Boxing Tips And Techniques

Boxing is by far one of the most popular forms of non-armed, competitive combat in the world. It is a true test of fitness, stamina, and mental toughness, serving as a perfect platform to release your pent-up aggression, and channeling it productively. As ironic as it may seem, the intense, physical sport of boxing goes a long way in calming the mind, and helps you to focus better. Here are a few basic things you might want to keep in mind as you take up this sport.

Stance

Having a proper stance is by far the most important part of boxing. You want to keep an upright stance, while maintaining your balance. Always remember to leave your body loose. If your body is tensed, it will hamper your movement, and your punches won’t be as effective. The distance between your legs should be about the width of your shoulders. The lead foot (the opposite of your rear hand) is about half a foot in front of the rear foot. Both the feet are tilted a little inward, with the rear heel lifted just a little above the ground. The lead fist is held up just about 6 inches away from the face. The rear fist is held closer to the face at chin level. The elbow is held close to the ribcage to keep out the blows directed at the body. The chin is held a little low, to shield the jaws from the punches.

Offense Techniques

While there might seem to be a lot of punches, they are merely variations of the four main types of punches, namely the jab, the cross, the hook, and the uppercut. For a right-handed boxer, his left hand is his lead hand, and the right hand is his rear hand, used to deliver the more powerful punches (it would be just the opposite for a southpaw). To throw in an effective punch, your body should swivel in the direction of the punch, while maintaining your balance all the while.

The Jab
The jab is one of the most important, and frequently used punches. It lets you feel out your opponent, while maintaining maximum guard against a counterattack. It is executed by the lead hand, and is a straight punch, usually delivered in quick succession. The fist rotates 90 degrees from its original position, and ends parallel to the ground (closed palm facing the ground). The torso and the hip twist a little, in the direction of the punch. As you complete the punch, the lead shoulder moves upwards to shield the chin, while the rear hand guards the jaw. This maneuver leaves little room for a counterpunch.

The Cross
A powerful tool in the arsenal of every boxer, the cross is a very effective punch. This punch is thrown by the rear hand, and is normally preceded by a series of jabs, or is used as a counterpunch. The lead hand moves to guard the chin, as the rear hand follows a straight path from the original position (guard position) toward the opponent’s face. This packs quite a punch, as the entire bodyweight is transferred from the rear foot to the lead foot, and the hip and the torso swivel in the direction of the punch. The hands are then brought back to the guard position, where the punch can be followed by another series of jabs.

The Hook
The hook is another potent punch that can beat the living day lights out of your opponent. To throw this punch, the rear hand is moved along an arc toward the chin or jaw of the adversary. The body turns on the lead foot, while the heel of the rear foot is slightly raised, and turns toward the outside. This punch can also be thrown by the lead hand, but doesn’t have the same power in it. The turning of the body, and the shifting of the weight adds to the power in the punch, but at the same time leaves you vulnerable to a counterpunch, as you get back to the guard position.

The Uppercut
The uppercut is one of the classiest punches, which often delivers the coup de grâce, resulting in a knock-out. To deliver this punch, the torso shifts in the direction of the rear hand, as it raises from around the chest level of the opponent. The rear hand moves along a diagonal arc, as it moves up toward the chin or jaw of your contender. The knee is kept slightly bent, in order to help generate more power in the punch, as you move up while delivering the blow. The body swivels on the rear foot, and the heel moves outwards.

Defense Techniques

In boxing, defense is the best form of offense. Your opponent is most vulnerable when he is attacking you. Defense isn’t just about avoiding the blows, but gearing up to launch a counterattack. Most matches are decided on the basis of who can duck better, and sneak in a few punches while at it. Here are some of the popular defensive boxing techniques.

Slip
This is a very simple technique used to dodge the punch that comes your way. You swivel your torso and shoulders sharply, so that your chin is turned away from the punch that is thrown at your face.

