T Nation

Boxing / Self Defense


I know this has been posted a lot but was wondering if Boxing would be helpful in achieving a relatively good understanding of self-defense? How to throw punches, dodge, improve speed, etc. Anyone else have any ideas? Thanks



Yes and no, boxing is great for physical conditioning and fast hand work and foorwork, but in a self denfences situation ypu have to use more weapons than just your fists as even professional boxers have been know to break there hands or have teeth stuck in them while fighting on the street.
It is a good start but you will have to progress to some more street oriented form.
Kuntao Silat
Yashai WarCraft
Mauy Thai
Jeet Kune Do
Krav maga
And you have to remember the very real possabilty of running into someone armed with a knife or other form of weapon.


Boxing is the best place to start. Lays a great foundation. Teaches you how to punch, and more importantly, how to take a punch.


The issue with boxing and a lot of martial arts is that in a true self-defense situation there are no rules. Boxing has lots of rules. You learn those rules and then just automatically follow them, even when it is self defense. So you disadvantage yourself because you are following a set of perceived rules that your opponent is not.

The other issue with boxing is hitting someone with your fist to their jaw is not the best method of inflicting harm without injuring yourself.

Now assuming you don't want or need to know how to kill someone, just defense. And you want to develop the fighting mechanics, I would recommend Thi Boxing. It is a smarter form of boxing that can translate to the street betting that western boxing.


If you have or know something that someone else doesn't, you have an advantage.
Boxing and aikido would be good. Break a jaw or knock them out when available, or joint locks and throws. Whatever is most usefull.
Heck, a friend of mine that is multi-disciplined claimes that his favorite and most effective move is the "bitchslap". It's a great opening move.


I don't think anything beats a swift kick to the nuts as far as self-defense is concerned.


A magnum, might :wink:


ACTUALLY you are totally, totally wrong.

Against a determined opponent, in the heat of a fight, a nut-kick is just going to piss off your opponent more.

I have a friend who is a cop.. he went to a domestic disturb. call and found two brothers fighting.. one had the other in a strangle hold..so he splits them up, and takes the "choker" to jail.

As he's walking him back to the lock up, the guy falls to his knees and starts puking and clutching his groin..

Cop is like "What's up?"

They take him to the hospital, seems his nuts are INSIDE HIS BODY and SHATTERED/MANGLED/MUTILATED..

While he was choking his brother, he was receiving monstrous knees to the groin.. repeatedly.

It didn't stop him at all, not til almost an hour later at the lockup.
Likewise, Mr. "Take bagwa and jeet kune do and every other fuckiong art under the sun" is totally misguiding you.

Go box. Learn the techniques. Go do brazilian jiu jitsu, learn the techniques.

That as all you ever need know.

The rest is mostly BULLSHIT.

Trust me.


This too is total bullshit.

You cannot train "without rules" because rules keep your head and body intact so that you CAN TRAIN TOMORROW too.

They also ensure that your training partner CAN TRAIN TOMORROW too.

People who say "the problem is, boxing has rules" are not fighters, and have no idea what they are talking about.

I'd put a pro boxer up against "Mr. Streetfighter" any day, with or without rules, and expect the pro to not only win, but to BEAT THE LIVING SHIT out of mr. idiot.

The rules are in place to keep you relatively safe.

After training with the rules, in a full contact environment, it is very little work to adjust your tactics for "dirty fighting" if a problem should occur on the street.

Again, a boxer who is "fighting dirty" on the street is far, far, far scarier than Mr. Streetfighter is when he is "fighting dirty" on the street.

The two simply do not compare.

But I highly recommend you take up a wrestling art as a primary foundation, and a GOOD striking art (boxing/thai boxing) as a secondary solution.



Aikido is complete and total utter bullshit.

Ever wonder why you don't see Aikido guys in a MMA event?

Its because they would get their shit cleaned off their asses, and then thrown right back on..

And it would be about as funny as watching the "ninja guy" and the "hapkido guy" in the first UFC's.


I agree with horny yoda... Take some brazilian jiu jitsu, learn the techniques and also learn some take downs, that combined with Muay Thai should be enough to beat the shit out of somebody! Unless they know how to fight too...and there faster, stronger and have better technique than you do...other than that you should be ok


Excuse me but you're all full of shit. As someone that actually has been paid to protect people - I can tell you the number one weapon / art / discipline of the trade of protecting people. It's called AVOIDANCE.

