Boxing training can consists of learning how to move and place your feet, how and where to hold your hands/arms, defensive moves/positioning (slipping, bobbing, weaving, blocking, covering up, clinching, footwork and evasion), punches (jabs, crosses, counter strikes, hooks, uppercuts, straight punches) and any combination/variation of these and a few others that aren’t specific or just happen to happen at the time. Training for Western Boxing can include strength training, endurance/conditioning, speed, agility, stamina, flexibility and reflex training. This training can take the form of running/treadmill work, cycling, shadow boxing, various bag work, skipping, weight/bodyweight training and sparring. Sparring plays a big part in preparation for developed skill while much can also be carried out individually with heavy bag work, speed ball work and focus pad work. The Filipino art of boxing (panantukan) as a self-defense system was turned into a sport in 1905, influenced by Western boxing that was brought to the islands by the United States military and civilians who arrived in the Philippines in 1899. The art is a part of the wider combative system known as kali-Eskrima, which is more famous for its use of weapons.

Panantukan as a martial art then appears to be a synthesis of Western boxing techniques with indigenous Filipino martial arts to create a blended system that works best at boxing. Coming from the use of weapons, they understood the need for footwork. The great Muhammod Ali, famous for his footwork, traveled to the Philippines where he returned with great footwork. These Filipino boxers kept their hands in close to the body and face to keep them from getting hit or cut by weapons. They used body shifting, head movement and footwork. These were elements that were unseen by American boxers until the time of the American occupation of the Philippines. During which time the American soldiers introduced boxing as a sport and more humane way of setteling disputes. Filipinos took to this sport with gusto. This lead to many famous Filipino boxers back in the 30's, 40's and 50's.

When you look at boxing now, you are seeing a version of Panantukan. The early pioneers of Western Boxing had the upright or leaned back posture of European Boxing. With hands held out away from the body, palms up in what we refer to as the "John Sullivan" stance. In contrast to what boxing began to look like when the Americans met the Filipino! After that, boxing was never the same, boxers used footwork, not shuffling. They kept their hands up and in tight, not extended as before. They moved their heads and shifted the body. None of that had ever happend in boxing before the Filipino influence. You can still see a difference today in American Boxing vs. European Boxing. 


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