Is Boxing A Martial Art

Is Boxing a martial art?

Could boxing be considered to be a martial art? When we talk about martial arts w tend to imagine either Bruce Lee or the Shaolin temple, boxing is not the first thing that comes to mind, martial arts are seen by many as a kicking punching and grappling, not many would see just punching as a martial art. The more you stop and think about it the more you can see that boxing is probably a martial art that is softer than Tai Chi, at first glance this could sound quite ridiculous because when we look at Tai Chi we have a picture of flowing movement which is often done by older people in parks in China, but Tai Chi means Supreme ultimate Fist the clue is in FIST meaning that the original Tai Chi was an art of combat, and that means that fists were used to defeat the enemy. Is boxing a martial art, lets explore.

There is no reason that I can see to give a martial art the title of Supreme Ultimate Fist if you don’t use FISTS, so this must mean that boxing is at the centre of Tai Chi, when we see boxing it looks quite scrappy when you compare it to the nice flowing movements that we see in the parks. I ask the question Is boxing a martial art because when you break down boxing you can see that they use parries ducks head movements evasion and also intercepting fist, a phrase coined by Bruce Lee, all these actions are the founding principals of Tai Chi which is a well known internal martial art.

Boxing evasion techniques

As you can see from the video the defender is not meeting force with force and is instead evading the punch, which is one of the techniques in the original Tai Chi set of principles, another  principle is to not block your opponents punch but wait until they throw their punch but try to make your punch land first, when a boxer parries a punch he is using another Tai Chi principle use one ounce of force against a thousand ounces of force, less is more. Lower the chest raise the back is yet another of the Tai Chi principles in this video is an example of lower the chest raise the back which is performed by ex boxing champion Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson Lower the chest raise the back



Bagua Chan and boxing

Bagua Chan is another internal martial art that uses evasion at the heart of it’s practice the main principle in Bagua Chan is to walk in a circle which shows that the defender is trying not to use direct force but to blend and disrupt which is exactly what a boxer tries to do, you can see from the videos below that moving in a circle and trying to evade and deflect is the aim of both styles, boxing and Bagua Chan

Bagua Chan evasion


Boxing Circle walking

Both of the videos above show circle walking to try to gain an advantage over your opponent, walking in a circle means that your opponent has to keep making adjustments to their stance so this should have the effect of keeping them guessing and keeping them off guard. From this it is plain to see the relationship between boxing and the two internal martial arts that I have mentioned, Tai Chi and Bagua Chan.

Sink shoulders and drop elbows is another principle that is in Tai Chi tis too can be seen in both Tai Chi and Bagua Chan as you can see from the video below the boxer has lowered his elbows to protect himself from being hit in the ribs

Sink shoulders and drop the elbows boxing

this video clearly shows how the boxer has sunk his shoulders and dropped his elbows just as it is explained in the Tai Chi principles of techniques

Is boxing a martial art YES of course it is, it is most likely the most original of the martial arts, there are new rules added as time goes by but principles that have been used by modern and ancient boxers are the same as the ones used by martial arts like Tai Chi and more ancient martial arts like the ones practiced by the Shaolin monks such as Praying mantis Kung Fu and ancient Chinese wrestling known as Shuai Jiao. Is boxing a martial art? You decide.