Bob and Weave
In this technique, you try to evade the punch by tilting your body to either one of the sides, and also ‘bob’ the head below the punch thrown at you. Showing quick reflexes, you can then ‘bob to the inside’ of the arm of the opponent, and launch a counterattack, or ‘bob to the outside’, safely out of harm’s way.

Parry / Block
Blocking is the technique of delivering a lateral punch to the wrist or the forearm of the opponent, as he takes a jab at you. The point is to deflect the blow that is directed at you, before it hits you.

The Cover-up
The cover-up is the penultimate line of defense, which involves using your hands to cover your face, while bringing the forearms and the elbows close together to protect the upper body. This however, is not the most effective of techniques, as it leaves your sides and your lower body open to attack.

The Clinch
The clinch is normally the last line of defense. When all other forms of defense fail, you could try to tie your opponent’s hands to your sides by putting your fists around his shoulders, and then moving them under his forearms, locking them in place. This should save you from your opponent’s punches, while you try to regain your strength. This form of ‘showing love’ is rather short-lived, and is quickly broken up by the referee.

Counterpunch Techniques

There are three main defensive styles used for counterattacking in boxing, namely peek-a-boo, cross-armed, and philly shell.

Peek-a-boo (Earmuffs)
In this style, you hold your fists close to your face, and bring your elbows close to each other, to shield yourself from the oncoming punches. You can counterattack while trying this guard, however leaving your sides susceptible to attack. This is one of the most widely used counterpunches.

Cross-armed
In this style, you hold your arms up horizontally, covering your face. You could try a variation of this by keeping one of the arms in a slightly tilted position, which can make it easier to throw a counterpunch. This guard, although very effective in blocking the punches to the head, leaves most of the body vulnerable to attack. While employing this technique, boxers usually crouch a little, to provide extra cover to the body.

Philly Shell (Crab)
This style is a mix of the peek-a-boo and the cross-armed style. In this guard, you use your lead arm to cover your torso, while you use your rear hand to shield your face, and launch a counterattack. This can be a very effective ploy to use, provided you have good reflexes, and are quick on your feet, to dodge the punches that come your way.

Here are a few basic things you might want to keep in mind as you take up this sport.

You take my breath away!

Breathe – This is probably the most important aspect of boxing. You can huff and you can puff, but without controlling your breathing, you’ll be KO’d within the first few of rounds. You can greatly improve upon this by practicing Yoga. This will also help you with calming your mind, which would in turn help you focus better. Once you have mastered this, you will see that you are a lot more effective, and it will also help improve your stamina. Breathing out while punching helps you in channeling your energy into the punches.

Mind your business!

Mental Strength – Boxing is as much, if not more, a mental bout than it is physical. It isn’t just about raw strength, but also about reading your opponent’s every move, and anticipating the next. The best of boxers aren’t necessarily the brawniest, but are undoubtedly amongst the strongest mentally. They need not be the quickest on their feet, nor do they need to be the ones to throw the hardest punches; they are simply the ones who exploit their opponent’s weaknesses, while being even more aware of their own, and cover for them. Again, keeping a calm mind will help you focus better on your task at hand.

Got my eyes on you!

Focus – You always want to keep your eyes on your opponent’s every move. This is a lot easier said than done, but will definitely come to you with practice, and loads of patience. If you observe your competitor’s moves, they are bound to give you subtle hints about his next move. The trickiest bit however, is to keep your eyes on your competitor even while you are being pounded away by him. This often is the ideal time to make a counterattack, and watching out for that little window of opportunity could make all the difference between walking away with just a bruised body, and walking away with both a bruised body and a battered ego.

DON’T Train till you drain!

Stamina – Although the jury is still out on whether it actually is a good idea to train to failure, you might be well advised not to drain yourself out completely each time you train. You definitely want to keep pushing yourself a little harder each day, but you also want to take care that you don’t wear yourself out. Chances are, if you train to failure each day, you will burn yourself out soon. The ideal way to go about it is to train hard, but leave yourself with just about enough strength to get right back in a while. This would help you to pace yourself properly for each of the three-minute rounds in boxing, rather than going for broke right from the start.

