Let’s just put it like this. You are your biggest enemy. You are also your own biggest threat. The only hurdle that’s keeping you from being the best you, is YOU.
While you might need things like a punching bag, boxing equipment, a coach and training partners to get better – there is one dynamic that only requires the bare minimum, YOU. Shadowboxing is boxing an imaginary foe or better yet, it’s YOU vs YOU. Apart from it being a great work out as well, Shadowboxing is the only way to perfect your boxing technique without the peripheral need of sa gym or equipment – if anything, all you need is a mirror.
The point is to know how well sharpened your tools are. In other words ‘know thyself’. Some might say Shadowboxing it is the KEY to bettering your technique and movement. Fighters will shadow box daily, going through 3 – 5 or 12 rounds, imagining the set and setting in which he/she will be fighting. If you don’t own a punching bag or just DON’T feel like boxing something ‘solid’, then practice your boxing technique by way of mirror reflection or by just standing in the middle of your space and whacking away the demons of competition.
Shadowboxing holistically helps with a range of things in the fight game:
Footwork and balance
The most underrated and probably the most important part of training. While throwing your strikes, it is easy to fall off balance; upsetting your game plan and leaving you open for counters. Shadowboxing allows you to throw combinations, coordinating foot speed to hand speed, incorporating twitch or drastic movements without losing balance or ruining your stance.
Hand-speed and coordination
Increase hand-speed and the rate of punches while coordinating your eye, feet and hips to throw with precision.
Rhythm and movement
Rhythm and movement allows you to dodge, slip and evade your opponents attack while creating angles of your own. Rhythm is an extremely important part of boxing that creates flow and allows you to determine a response to your opponents attack or defense.
Defense and stance
How to block the offensive without losing balance or putting yourself in danger while maintaining your stance and a calm demeanor
Attack and form
Throw your fists (or kicks) with flow and precision without leaving too many openings for counters while you’re on the offensive. Correct your form and eradicate bad punching habits that could affect form and damage one’s own body.
Fitness and gives you warm-up
Great pre-workout to warm the body up and get the blood flowing as it trains your entire body – not just for the muscles but for cardio and bone strength too.
Angles and correct punching/kicking technique
Angles are what matter in a fight. Even more than power. Throwing proper technique ensure a good offense while maintaining a good defense. Meaning; angles will help create opening to put your shots in or it’ll create space for you to evade an attack.
Precision and flow
Precision allows you to throw punches and kicks with minimum power maintaining strength and stamina levels which allows for better movement and ‘flow’.
The list goes on. When you’re Shadowboxing, your only opponent is yourself. Shadowboxing would be the equivalent to how a writer writes in his/her spare time to better their skills. Just like how one opens their personal diary or commences an inner dialogue with the self – such is Shadowboxing; the fighter’s inner-fight to be the best.