T Nation

Switching Gyms/Disciplines

Hey I was just wondering if some boxers or people that have practiced a variety of disciplines might help me figure out what to expect when i go to a boxing gym for the first time tomorrow?

Until recently I trained at a muay thai and mixed martial arts gym owned by a muay thai instructor. As a result the vast majority of the striking work we did was muay thai and the muay thai instructors also ran the boxing classes until we got our boxing instructor back about a week before I had to leave. I noticed that the boxing instructor refined a lot of things in my boxing game even in the 2 classes I had under him after his return.

My current problem is that university life no longer permits me the finance or the time to wheel my 13 year old pickup truck an hour each way to my gym. so after missing out on a fight promotion because i was no longer able to train 5 times a week, and going bat shit crazy not training i decided to enroll in a boxing gym near my house to keep working on my striking. ideally i would like to keep doing wrestling and bjj classes but i know if one of my skill sets can handle more neglect its ground work and i only have the time and money to train in one.

any way sorry to ramble but what can some one from a muay thai heavy back ground expect in terms of changes when switching to pure boxing. I feel as though ive been hamstrung by taking away several powerfull weapons and not having the ability to clinch in the same way. i would be very great full for any pointers

You say you feel like you’ll be hamstrung by taking away features of muay thai. If you plan on competing as a boxer, you will actually be hamstrung by the fact that you have practised muay thai. You will be a sloppy boxer if you bring a lot of your muay thai into the ring with you, and that will potentially catch you a beating from guys with less fight experience. That’s no knock on muay thai - just different rules, different sport.

If you are serious about competing as a boxer, then you should expect you new trainer to start by correcting your footwork, then your guard and your striking. After that, you should expect them to make significant changes to your defensive work.

Do you have competition experience? I would encourage you tell your coach about your previous experience, as it will fast track your progress, and encourage them to take you more seriously (most people who start boxing quit inside the first month - never been in a muay thai gym so no idea if it is the same, but i imagine it probably is). I would be prepared to spar, and be prepared to spar a guy who might not hold back in the way they would with a rank beginner (again, all depending on your experience). When guys can fight, the quickest way for a trainer to see what you can and cant do, is to see you in action.

Boxing is the king of a street fight or even MMA fight… when you are relatively good at boxing, then it will not take too long to add some muay thai kick defense and other tricks, and also some fundamental tricks from sambo or BJJ… without being good at boxing you cannot be a really good fighter… and it’s much more difficult to achieve a decent level in boxing than learning some sufficient wrestling skills or kicks…

just remember, there is a sport of boxing, and there is a combat boxing which is just modified version of a sport of boxing without some defense tricks that are useful only in the sport of boxing. You also always have to condition your legs by hitting them so you can take some low kicks when you don’t block them with knees, but take them instead, in order at the same moment you can counter the kicker with your right straight or right cross… When you get used to hit someone’s head and get hit back to your head full power, everything else, and any other form of fight will look like a joke… just don’t forget to condition your legs so low kicks aren’t that scary for you anymore…

[quote]LondonBoxer123 wrote:
You say you feel like you’ll be hamstrung by taking away features of muay thai. If you plan on competing as a boxer, you will actually be hamstrung by the fact that you have practised muay thai. You will be a sloppy boxer if you bring a lot of your muay thai into the ring with you, and that will potentially catch you a beating from guys with less fight experience. That’s no knock on muay thai - just different rules, different sport.

If you are serious about competing as a boxer, then you should expect you new trainer to start by correcting your footwork, then your guard and your striking. After that, you should expect them to make significant changes to your defensive work.

Do you have competition experience? I would encourage you tell your coach about your previous experience, as it will fast track your progress, and encourage them to take you more seriously (most people who start boxing quit inside the first month - never been in a muay thai gym so no idea if it is the same, but i imagine it probably is). I would be prepared to spar, and be prepared to spar a guy who might not hold back in the way they would with a rank beginner (again, all depending on your experience). When guys can fight, the quickest way for a trainer to see what you can and cant do, is to see you in action. [/quote]

This is solid advice, and I’m only even saying so because I know how touchy some fighters get when someone criticises their style. But London is right, you’ll have to fix up those areas he mentions. My boxing worsened while I concentrated on Muay Thai only. I would also encourage sparring, especially to make you physically aware of the holes you can expect to have in your defence.

hey i just wanted to say thank you for all the great advice! i would have responded sooner but ive had my back to the wall with finals approaching and i managed to forget my password…

[quote]La Flamme wrote:
Hey I was just wondering if some boxers or people that have practiced a variety of disciplines might help me figure out what to expect when i go to a boxing gym for the first time tomorrow?

