Self - defense boxing

I'm looking for a self-defense boxing game plan. My main goal is self-defense so I've decided to learn MMA as my hobby so that I'll be on my way. I live out in the boondocks so no great schools close to home. I bought Tony Blauer's and Paul Vunak's videos and other mma videos. I found out that I'll need to learn my ground so I joined the small local wrestling team. I don't have any striking experience and I know that I'll need at least a years worth of boxing to be at least decent. I don't expect to be near a boxing gym in the next 3 years. I bought a heavy bag, focus mitts, and jump ropes. What should I do in the meantime without developing bad habits on my own? I think I can safely do jump rope and pushups on my knuckles and other body conditioning stuff just to get me ready in the future. Any other things I can do on my own until I can get to a gym sometime in the distant future? Should I even punch the bag by myself or will I develop bad habits? I don't expect to strike closed fist ever in real life so how would I go about when I actually do join a typical boxing gym that doesn't do martial arts or self-defense? Would I be too weird to be the only guy practicing open hand strikes in boxing? Or should I learn both? Wouldn't I develop a false sense of security on my closed fist? Thanks for your outlined game plan.


First of all. You cant learn boxing or any other art on your own. With no experience whatsoever, you are likely wasting your time doing a boxing/bag workout on your own because you don't know what your doing.

Try and get into shape with basic conditioning exercises. Lift weights, run, stretch, jump rope, pushups, etc. Those are things we can do at home on our own with a little bit of instruction. If you try learning from books or tapes you will get little if anything out of it. Be patient untill you can get instructed properly.

You've already joined a wrestling program. Good. Stick with that and learn it.Later you can worry about adding something else, boxing, judo, or whatever. But for now concentrate on one thing or you're gonna be scattered all over the place.

And yeah, you will look like an idiot practicing open hand strikes only in a boxing gym. You can't throw a straight punch open handed unless of course you want to break all your fingers.

What Michael Arsanis is saying is true only to a point.

Actually you can learn boxing or any other martial art on your own. That is actually part of the process. Can you learn them completely own your own? No. No one is an island to themselves we are all apart of the main. So obviously it is needful and useful to always get help and guidance from someone particularly someone who is more experienced then you are.

BUT it is absolutely necessary and actually apart of the learning process to learn and practice the movement of your art, whether it is boxing or Bjj or Judo, wrestling, etc on your own in some degree. It is impossible to expect a coach/instructor or even a training partner to be with you all the time and to be available to explain every concepts and techique or to practice with you. There is always going to be a portion of your training that you must do alone by yourself. You're going to have to think through techniques, concepts, on you own as well as develop your own practice curriculum and session on your own apart from any one helping you.

Tapes and all that matter and do make a difference BUT it is far better to be connected to a good instructor and have a good training partner and actually just practice consistently the basic things they are showing you. As you grow in skill and understanding NATURALLY you're going to get better and will be able to do more complex things.

But every so-called martial arts of nearly every style has spent countless hours alone working on and perfect their martial skills. It is part of the process.

In an interview published in Martial Art Combat Magazine, Carlson Gracie Sr. swears that he learn Bjj on his own (incidently Helio makes the same claim). Carlson Sr. stated that he only asked his father questions when he was confused or need help on a certain technique. Otherwise Carlson claims his father pretty much left him to himself encouraging him to find the answer and solve problems on his own.

m.g. We are talking apples and oranges.
I'm talking about learning on your own without any knowledge. You can't do it.

Of course if YOU'VE ALREADY HAD A TEACHER, then yes you can workout and practice on your own what you already know. But thats not what this guy was asking. This guy never had any boxing instruction at all. For him to attempt to learn by himself would be impossible.

Michael Arsanis,

That is really true either. For this guy to attempt to learn by himself isn't impossible, it would be hard but not impossible.

Again there are too many examples of so-called masters who essentially trained themselves.

