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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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  • How to Hear Your Corner

    How to Hear Your Corner

    By Bryanna Fissori - Board of Advisors

    Boxing Corner Advice

    In the midst of a fight, the only person you can physically depend on is yourself. But you're likely not alone. Your cornerman, or cornermen, should be there with you in your ear every step of the way.

    One of the most overlooked aspects of fight training is developing the skills to listen to your corner. It’s your corner’s job to see the things that you don’t and to let you know about them. If your cornerman cannot be heard, he's really nothing more than a glorified water boy. So listen up.

    Speaking the Same Language: Shadowboxing with Instruction

    Shadowboxing with a purpose is important. This is a technique coaches use to familiarize the fighter with their voice and their commands. Many competitors warm up for practice with a round of shadow boxing.

    To maximize this time, coaches should give cues during the round such as “one-two, one-two” or any combination they want to see out of their fighter. Each coach has his or her own language. Whatever terms your coach uses to get you to perform a certain technique is what you need to hear. Shadowboxing with instruction causes you to react to the coach’s voice and perform those commands.

    Can You Hear Me Now? The Noise Factor

    Practicing or sparring with crowd noise creates a realistic setting for the sound of distraction. The best way to get comfortable performing in front of a loud crowd is to do just that.

    Competing in a jiu jitsu or judo tournament (for MMA fighters) can grant this type of setting in a realistic way, without affecting any sort of win-loss record. For boxers, an exhibition round in front of a crowd can be effective. Turning up the music in the gym isn't going to do the trick.

    In a real fight everyone will be yelling advice; coaches, fans, friends, your grandma . . . Not all of that advice is good, nor is it all meant for you. The goal is to be able to filter through the static until you can hear only your corner.

    The Voices in Your Head

    Ideally, the only voice you want in your head is your corner and usually this means one single person. This isn’t always realistic because many fighters have multiple coaches. In this case, there's a little more work to be done.

    If multiple people plan to give instruction from the outside the cage or ring, they need to put some practice time in too. Both cannot just show up on fight day and expect to give you coherent instruction, not knowing what the other one is thinking. Plus, you will only get more confused when mid- round they start giving opposing instructions, causing you to have to pick sides. It happens. Make them put time in together.

    Your coaches are an important resource that you can take with you into your bout. Hearing and responding to them is a tool that has to be trained just like any good technique.

    Bio:

    Bryanna Fissori is a professional boxer and mixed martial artist. She has a law degree and has been writing professional for over a decade. She has spent most of her professional combat sports career training on the Island of Oahu and has competed nationally and internationally. Bryanna currently competes and trains out of Denver, Colorado.

     

    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.

  • How to Jump Rope for Boxing

    How to Jump Rope for Boxing

    By Bryanna Fissori - Board of Advisors

    Jump Rope Boxing Benefits

    Walk in to virtually any boxing gym and watch the athletes warming up. You are bound to see people, from small children to adult professionals jumping rope.

    There are a number of benefits to jumping rope. If the skill of jumping rope was not applicable for boxing, it probably wouldn’t be so widely used. Time to put skepticism aside and pick up a rope. There is more to boxing than just throwing punches.

    Jump Rope Training is Used to Enhance:

    Coordination

    Agility

    Quickness

    Endurance

    Footwork

    Jump Rope for Boxing 101:

    Choosing a Jump Rope

    Many gyms will have a supply of ropes available for use, but it's also nice to get comfortable with one of your very own. There are various types of jump ropes. A light-weight plastic speed rope is a good place to start. Heavy leather or weighted ropes will turn slower and may be more difficult to use, especially in the beginning. Each type of rope has its own purpose.

    Fitting a Jump Rope for Boxing

    Common rope lengths range from eight to ten feet. A nine-foot rope is the right size for most people under six feet tall. One way to determine how long your rope should be is to step both feet in the middle of the rope. The handles should reach up to approximately armpit height.

    If you need to adjust the height you can often snip 2 or 3 inches off a rope. A shorter rope will also increase your jump speed, but be careful not to go too short or you won't be able to jump without crouching. If your rope really is too short, please just get a new one and try again. Jumping with the wrong length is inherently frustrating, difficult and subtracts from the overall enjoyment of the activity.

    Jump Rope Care

    It's a good idea to store your jump rope hanging up with the center of the jump rope on the hook. Leaving your jump rope wadded up in a ball or spiraled is likely to create kinks, which are difficult to straighten out and will result in a lot of stubbed toes. This also depends on the type of rope you are using. There are some, such as beaded or leather ropes that don't kink as easily as plastic ones, though they may serve a slightly different conditioning purpose.

    Start Slow

    If you haven’t jumped rope since you were a kid, don’t expect to be a rockstar your first day. Take the first week or so of jumping just to focus on skill. If you try to jump into a cardio workout with the rope your first day, you're likely to be very disappointed.

    Starting with short jump sessions (20 -30 seconds at a time), will enable you to experience a degree of success as you work to lengthen the time you can jump without failure. Another tip is to jump when you're fresh and not fatigued. Your legs may start to feel heavy fairly quickly when you're forced to stay on the balls of your feet. Jump rope for boxing will strengthen muscles throughout the legs, but this does take time.

