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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.

  • Facts vs. Opinions

    Facts vs. Opinions

    By Mike Gillette - TITLE Board of Advisors

    “Every man has a right to his own opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts…” - Bernard Baruch (former adviser to Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt) 

    "I perform my push-ups fast for muscular endurance…” - some athlete

    "I perform my push-ups fast to gain muscle size…” - some other athlete

    "We perform our push-ups fast to build strength…” - some coach

    As illustrated above, when it comes to training, there are opinions and there are facts. Which means that the most import mystery for you to solve is figuring out which one is which. This is because we tend to do things that we like to do. And we usually like those things which are familiar. So, all too often, an individual athlete or coach defaults to doing things which are familiar in lieu of things which could be much more productive.

    This is not necessarily a bad thing. After all, what you’re doing might be working for you. But is it? How do you know? Do you test your methods or do you just “put in time”? In other words, are you basing your training on opinions or facts? I often use the expression, “Measurement eliminates argument.” If you don’t test your methods, you’re not actually training as an athlete with a valid athletic process. Without testing, you are simply “acting like” an athlete.

    An effective training program must be premised around two key elements: a ‘process-orientation’ and ‘methodological metrics’. A ‘process-orientation’ focuses on perpetual improvement. These can be improvements in strategy, technique or some other facet of overall athleticism. These are the building blocks upon which you can achieve eventual victories.

    But many times coaches and athletes gravitate towards an ‘outcome-orientation’. Wins and losses. Wins are desirable outcomes, no question about it. But you can’t always win. Does that mean that you or your team are not making progress? Depending on your circumstances, a sixth-place finish in a tournament could be a fantastic achievement. If you were launching a brand-new team or club and only looking at ‘wins’ (outcomes) as your barometer of success, you’d be looking at the wrong end of the developmental spectrum.

    Without going on a tangent about the variables of things you can’t control as a coach or athlete, your time is better spent, particularly with a new program or one which is in “rebuilding mode”, by making your athletes better. And you cannot, strategically at least, make your athletes better without ‘methodological metrics’.

    Methodological metrics is a term which refers to the things in your training program which are the sub-categories of overall performance; increases in strength, speed, work-capacity, etc.  There are two reasons why performance variables such as these are good to focus on. The first reason is that they are all measurable. In fact, they’re all rather easy to measure so long as measurement is built into the process. Secondly, all of these sub-goals contribute to an outcome which is completely under the control of both coach or athlete: improved performance.

    Make no mistake, winning is great. Really great. But for coaches or athletes, the weather, judges, referees, jet-lag, injuries and a myriad of other variables will never be under our control.  So focusing solely on the wins and losses (outcomes) will provide only a partial glimpse of your overall progress.  But your own efforts, intelligently applied (and monitored with regular testing) will lead to the long-term goal of getting “better”. And you can control the process of bettering yourself. You just need to have a process by which to do it.

    Bio:

    Mike Gillette’s life story reads like an action-adventure novel. A life that includes time spent as an Army Paratrooper, SWAT Commander, Government Counter-Terrorism Expert, Member of the Martial Arts Masters Hall of Fame, Bodyguard to Fortune 500 Executives and Motivational Strongman whose feats have been documented by Guinness World Records and Ripley’s Believe it or Not.bio - Mike Gillette image

    Mike is a relentless student of the factors that allow people to perform at their maximum. His quest to live the motto “strong mind, smart body” has led him to many different disciplines. Mike’s research has produced a body of knowledge which has been put to use by high-risk professionals, high-level athletes and ordinary people who want to experience the power of extraordinary performance.

    To learn more about Mike, click here.

    To view the video series on Mental Training from TITLE Boxing/Mike Gillette, click here.

    TITLE Board of Advisors:

    A running series of blog posts collected by TITLE Boxing through our relationships with individuals inside the sport. Fighters, trainers, managers, dieticians, referees and more have offered their words, and we bring them to you here.

    Shop TITLE Boxing.

  • The Coach’s Corner: “Why Do We Box?”

    The Coach’s Corner: “Why Do We Box?”

    By Kristy Rose Follmar via Rock Steady BoxingIn Your Corner

    “Parkinson’s and boxing?”

