What is Practical Boxing ?

Practical boxing is a combination of street boxing (boxing adapted specifically for self-defence) and ring boxing, along with some other boxing-related elements and street survival tactics. Street boxing draws heavily on the old bareknuckle punching technique and strategies, in order to avoid hand damage - together with the strikes, wrestling and throws used in that art. The same basic technique is used in ring or cage fights, but with adaptation to the fight rules and to the gloves and wrap types mandated by the rules.

It is boxing with or without gloves, with or without rules, for street or ring. It pays no heed to current fashions or rules. It is boxing tuned to the max for survival and efficiency in a no-gloves no-rules environment.

Ring contests with rules are part of it but take second place: the street methods take priority because a boxer who cannot defend themself without gloves or rules is useless and certainly not a boxer in either the true sense or the old sense of the word. In practice there are few conflicts once the priorities have been resolved.

Hybrid boxing systems

Boxing can be trained in as the modern international sport; or as the old-time bareknuckle method that included wrestling; or as any one of the global, local systems such as that in Thailand. Hybrid boxing systems combine as many of these aspects as the teacher wishes to, and are primarily designed to function optimally in a high-pressure modern combat environment. When the system prioritises for street survival efficiency, it can be termed practical boxing; it will benefit from certain additions related to street tactics and techniques such as some material from military CQB together with specialist training for multiple opponents. In practice it is split into street boxing and ring boxing. It has no official association or organisation, but is a personal method taught by the individual coach. Coaches tend to be people who have spent considerable time in boxing plus other combat systems.

Practical boxing

Practical boxing is a type of hybrid boxing system: an effective combat system based around boxing as a whole: the complete art without any restrictions; and a strong emphasis on what works best on the street. It can be seen as a sport and a self-defence method, but street survival always takes precedence because of its ultimate importance for the exponent. Contests of various formats provide the foundation for fighter development, since training does not make experienced and skilled fighters: fighting does. Practitioners can fight under any boxing-related ruleset they personally prefer, such as amateur boxing, Thai boxing, semi-pro boxing, kickboxing, pro boxing; or MMA.

Practical boxing always includes wrestling as a core skill since that was how bareknuckle fighting worked, and because stand-up fighting without wrestling knowledge is almost impossible when seriously tested - and unwise in any case. With multiple opponents, wrestling ability becomes more important, even if this is counter-intuitive.

Street boxing

Successful and efficient self-defence with boxing is the primary aim of practical boxing, though like any form of boxing it can be tested in contests.

Survival in a multiple opponent situation is optimally based on hit and move, and uses defensive wrestling; street boxing is supreme for this purpose. Wrestling is used in defensive mode in order to avoid the takedown and move along - throws are used as needed, in order to remove an opponent tactically or permanently. Street boxing is designed specifically to operate at 100% efficiency in this type of environment.

Practical wrestling

Another approach to a similar goal is practical wrestling in its various forms - which will often contain some elements of practical boxing, since the general aim is to produce a realistic combat method and this will always contain elements of both types. It probably depends on the instructor which way they go with this - a coach who is basically a boxer will go for a striking-based approach, and vice-versa.

Practical boxing resources

This site is new at December 2017 and will be gradually filled out with relevant material. In the meantime please see the practical boxing resources page for further information.