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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.

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  • Nothing to Fear, but Fear Itself - Understanding the Emotion

    By Douglas Ward, Marketing Director at TITLE Boxing

    LeadImage-NothingToFear-Blog

    Fear is something every fighter has had to deal with in his or her career.  Whether or not they will admit it, even the most intimidating, ferocious competitor has had to fight, forget, flee from or face their fear in the ring.  Its impact on performance and the role it plays in the sport is something that can’t be denied.  It has kept contenders from winning championships and has prevented bright prospects from realizing their potential.  Fear can’t be suppressed or wished away, but has to be embraced in order to harness the power it has and what its real purpose is.  Part of harnessing that power is understanding it.

    Fear, and the way that it manifests itself, is born out of self-preservation.  It was the way our ancestors were able to adapt to their surroundings, chasing down their prey for food or running from their food, their prey to keep from being “dinner.”  It was all about survival.  Out of this instinctual breeding ground, it became the human body’s fight-or-flight response.  It is a natural way of coping with stressful surroundings or a dangerous environment….your body’s way of preparing to do battle.  What is happening to the body, in essence, is the frontal cortex sends a message that releases a wave of stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol.  These hormones elevate blood sugar levels and release a quick burst of energy in preparation to fight. This release also causes the heart to pump up to four times the amount of blood, from 5 to nearly 20 quarts per minute, to increase oxygen and energy flow.  The blood also takes a different route, away from the skin, stomach and kidneys, because they are not necessary for survival at that point.  The blood instead is re-routed to the muscles and vital organs to prepare to mount or defend against a physical attack.  Blood pressure, heart rate and breathing rates increase to prepare the body for combat. The body’s nervous system kicks into high gear and every bit of glucose is converted into fuel, creating the perfect environment for a fighting machine. To call the process “amazing” would be an understatement.

    Now, as a fighter, how could you look at that process and not be in awe of how perfectly it fits your profession?  It is an entirely natural instinct, passed down to you from generation to generation, that specifically prepares you to fight.  Most people don’t have an outlet suited to let this play out in day-to-day life.  They don’t have a need or way to release this physiological reaction so they usually create undue stress, hate their boss, get irritated with their neighbor,  yell at other commuters on the way to work and create heightened anxiety/stress in their lives.  Now, that’s unnatural!  Yet, many fighters, struggle with this fear.  The physical reaction, alert nervous system, rapid heartbeat, increased sweating, etc. all feel “foreign” because they are not an everyday emotions, but they actually couldn’t be more natural.  Properly-channeled fear is one of the most powerful tools a fighter has when he’s entering the ring.

    Fighters all deal with these feelings of fear in different ways.  Some listen to music to take their mind off the anxiety, others surround themselves with friends or peers to serve as a distraction, some fighters even talk themselves up in an attempt to project confidence instead of feeling stress, while others might quarantine themselves off in seclusion where they can quietly deal with their fear on their own. None of these methods or tricks is particularly right or wrong, they are just methods to cope.  The important thing is to fully recognize fear for what it is, embrace it and feed it.  When it comes down to fight time, don’t try to suppress it and bottle it up.  Use it. Let your mind fire on all cylinders.  Feed the adrenaline monster.  Enjoy the fact that your body is fully preparing you.  You can even let the fact that these feelings make you uncomfortable, make you mad.

    Legendary trainer, Cus D’Amato once said that “The hero and the coward both feel the same thing, but the hero uses his fear, projects it onto his opponent, while the coward runs. It's the same thing, fear, but it's what you do with it that matters.”  So the important thing is what you do with your fear.  Don’t pretend it doesn’t exist because then you’re lying to yourself.  Don’t ignore it because then you’re not embracing it and able to use it to its fullest.  But, most importantly, don’t let it consume you.  Everyone has it.  You’re not alone and any fighter who says he doesn’t get scared is lying.  Maybe he has learned how live with it, maybe he enjoys the adrenaline rush and even fully understands the mental and physical benefits of the fight-or-flight mechanism, but everyone feels fear.  The key is how you deal with it.  Cus D’Amato’s protégé, Mike Tyson struggled with fear throughout his career.  He was very open about his own feelings of anxiety from his amateur days all the way through the pros.  His trainers spent hours consoling him and helping him come to terms with his fear.  Tyson even said himself, “I'm scared every time I go into the ring, but it's how you handle it. What you have to do is plant your feet, bite down on your mouthpiece and say, 'Let's go.'”  Without question Tyson learned how to harness his fear and it ultimately became one of his most powerful weapons.  He entered nearly every bout being the one doing the intimidating and allowed his opponents’ fear to do most of the damage before he even threw the first punch.

