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Amateur Boxing: My Journey Towards Becoming a Boxer

*This is “Amateur Boxing” from my Life Goals series, where I document my progress towards interesting life aspirations.  Boxing Goals Win an Amateur Boxing fight Compete in the 2018 NYC Golden Gloves Fight in a USA Boxing sanctioned event (Completed Jan 20th, 2018) | video Follow along on instagram: ckshei Backstory It was during a trip to Chicago that a friend of mine had organized… While in Chicago, my friend’s dad was telling a few of us how his Members Club hosts two title boxing matches a year (one in the winter and one in the summer). During these fight nights, everyone dresses up in tuxedos, and after the bouts are finished, the ring is flipped, and the space is turned into a gambling floor. My friend made a nonchalant comment about how I should compete, and his dad quickly suggested (most likely as a joke) that he could probably get me on the fight card if I was interested. Hitting the speed bag on the beach in LA Having been boxing on and off for a few years, I find boxing is a great skill to learn. Though I never had the chance to take boxing very seriously, I had always wanted to compete in amateur boxing competitions. I often feel that learning a skill is not enough. I want to apply what I learn to practice. So what better place to gauge my boxing skill than in live competitions? This conversation became the catalyst for me to begin pursuing amateur boxing more seriously. I decided to make it my goal to compete in one of the more prestigious amateur boxing competitions – the NYC Golden Gloves. Perhaps in a year or two, after sufficient experience, I’ll take my friend’s dad up on his offer and come back to Chicago one summer. I’ll box as an undercard in one of their fight nights and afterward, I’ll throw a tuxedo on, and join everyone for some high-stakes baccarat and craps. Timeline January 20th, 2018 – First Amateur Boxing Match I competed in my first amateur boxing match today. During weigh-in, I came in at around 136 lbs, a bit lighter than I expected. A few months ago I was consistently ~140 lbs. However, recently I’ve been doing a lot more running, which may have resulted in my lighter frame. Outcome of the match (spoiler)I lost by split decision, which I found rather surprising. Nevertheless, the result didn’t hold much importance to me. Of course, coming back with a win would have been ideal. Ultimately, I’m happy with how I fought, and it’s nice to see my progress. Next stop? Competing in the golden gloves. Then I can finally wrap up my goal for 2017! December 17th, 2017 – Registering for the golden gloves So I’ve officially registered for the NYC Golden Gloves. Fighting in the NYC Golden Gloves has been a goal that I’ve been looking to achieving for the longest time. It’s taken me a couple years, and my main goal for 2017 will spill over into 2018, but I’m happy to finally be able to take this last step. November 2nd, 2017 – Benefits of Boxing Article I recently wrote an article on the benefits of boxing. Read it if you’re interested in learning how to box! Read more about the benefits of boxing and why you should learn to box Boxing has been my main form of exercise for the past year, and I’ve found it to be one of the most functional fitness activities out there. October 8th, 2017- Amateur boxing the Filipino Champ Recently, I took a trip to Manila in the Philippines. Obviously, I also took it as a chance to get some more sparring in… Long story short? I got destroyed by a Filipino Champ. The breaks between rounds were only 30 seconds, and by round 3 I was struggling to keep up. After two pretty heavy body shots, I was knocked down, the first time I’ve been knocked down in a sparring session. I’m wearing the champ’s belt. Not sure if he was just a local champ, but either way he was way more skilled than I was… September 22nd, 2017 – Amateur Boxing weight classes and dropping weight I’ve always been quite skinny and thus, over the years, had to work quite hard to bulk up… Nevertheless, when I first started taking boxing seriously a year ago, I was sitting around 170 lbs. This weight class was definitely too heavy for me, so I decided to drop a bit of weight. Originally I had planned to fight in the amateur boxing weight class of 132 lbs. But for the past month and a half, I’ve been sitting at around 136 lbs, and I feel that shedding those last 4 lbs will be rather difficult. Therefore, I’ll most likely compete in the 141 lbs weight class. The benefits of cutting? I’ve saved a lot of money on food recently. The cons? Most of my clothes (especially my pants) don’t fit me anymore… Maybe once I retire from my amateur boxing goals I’ll bulk back up to 170-175 lbs. August 14th, 2017: Critical Thinking and Amateur Boxing When you’re in the ring with someone who is trying to attack you, you’re pretty occupied with just throwing punches and defending. Nevertheless, thinking while boxing is something I need to improve upon: Studying opponents tendencies What are my opponents tendencies, and how can I exploit them? Mental Mind Games What mental mind games can I play with my opponent? Can I drop my hands to induce a punch that I know will be coming, and thus counter? Managing Resources What is the most efficient way to manage my resources? I don’t want to burn out too early, but neither do I want to have a bunch of gas left in the tank when all 3 rounds are over… Self Study What mistakes am I making? How can I tighten up my weaknesses? What key things should I focus on during my next sparring session? “Everybody thinks this is a tough man’s sport. This is not a tough [...]

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