Now, I've had my share of trouble in my personal life - but always because I CHOSE to be involved in a conflict.

Do some of you tough guys realize that many many normal people go their WHOLE lives without needing to FIGHT?

So, the BEST advice, is to avoid conflict.

Next, there is NOTHING wrong with some basic boxing. It may build your confidence which in and of itself is often a deterrant and yes it will teach you how to throw a punch and perhaps dodge one if you're lucky.

Unless you plan on being a fighter - you can forget all this MMA shit from these MMA wannabes (you know who you are). Unless you have an interest in the martial arts there is no reason to pursue it. Chances are, if you're a law abiding normal person, physical violence will probably never find you in your life unless you choose to engage in it or fail to avoid those circumstances where it is present.

Don't become one of those guys that think they can fight - most people cannot - they only get away with this shit because the person they're fighting can't fight either. If you think you can fight - one day you'll run into someone who really can - and you'll pay for it.

Take my advice; avoid conflict. If something like boxing will help your confidence - then go ahead and take it...or any other art for that matter that truly interests you. If you want to be a fighter - then you got a long road ahead of you.

Remember; number ONE weapon of those of us who get paid to protect - AVOIDANCE. The average person can avoid trouble. And the average person - boxing class or not - is ill prepared to defend himself - so go back to rule number one - escape, evade, AVOID.

Let the tough guy flaming begin...



Why do we keep going down this road of "well if it didn't work in the UFC"s it sucks."

UFC, Pride, etc. is a SPORT. Deny it if you wish, but its not combat, IT IS SPORT. There are long lists of what you can and cannot do to your opponent. Your goal is not to kill your opponet, but to win. Big difference.

Most importantly, the result of one fight with one fighter does not mean a damn thing about how effective an art is, only how effective that guy was with it under those rules.

As for boxing, hell train in it, learn all you can. Same with Judo, ju-jitsu, akiado, etc. All systems have something to teach (except for Joe San do) and once you have your base established as to what works best for you physically, increase your knowledge and skills, incorporating what you can use, and respecting all knowledge, even if it doesn't help you.


It is this kind of stupid ass thinking that will get you killed on the street and why most MA or boxers end up hurt on the street.

Real self defense school can and do train with little rules and are realistic as possible. That means body armor, pads, etc. Unlike boxing, you also train to hit lethal targets, not the bony side of someone head.

So Mr. Internet tough guy is going to try and punch someone is his head, while his attacker is busy sticking a screwdriver in his side. You are pathetic and hopefully never have to learn the truth the hard way, if you live to tell about it.

Ps - yea right, that is where you want to be on the street; on the ground in a chinch, while some other guy comes up and cuts your liver out with a pig-sticker!


Oh Christ haven't we had 15 billion threads on this? So who's going to be the first asshole to mention Bruce Lee?


How many fights have you been in Yoda?

Have you ever been been hit with a beer bottle? Or better, three?

Have you been hit with a cue ball stuffed in a sock? Or with a skateboard? Or with a log?

Do you know what someone's stance looks like when they're going to try to stab you?

Do you know how easy it is to slip a knife out a pocket while you're "working the clinch"?

Boxing is boxing. Streetfighting is streetfighting. I'm not an expert at either, but I've had experience with both. They are seperate completely.

In the boxing ring, the boxer wins. In the street, the streetfighter wins. Why is this so hard to understand?

Because guys like you think that you know everything. Good luck bud. Don't pick any fights though.


Are you Dalton from the double deuce. That Roadhouse movie was great.


Keep laughing. His was the best, most realistic post on this thread.


Nice post TheBodyGuard...

In answer to the original question, I would recommend learning boxing to gain confidence and some hand skills. In saying that though, awareness and avoidance is definitely the way to go for self defense purposes.

Just mucking around in training i've seen guys with good boxing skills avoid being taken to the ground by experienced grapplers.


Boxing is great. Who doesn't want faster hands, conditioning, and just an overall good time. As far as street fighting goes, who gives a shit? Are you a gang member or a world-class douchebag? If not, then the only self-defense you'd ever need to put into practice is avoidance or lethal force.

It doesn't matter if you're being mugged by Urkel or Wanderlei Silva. Smarts and superior firepower are far less risky. After that, it's all a what-if that you'll probably never experience.