    We may have evolved as people, but those same basic instincts that kept man alive, before technology and sophistication took over, still dominate human physiology.  They are innate in us.  Whether we are swinging clubs or throwing punches, survival is still at the core of our existence.  This especially applies to fighters, who seek out the experience to go toe-to-toe, expose themselves or their opponent and square off in front of hundreds, even thousands of spectators.  Those that succeed, discover that the greatest challenge wasn’t an opponent at all, but their own emotions…headlined by fear.  That’s what makes winning that much more powerful, because once you’ve conquered your own, unbridled emotions, everything else is child’s play and fear…just another toy.

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    Shop at TITLE Boxing here.

  • How to Wrap Your Hands in 10 Easy Steps

    How to Wrap Your Hands in 10 Easy Steps

    How To Wrap Hands for Boxing

    A good hand wrap should accomplish two things.  First, it should protect a fighter’s hands and give him a sense of security in knowing that he can punch with full force and not hurt his fists.  Second, if it is executed properly, a quality hand wrap job should also secure a fighter’s fists in a way that will allow him to punch with full force and not feel it in the bones and joints of his hand.  The amount of confidence that a fighter has in his ability to punch, injury-free, is critical. This all starts with a good, basic wrap.

    1. Begin by unrolling your hand wrap to reveal the thumb loop on the end.

    hand wrap 1

    2. Place it around the base of your thumb and pull the wrap across the back of your hand.

    hand wrap 2

    You begin by going across the back of your hand so that when you make a fist it "clinches-up" the beginning of the wrap just enough to make it more secure when you make a fist.

    3. Wrap around your knuckles three times.

    hand wrap 3

    Be sure to wrap up high enough, roughly just under the first knuckle so that when you make a fist, the punching surface is padded, not just your knuckles.

    4. Cross over the back of your hand and wrap around your wrist three times.

    hand wrap 4

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    5. Come up and across your palm and loop the wrap halfway around your thumb.

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    6. Go back across your palm again, over that back of your hand and loop the wrap halfway around your thumb from the other direction.

    hand wrap 6

     

    This has secured the thumb from both directions.

    7. Wrap back around your wrist and using your thumb as the "anchor" begin wrapping between each finger, starting between your pinky and ring finger.Keep your thumb fully extended so that the wrap is coming up from the base of your thumb.

    hand wrap 7

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    You're wrapping between each knuckle to help maintain the proper and natural separation that exists between each knuckle. If you mis-hit from the side, this will help maintain the proper cushion and space between the knuckles. It helps prevent them from smashing together if you don't strike the surface of a bag or your opponent directly.

    8. Once all three spaces between your knuckles and fingers have been wrapped, use your thumb as the anchor one last time and come back up around the outside of your knuckles and wrap them together, again three times.

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    This also helps maintain the proper distance between your knuckles by not allowing them to separate upon impact. The wrap between the knuckles, maintains natural spacing. Following that up with wrap around the knuckles, holds them in their proper place.

    9. After that, cross over the back of your hand and wrap at least three more times around your wrist.

    hand wrap 9

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    10. If you have a lot more wrap, you can cross back and forth over the back of your hand, making an X pattern.

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    If you can't complete three or more final wraps around your wrist, your wraps might be too small and you should consider getting wraps that allow you full protection. On the other hand, if you have a lot more extraneous wrap, you might consider getting shorter wraps. Too much hand wrap will prevent you from making a good, tight fist. Otherwise, if your ending point is somewhere close, make a fist. Be sure that your wrap is snug-enough to stay in place, but not so tight that it cuts off circulation.

    There are many ways and styles of wrapping hands. This approach plays into and protects the anatomical structure of the human hand. It’s designed to protect the 29+ small bones you use to make a fist and hit things with. Hand protection is one of the foundations of your craft. Your hands are your livelihood. Take care of them, so you can take care of business.

    hand wrap final

    To check out the hand wraps available from TITLE Boxing, click here.

