Friday, June 5, 2009

From Punch to Pitch

Jackie vs. Audrey, Ohkay Casino, 2006
Delilah Montoya

I just read 8 reasons women should take up boxing on Lisa Bedsoe's blog, The Glowing Edge, and thought I'd comment briefly on my very recent encounters with boxing.

I've just started to learn some kickboxing/boxing basics as part of my work with personal trainer/performance artist Heather Cassils. Learning to kick and punch has been great for feeling strong & sexy, and it's also been great for, uhm, channeling some anger & frustration (or, more nearly, concentrating it into expressable forms).

And it's been really useful on the pitch: Kickboxing is helping me begin to develop a sense of where my feet are. I didn't grow up juggling the ball, and have a devil of a time volleying. There's been an almost immediate improvement in my connection with the ball since I started this training. And the increased upper body strength is giving me much more confidence in challenging for the ball, and also in warding off challengers.

If women's boxing interests you, check out Katya Bankowsky's 1999 documentary Shadow Boxers (KO Picture Show reviews it here). It focuses on "The Dutch Destroyer" Lucia Rijker (clips from the film can be seen here, woven into a fan-made homage). Shadow Boxer is a little uneven, but much of the training and fight footage is gorgeous. And then there's artist Delilah Montoya's photographic series, Women Boxers: The New Warriors (published as a book). Montoya juxtaposes fight images with portraits of the boxers alone, and with their trainers and family members. It's a great gift idea for your basic ass-kicking female.


  1. Hi, Jennifer -- Thanks for the mention; I hadn't thought before how boxing or kickboxing training might support other sports like your own. I would be very curious to hear other women's experiences with cross training, too. I was boxing last night with a woman who's an MMA figher, and I kept seeing her load kicks (fortunately she didn't deliver them!) and shift stances and I was totally thrown off and completely fascinated by the differences in the way we each fight. She has invited me to try a grappling session with her, and having read your post, I may take her up on it!

    And thanks for the film and book recommendations. I can't wait to check them out.

  2. Interesting argument for cross-training and boxing. Maybe I'll fight my Wii!

    Do you picture UCR administrators while sparring?


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