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.