Until recently I trained at a muay thai and mixed martial arts gym owned by a muay thai instructor. As a result the vast majority of the striking work we did was muay thai and the muay thai instructors also ran the boxing classes until we got our boxing instructor back about a week before I had to leave. I noticed that the boxing instructor refined a lot of things in my boxing game even in the 2 classes I had under him after his return.

My current problem is that university life no longer permits me the finance or the time to wheel my 13 year old pickup truck an hour each way to my gym. so after missing out on a fight promotion because i was no longer able to train 5 times a week, and going bat shit crazy not training i decided to enroll in a boxing gym near my house to keep working on my striking. ideally i would like to keep doing wrestling and bjj classes but i know if one of my skill sets can handle more neglect its ground work and i only have the time and money to train in one.

any way sorry to ramble but what can some one from a muay thai heavy back ground expect in terms of changes when switching to pure boxing. I feel as though ive been hamstrung by taking away several powerfull weapons and not having the ability to clinch in the same way. i would be very great full for any pointers[/quote]

I think the biggest issue with training at a boxing gym for MMA or Muay Thai is the boxing culture/expectations.

Even though MT is a ring sport, in the US it’s also a “martial art”, and in my experience is generally taught in some middle ground between how a TMA might be taught, and how a boxing gym might be run.

My experience with boxing gyms is that they are really only interested in putting time into you if you’re going to fight (box), although being a punching bag for the fighters will get you somewhere too.

After my last fight I was approached by a boxing coach who is pretty well respected in the area and was coming on pretty hard to get me to train with him. When I told him my sport was MMA (and to a lesser extent kick-boxing) I got a “Uh-huh, yeah, we’ll figure that out later.” response, and something about not worrying about paying until I make my first purse, exe. My “I’m not going to box” went right one ear and out the other.

On the other hand “we” have had pretty good luck with working consistently with outside boxing coaches, but having them come into our gym for the sessions. That really changes things, and emphasises that it’s boxing for MMA/MT/KB.

[quote]Spartiates wrote:

[quote]La Flamme wrote:
Hey I was just wondering if some boxers or people that have practiced a variety of disciplines might help me figure out what to expect when i go to a boxing gym for the first time tomorrow?

Until recently I trained at a muay thai and mixed martial arts gym owned by a muay thai instructor. As a result the vast majority of the striking work we did was muay thai and the muay thai instructors also ran the boxing classes until we got our boxing instructor back about a week before I had to leave. I noticed that the boxing instructor refined a lot of things in my boxing game even in the 2 classes I had under him after his return.

My current problem is that university life no longer permits me the finance or the time to wheel my 13 year old pickup truck an hour each way to my gym. so after missing out on a fight promotion because i was no longer able to train 5 times a week, and going bat shit crazy not training i decided to enroll in a boxing gym near my house to keep working on my striking. ideally i would like to keep doing wrestling and bjj classes but i know if one of my skill sets can handle more neglect its ground work and i only have the time and money to train in one.

any way sorry to ramble but what can some one from a muay thai heavy back ground expect in terms of changes when switching to pure boxing. I feel as though ive been hamstrung by taking away several powerfull weapons and not having the ability to clinch in the same way. i would be very great full for any pointers[/quote]

I think the biggest issue with training at a boxing gym for MMA or Muay Thai is the boxing culture/expectations.

Even though MT is a ring sport, in the US it’s also a “martial art”, and in my experience is generally taught in some middle ground between how a TMA might be taught, and how a boxing gym might be run.

My experience with boxing gyms is that they are really only interested in putting time into you if you’re going to fight (box), although being a punching bag for the fighters will get you somewhere too.

[/quote]

x2. I am so disheartened by the bullshido that abounds in certain gyms. I especially hate seeing a sign over a gym that advertises “Boxing, Kickboxing, Karate, Taibo AND Kung Fu.” You need to hit up a serious gym that takes money from you to train but respects your decision to fight or not. Otherwise you feel like you have to prove yourself all the time (maybe that means getting fights you’re not ready for) in order to get quality training attention.

However, regardless of your level, technique issues and intention to fight the occasional private lesson is always a good way to escape the hamster wheel of a typical boxing gym circuit and get serious input on your skills at that time. I feel like your boxing shortcomings as a consequence of your Muay Thai experience will become self evident whether you went to a good or bad MT gym. The order of the day is to absorb the new skills, and if you fall behind, get a private lesson here and there. And in my experience, boxing coaches love training guys that are good and can take their learning medicine. Who wants to teach a chump that doesn’t listen?

