At first glance, shadowboxing may not look like anything more than basic practice. But, in fact, it’s a vital aspect of any fighter’s regime. And more than training, it’s meditation through movement.
All the great boxers throughout history shadowboxed. From Jack Dempsey to Sugar Ray Robinson and later Roberto Duran. It’s an old-school method of preparation.
Notably, it’s George Dixon, the first black fighter ever to win a world title, who is credited with developing the art. Simple. Effective. Vital. It’s mental and physical rehearsal to anticipate and overcome whatever is thrown your way.
Warm-up: Compose the mind and body.
Technique: Lay the foundations. Never overlook the fundamentals. Perfection stems from the basics.
Coordination: Ingrain motion and tempo until it’s natural. Growth happens outside your comfort zone.
Footwork: Balance. Movement. Power. Everything descends from your roots.
Awareness: Use the space. On the ropes. Centre ring. Going forward. Moving backwards. Make the squared-circle your home.
Visualisation: Be mindful of all; your surroundings, your breathing, upcoming challenges. The movements you will make and the precision of their execution. It’s you vs you.
Rhythm: This is everything in boxing. Find your flow. Each move you make comes from the heart. The head must follow.
Tactics: Hone your strengths and improve your weaknesses. Develop positive habits. Fight smart as your strategy.
Condition: Mould the movements to muscle memory and embed the affirmations as default thinking. Until it’s second nature.
Cool-down: When the work’s done, keep going. Boxing improves boxing.
Crucial for progression and overall growth, the art of shadowboxing should never be overlooked.