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TITLE Boxing Blog

From inside the gym to around the world of combat sports, the TITLE Boxing Blog keeps you up-to-date with the latest MMA and Boxing news, training tips and fighting techniques. This is the kind of info you need to not only talk the talk, but walk the walk.

  • Protection and Power: Take Your Mouthguard Seriously

    Protection and Power: Take Your Mouthguard Seriously

    By Douglas Ward, Marketing Director at TITLE Boxing

    Best Mouthguards for Boxing

    When boxing's first protective gum shield (mouthpiece) was introduced in 1913 by dentist Jack Marks and was consequently made popular by boxer Ted "Kid" Lewis, his creation was purely intended to provide protection for the teeth and gums. Little did he know, his simple product would ultimately be altered and engineered to improve athletic performance. His basic design would also become a part of nearly all combat and contact sports. However, it wasn't until recent years that companies have put the research behind this piece of gear to enhance its protective benefits and, in the process, discover that a good mouthpiece can actually make an athlete stronger and faster. By providing a better fit and aligning the jaw more properly, your mouthpiece can actually add power to your punch and improve your ability to take a better shot. A better chin combined with the ability to hit harder...could that be true? It could be and it is.11.29.17 Mouthguard-BlogArt-Sub01

    More than the obvious benefits of just protecting your choppers from being punched-out, a good quality mouthpiece affects your physical ability and energetic output. It achieves this through positively affecting the position of your jaw by drawing it down, out and away from the base of your skull, so that direct impact to the brain is lessened. The proper placement of your jaw also affects the position of your head.  In turn, the position of your head affects your posture. If your jaw, head and body are all in alignment, then your body and brain are not wasting energy on trying to balance and counter-balance your head. Even though the adjustments are so small that they are in-perceivable, because you are constantly getting hit, constant adjustments are being made. The thousands of punches you take and movements you make during a six or eight round sparring session really add up and are distracting from your focus, even if you are not aware of it.  You may not sense the ongoing task that your body is subconsciously managing for you, but it's taking a small toll on your energy levels and focus.11.29.17 Mouthguard-BlogArt-Sub02

    Gaining power is a plus, because you have to wear a mouthpiece anyway, but the type of jaw-clenching that holding a mouthpiece in place requires, also improves blood flow to the brain.  This translates into more awareness and greater focus. Even without these added benefits, biting down on your mouthpiece is just smart. It helps protect you from getting your jaw broken and forces you to breathe through your nose, which also helps balance the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide in our blood, which directly affects your aerobic endurance.11.29.17 Mouthguard-BlogArt-Sub03

    Will getting the best mouthpiece money can buy suddenly transform you into a devastating power puncher? No, but it can serve as one piece of the puzzle that will make you are more complete, picture-perfect fighter. According to a Rutgers University study conducted in 2008, you can realistically expect an improvement of anywhere from 3-7% in power output. In this study, participants clearly demonstrated enhanced performance during short duration, explosive exercises, like boxing.

    Knowing that a mouthpiece can have so many far-reaching implications gives you one more reason to consider what value you're placing on your boxing pursuits. Why spend two dollars on a standard, boil-and-bite mouthpiece only to turn around and splurge hundreds of bucks on a pair of gloves? Just as important as protecting yourself at all times, it is equally as important to protect yourself at all costs. In today's economic climate, everyone has a budget, but if boxing is your business, then invest your hard earned dollars wisely and put your money where your mouth is.

    Shop mouthguards here.

  • 5 Slip Cord Exercises to Work Into Your Training Routine

    5 Slip Cord Exercises to Work Into Your Training Routine

    By Douglas Ward, Marketing Director at TITLE Boxing

    Boxing Slip Rope Training

    When it comes to boxing training, there isn't a more basic piece of equipment than the slipping cord. Made up of rubber cord or a simple piece of rope, it is simple, inexpensive and easy-to-use, yet it has dynamic applications to boxing.  There are numerous ways it can be incorporated into any workout that can add sound technique to a boxer’s training routine.

    First, begin by hanging the cord/rope approximately chest high, across any area spanning at least ten to fifteen feet. The cord should be strung tight and secured at both ends.

    From that point, there are a variety of exercises that can be done with a basic slipping cord, beginning from the ground up.

    1 - The most basic use of the slipping cord is to practice footwork. Have your boxer position himself at one end of the slipping cord, assuming a proper boxing stance. With the cord resting lightly on his or her left shoulder, he should move down the cord making sure to step with the left foot first and bring the right foot behind it. This helps the fighter to get used to stepping correctly, with the front foot first and back foot secondly.  This is also a good way to be sure a he gets used to staying on his toes and also driving off of his back foot, not dragging it.

    2 - Another lower body exercise that can be incorporated into use of the slipping cord is practicing proper technique when rolling under punches. A fighter should assume a proper boxing stance and not move his feet, not step, but roll under the cord, simulating the movement of slipping under a left hook or looping right-hand. When it's done properly a fighter will be shifting his weight forward as he rolls under the right and shifting his weight back (over the right knee) as he slips under the left hook.  It is important that the fighter bends at the knees, dropping his butt towards the ground and does not bend at the waist, looking down at the floor. He should shift his weight forward and back, working the leg muscles and developing the habit of placing the majority of weight on the side of his body that he would naturally counter from.