    “Don’t they know what happened to Muhammad Ali?”

    Yes. Rock Steady Boxing and its affiliates are beginning boxing programs around the world for people with Parkinson’s disease. But our boxing program is completely NON-contact. The curriculum is designed to improve Parkinson’s symptoms through a boxing-inspired fitness regimen. And it works.

    To the outside world, this seemingly counter-intuitive concept of boxing for Parkinson’s raises eyebrows and begs the question, “Why boxing?”

    Ten years ago, the evidence was very vague about the effect of exercise on Parkinson’s. When Rock Steady’s founder, Scott Newman (diagnosed at age 39), approached his neurologist about boxing for exercise, he was told “Bad idea. You’re going to hurt yourself.” Luckily, Scott did not listen.

    Today, there have been dozens of research studies showing that exercise may have a positive impact in management of Parkinson’s symptoms. Any exercise for Parkinson’s can be helpful, and is encouraged, but scientific evidence suggests the most effective form of exercise is “forced intense exercise” or, pushing the body beyond perceived limitations.

    In addition, research is suggesting that exercises should be intense but also directed at goal based, motor-skill learning. In other words, coupling intense physical activity with things like repetition, challenges and duel-tasking. This type of training can lead to neuroplasticity, which helps to maintain old connections and create new connections in the brain.  So, what type of training is most beneficial?

    ESPN conducted a study that compared the training styles of 60 mainstream sports to 10 degrees of difficulty: Endurance, strength, flexibility, power, speed, agility, nerve, durability, hand-eye coordination and analytic aptitude.

    The #1 most demanding sport? Boxing.

    Boxers have to train for a diversity of goals to become an optimal fighter. Boxers must work on strength, hand-eye coordination, speed, balance, agility and focus. Each boxing exercise has a purpose and a reason. Many of the skills that boxers are training to improve upon can be issues for people with Parkinson’s.

    In today’s fitness industry, non-contact boxing for fitness is becoming increasing popular.  People are realizing that they do not have to become an actual fighter to reap the health benefits of boxing. The workouts are diverse, intense, and a tremendous stress reliever.  And with so many activities involved in a boxer’s workout – it is fun and you never get bored!

    Rock Steady Boxing is more than just a boxing program. In addition to boxing, we focus on functional activities to help people become more independent in their day-to-day lives. Activities are designed to improve issues such as gait, falling, dexterity, multi-tasking and restore confidence.

    People with Parkinson’s can sometimes battle depression and isolation due to a combination of symptoms and life changes. Rock Steady provides an encouraging, safe and fun atmosphere where people can shake, rattle and roll with their buddies!

    At first glance, Rock Steady might seem like any other boxing gym. But at its very foundation Rock Steady Boxing is a hybrid between intense exercise and creativity with a solid knowledge of Parkinson’s.

    And while we are big fans of all exercise, boxing is what sets us apart. Boxing is the most demanding, comprehensive, fun and the most badass way to FIGHT BACK against Parkinson’s.

    (Lead image via Rock Steady Boxing)

    Bio:

    Kristy Rose Follmar via Marc Morrison Kristy Rose Follmar via Marc Morrison

    Kristy Rose Follmar, ACSM CPT/NASM CES, is the Program Director & Head Coach at RSB Headquarters. She is a three-time, world champion professional boxer. She has been with RSB since 2006 and is the driving force for the development of the Rock Steady Method of fighting back against Parkinson’s Disease.

     

     

     

     

     

  • Boxing is Storytelling

    Boxing is Storytelling

    By Jeff Zimmerman - TITLE Board of Advisors

    Boxing is not dead and it never will be. For all its cast of characters and there are many, boxing will survive even in spite of itself and its often self-inflicted wounds. And although it may never capture the public’s attention like it once did when the likes of The Greatest, Sugar Ray and Iron Mike were must-see TV, before the Internet and ADD somehow started ruling our lives, it will forever be around simply because it is such great theatre and made for storytelling.

    It has the Summer Olympics to thank as well for this, to remind us of a country’s national pride that creates a sense of loyalty to its own and has the ability to launch stars with their heart-warming, gut-wrenching stories that are brought to life in front of millions of people across the globe for a few weeks every four years. Look no further than 2x US Olympic Gold Medalist Claressa Shields, co-managed by former HBO Boxing head honcho Mark Taffet, who just recently headlined on the prestigious ShoBox in only her 2nd pro fight.