  • TITLE Boxing Joins the Fight Against Heart Disease with American Heart Association's Life is Why We Give Campaign

    TITLE Boxing Joins the Fight Against Heart Disease with American Heart Association's Life is Why We Give Campaign

    Participating Retailer of American Heart Association's Life is Why We Give

    The American Heart Association, the world's leading voluntary health organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular disease and stroke, has enlisted the support of corporations in raising funds for the cause. When consumers purchase TITLE fitness gear from TITLE Boxing, they will have the opportunity to give to the American Heart Associations via the Life Is Why We Give™ fundraising campaign.

    TITLE Boxing is one of the businesses helping the American Heart Association to fight heart disease and stroke - the number one and number five causes of death in America. While TITLE is headquartered in Kansas City, the fundraising campaign will span the nation.

    Avid gym goer and two-time heart transplant recipient, Chris Williams, is one of the many excited about this partnership.

    "I survived two heart transplants because of research funded by the American Heart Association. It's amazing how much smoother my second transplant was, even though they only happened three years apart. I'm living proof of the advancements made and I'm thrilled to see TITLE Boxing's commitment to the health of all Americans," said Williams.

    TITLE Boxing's Life Is Why We Give™ campaign includes a 10% donation from the following at different phases throughout the year:

    1. TITLE Fitness Gear purchases
    2. limited edition "Got Heart" tee
    3. TITLE Fitness Bundle purchases
    4. limited edition AHA-branded hand wraps
    5. limited edition AHA-branded boxing gloves

     

    TITLE Boxing joins a number of national companies, including: Barrett Jackson, Bourbon & Boweties, Brahmin, Brighton, Brita, Citi, eBay, Everything ORGO, FabFitFun, Fifth Third Bank, Ford, Healthy Human, HP Papers, Kroger, Land's End, OfficeMart.com, Pilot Flying J, Spirit Fitness, Stein Mart, The Knot, Wheels Up and White + Warren.

    "Together we are fighting heart disease & stroke to create healthier communities for all. This partnership will help to create a culture of health while laying a foundation that will help the American Heart Association reach our goal of improving health and reducing death & disability," said Laura Lopez, Executive Director for the American Heart Association.

    As the leading source of non-government funded cardiovascular science, the Association has invested more than $3.7 billion in scientific research and discovery since 1949. The organization trains approximately 2 million high school graduates in CPR every year and has reduced cardiovascular disease mortality by 70 percent since 1968.

  • Take the Lead: Putting the Heavy Bag to Work for You

    Take the Lead: Putting the Heavy Bag to Work for You

    By Douglas Ward, Marketing Director at TITLE Boxing

    Heavy Bag Workout Tips & Techniques

    For as long as the modern day sport of boxing has existed, the heavy bag has been at the core of nearly every prizefighter’s workout routine. In the beginning, they were constructed of everything from canvas bags to gunny sacks filled with sand or grain. Although construction methods have advanced, the purpose that the heavy bag serves has remained the same. It provides a substantial target for a fighter to practice the art of power punching, movement and crafting a full arsenal of punches. Everything in the book, from the jab to the body shot, can be perfected on the heavy bag. The key to this integral piece of equipment and getting the most out of it is to be sure that you work it and don’t let it work you. What that means is that you don’t let it become a force that you only react to.  Instead, control its’ movement, dictate the pace of the round, the direction of the bag and every aspect of what you do with it.

    Too many fighters stand in front of the bag, hit it a few times (or once) and allow the bag to swing back and forth while they wait to hit it again. There’s really much more you can get out of the heavy bag than that, by not allowing yourself to follow, but lead the charge. If it were a dance, you would want to be the man, not the woman.  Lead, don’t follow.

    One of your goals on the heavy bag is to keep it moving, don’t let it settle into place. When you strike the bag, either pursue it and throw an additional combination or step to the side and throw. It is best not to hit the bag when it is coming straight back at you. Instead, step off and counter the direction the bag is going to interrupt its natural movement or hit it so that it continues its motion. The idea is to control the bag, where it goes, how fast it moves and when you stop its motion. If you have just hit the bag and it is swinging back at you, step off to your right and let a right cross go or plant a solid right hand to the body. Or as it swings back, step off to your left and rip a left hook to the body or head. By stepping to the side in this manner, you are accomplishing three main objectives.

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    First you are training yourself to remain in perpetual motion and making each minute of each round on the bag a real workout. Time spent standing flat-footed, waiting for the bag to come back it pointless. That means you are conditioning yourself to wait for your opponent to lead and take control. That’s a bad habit to get into and a dangerous position to put yourself in.