[quote]Pigeonkak wrote:

[quote]Spartiates wrote:

[quote]La Flamme wrote:
Hey I was just wondering if some boxers or people that have practiced a variety of disciplines might help me figure out what to expect when i go to a boxing gym for the first time tomorrow?

Until recently I trained at a muay thai and mixed martial arts gym owned by a muay thai instructor. As a result the vast majority of the striking work we did was muay thai and the muay thai instructors also ran the boxing classes until we got our boxing instructor back about a week before I had to leave. I noticed that the boxing instructor refined a lot of things in my boxing game even in the 2 classes I had under him after his return.

My current problem is that university life no longer permits me the finance or the time to wheel my 13 year old pickup truck an hour each way to my gym. so after missing out on a fight promotion because i was no longer able to train 5 times a week, and going bat shit crazy not training i decided to enroll in a boxing gym near my house to keep working on my striking. ideally i would like to keep doing wrestling and bjj classes but i know if one of my skill sets can handle more neglect its ground work and i only have the time and money to train in one.

any way sorry to ramble but what can some one from a muay thai heavy back ground expect in terms of changes when switching to pure boxing. I feel as though ive been hamstrung by taking away several powerfull weapons and not having the ability to clinch in the same way. i would be very great full for any pointers[/quote]

I think the biggest issue with training at a boxing gym for MMA or Muay Thai is the boxing culture/expectations.

Even though MT is a ring sport, in the US it’s also a “martial art”, and in my experience is generally taught in some middle ground between how a TMA might be taught, and how a boxing gym might be run.

My experience with boxing gyms is that they are really only interested in putting time into you if you’re going to fight (box), although being a punching bag for the fighters will get you somewhere too.

[/quote]

x2. I am so disheartened by the bullshido that abounds in certain gyms. I especially hate seeing a sign over a gym that advertises “Boxing, Kickboxing, Karate, Taibo AND Kung Fu.” You need to hit up a serious gym that takes money from you to train but respects your decision to fight or not. Otherwise you feel like you have to prove yourself all the time (maybe that means getting fights you’re not ready for) in order to get quality training attention.

However, regardless of your level, technique issues and intention to fight the occasional private lesson is always a good way to escape the hamster wheel of a typical boxing gym circuit and get serious input on your skills at that time. I feel like your boxing shortcomings as a consequence of your Muay Thai experience will become self evident whether you went to a good or bad MT gym. The order of the day is to absorb the new skills, and if you fall behind, get a private lesson here and there. And in my experience, boxing coaches love training guys that are good and can take their learning medicine. Who wants to teach a chump that doesn’t listen?
[/quote]

Ye solid points. I don’t know how things work in the US, but over here, in my experience, gyms tend to put a lot of time into anyone who wants to fight and represent the gym, and pretty much ignore everyone else who is there for fitness. Doesn’t matter about ability so much, the gyms here are not money making enterprises, as far as I am aware, they are community clubs run by volunteers from generation to generation. Once you’ve put in 3 months or so of making every single training session, and pushing to improve every training session, asking for advice, trying to beat the fighters in circuits, trying to win every body spar etc, then coaches will take you aside and ask if you’re interested in fighting. From then on each week you’ll get pad time, sparring time, and concentrated
coaching whilst you work the bag.

That’s not meant to be a knock on US gyms, which obviously produce outstanding fighters, but from my very limited knowledge, the average boxing gym over there charges quite a bit more money than they do over here, although it may be the same that fighters don’t actually have to pay most of the time.

Yes, all the serious boxing gyms around the world operate pretty much like that. If you don’t fight and have no intention to fight you aren’t a boxer and will never be, why for the fuck a serious professional trainer would waste his energy and time with you? usually they are busy enough. If you prove yourself in sparrings that might be a different story, but still… However, in America there are those fitness boxing gyms where men exercise together with pretty women, I have seen in New York City Sports Club, there was a fitness boxing class and the trainer was holding pads for some exercising office workers and pretty ladies, so I guess there are options.

[quote]LondonBoxer123 wrote:

That’s not meant to be a knock on US gyms, which obviously produce outstanding fighters, but from my very limited knowledge, the average boxing gym over there charges quite a bit more money than they do over here, although it may be the same that fighters don’t actually have to pay most of the time. [/quote]

I think it is something like that. In the US (and I just assumed other places, but maybe not) my experience has been that it’s the casual practitioners and people paying for their kids who generate the lion’s share of the money going through your typical gym. They pay full price, and they pay full price for their kids.