    3 - Building from there, a fighter can then also work in a variety of punches. A good one to add onto the basic movement of rolling under the cord is the uppercut. As a fighter rolls forward, onto his left leg, he is in a perfect position to throw a left uppercut. Be sure to throw is at the opposite side of the cord. This accomplishes two things. It puts the fighter in a crouched position, out of the center line of fire and teaches the fighter to throw the punch across his body, not straight up and down, which would leave him more exposed. Slip left, throw a left uppercut. Slip right, throw a right uppercut. The uppercut can be a devastating punch and throwing it from a lower center of gravity, turning on his hips to landing it on the opposite side of the cord, constantly slipping forward and back, will generate even more punching power and better technique.

    4 - Another variation is to work down the cord and throw punches on either side of it, stepping and throwing in succession. Then, for added difficulty, pivot outside the cord occasionally and throw punches toward it. Standing outside the cord (facing it), throwing punches above and below it, changing your height and distance from the cord quickly, will help instill an awareness of range and levels of engagement.  It also helps incorporate side-to-side movement into, what is otherwise, a linear exercise. Working up and down the length of the cord incorporates the best of both worlds, working inside and outside.

    5 - Without hitting it hard, an important aspect of working the slipping cord is not to be afraid to make light contact with it. The cord can be used to gauge speed of movement as contact is lightly made each time a slip is completed. From a defensive standpoint, the cord is a measuring stick to be sure that a fighter is not over slipping or under slipping, just by making gentle contact. While on offense, a small amount of contact can be made to keep punches sharp and combinations fluid. Maintaining proper distance is also easier to practice because there is somewhat of a stationary target to punch at.

    Some of the most beneficial pieces of equipment in boxing are those that are the most basic. It is when they are approached with an understanding of how they apply to what happens in the ring, that they take on a new life an added significance. The slipping cord looks about as simple as it gets, but as they say...looks can be deceiving.

    Shop slip cords here.

  • A Need for Speed - Proper Footwork

    A Need for Speed - Proper Footwork

    By Douglas Ward, Marketing Director at TITLE Boxing

    How To Improve Footwork in Boxing

    An underutilized resource of many fighters is their footwork. Although they realize how important it is in relation to balance and movement, they fail to understand what a vital role it plays in both offense and defense. As a fighter, quick movements can carry you within your opponents range to connect and rapidly move you out of range before your opponent is able to counter.

    A small step on the inside can quickly put you in position where you can hit and not get hit. By constantly moving, this puts your opponent in a reactive mode where he is continually being forced to readjust to be in a position to mount an offensive attack. Using footwork to step to the side of your opponent, you also take away their forward momentum and can then use that against him.

    Continue reading

  • The Mastery of Muhammad Ali

    The Mastery of Muhammad Ali

    By Douglas Ward, Marketing Director at TITLE Boxing

    Traits That Make A Great Boxer

    Yes, he stakes claim to the title The Greatest of All Time. Many historians even consider him the best fighter, Pound-for-Pound, of any era. His power and presence extended far beyond the boxing ring; but what truly makes Muhammad Ali one of the best fighters to ever lace-up a pair of boxing gloves is a combination of traits that few athletes are able to wrap into one package.

    Let's break these down and look at each one, starting from the top:

    His jab. Jimmy Jacobs, who owned the world’s largest collection of fight films, once stated that, “On film tests with a synchronizer, Ali’s jab was faster than even Sugar Ray Robinson’s.” Jacobs contended that Ali was not only the fastest heavyweight, but also the fastest fighter he had ever seen on film. On top of the speed, Ali also used it accurately and often. He used it to dictate the pace of the fight and the range the bout was fought at. It is as simple as that.

    His footwork. He used it like military ground forces. His feet dictated when and where war would be waged. His quickness carried him in and out of trouble and was used to frustrate his opponents. Ali was always on his toes to maximize mobility and gain leverage on every punch.

    His reflexes. His speed and keen sense of the ring made him a difficult target to hit. He was able to make his opponents miss their punches by millimeters while always staying in position to counterpunch.

    His ring intelligence.  Muhammad Ali had a boxing IQ that vanquished more opponents than his athleticism did. From positioning to purpose, Ali was able to slow the action down, control it and simply react.

    His showmanship. To say he was the ultimate showman would be an understatement. He was a promoter, a publicist, and a performer all rolled up into one superior athlete.  This unique combination to "work a room" gave him the ability to name the round, give the reporters their story and the fans their money’s worth.

    His resilience. Although he shared the ring with some of the greatest punchers to ever climb through the ropes, Muhammad Ali only tasted the canvas four times, in 61 total fights. Henry Cooper dropped him into the ropes in the fifth round of their first encounter and Joe Frazier had him on the seat of his trunks in the 14th in the first of their legendary trilogy. Sonny Banks and Chuck Wepner even have bragging rights to have gotten Ali down, although Wepner’s was questionable. Beyond that, Muhammad Ali tasted and weathered the fire power of some of boxing history’s most enormous power punchers like Sonny Liston, Ernie Shavers and George Foreman. When his amazing defensive skills failed him, Muhammad Ali was still able to stand up against huge punches and a tremendous amount of punishment...maybe to his detriment.

    There are many nuances to Muhammad Ali's personality, in and out of the ring. His passion as a fighter, his compassion as a human being, and an insatiable appetite to shake up the world is a pursuit that no fighter can go wrong in trying to accomplish. Mimicking the best traits Ali had to offer may not make you the greatest, but…will allow you to make your mark.

    Shop Ali apparel and equipment here.

  • Seven Things You Can Do to Improve your Technique

    How To Become A Better Fighter

    SevenTechniques-BlogArt-01

    Everyone who consistently walks into the gym wants to be better.  The continual learning process that happens there is part of the appeal of boxing.  It's a constant challenge to better yourself and improve.  However, that only really happens when a strong foundation is laid and you're able to do the right things right.  Right?  So here it is... Continue reading

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