Boxing is one of the few sports which truly stretches your body and mind to its very limits, and is one of the best ways to keep fit. It is only by the perfect synergy of these elements, that you can truly ‘float like a butterfly, sting like a bee’.

History of Extreme Sports

211703-54229-57Extreme sport is a name given by the media to the activities which involve danger. They often include speed, height, or physical exertion. These activities can be in the form of thrilling stunts. When a sportsperson is at a certain risk while performing that activity, he/she is said to be playing an extreme sport. Many of the extreme sports arouse excitement and serve as a spectacle for many sport enthusiasts. Extreme sports continue to attract the youth of modern times. Youngsters often enjoy participating in extreme sports events and most of us take great interest in watching people perform feats associated with adventure sports. Let us look at how extreme sports evolved.

Studies say that extreme sports evolved as a reaction to the increasingly safe life. As daily life lacks risks, common man feels the need to experience the thrill in risk-taking. Another reason for an increase in the popularity of extreme sports is modern technology. Technological advances have brought about safety devices and sports equipment making various sports, a pleasurable activity. The worldwide spread of extreme sports is attributed to media. Television and movies have been responsible for gaining a widespread participation in extreme sports. People take part in thrilling sports activities for publicity. They get an opportunity to appear on television by participating in extreme sports game shows.

Skating uses an old technology of roller skates, which can be traced back to the 1700s. The crudely designed skates of the olden days underwent a change in their construction. Sturdier designs made possible the use of skates in different extreme sports. Motocross and Downhill Mountain biking came up in the 20th century. After the invention of motorcycles in Germany, bikers began racing motorcycles. In the 1970s, kids took up this idea and bicycle motocross and mountain biking were born. These sports soon became popular.

The extreme sports of today find their roots in the Polynesian leisure activity, which is now called surfing. During the 1970s, the people of Venice and Santa Monica used to surf on skateboards. It began from that time and soon skateboarding became a sport. A study reveals that Hoyle and Diana Schweitzer established a company called Windsurfing International in California in around 1968. Their purpose was to produce and promote a windsurfer design. Accompanied by Jim Drake, an aerospace engineer, they owned the first windsurfing patent. Their design consisted of a surfboard-like board with a triangular sail and booms. Despite refinements in the device used for surfing, the design has remained much the same. Surfing eventually became popular in Europe. The makers of the surfer design continued promoting their design and the sport to different parts of the world. The boost that it received in the 1980s resulted in windsurfing becoming a part of the Olympic games. The popularity of this sport suffered a downfall in the 1990s to again experience a moderate rise in the modern times.

Some extreme sports of the later years emerged as a combination of two or more extreme sports. They required the abilities, which were a blend of those required in each of those two to three extreme sports. One example of this sport is sky surfing. It combines snowboarding and skydiving. Snowboarding itself evolved as a blend of skateboarding and surfing. The extreme sport that experienced parachutists play, includes acrobatics performed in the sky. Here the acrobatic stunts performed on snowboards, are performed in the sky. Whitewater kayaking, bungee jumping, free climbing and wind sailing are some of the extreme sports of today.

Extreme sports are a huge craze today. The psychology behind their popularity seems to be the human nature to take risks for thrill, and the adventure continues to attract masses.

Super Simple Slackening Tips and Tricks for Beginners

Slacklining has become an increasingly popular sport which – as mentioned above – involves walking across a highly-tensioned and bouncy webbing. Although people have been performing balancing activities from ages, slacklining has become a trend in the last three decades. Unlike a tightrope, a slackline is not held that rigidly, instead it is stretchy and dynamic. The slackline is normally 1 or 2 inches broad and flat. With all these features, the slackline becomes highly versatile, which makes this sport more enjoyable.