    Secondly, as you step of to the side, you should be shifting your weight to the lead foot that you stepped with. When you do this it is re-establishing a firm foundation and is putting you in the proper position to throw another punch or combination.

    Although it may sound basic, by working around the bag or pursuing it, you are hitting a moving target, as opposed to an “opponent” that is just coming straight at you or running away from you all of the time. That is both unrealistic and too simple. When the bag moves and you move to counter it…that’s more like a real fight. It requires you to respond and place your shots more precisely.  When you’re attacking a moving target, it requires better timing, judging range and adjusting your distance. You have to think more and work the bag more deliberately.

    It is also good to sometimes follow the bag. This form of attack may play into your already aggressive fighting style or is just good to work on in case you ever find yourself in the type of situation where you need to apply pressure and force the attack. By keeping your head planted on the bag while you bury punches into it, pressing the action and firing off powerful combinations, this will get you accustomed to moving forward. Even if this is not your typical fighting style, it will get you in the type of shape that you will need to be able to constantly apply effective pressure and will make you a more adaptable fighter.

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    What you do on the heavy bag, the types of drills you incorporate and the various routines you work on are virtually endless. But, more important than what you do, is how you do it, because ultimately, the heavy bag will never make you work harder than you want to. It’s not going to push you or punch back or make the rounds any more difficult than you dictate. Let the seconds tick by while you watch the bag swing lazily on its chain or take charge and put it to work for you and you’ll quickly find that the heavy bag can be your greatest ally or your worst enemy.

    Get your heavy bags here and your bag gloves here.

  • Rock Your Workout with OTHERWISE & TITLE Boxing

    Rock Your Workout with OTHERWISE & TITLE Boxing

    By OTHERWISE & TITLE Boxing

    Balls To The Wall Workout Playlist

    Ditch that old, overplayed playlist you’ve been training to all year because Las Vegas-based hard rock band Otherwise curated the most “balls to the wall” workout playlist we’ve ever heard. Including warm ups like “Indian Summer” by Jai Wolf, Metallica’s sweat-inducing “Enter Sandman” and their very own adrenaline-pumping “Angry Heart”, this playlist is the only playlist you’ll need at the gym.

    Otherwise stopped by TITLE Boxing HQ before their headlining show in Kansas City last month. Vocalist Adrian Patrick and guitarist Ryan Patrick threw some punches and told us why these are their go-to jams:

    “Typical” by Mute Math: "This song reminds me of our higher calling. It keeps the fire inside burning brightly. When I listen to it, I remember why we do what we do… why we fight so hard to cut through the clamor and be heard... why we sacrifice so much in our attempt to transcend."

    “Touched” by VAST: "This tune just makes me feel like a superhero. They tapped into something timeless and otherworldly, something that resides deep down in my psyche somewhere, perhaps passed down by my ancestors across the ages from some ancient battlefield."

    “Bulls on Parade” by Rage Against the Machine: "I could simply listen to every Rage album on repeat when we train or lift because if any band speaks to the rebel-poet-warrior in me, it's THIS band. When I wrestled and played football in high school, we would hype ourselves up into a frenzy listening to Rage. We'd even blast it when we knew we were heading into some foolish brawl. To this day, I still feel that same youthful, unbridled fury when I listen to Rage."

    “Bury Me a G” by Thug Life: "I'd like to believe that Bruce Wayne would somehow appreciate the die-hard conviction of this jam… that somehow the darkness in his soul would connect with Tupac's savage prose, like mine does."

    “Steppin' Razor” by Peter Tosh: "If I were a professional fighter, I'd probably walk out to this one. It makes me think of our Dad, who is one of the fiercest fighters we know. We may not always fight the right battles or fight them in a way that's acceptable by society at large, but if there is one thing our father has taught us, it's to NEVER stop fighting the good fight, no matter what."

    “Rose of Sharyn” by Killswitch Engage: "This is an anthem that simultaneously fills me with anger and hope, for all the loved ones we've lost. It makes believe that there is light out there in the darkness. It keeps my fighting spirit alive in our pursuit to make all of our better angels proud of the path we've chosen."

    Follow and stream the full playlist here and be sure to grab a copy of Otherwise’s latest album, Sleeping Lions, for even more workout jams.

    To enter for your chance to win a gear package from TITLE Boxing + signed merchandise from OTHERWISE, click here.

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