26 April 18  |  Fitness   |  

Boxing as a Multipurpose Sport

Boxing: Development of the ‘Eye of the Tiger’ 

boxer roberto benitez

Boxing is a multipurpose sport, encompassing fitness, self-esteem, self-defense and mental health enhancement/repair. You’ve seen this in movies like “Rocky,” “Million Dollar Baby,” “Cinderella Man,” “Ali” and “The Champ.” But at Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club, members get to carry on the dreams of the famous athletes and characters that these popular films were based on via personal fitness, training and partnership boxing, as well as turn practice into technique, all under the supervision and direction of Roberto Benitez.


Versatility of Boxing

As a 20-year professional boxer, Olympic athlete and coach, Roberto knows first-hand that many athletes incorporate his sport into cross-training, as well as mechanics and fitness diversity improvements. Since bad things tend to happen faster in boxing than good things, the practice teaches people the virtues of patience and versatility. As you get better through suffering, i.e. a soar rib and leg, black eye, or bruised muscle, you learn to set up punches and think in a smart way, much like chess players do.

Action ultimately turns to results when it improves one’s cardiovascular and strength, balance, coordination and reaction skills.

Boxing is not about moving around said space and throwing punches — it’s engaging in focused movements and recalling the punching bag or opponent. Just as no one can fall asleep on a treadmill without injury, so no one can take a snooze during a match. As boxing athletes build up stamina, their resting heart rate and muscular endurance will improve. When they couple that with meeting mental challenges, such as being present, they can confront all activities, be it in the ring or elsewhere.

From there, boxing athletes can build up their self-confidence and self-esteem. As they are encouraged, they learn and become competent. This breeds value and assertiveness, as well as pushes one to determine what he or she is capable of.  That is the moment when skill improvement transitions into success.

Boxing from New Heights

After conditioning foot movements, timing and power, offense and defense mechanics come into play. With physical and mental toughness, pain threshold increases and fear of physical harm subsides. Boxing athletes who can control their thoughts and emotions, as well as think in a quick and clever way, can hold themselves accountable for their own safety, preparing for dangerous situations, friendly competition and everything in between.

In general, everyone is capable of participating in non-contact boxing fitness, as long as they have a knack for learning, as well as discipline, listening skills and a good work ethic. Roberto has worked with people as young as six and as old as 70, including those with Parkinson’s disease. However, children are easier to mold, as they are more vulnerable than adults, with sharper reflexes and timing. It allows them to practice extreme focus in a world full of noise, which can then translate to improved focus in the classroom, as well as the development of coping skills in a technological age that places little importance on actions. Hence why Golden Ocala pushes the kids “boxercise” class.


The Ring is a Classroom

Roberto starts every class with a typical warm-up — a few short drills to awaken the brain and get the blood flowing. Then, his students do some stretches or jump rope to warm up the heart rate. After pupils learn the basics of boxing, they move on to the proper stance and footwork, as well as making sure their weight is evenly distributed across both legs, with the knees slightly bent and a good guard. From there, they are ready to master the one-two punch. After Roberto gets a sense of the individual’s ability to adapt and feel comfortable, he or she learns the Hook and Uppercut, two technique-centric power punches.

As long as the trainer is teaching proper technique and drilling proper movements into students’ minds through motivation and enthusiasm, they will be able to apply boxing skills outside of class. Cross-training often breeds better tennis, golf and equestrian athletes, with core usage and torso rotation being top of mind.


Technique Tweak

From beginners to intermediate to advanced boxing athletes, footwork, punching power and speed can always be improved. This comes with tweaking one’s technique through constant repetition. The rewards of boxing are truly reaped when the boxing science of fighting and fundamentals are applied to one’s own fighting style via various combat crafts. Just look at Bruce Lee — he developed Jeet Kune Do through his study of boxing techniques, as well as his participation in boxing matches throughout high school, paying close attention to being on the balls of his feet.

If you are ready to take on this ideal form of natural aggression, as some of the greatest legends consider boxing to be, call the Golden Ocala Fitness Center at (352) 402-4350.