Last week I wrote about how long it takes to get back into shape. Likewise, I also get this question pretty often: “How long does it take to learn how to box?” Again, there’s obviously not one answer for everybody because it depends on a lot of factors:
How many times a week do you plan on going to the gym?
What fitness level are you at now?
Are you going to take only classes? Will you be doing any personal training?
Also, what are your goals for boxing? Are you trying to compete, or are you just doing this for fun/fitness?
People learn things at different rates, so it might take one person longer to learn one thing, but they might be faster at picking up something else, etc. Technically, you could spar in a week if you really wanted to. It’s really about what you put into it. The effort is between you and you.
If you’re taking classes 4-5 times a week:
1 Month: I generally see people start to improve with conditioning after 1 month. Which is pretty quick–conditioning usually kicks in first, and then the real work comes.
1-3 Months: Doing controlled sparring at this point is helpful in learning why you’re doing the things that you’re doing. It helps things make sense. Controlled sparring also means you’ll be able to practice drills in the ring without actual danger of getting hurt.
6 Months: For most people, around the 6-month mark is when they start to get a hang of the fundamentals. Yeah, JUST the fundamentals. When people say “learning the basics” it means that you have a solid understanding of all the punches, have decent footwork, have decent level of defense and offense. You know combinations; you’re not just a sitting duck. You have the knowledge.
That doesn’t mean that what you’ve learned and the motions that you’ve drilled have clicked yet, though. For me, it took almost 1 year for things to *click*. Like I said, everyone learns at different rates. There’s often a disconnect between what you learn through drills and hitting a heavy bag vs. sparring with another person and actually making exchanges. Do you really understand why you are doing what you’re doing? And are you able to use all of that, with control, in the ring? It takes a lot of practice and experience to get things to click.
If you’re going into boxing with the goal of competing, the 6 month mark is probably when you can start sparring, if you’re comfortable. But it also depends on if your coach thinks you’re ready, etc.
Whatever your goals are for boxing, it’s a great sport to learn for many reasons, even if you don’t plan on competing. The physical benefits alone–it’s a fun cardio workout, helps improve your balance, coordination, body awareness, etc.,–will make a difference in and out of the gym. But boxing isn’t something that you really learn in a boxercise class or two; it takes time and consistent practice. Having the right instruction makes a huge impact, too. The trainers at Trifecta put extra emphasis in technique and form so that you can start off on the right foot. If you haven’t tried it, come box with us!