    And then there is Michael Conlan, who perhaps made the biggest headlines last summer when he flipped-off the judges in a controversial decision loss to a Russian fighter and then promptly called out Russian President, Vladimir Putin on Twitter. That certainly got Top Rank Promoter Bob Arum’s attention as he became one of the promotion’s top signees post Olympics. Conlan was recently walked into the ring by MMA and combat sports biggest superstar and fellow Irishman, Conor McGregor, as part of Top Rank’s card in New York during St Patrick’s Day weekend.

    Those two fighters have become stars practically overnight and have 3 professional fights between them. They are however the exception, not the rule, in boxing and that’s not taking anything away from their immense talent as fighters. That’s just the way it is.

    But professional boxing can do itself a favor and make more stars if it so chooses by taking a page out of the amateur ranks. This can be done by simply creating tournaments in various weight classes, just like most fighters are used to before they go from winning medals to earning paychecks.

    The recently announced World Boxing Super Series, that includes former Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer as one of the key players, is a prime example of taking a major step in the right direction. It is an elimination tournament that will include two weight classes and initially 8 fighters in each class with lots of money to win and big time TV exposure. Although there are many obstacles that will take place in executing such an event, if done right and with lots of cooperation by sanctioning bodies, fighters, promoters, you name it, many more stars could be born in the sport. It could be the platform that launches these fighters to another level like Shields and Conlan.

    Let’s not forget the Super Six tournament that took a relatively quiet weight class, super middleweight, and made European fighters like Froch, Kessler and Abraham household names in the U.S. It certainly took a little too long to complete due to injuries and fighters pulling out and it certainly had issues that hopefully the World Boxing Super Series will learn from. But 2004 US Olympian Andre Ward is likely not one of today’s pound for pound greats and a future hall of famer without out the Super Six. He was not a favorite going in and surprised most by winning it all. It gave him a platform against the best in the world to show off his amazing skills and essentially take his career to another level.

    There’s no hotter division in boxing than the welterweight division and the recent fight with Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia on network TV showed if a fight is promoted right and with the right talent, the public will watch as the numbers proved. The next big fight is Errol Spence Jr, a 2012 US Olympian, who fights in May for his first world title shot against IBF Champion Kell Brook. Spence Jr has stated to me in the past, he would definitely be open for a tournament, if the right fighters were chosen. Now with Brook on the horizon and a potential mega fight with Thurman soon after, a tournament for him is unnecessary to fulfill his dreams of becoming a champion. But it doesn’t mean other fighters trying to climb their way to the top of the mountain wouldn’t benefit. It would also force the top fighters and world champions to fight the best talent in their division and eliminate the padding of records and the avoidance of big fights. We will never know, but Spence Jr may have become a champion 3 or 4 fights ago if a tournament was in place as he believes he was ready then to fight for a title.

    Again boxing is not dead, not even close. When there are still boxing movies being made, just look at the number of Rocky movies and the spinoff Creed for the most glaring example. Boxing is here for the long haul. And when Hollywood royalty such as Ryan O’Neal and Barbara Streisand manage to fit a boxing movie into their illustrious careers when they starred in the 1979 flick, The Main Event, pretty much tells you the sport was made for storytelling.

    Let’s hope the World Boxing Super Series is a huge success and other tournaments follow suit, because for every Claressa Shields and Michael Conlan where their stories have been told and have captured the public’s imagination, there are thousands of other stories ready to be told and shared if the opportunity arises.

    jeff zimmerman bio imageBio:

    Jeff has been in the fight game, both boxing and mixed martial arts, for well over a decade. He has learned the ropes from Hall-of-Fame Referee Richard Steele promoting shows in Nevada and Texas where he has covered all aspects of an event from PR, sponsorships, site coordination to negotiations with venues and appearances with stars such as UFC legend Chuck Liddell. Jeff has also been a writer for several years for one of boxing's most popular sites, Fightnews.com, where he continues to cover the Texas fight scene. Jeff has interviewed and covered fights for some of the biggest names in the sport including Manny Pacquiao, Canelo Alvarez and Terence Crawford. He also has covered and interviewed rising superstar Errol Spence Jr. on multiple occasions. Jeff gives many hours of his time to support two outstanding non-profits, Richard Steele Foundation & Boxing Club and Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame, serving as a special advisor and leading their social media efforts.

