Boxing for Self Defense: 7+ Key Benefits for Street Fighting

We know, boxing is one of the most effective martial arts that help you in various aspects of your life. But is it really effective for self-defense? Let’s find out:

So, Is Boxing Good for Self Defense?

Boxing is good for self-defense, especially if you focus more on its defensive aspect. It utilizes efficient footwork, various offensive techniques, and distance control maneuvers that make it by far the most effective contact sport to protect you against any average street fighter.

Further in this article, I’ll dig deep into how boxing can play a major role in terms of your defense and what things you must remember if you’re considering boxing as your only defensive layer.

Top 7 Reasons Why Boxing is Good for Self Defense

Although many people around the world seem to have very different opinions but personally I think of these 7 reasons why boxing is enough for self-defense in any fighting situation:

1. Boxers Can Deliver Faster and Accurate Punches

Boxing is one of the fast-paced sports, where speed and accuracy have equal importance to your highly-impactful punches, and being able to deliver a punch very quickly, is one of the very initial skills you get to learn in boxing.

Your punching power is mostly dependent on your body’s natural attributes and it becomes difficult for some boxers to improve it after a certain degree. Whereas any boxer can improve his/her accuracy and quick reflexes over the period of training.

In fact, throughout your boxing training, a boxer’s hands are trained to throw continuous punches with great speed and accuracy than any other martial artist, and no doubt, it becomes very beneficial for you.

2. Boxing is the Ultimate Workout

On average, A young man in his 20s and 30s burns around 140 to 150 calories in just 15 minutes of a punching bag workout. Whereas women tend to weigh less and burn around 120 calories. (1)

Although boxing exercises majorly fall under the anaerobic category but with proper planning, one can leverage the smart combination of both aerobic (activities depend on oxygen) and anaerobic (short-bust, conduct activities without oxygen) exercises.

A typical boxing workout session can burn around 500 to 800 calories per day which is more than enough for your body conditioning. It not only stimulates all your muscle groups but also helps you to improve your endurance and cardiovascular performance.

When all these aspects compound together, you become ready to withstand any attacking situation and be able to get out of it when the opportunity arrives.

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3. Boxers are Hard on Defense

Boxers have by far the most efficient punching defense among all stand-up martial artists that’s because practicing various defense techniques takes up a pretty big chunk of an area in any boxer training routine.

Thanks to the consistent practice sessions, you will automatically develop an ability to recognize the various attacking moves that your opponent can potentially throw so that you’ll always be ready to defend against those strikes.

It’s very common for a boxer to keep their arms up to quickly block the punch in order to protect their head and body.

Boxers’ muscles are also contributing their part to protecting themselves against high-impulsive attacks. When their opponent is trying to attack, they keep their muscles loose and utilize their muscle as a shock absorber to protect the bones and organs below.

Basically, boxing will teach you a lot about defense so much so that you’ll get comfortable dealing with various attacking moves.

4. Boxers Can Handle Multiple Opponents

Despite the fact that boxing is a one-on-one combat sport, still, you’ll get the grasp of the art of fighting multiple opponents simultaneously over the course of your training.

Even if you don’t think you have what it takes to be a world-class boxer, participating in boxing drills and exercises can offer a killer workout. Not only will your body become more toned and muscular, but you’ll also improve your agility, balance, and reflexes.

That’s why you get the ability as well as courage to withstand two-three street bullies and fight against them simultaneously.

5. Boxers Can Deliver One-Punch Knockouts

Do you remember Mike Tyson and how he was known to knock out his opponents with only a single punch? On average any heavyweight boxer can throw at least 5 times more powerful punches as compared to normal untrained people.

Imagine what happens when an experienced boxer gets a chance to showcase his/her skills with bare knuckles!

Throughout your boxing training, your coach will always insist you not only to learn different types of punches but also learn how you can execute them perfectly as per the situation in front of you.

Your coach will teach you, not just your arms but how you can leverage your legs, your torso, and additional muscles to add extra power to that one final shot.

6. Boxing Makes you Emotionally Stable

No one is better at taking a hard sucker punch at the face but an experienced boxer. Although real-life fights are not like sporty matches but still boxers are able to handle the pain, high-impact hits, and even little injuries very well.

Due to the intense boxing training, you go through over a period of time, your brain is more likely to encourage you to fight back with all the skills and power you have.

That’s because repetitive sparring sessions throughout your training program increase your familiarity with the fighting environment and make you feel more comfortable with the idea of someone actively trying to beat you down.

7. Boxing Refines Motor Skills and Reflexes

Boxing is a highly coordinated sport where you need to move your body appropriately in order to land a perfect punch.

boxing for self defense

Sharp focus, hand-eye coordination, and accurate footwork are some of the major aspects of boxing. That’s why boxing training is designed in such a way that it encourages your brain to develop patterns regarding your motor skills.

Boxing training helps build strength as well as flexibility, which comes in very handy if used efficiently in self-defense situations where you might need to move quickly and unpredictably.

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8. Boxers are More Confident on their Feet

No doubt, boxing is one of the most physically demanding contact sports that asks you for a lot of physical as well as mental energy.

Almost all of the offensive as well as defensive techniques that are popular among the boxing community directly or indirectly required you to be on your toes.

As a result, boxers tend to be more confident and self-assured about themselves when they are standing on their feet. Participating in boxing helps you to boost your self-esteem and allows you to face any situation head-on with solid confidence.

This kind of healthy attitude not only helps you with your self-defense but also throughout your life, both personally and professionally.