The people who are more involved and give back to the gym in other ways tend to have different arrangements.

[quote]Antonio. B wrote:
Yes, all the serious boxing gyms around the world operate pretty much like that. If you don’t fight and have no intention to fight you aren’t a boxer and will never be, why for the fuck a serious professional trainer would waste his energy and time with you? usually they are busy enough. [/quote]

So what do you call it when someone does fight, but fights in a sport with more open rules where boxing is just one aspect? Is it just the money? Because clearly there’s still more money to be made per fighter in boxing.

[quote]Pigeonkak wrote:
x2. I am so disheartened by the bullshido that abounds in certain gyms. I especially hate seeing a sign over a gym that advertises “Boxing, Kickboxing, Karate, Taibo AND Kung Fu.” You need to hit up a serious gym that takes money from you to train but respects your decision to fight or not. Otherwise you feel like you have to prove yourself all the time (maybe that means getting fights you’re not ready for) in order to get quality training attention.

However, regardless of your level, technique issues and intention to fight the occasional private lesson is always a good way to escape the hamster wheel of a typical boxing gym circuit and get serious input on your skills at that time. I feel like your boxing shortcomings as a consequence of your Muay Thai experience will become self evident whether you went to a good or bad MT gym. The order of the day is to absorb the new skills, and if you fall behind, get a private lesson here and there. And in my experience, boxing coaches love training guys that are good and can take their learning medicine. Who wants to teach a chump that doesn’t listen?
[/quote]

I agree. I’ve found these gyms, and I think that guys who enjoy teaching boxing will teach anyone, regardless of whether they plan to fight or not.

I don’t fight. My shoulder is so unstable that it would dislocate instantly in a real fight, and fighting is not my job nor my profession, it’s just a passion. So I train constantly, spar when I can, and don’t worry about what anyone thinks of my choice to work it like that.

What I can tell you is I’m probably better than a lot of amateurs, and that’s because I put the work in, listen when a coach tells me something, and take it deadly serious.

And really, that’s all you’ve got to do. Coaches like working with people like that. And of course you expect them to put more time into the guy that’s going to be representing the club, but good coaches teach anyone because they love to teach.

I’ve been lucky enough to find guys like that.

And as an aside - that supposed “martial arts ethos” of teaching something because you love it, not charging to teach guys if they have no money, etc. is talked about all the time in martial arts but rarely practiced, especially in the world of belt fees and gi costs and all that other garbage.

In the boxing world though, guys will train you for free constantly. It’s kinda scary the quality of instruction you can get in this sport, and sometimes they’ll just be like “Don’t worry about it” when it comes to paying. I’ve found that guys in the boxing world LIVE what the martial arts guys preach but don’t practice.

[quote]Spartiates wrote:

[quote]LondonBoxer123 wrote:

That’s not meant to be a knock on US gyms, which obviously produce outstanding fighters, but from my very limited knowledge, the average boxing gym over there charges quite a bit more money than they do over here, although it may be the same that fighters don’t actually have to pay most of the time. [/quote]

I think it is something like that. In the US (and I just assumed other places, but maybe not) my experience has been that it’s the casual practitioners and people paying for their kids who generate the lion’s share of the money going through your typical gym. They pay full price, and they pay full price for their kids.

The people who are more involved and give back to the gym in other ways tend to have different arrangements.

[quote]Antonio. B wrote:
Yes, all the serious boxing gyms around the world operate pretty much like that. If you don’t fight and have no intention to fight you aren’t a boxer and will never be, why for the fuck a serious professional trainer would waste his energy and time with you? usually they are busy enough. [/quote]

So what do you call it when someone does fight, but fights in a sport with more open rules where boxing is just one aspect? Is it just the money? Because clearly there’s still more money to be made per fighter in boxing.[/quote]

If you fight for another gym which is MMA and not the boxing one but you just need specialized boxing lessons and sparring then usually your gym that you fight for arranges your training with the trainers at that specific boxing gym for a certain period of time. Simple as that.

