Is Boxing a Martial Art? 9 Helpful Reasons (Must-Read)

No doubt, boxing is considered one of the most efficient, powerful, and flexible forms of fighting that anyone can learn today. Over the years, it has produced some of the greatest fighters of all time. BUT:

Is Boxing a Martial Art or just an Entertainment Sport?

Boxing is a martial art employing various punching techniques, footwork, and strategic defense, primarily geared toward a one-to-one fight. This refined combat skill is practiced for both physical as well as mental benefits including focus, self-discipline, coordination, and mindfulness.

Further, in this guide, I’ll also touch upon why some people think boxing is just a combat sport. Keep reading…

9 Reasons Why Boxing is the Perfect Martial Art

A martial arts doesn’t mean putting on a robe, or belts, and doing the kata. There are few martial arts that do include that stuff but the term “Martial Art” is not limited to that.

Without diving into the history of boxing, Here’re my top reasons why I think boxing is amazing martial art that one should practice:

1. One of the Oldest & Most Efficient Combat Sport

Boxing is considered one of the most efficient combat sports because of its bright history. It is being practiced as a fighting skill for more than 1000 years now, and it is still very relevant in the modern world.

This is one of the refined martial arts that offers you the ability to fight just with your arms without any weaponry.

2. Boxing is Suitable for Everyone

Even though the technical definition of martial art really came down to more of a perspective and an opinion but what’s not debatable is the benefits that boxing brings.

It teaches you proper punching techniques, balance, and the magic of your footwork. Anyone can learn how to strike a punch more efficiently in a shorter amount of time, provided you’re ready to put your efforts into it.

I can say that boxing offers you the ability to defend yourself in any kind of real-life situation. Maybe that’s the reason why we get to see glimpses of boxing to some degree in MMA and UFC events.

3. Boxing Refines your Motor Skills

Just the rock-solid powerful punches are enough but boxing also asks for light footwork and amazing hand-eye coordination.

You can think of boxing as a game of chess. With consistent practice and sufficient training, you’re essentially training your mind by promoting a strategic approach to look towards the problem when things are not going as per your wish.

As a result, your reaction time and reflexes get better over time and you automatically become more conscious and mindful even towards other physical activities.

4. Effective in Real Self-Defense

Along with supercharging your motor skills, boxing also builds up your endurance.

If you’re training in the live gym, you’re not just learning how to punch your opponent but also learning the right way to punch and how you can keep on punching for a longer period of time.

Even though boxing is not geared to kill your opponent but it is intended to inflict as much damage to your opponent in order to knock them out and prevent them from attacking you in the first place.

Related: 7+ Key Benefits of Boxing in Self-Defense

5. Boxing is the Great Stress Reliever

As I mention, boxing involves a hell lot of workouts and training routines. That’s why it also works as a great stress buster.

Only a boxer can understand how much satisfying it is to bury your frustration sometimes into a rock-solid driving punch that rocks the heavy bag hanging in front of you.

6. Boxing is the Ultimate Workout

Usually, boxing is considered easy and simple to learn, and it is. That’s why I think it’s the best workout choice for anyone, regardless of age, gender, size, or shape.

As a beginner, you can expect to burn around 500 to 1000 calories in a single boxing training session [1]. And most importantly, it works like a magic for you because of its unique training routine.

In almost all boxing gyms, trainers usually give you a smart combination of aerobic as well as anaerobic exercises that stimulate almost all your muscle groups and help you to enhance your cardiovascular health while enjoying the benefits of body conditioning.

If you ensure proper safety and give your best during boxing training, it is a great way to improve your fitness while having a lot of fun.

7. Very Unique Striking Techniques

No matter what you think about boxing, one thing you need to agree upon is that it is completely about fighting. Sport or not, it is a well-structured and regimented fighting system.

Boxing comes with lots of strategic offensive techniques that are unique in their own ways. That’s why many great martial art champions recognize its importance and used to have a strong inclusion of boxing training into their routine.

One can not learn the unique and strategic offensive techniques available in boxing through any other martial arts.

8. Boxing Improves your Mental Fitness

One of the quotes that I still remember is, “Boxing is not about how hard you can hit, but it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep on going forward.

Boxing training is structured in such a way that, it not only toughens you physically but also satisfies you on a mental level. It provides you with a sense of accountability that allows you to develop sportsmanship, dedication, self-belief, and work ethics.

Related: Is Boxing Good for Anger Management?

9. Boxing has a Great History

Unlike most other martial arts, boxing isn’t just about learning how to throw powerful and wild punches but it’s also about understanding the science behind all these things.

There is a reason why boxing is also called a sweet science of fighting. Boxing teaches you how to read your opponent, understand their mindset, and guess their next move to take advantage of their weakness.

Thanks to this well-placed structure and solid training routine, with the history of more than 2 centuries now, boxing produces a lot of world-class fighters like Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, and Floyd Mayweather to name a few.

Why Boxing is not considered a Martial Art?

1. Boxing is not Truly Martial

This is one of the main argument people passes when debating this topic. The word martial came from Mars which points toward the god of war. Basically, martial arts simply means the art of fighting.

Many people say that boxing wasn’t meant for military or war purposes, it’s not designed to kill or maim your opponent

2. Lots of Rules and Regulations

Boxing is governed by an extremely strict list of rules and all the popular fighting techniques including elbowing, takedowns, headbutts, kicks, and knee strikes are banned from boxing.

Even in terms of offense, boxers are also limited to only four major strikes: The Jab, Hook, Uppercut, and the Cross.

But I think of it as “Quality over Quantity”. Due to such a limited set of tools to work with in terms of both defense and attacks, only those boxers succeed who found their way to use these tools at their incredibly effective levels.

Moving forward:

3. Boxing is not Spiritual Enough

Many people think that our traditional martial arts include a lot of things to it besides just fighting. Fighters learn martial arts as a way to learn better life. It usually includes a lot of philosophies, spiritualities, a lot of study, and of course the combat systems.

Because of this lack of cultural touch and element of personal growth, there is always a debate about whether or not we should classify boxing into the category of martial arts.

My Final Thoughts on Boxing

Personally, I feel that it’s fair to say that boxing can be considered a contemporary or modern martial arts style. Definitely, boxing is not suitable for the battlefield or armed conflicts but it is an absolutely amazing and regimented fighting system.

It’s highly effective in street-fighting as well as self-defense and provides you an easy ability to slip into the mix of other martial arts.

Boxing allows anyone to develop efficient power, strong defense techniques, and most importantly discipline to complete a particular thing in our day-to-day life. It evolves with time and helps you to grow in other aspects of your life too.

Happy Boxing! 🙂

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.