    It Gets Better

    Once you and your jump rope become well acquainted, you'll eventually be able to jump for entire rounds. You may even pick up some of the fancy stuff such as single leg jumps, doubles and skipping backwards. Watch the people around you. If they have tricks, you may begin to mimic them.

    Jump rope for boxing is as challenging as you make it. Have fun and don’t forget that it's okay to laugh at yourself when you make a mistake. Everyone started somewhere. Keep pushing yourself and you'll see it begin to make a difference in multiple areas of your boxing training.

    Bio:

    Bryanna Fissori is a professional boxer and mixed martial artist. She has a law degree and has been writing professional for over a decade. She has spent most of her professional combat sports career training on the Island of Oahu and has competed nationally and internationally. Bryanna currently competes and trains out of Denver, Colorado.

     

    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.

  • Jump to It - The Art of the Jump Rope

    By Douglas Ward, Marketing Director at TITLE Boxing

    Why Do Boxers Jump Rope?

    Boxing and the outcome of a fight is not always determined by the big things you do in the gym, but sometimes it is the attention you give to the details that really make the difference.  One of those details is the jump rope.  Aside from the obvious cardiovascular benefits, jumping rope can improve your agility, quickness, leg strength and it has the same ability to raise your heart rate and keep it elevated as roadwork does. According to information provided by the Cooper Aerobic Institute, 10 minutes of jumping rope is the cardiovascular-equivalent to running for 30 minutes. In addition to the aerobic benefits, the jump rope also helps strengthen the calves, the ankles and muscles of the legs, all of which play a crucial part in footwork and movement in the ring.

    Boxers have incorporated skipping rope into their workouts for centuries because it is one of the best stamina-building exercises you can perform in the gym.  Hard-hitting heavyweight Sonny Liston was one fighter who became synonymous with skipping rope.  He used to jump round after round to his favorite song, "Night Train" and switched back and forth between Jimmy Forrest's original 1952 version and James Brown's 1965 version.  He even appeared on the Ed Sullivan show to demonstrate his prowess on the rope.  Liston jumped with unusual grace and dexterity, the exact opposite of his stalking, physically imposing ring personae.

    What skipping rope provides, that other lower body exercises do not, is that it is perfectly suited to the demands you meet in the ring, more than any other leg work you can do.  For instance, when you are jogging or sprinting, which are both great for endurance, you are engaging the larger leg muscles.  You need this type of training to build leg strength, but what you get from jumping rope is an intense focus on short, compact movements.  It requires intense and explosive bursts of movement. When you compare the two…large powerful strides used for running versus quick, side-to-side movements, which one best describes how you move in the ring?

    TITLE Wooden Handle Leather Speed RopeThis type of training also helps you to get used to moving your feet instinctively and constantly for a full round.  When you require yourself to stay on your toes, perpetually moving, for three minutes at a time, that’s when moving non-stop in the ring becomes second nature.

    Jumping rope also helps to develop your lower body strength proportionately.  Everyone has a dominant leg, just like your hands.  You’re either right-handed or left-handed and the same holds true for your legs.  One leg is always stronger and more coordinated, so by jumping rope regularly, requiring the same or similar amount of output from both legs, this helps you even-out the demands so that you are able to move in either direction with equal ability.

    Many use the jump rope and approach it like it is just a warm-up or cool down, but it should have a regular place in your workout and become an integral exercise in your training routine. Like any other exercise, it should be approached with a sense of intensity.  It’s not a piece of equipment to use casually and to methodically skip.  Use it to set a fast and furious pace to your workout routine and get the full benefit from it.   Approach it this way, with purpose, and the rope has its own distinct rhythmic that can improve your sense of timing and total body coordination.  How many times have you heard a fighter say that he “just couldn’t get his timing down or couldn’t find his rhythm?” Engrain your own natural pace through regular use of the jump rope and you’ll never find yourself dancing to your opponents tune.

    Boxing, at times, is about doing the little things - giving time to the details that your opponent isn’t paying attention to or is just not dedicated enough to spend some rounds on. The jump rope has become so commonplace in the gym that it can be easily overlooked or taken for granted.  It is a simple piece of equipment, but don’t let that fool you into thinking that it doesn’t hold the key to gaining some crucial advantages, ones that your opponent may choose to skip.

     Using Your Jump Rope Properly:

    • Measure the ideal length of jump rope for you by stepping on the center of it with both feet - The ends of the handles should reach your armpits.
    • Pick a rope that is has some “weight” to it, but is not slow. A little density (and a good ball-bearing design) will add to the speed you can rotate it at.
    • Only jump high enough to clear the rope (about ¼”) and rotate the rope quickly. This is not a leisurely exercise.
    • Keep your knees bent and your legs moving constantly.
    • Land on the balls of your feet and do not let your heels touch (except for variations on the basic skip).
    • Use your wrists to rotate the rope, not your entire arm.
    • Keep your elbows to your sides and close to your body.  Do not let you forearms drift out and away or it will shorten the rotation and you’ll miss the skip.

    Get your jump ropes here.

  • 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.

    blog-heavybag4

    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.

    blog-heavybag3

    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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