Just wanted to throw an update, the advice i have read here has been very helpful and boxing indeed has proven to be a different creature. I am loving it but i look at it more as a chance to build my over all game rather than a replacement for muay thai and mma. some situations appear very strange to me particularly the head movement (makes me want to throw kicks and knees) and inside fighting/up close engagement again when i see this i always think about elbows knees clinch.

its a cool sport, it has gotten me back on the path i need to be on. i do believe that you become the average of the five people you spend the most time with and here at my university that has been some beer swiggin video gammin x athletes that manage a hockey game once a week. this change has certainly managed to alleviate some cognitive dissonance… if i get my shit together like ive been trying there is a smidgent of hope that i will be fighting muay thai in the early months of the new year

[quote]La Flamme wrote:
Just wanted to throw an update, the advice i have read here has been very helpful and boxing indeed has proven to be a different creature. I am loving it but i look at it more as a chance to build my over all game rather than a replacement for muay thai and mma. some situations appear very strange to me particularly the head movement (makes me want to throw kicks and knees) and inside fighting/up close engagement again when i see this i always think about elbows knees clinch.

its a cool sport, it has gotten me back on the path i need to be on. i do believe that you become the average of the five people you spend the most time with and here at my university that has been some beer swiggin video gammin x athletes that manage a hockey game once a week. this change has certainly managed to alleviate some cognitive dissonance… if i get my shit together like ive been trying there is a smidgent of hope that i will be fighting muay thai in the early months of the new year[/quote]

That’s good to hear. I completely understand your desire to elbow boxers. I fight the urge all the time. But, stick with the instruction the coaches are giving you. I think it best for you to train as a purist at each MA you happen to be doing at that time. SO, when you’re in you boxing gym - boxing purist. When you’re in your Muay Thai gym - MT purist, etc. To train as a purist will counter-intuitively improve your ability to blend the techniques in a fight.

[quote]Pigeonkak wrote:

That’s good to hear. I completely understand your desire to elbow boxers. I fight the urge all the time. But, stick with the instruction the coaches are giving you. I think it best for you to train as a purist at each MA you happen to be doing at that time. SO, when you’re in you boxing gym - boxing purist. When you’re in your Muay Thai gym - MT purist, etc. To train as a purist will counter-intuitively improve your ability to blend the techniques in a fight.
[/quote]

thank you for the advice, that makes really good sense. i have been doing alot more shadow boxing with just my hands and im on a tear of boxing videos just trying to take in as much as i can. what i want most from boxing is more fluidity and better footwork and more combinations. i am very plodding and fragmented

If you are going to elbow a boxer, make sure you do it right and knock him out. Someone elbowed me deliberately in sparring once, opened my eye up a week before a fight. In the 10 secconds or so following that, I cracked one of his ribs and gave him a concussion with a forearm uppercut. Elbows have no place in boxing and are guaranteed to turn whatever you’re doing into a shit show.

I know you aren’t saying you’d do it deliberately, and I completely understand your post. You’ve just got to keep in mind that your sparring partner could take it as badly as I did if you throw an elbow, and that can get pretty nasty very quickly.

oh yeah for sure i would definitely not consider that acceptable conduct for myself

frustration is kind of brewing within me… im used to a lot more pad work and drilling in partners, more movement drills and sparring both light or geared. how am i supposed to stay sharp hammering a bag. i bought my own focus mitts so at least i can work that at home to an extent but im getting pretty riled up when i get home and start stewing about it.

No offense mate, if you were ready to get in the ring and spar pure boxing with pure boxers, you would have been in there more. It’s a different sport to muay thai, with different rules and techniques. It’s called the sweet science for a reason - there is so much subtlety to be learned and applied. Coaches will be watching you on the bags, and will be measuring your progress. You may have hit on a bad gym. More likely you have a lot to learn before you’re ready to start fighting as a boxer, or you aren’t putting into action what you are being shown. Also, how pro-active have you been in talking to the coaches, letting them know your history, and your intentions?

Also, with the holidays, you’ve probably got a month in the gym under your belt. That’s not very much to prove your seriousness. Coaches give their time for free. They usually have a decent number of fighters for only a few coaches. You will be added to the inner circle in time, but they aren’t going to waste their time on someone who might quit in a month. As has been said several times in this thread, you have to prove your seriousness.

thank you for the input, i realize i have not been to clear about what i have done and not been as forward with my intentions as possible. and yes like at my previous gym it does take some time to get taken seriously at all. i think my frustration stems from this being the third such uprooting ive experienced. and also just a difference in instructional style my old boxing coach used a lot of pad work with himself and with partners and alot of drills with partners and as of yet i havnt experienced this here.

im in no rush to spar and i see guys that could easily pick me apart. however when i approached my instructor asking if he felt i would be able to begin sparring i was directed to a check list of milestones to complete one of which being a combined total of three private lessons that would set me back about 180 more dollars, so basically a little over 2 months membership and that realistically is an entirely unattainable number for me and not a concept im used to.

i will take all of this under advisement my only option is to work harder