Unleash Your Full Potential: Why Every Martial Artist Should Embrace Boxing

Embrace the art of boxing, refine your technique, and unlock the potential to become a well-rounded martial artist.

Written by Hays Daewoud Founder: ACE Martial Arts

As a young martial artist, I was captivated by the actions of renowned martial arts stars such as Bruce Lee and Jean-Claude Van Damme. Their breathtaking displays of kicks in fight scenes seemed almost superhuman to me. The flying side kicks, jump kicks, spin kicks, and even helicopter kicks ignited a burning desire within me to master these techniques. I dedicated countless hours as a young karate student, tirelessly drilling these kicks until I could perform them proficiently.

However, as I ventured into the realm of full-contact martial arts like kickboxing, I soon realised the limitations of these kicks when faced with an opponent determined to punch me in the face. I don’t mean to imply that these kicks are ineffective. On the contrary, they are essential tools for any martial artist and can inflict significant damage when executed properly.

I vividly recall one of my initial sparring sessions when I relied solely on my kicking. At first, my opponent struggled to cope, but before long, he worked out how to close the distance and swiftly delivered a powerful punch to my nose, leaving me bloodied and humbled. It became apparent to everyone that I favoured kicks; my moves were predictable.

It took a hamstring injury to redirect my focus toward boxing—a pivotal moment in my development as a martial artist. Devoting several days each week solely to boxing worked wonders for my striking abilities. Upon my return to kickboxing, I possessed the versatility to engage in all ranges of combat. Moreover, my improved boxing skills enhanced the setup and success rate of my kicks, eliminating predictability from my repertoire.

With each advancement in my boxing technique, my kickboxing and kung fu skills flourished correspondingly. Even today, as a student and teacher of martial arts and combat sports, I diligently practice my boxing skills alongside Hussy Hussein, an esteemed Australian boxing hall of famer.

So why is it crucial for all martial artists to learn boxing? The answer is simple: The punching techniques taught in most traditional martial arts simply cannot compare to the refined skill set of boxing. While many martial artists can unleash devastating power punches or execute intricate combinations, the art of boxing operates on an entirely different level—the sweet science. Over two decades ago, my former coach Mick Spinks, an undefeated fighter and experienced traditional martial artist, wrote an article for a martial arts magazine entitled “To Be a Better Kickboxer, Be the Better Boxer.” Mick’s expertise extended to coaching martial arts champions, and he recognised the integral role of boxing in their training.

By incorporating boxing into your martial arts repertoire, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. It is an invaluable addition to your toolbox, expanding your combat skills and enhancing your overall prowess. Even the legendary Bruce Lee acknowledged the benefits of boxing, incorporating many of its principles into his own style.