Helio claims that his brother never taught him anything. He says he learned JJ by simply watching and observing his brother teach class. He swears his brother never directly taught him or showed him anything. Helio states (in interviews both on video and in magazines) that he learn JJ by sitting on the sidelines of his brothers classes and simply observing all that occur in the class. He did this for about a year and a half. He then says he taught his first class using the knowledge he gain from his observations. As time went on Helio supposedly made innovation without any help of his brother.

Now this is the story Helio tells.

Learning how to do something on ones own, in complete absence of an instructor, isn't the easiest and smartest way to do things, BUT it isn't impossible.

Hell...if what Helio claims is true then one could certainly go along way simply from observation and diligent/consistent practice of what on observes. Helio did all that without the aid of "videos" and "books". If Helio can do certainly anybody else could.

Again I'm not saying this is the best way or even the easy way I am simply stating it isn't impossible.

you cannot learn how to box on your own-period.

I agree with Michael Arsanis. You need a coach to evaluate weaknesses you may not realize you had. The closest thing is to have really good instructional videos and videotape yourself and watch for your own weaknesses, but I think you're better off at a gym with a coach and multiple training partners, because your game will change with a change in opponents

I don't agree.

Having a coach is a plus. But how much coaching does one really need? That varies from person to person. some can progress with very little coach whereas other need alot. But basic it is still very possible to be proficient at boxing even with just little to know coaching. It is all a matter of practing what you've learned and know.

There are too many success stories in the world of boxing where people have learned boxing on their own.

Now that doesn't mean they were world class. But it does mean they certainly develop a decent level of proficiency.

you cannot learn how to box on your own-period.I am in complete agreement with Michael. Boxing is an extremely technical sport.If you think by knowing how to throw jabs, straight rights, hooks and uppercuts you have got it down you are sorely mistaken.


You can learn boxing on your own like you can learn most things on your own.

Will you be world class? Probably not. But the question isn't whether one can become a world class boxer/fighter on their own. The question is can one learn to box on their own. I say they can.

Will you be good? Maybe, depends on how often and how hard you work at it. Chances are though to be the best you can be you'll have to hook up with a coach, training partner or somebody other than yourself; which mean you'll have to be connected with somebody. But that isn't the question either, the question isn't whether one will be good or bad learning boxing on their own BUT rather if one can learn to box on their own. I say they can.

I'm not saying it will be easy, or that one will be good. I am saying that one can learn to box on their own.

Can you learn boxing (or any other sport) on your own?


However, to learn it well, without picking up any bad habits, etc., you had better be an exceptional individual. Because self-taught people have a tendency to pick up a LOT of bad habits which might otherwise have been avoided had a coach or a knowledgable training partner been around. Most people are not really that observant or cognizant of what their bodies are doing.

I've seen some self-taught boxers and it was pretty darn ugly (and comical).


True! Very true!!!!

But like I said learning boxing on ones own doesn't guarantee one will be any good. Chances are, like you said, one will pick up alot of bad habits which could be avoided if they had proper instruction/coaching.

There is a much easier way to learn boxing, which is to train under someone who has experience teaching and coaching boxing.

Hell, just alittle bit of quality instruction and coaching goes along way. At least, in that case, one would have some guidelines of correction that they can use to correct mistakes and better develop their skills.

But like I said the fundamental point I was trying to make is it ISN'T impossible to learn how to box on ones own. Impossible means can't be done. And it certainly isn't true that learning how to box on ones own can't be done. It can be done. The result may vary, they may not even be very good (but that in and of itself isn't a guarantee either, a self-taught boxer may in fact be good despite the odds) BUT that doesn't mean it is impossible.

As long as you possess a concept of what you wish to acquire, you can train successfully on your own, afterall, someone had to start something, somewhere, at sometime, the martial arts didn't start themselves, through experimentation, individuals developed their own way to express themselves through combat, all you have to do is try, and through the same trial and error you'll achieve your goal, how many ways can you use your body is finite, so is the way you decide to use it, so I don't agree with this talk of teachers being absolutely necessary. Life, and its creation is the best teacher you'll ever have and possibly the only teacher you'll ever need.