The art of slacklining will help you improve balancing ability, increase concentration levels, condition core muscles, and have a lot of fun. Slacklining is not only limited to balancing or walking on the line, you can even jump and bounce, or use the line for static poses, fitness, and yoga, in addition to performing a lot of tricks.

This Buzzle article will give you some information on how slacklining is done, and some tips to improve your skills. Once you are well-versed with slacklining, you can indulge in advanced branches like longlining and highlining. Let’s get slacking!

How to Walk a Slackline
If walking the tightrope has been on your mind for a while now, but you lack the courage to do something about it, then maybe you should look at slacklining as an option. With the line in slacklining being, well, slacker than tightrope walking, it is easier to balance while slacklining. Balancing on a line which is a few feet above the ground may seem to be scary task, but most of us have an inner equilibrium which helps us balance. Once you learn the techniques and get some regular practice, you will start to enjoy slacklining.

Materials Needed
For slacklining, you will need two anchor points (mostly two trees), a slackline and a pulley, carabiners, ratcheting mechanism or some other means of getting the slackline tight.

Steps to Follow
► Find two trees as anchor points that are at least 15 – 25 feet apart and set the line a little above your upper thigh or hip level. Starting with a short slackline will keep the line stable and will make it easier for you.
► This is not a tightrope, so you will have to set up the tension between the two anchors. The line should sag at least 6 – 12 inches when slacklining.
► Mental preparation is the most important thing before you step on the line. So like you see in the movies, shake yourself a bit, then your shoulders, legs, arms, and relax before you start. Trust me, it works!
► While slacklining for the first time, it is advised to have two spotters on both sides of the line, to increase your confidence. You can start with holding their hands or shoulders, and work on balancing.
► When you keep your feet on the webbing, make sure you do not watch them. Keep your focus on the end of the line and let your balance tell you where to put your next step. Focus at least 15 – 18 feet in front of you.
► Keep your arms in the Titanic position and do not lock your knees; keep them a bit bent. You also need to keep your head up. While taking steps on the line, lean your torso forward as well.
► While mounting the webbing, place one foot on it with very little weight, and keep your other leg against the line and support it using your thigh. After that, hop with the leg on the ground so that the balance is maintained.
► Once you get the knack of mounting, you can start focusing on your balancing skills on the line while taking baby steps. Start with short distances; you can increase it later with more practice.
► If you are going barefoot, you can use the ‘forward foot position’ in which you have to place the line in the soft area between your big toe and the 2nd toe, with the line continuing under your heel.

► If you prefer slacklining with shoes on, then the ‘sideways foot position’ will be a comfortable option. In this you will have to place the line diagonally in the arch, where the line should rest outside the big toe.

Some Tips and Tricks for Beginners
✔ In the initial stages, keep the sessions short and try to get the hang of it. Don’t try too hard to learn quickly and get frustrated, instead follow the steps, keep trying, and try to have fun.
✔ Select a proper set of footwear for slacklining. If you choose not to go barefoot, then prefer tight-fitting shoes, laced properly. Shoes will help you spin easily, while going barefoot will give you better grip and feedback.
✔ To start with stepping on the line, you can try and sink straight down on the line and avoid jumping at any angle. It may sound a bit difficult, but with practice you will be able to mount smoothly.
✔ To accelerate your learning sessions, it is better to find a partner who can guide you and help you reduce your mistakes. Moreover, this also increases dedication and helps enjoy the sport together.
✔ If you are helping your kids with slacklining, then ask someone to sit on one end to lower the line, before asking your kids to mount. When they reach midway, you can ask the person to slowly get up.