Downsides of Boxing in Street Fighting

Even though boxing is an amazing combat sport and helps you a lot to develop that fighter’s mentality within you but it can’t be suitable for all the circumstances. Here are some of the drawbacks you might face as a boxer during street fighting:

1. Boxers are Not Prepared to Fight on Ground

This is the one thing for which so many boxers are not trained at all. You might know how to get back up instantly but if your attacker is able to keep you down successfully, then you will just get stuck there and won’t be able to do anything.

That’s the reason why coaches always recommend learning a little bit of other martial arts that complement boxing, something like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, which helps you in ground grappling.

2. Boxers Are Used to Fight with their Gears On

Various gears like head guards, boxing gloves, mouth guards, cups, etc are necessary gears in modern boxing that protect you from getting seriously injured. But, you can’t ask your opponent to wait for a while until you put your gears on. 🙂

Boxers are always trained to bear the weight of all those gears, it might feel unfamiliar for them to punch with their bare-knuckle and protect their vulnerable parts are no longer protected.

3. Boxers Are Not Ready for Clinch Fighting

Unfortunately, most street fights either start or end with clinching. Your attacker might do anything that is possible to win, something like wrapping you in their arms and taking you down to the ground!

Usually, when boxers end up clinching, all they have to do is stand there and wait for the referee to come and separate them. But that’s not how it’s going to be in real-life situations.

That’s why as a boxer, you should either try to maintain a little distance from the opposing person or work a little bit on your clinching skills.

4. There is No Takedown Defense in Boxing

Takedown defense is considered as dirty boxing and most boxers do not spend their time learning about it, as it’s not beneficial for them inside the ring.

But, In case, your attacker tries to use it against you, it can pose a limitation for you when using boxing for self-defense.

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5. Boxers Won’t Able to Use their Kicks Efficiently

boxing belts

Several painful kicks can significantly reduce the boxer’s punching power and affect their ability to even move, especially when they are not ready for the kicks at all.

Although, as a boxer, you won’t find it hard to handle normal people but if you try to go against someone like a Muay Thai fighter who can use their legs so effectively, your boxing skills are going to be almost useless.

As a boxer, you might face difficulty fighting against other martial artists, but you should know boxing is an amazing combat sport, especially for self-defense from street bullies.

Is Boxing Enough for Self Defense in Street Fights?

Considering all those drawbacks I discussed above, Here’s a quick comparison of boxing with other fighting styles:

Boxing vs Mix Martial Arts

As its name suggests itself, MMA is a combination of various techniques from different martial arts that gives an edge to any MMA fighter in order to stay ahead of his opponent, no matter what the situation is.

Without any doubt, MMA is way better than boxing as far as things are concerned about street fighting and self-defense.

Boxing vs Muay Thai

Boxing and Muay Thai are useful in their own ways, in terms of both offensive and defensive techniques. If you’re someone with good boxing skills, it’s just a matter of time how you finish off with any ordinary person.

But: If you try to fight against an Experienced Muay Thai fighter or kickboxer, who is trained to use their knees and elbows very effectively, six out of ten times, he/she is going to beat you down hard.

Boxing vs Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu

BJJ is an excellent sport that allows you to focus more on your defense and submitting your opponent rather than knock them out or control them by taking them down.

Both boxing and BJJ are more than enough to beat any average person but boxing takes usually longer to reach that necessary skill level.

Boxing vs Wrestling

Wrestling is better than boxing for self defense only when you and your opponent are of almost the same size and he is continuously trying to bring you down to the ground. If you are relatively smaller than your attacker, there is no chance wrestling can save you in a severe street fight.

Boxing vs BodyBuilding

When things came down to self-defense in street fighting, boxing is way better than bodybuilding in any situation. Bodybuilding is great for aesthetics but when it’s time to actually fight, it won’t help you as much as any real combat sport like boxing.

Bodybuilding is not going to save you because no one cares how many push-ups you can do if you just get knocked out with a single punch.

What’s the Best Boxing Style for Self-Defense?

As a whole, there are mainly four boxing styles that are popular in terms of training regimens and techniques. The Swarmer, Slugger, Out-Boxer, and Boxer-Puncher. (2)

The boxers who are trained through the Swarmer style are mostly aggressive and have huge stamina whereas the Out-boxers are more into the defensive game and like to maintain a gap discipline between them and their opponent.

If self-defense is your main concern then Slugger is the best and most efficient boxing style that will help you to end the fight as quickly as possible.

With that said, these are the:

Things to Consider when Using Boxing for Self Defense

There is a huge difference between sparring with one of your gym partners and actually being in a situation where your opponent actually wants to hurt you.

Here’re my tips that will help you to get out of the situation quickly and hopefully without any serious damage:

  • Never Underestimate Your Opponent/Attacker
  • Try to Deliver Accurate Punches to Reduce the Chances of Hurting your Own Hands
  • Always Try to Avoid Clinch Fighting
  • Try your Best Not to get Taken Down on the Floor
  • Keep Yourself Calm and Combined
  • Try to Keep yourself Mobile and Low on your Feet

I hope you understand how being a boxer benefits you and how it can help you to defend yourself in any sudden and unwanted situation!

If you find this article helpful, do share it with your friends and encourage them too to start their boxing journey! 🙂

Priya Dorge | Cargofighter

Priya Dorge

Priya Dorge is a passionate boxer and author, dedicated to sharing her expertise in the world of combat sports. With her deep knowledge and experience in empowering individuals in their journey has garnered a loyal following, making her a trusted resource in the martial arts community.