You ever hear of Hyao Miyazaki? The man is an amazing animator, and a great story teller. One of his most famous pieces is a film called Princess Mononoke. It is a movie about the environment, different perspectives, and making changes, or rather – excepting change.
The characters are always fighting for the belief that they carry, and will do anything to achieve that end. I really love this movie, the animation style, the story, the characters. It has it all! And the themes in it are so real, and relatable, which is what I think makes it so great. Ok, so why am I talking about this movie?
Because it is a good movie!
Well, I suppose there is a connection between those themes and the fitness industry, an industry I have been a part of for the better part of 7 years.
The fitness industry is and has always been engrossed in heated debate, and is divisive in a way like in the movie. People will fight tooth and nail on fitness topics and hold steadfast with their belief.
Just have a talk about the squat on Facebook, and you’ll have people duking it out on the mechanics, loading pattern, stance and whatnot.
I always found boxing can carry that very same weight.
Boxing has so many ways to hold your stance, how to throw your punches, different ways to move in the ring, and even how to wrap up your hands. It also has a bit of an intimidation factor, and the window of entry can be really small in the competitive scene, making it hard for people to give it a chance…or should I say, was.
Now, it seems you see or hear of boxing studios sprouting up around the corner! It is great! I love how it has grown into a household name in the world of fitness! Of course that must mean it is standardized and made easy for everyone, right? Right?
I would be lying if I said it is easy to get into. There are a lot of things to practice and work on, and the whole not getting hit thing…yeah, it will really get you to practice a lot.
If you have watched any boxing, you’ll see a beauty in the sport. With all of those defensive maneuvers like slipping, ducking and then countering.
Timing and reflexes are required to pull those off, so there is emphasis on training the same movements as much as possible. That sense of mastery fits in here, and you will feel better when you see yourself progress.
Of course, how do you know if you are doing it right, or if the method you are doing is the right one?
Well, a coach helps for sure, as they will already have a blueprint for you to work off of, but the method also has to work for you, right?
Because of the divisiveness of the industry, it can seem like people will dismantle certain techniques, or shout over others regarding the right way to do something. With all of that said, I think you should always keep this in mind:
There is no right way to box.
Heck, I’ll go so far as to say that there is no right way to exercise!
Consistency. Patience. Humility. Perseverance. Discipline. These are all skills you will pick up on, and run with. The fear of being hurt is always looming over your head as well, but that is something you will overcome with consistency. I always find it interesting when I see disagreements on boxing techniques, or exercise selection. It has to work for you, and you have to keep at it. And if you see something different, or are taught something different: absorb that knowledge and continue.
At the end of the day, we grow better together, rather then in a divisive manner. Being open to different boxing styles, or forms of exercise, or just the experience as a whole will allow for more growth. The most common thing I hear from new people is how unnatural the movement and technique is. I always say that it is normal, but it will grow to be natural the more you practice.
If you really think about it, no matter what we are doing, we are experiencing the same things, and building the same set of skills, so perhaps we should keep that in mind when it comes to approaching the sport. Think like Ashitaka, the main character of the movie and try to bring everyone together, and find that way.