Precautions
✘ Do not use any kind of sticks to prop you as it does not help, and you may end up injuring yourself. The best way is to step on the line without any support.
✘ Baggy pants may suit you elsewhere, but while slacklining it’s a big no-no! If the pant cuffs come under your feet while walking on the line, you may lose traction and not be able to feel the line.
✘ Do not mount the slackline from any point, it is safer to mount in the middle, as if you lose your balance and fall, you will be far from most obstacles.
✘ Do not get disheartened if you fall the first few times. It is quite obvious for a new leaner to fall a few times in the initial stages, but make sure you know how to control yourself while falling and land on your feet.
✘ Do not rig the line over rocky terrain or where there are many obstacles. Even if the slackline is only a few feet above the ground, if you fall from it you can end up with serious injuries depending on what is below the line. Starting on a lawn or using mattresses under the line to break your fall is recommended for beginners.
Do not get discouraged if you are taking time to learn slacklining, keep in mind it’s a sport and you have to enjoy it. Take a deep breath, relax, and keep trying. Slack Safe!!

Essential Tips about Skydiving for the First Time

If you seek one of the best and greatest thrills the sky has to offer, then skydiving is the sport for you. Nothing pushes your adrenaline, fear and your mental stability to the max, quite like voluntarily jumping out of a plane at a height of 13,000 feet with just a parachute. The wind in your hair, bird’s-eye view of the Earth, flying and gliding through the sky and the ground rushing up to meet you, skydiving promises you a short but exhilarating experience like no other. But it’s very easy to talk about jumping and all, the experience of skydiving for beginners is a little more complex and a lot more frightening. Below are some tips and hints for a first time skydiver to follow.

10 Tips for Skydiving for the First Time

Tip #1: Invest in your safety by choosing a good skydiving school. Do your research in advance, by learning what safety procedures and certifications are to be followed. Dig deep into the school’s safety record and reputation. The United States Parachute Association (USPA) is a necessary certification, look for a school whose instructors are certified by this standard. Talk to trainers personally, meet ex-students of a school prior to joining up and try to attend a demo class, so you get a feel of how things are handled in the institute.

Tip #2: Read the fine print. Skydiving does have its restrictions and dangers. The age limit is 18 years and above, weight limit is 220 lbs (men) and 200 lbs (women). Plus, you need to be healthy enough to jump. Heart problems, low or high blood pressure, motion sickness, nervous breakdowns etc. with such health issues, skydiving is not the sport for you. You will need to fill out a medical form, citing your medical history. Be truthful with such forms, the school is just looking out for your safety. If needed, seek a doctor’s approval for skydiving.

Tip #3: Pay attention during the training procedures. See what your instructor is doing and try to copy him/her as closely as possible. Do not hesitate to ask questions, clarify your doubts and make sure you have understood everything clearly. Take notes if you want. Do not dream during training and take the procedures seriously.

Tip #4: For a first time experience, even with training and instructions, skydiving can be very daunting. So choose the right method of jumping. You can jump solo or skyjump in tandem, where an instructor shares your parachute harness and controls its deployment. He/she will also instruct you on the correct procedure and you learn more and gain confidence. Sometimes you are given a choice, some schools will allow only tandem jumping for first timers.

Tip #5: Learn basic signs and gestures to communicate during your free fall. You cannot speak clearly due to the force of the wind and most probably, no one will be able to hear you either! So use sign language to communicate.

Tip #6: Be meticulous about the proper skydiving safety procedures and equipment. Wear a helmet and goggles. Check all your gear prior to jumping. Consult with your instructor as to what gear is right for you.

Tip #7: Eat something light before your first jump. You may feel very queasy and uneasy prior to and while jumping, so jumping on a full or overfull stomach is not a good idea.

Tip #8: Remember to breathe. At high altitudes, you need more oxygen and deep breathing helps combat stress.

Tip #9: It helps if before the jump, you prepare yourself mentally with some self-meditation and calming techniques. Take some quiet time just to steady and ready yourself. Remember your lessons and training steps, go through them in your mind. If talking distracts you from your fear, talk to someone but do not pester others. Relax and empty your mind of day-to-day worries and just look forward to the experience.

Tip #10: Face and forget your fears. You will free fall for just 1-2 minutes. Enjoy the experience for its short duration, with your eyes wide open. Try to capture the experience, if the jump has a cameraman along or an instructor is clicking snaps. For those Kodak skydiving moments to treasure later, look at the camera and wave.

