Dispelling Myths about Traditional Martial Arts (TMA) – 5 Reasons Your Kids Should Be Boxing

by A O’Toole

If you’re like many parents, you want your child involved in something safe and something that instills basic values.  For decades, Traditional Martial Arts (TMA) has banked on such branding.  It is, however, an uninformed common logic.  TMA sells itself on the quasi-military and childish fun and games model and delusion.  If you don’t want to waste your time and money on your kids breaking weak wood and pre-broken boards,  don’t join the droves of unwitting parents and their tricked children.  Here are 5 reasons – among tons more – why you should stay away from TMA (see McDojo too) and sign-up your child to a boxing club:

  1. Discipline. Boxing instills a more important discipline: self-discipline and accountability. In boxing, kids are challenged on performance and the drive to challenge oneself. The formal nature of the karate dojo (the bowing, the ritual, etc.) has its appeal for many parents, but the product of discipline in karate is often brainwashing. The product of discipline in the sport of boxing is worldly skill: fighting and self-defense that works.
  2. Confidence with humility. Boxing promotes truthfulness as opposed to delusion. In the boxing gym, you learn that there is always someone better while you get thorough understanding of fear, physicality, emotional control, and social behavior.
  3. Classes are scams. Martial arts schools may not intend to hoax their members, but classes are a false structure that makes trainers work less and gets people in and out fast. Classes warm-up together; that’s a waste of 10 minutes. You’ll find kids holding pads for eachother for the rest of the class. So how much actual training do they get when they do this 2 to 3 times a week? Hardly anything. Fighting, as any martial art, is an individual discipline. Every individual must dedicate individual time for practice. Boxing allows for greater accountability, more training, and real-world discipline. You don’t have fine art piano classes. So we don’t do that in real boxing or any real form of fighting. Classes are only good for very low-level developmental pursuits or interactive and tactile ground-fighting arts such as wrestling and BJJ. TMA practitioners may say they’re training is akin to those arts, but TMA is just not realistic. Also, attendance is a form of “achievement” in most TMA. In boxing, attendance is only an indicator, not a means to advancement.
  4. It’s Practical. TMA is filled with the participant trophy business model to keep parents coming because their kids are encouraged even if they are unfit and incompetent. TMA businesses are almost ALL based on only one thing: membership and paid advancement. Boxing even as a business, is a sport that focuses on performance and skills. The performance in karate is smoke and mirrors: attendance rewards, recital rewards, and vast remedial and inconclusive criteria unrelated to the ability to defend or fight (rated on performing Kata, the ability to recite memorized rituals, etc.) Even other self-defense arts, from Krav Maga to JKD, can sound good theoretically, but if they don’t train under sport guidelines in the dojo, they’re just tricking people. You just can’t get any real understanding of real-world training with make-believe scenarios with hypothetical outcomes. You must spar for real to be apt in a self-defense situation.
  5. Safety. There are fewer brain injuries in amateur boxing than football, and, contrary to myths, it is arguably the safest sport in the USA. Safety and defense is the first priority of boxing and the head is protected by Official Sanctioned and tested USA Boxing and AIBA headgear. On top of that, your child never has to step foot in the ring unless you and she/he wants to. Learning boxing is a skill that takes conditioning and discipline and practice months and even years before being able to step foot in the ring. You won’t see inept children flailing day-in and day-out in the boxing gym.

Boxing Over Kickboxing or MMA

  1. ALL proven and practical arts have a comprehensive detail for practicing BOXING. They’re just NEVER better than boxers at boxing. The other arts just do too much that it is impossible for them to be even half as competent in boxing as actual boxers are. Top kickboxers and mma fighters hire boxing trainers to fix their habits and fine-tune their skills.
  2. The accepted notion is that most one to one fights end up on the ground, but almost all fights are not one to one, so this means most fights DO NOT END UP ON THE GROUND. You must learn how to box in order to defend yourself.
  3. Boxers have the best footwork. Their feet are planted, and every movement is about their base working the floor/ground.
  4. ALL fights involve punching and/or the punching range. Not all fights involve kicks or grappling.
  5. Boxing training structure seldom follows class structure. There are some fine mma and kickboxing gyms, but you will often see that they have 1 to 2 hour classes that are no different from TMA class structure. The real fighters there need to find training time outside of class hours and they often need to pay for the extra coaching outside of those class hours.



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