PBS Kids GO! It's My Life
Solo Sports: Boxing

You're wearing thick padded gloves and standing in front of a big, heavy bag. You dance around on the floor and throw punches at the bag as fast as you can.

Are you:

  • Angry at having to wash another sack full of laundry?
  • Trying to do the Macarena with Santa Claus?
  • Training to become an airport baggage handler?
NO! You're boxing!

Boxing is sometimes called "the sweet science," and those who love it think it's the purest of all sports. Watching boxing matches on television or in the movies, it can seem that it's just about two men or women standing in a ring, punching each another. Not true! This is important: boxing is NOT about hurting someone or beating someone up.

Just like with martial arts, the benefits come from all the hours spent training. Even though you'll probably be having lots of fun right from the start, you'll need patience, drive, and determination if you want to become a skilled boxer.

Boxers learn to move around the ring with speed and grace, and to avoid or deliver punches. Mental sharpness and strategy are as important as speed and strength, and good boxers use their brains as much as they use their gloved fists. Boxing can be challenging, exciting and rewarding, and can lead to confidence, pride, and physical fitness.

Cool Boxing Facts:

  • The sport of boxing was introduced in 688 B.C. in Greece, in the early stages of the Ancient Olympic Games.

  • Boxing is divided into different classes depending upon how much you weigh. The classes range from the Light Flyweight division all the way up to the Super Heavyweight division.

  • In order to box safely, you will need boxing gloves, protective headgear, and a mouthpiece.

  • A heavy bag is a large body-sized bag that hangs from the ceiling. You use it to practice your punches and build up your strength. A speed bag is a smaller basketball sized bag that hangs at eye level. You punch it quickly and lightly to build up your hand speed and coordination.

  • When you box in the ring with another person in order to train, and not compete, this is called sparring. The person you are training with is called your sparring partner.

What Kids Are Saying About Boxing:

"Boxing can totally change the life of a girl. I just feel a lot more confident and strong, even just doing regular things. I also like knowing that I can do something that most people think only boys can do."
--Angela, 13

"I think boxing is one of the toughest sports to do. I train for it 6 days a week but I think it's worth it because I am going to be a champion someday."
--Jason, 12

"My dad was a boxer and he wants me to get into it too. I like putting on the gloves and punching the bag as hard as I can."
--Bradly, 10

"Boxing is not like other sports because it is a lot more disciplined. You constantly have to be acting and reacting to what your opponent is doing."
--Pierre, 14

Get Involved!

Chances are, there's a gym or training center near you that offers boxing lessons. Start by contacting your local Police Activities League, Boys and Girls Club, or YMCA for information. Check out our Help's Around The Corner Safety should be your number one concern, so make sure you have all the protective equipment you need before getting started. It should fit you well and be in good condition.

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