Skydiving can be such a thrilling, death-defying experience, that just one go may not satisfy the daredevil in you. If so, get certified from a recognized school, so you can attempt more solo jumps and even teach others about the sport. Hopefully the above tips will help you enjoy this free falling, exhilarating experience.

Tips on How to Become a Sports Writer

As a sports writer, you will have to write informative and interesting stories on a regular basis. Fans want to know everything that is happening in the world of sports. With television giving in-depth stories on every aspect of the game, the job of a sports writer today is more challenging than ever. Merely giving scores and statistics is not enough, you are expected to understand the significance of every shot, how changes in the team can affect the performance and so on. Apart from analyzing the team and the matches, you will also be required to give good human interest stories, only then will people want to read instead of watch. If you are willing to work hard, there are many opportunities, you can work with newspapers, magazines, websites, news channels or sport associations.

Tips to Become a Sports Writer

Learn About the Sport
Since you are passionate about sports, this should be exciting for you. Learn everything about the sport, right from the rules to the history of the game and the major tournaments that are held. In addition, keep yourself informed about the trends in the sport and watch all levels of the sport. You should have knowledge about the players, their strengths and weaknesses. As an amateur writer, you will have to write objective articles, but once you become a columnist you will be paid to give your opinion. You can also suggest ways in which a player or a team can improve their performance. Therefore, it is essential that you have a thorough understanding of the sport to be able to write creatively and interestingly about it.

Read Articles Written by Good Sports Writers
Familiarize yourself with the style of sports writing. Analyze articles of good experienced writers and try to figure out why they are so famous. However, avoid copying anyone’s style, you will with time develop your own style of writing. Each sport has a distinct style of writing and presentation of scores, which you will need to learn. Reading articles will also give you an idea of what are the different sports articles that can be written. Read different types of sports articles in different newspapers and magazines.

Get a Degree
Firstly, you need to complete high school. While you’re in high school, take as many advanced English courses as you can. Get a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a majors in sports journalism. You will learn the basic techniques of writing and editing. In addition, you will also learn more about interviewing. Alternately, you can also do your bachelor’s in English with journalism as a subject. While you still have the time, learn other things that could add to your resume. Take courses to improve your writing skills, learn photography, you will definitely have better job opportunities as a sports writer cum photojournalist.

Get all the Experience that You Can
Employers prefer hiring someone with experience over a complete fresher. You can start with your college newspaper, write as much as you can, there’s no better place to experiment. Once you’re confident of your writing skills, apply to a local newspaper as an intern. You might not get paid, but you will get the real picture of how your life will be as a sports journalist. You may not be sent directly to cover a match, so be patient. You will have to start off by covering amateur sports. Create your own portfolio of your best articles, it will be very useful when applying for a job.

Consider Freelancing
You can become a freelance sports writer, till you get a permanent job with a good media company. It will add to your experience and the best thing is that you can do it while you are still in college. Do not leave any opportunity that comes your way, no matter how small it may seem, to show what you’re capable of doing and getting into the field of sports writing. Send your resume to editors of different newspapers and magazines, they will hire you on a contract basis to write articles and may even hire you full time, if they like your work.

Start a Blog
Start a blog with the emphasis on sports, it’s free and the best way to show off your writing skills. You can do this while you’re still in high school and college. Attend college and community sports events and write articles on them. Try to find a different angle to a mundane story, that has been covered by all newspapers and post it on your blog. Write good human interest stories, about local players, it is widely read. This is perhaps the best way to make a name for yourself, you can also make money by placing advertisements on your blog, once it’s popular. It will be extremely helpful when you’re looking for a job.

Salary of a Sports Writer

Most sportswriters do not get paid a lot. However, they love what they do. The salary range is anywhere from $25,000 to $60,000, till they make a name for themselves. The salary varies depending on the location, company and experience. Larger newspapers and websites pay better, than their lesser known counterparts. On an average, sports journalists get paid around $40,000.