    TITLE Board of Advisors:

    A running series of blog posts collected by TITLE Boxing through our relationships with individuals inside the sport. Fighters, trainers, managers, dieticians, referees and more have offered their words, and we bring them to you here.

    Shop TITLE Boxing.

     

  • TITLE Boxing Pledges to Fight Back against Parkinson's

    TITLE Boxing Pledges to Fight Back against Parkinson's

    Lenexa, Kan. – Starting March 29th and continuing throughout the month of April, TITLE Boxing will donate 5% of sales from select TITLE Platinum products to directly benefit Rock Steady Boxing, an Indianapolis-based non-profit organization that uses sweet science-inspired exercise to combat the effects of Parkinson’s. Rock Steady serves participants at any and every stage, from newly diagnosed to those who’ve battled for decades.

    “Science-backed statistics and testimonial after testimonial show the very real impact these workouts have on people’s lives,” said Douglas Ward, Marketing Director at TITLE Boxing. “You can’t help but feel inspired and want to be a part of it.”

    Research completed by the University of Indianapolis, Butler University and Cleveland Clinic shows high intensity exercise focusing on body movement, balance, rhythm and core strength can positively impact daily living and actually slow the disease’s progression.

    Rock Steady Boxing was founded in 2006 by Scott C. Newman in Indianapolis after he himself was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Newman, a former county prosecutor, who eventually lost his ability to write and type, now throws confident combination after confident combination. And as recently documented in HBO’s The Fight Game, his is one of the many Rock Steady success stories featuring participants improving their abilities, taking control of their lives and standing up to Parkinson’s, and TITLE Boxing is honored to play a role in the fight.

  • Caring for Your Equipment

    Whether you typically spend a lot on your equipment or as little as possible you still want to get as much “life” of it as you can. A large factor in how long your gear lasts is determined by how well you care for it.

    Hockey great Wayne Gretzky was once quoted as saying, “I don’t like my hockey sticks touching other sticks, and I don’t like them crossing one another, and I kind of have them hidden in the corner. I put baby powder on the ends. I think it’s essentially a matter of taking care of what takes care of you.” What a great mindset that is to have about treating your tools of the trade with a level of professionalism no matter what sport you’re talking about.

    Starting with hand wr3.29.17 caring for your equipment sub imageaps, you should allow them to dry thoroughly before putting them away in your gym bag. You should also wash them regularly using a hand wrap wash bag. The cleaner you keep your wraps the longer they will help prevent your gloves from getting stinky. They’re your first line of defense in making your gloves last longer.

    Next, when you’re done using your gloves wipe off any excess sweat, oils or dirt. This prolongs the glove life. These contaminants break down the leather and foam materials that gloves are made out of. Also don't leave them in your humid gym bag to form bacteria and mildew. Instead, store them in a cool, dry place and only put them in your bag once you're ready to head off to the gym. It's even beneficial to periodically use a mild lubricant or leather cleaner to keep them supple. Leather can dry out and crack and, that alone, can shorten the life of your gloves.

    The same rules apply to your headgear and groin protector. Let them dry out thoroughly after use and be sure to wipe off any sweat, blood, moisture or Vaseline you applied during sparring. All body fluids weaken the materials used in construction, man-made or natural, and reduce the protective properties of the equipment you use. The faster you can get the equipment to dry, wipe it down and get the moisture out, the less time those fluids have time to do damage.

    Lastly, but no less important, is taking care of your skin and
    what the equipment is coming in contact with. If you sweat a lot, take a towel or extra shirt with you and don't bask in your own nastiness. Yeah, you're going to sweat and be somewhat unpleasant, but don't be THAT GUY/GIRL who wears their bodily functions like a badge of honor. Towel off once in a while. It's not only courteous, but will save your gear from being forced to absorb every bit of blood, sweat and tears you produce.

    It only takes a few minutes to properly care for your gear in order to get hours and hours of more good out of it.

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