects can easily be dropped and thrown on you…. Essentially you are WAY more vulnerable. And plus, there are guys out there that are strict wrestlers that will own you if you decide to play their game. Of course some ground fighting and wrestling skills are valuable, but in a scrap I’d rather stay on my feet.

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  31. James, good stuff as always. I am 23 years old and have been training in martial arts since I was 4… In January, it’ll be 20 years even. Started with Taekwondo (I know I know… the competition style of Taekwondo is gay and I do NOT participate in the competition and am more interested in the older, warrior-culture (Hwarang) technique aspect of it) in 1992 and now hold a 4th Dan. Started Combat Hapkido (1st Dan) under GM John Pellegrini in 2003, Phillipine Martial Arts Alliance Level II Stick & Knife Combatives Instructor under Guro Julius Melegrito for 5 years. I’ve been around the martial arts for a hot minute… Yet I continue to spar with a high school friend of my dad’s who was a world champion kickboxer known for his boxing (Dale “Sunshine” Frye) simply because if you’ve never been punched in the face… you don’t truly know what’s in store for you… AND you don’t know how to punch someone in the face… Which is very effective… and (admittedly, I have aggression issues) VERY fun. AND if you workout with a boxer… YOU WILL WIND UP WITH KILLER ENDURANCE!!! Oh and I was a bouncer (and I’m the cliche white dude… who definitely no habla espanol) at a predominantly Latin club, although admittedly I stayed out of most of them because besides learning what REALLY happens in REAL fights, watching someone get their ass kicked is really amusing (unless you’re the one on the receiving end… then it’s not too funny until you watch it on video next month when you’re no longer bleeding), so I’ve seen my share of fights, and been in a couple hum-dingers to boot, and fortunately I was not injured but I definitely took my share of shots. What it comes down to in the end, as has been stated by those before, a good foundation is critical but it is important that we are not the “NINJA TIGER STYLE” jackasses we’ve all met before that have done a little bit of this and that but NEVER actually stuck around long enough to retain any of it. You need good stand-up skills… Let’s face it… People like to punch the thing that annoys them in the face… so we should be able to stop the punch and punch back. With the massive influx of MMA, these days you need a decent ground SURVIVAL repertoire (face it… BJJ techniques these days fall into where my beloved TKD techniques are… sport… rules… all that jazz… you know those things where when you do your jump-to-guard-from-the-clinch-and-pass-to-triangle-choke it works great because old-boy-choking’s home boys aren’t allowed to start river-dancing on your grape…)

    And don’t feel bad, James… I have to drink at home too, and only in particular company because like you me and drunk in public = either an ass whipping (given, received, or both), jail time, or both. And I don’t drink much at home because I have too many things to hurt people with laying around and I do dumb shit when I drink to boot… so me drinking is a VERY RARE occurrence any more.

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  32. Yeah… remember James Toney vs. Randy Couture?

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  33. A proficient bjj practioner will kill a boxer 9 out of 10 times if the boxer doesn’t know ground fighting. It’s been proven over and over again. It’s like proving a rock is hard at this point.

    But, certainly is true boxing is the best stand up to learn. Although those leg kicks will ruin your night fast.

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