Massachusetts Inst. of Technology
Fighting as a Legend
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1,2,3,2…1,1,2,5…1,6,5,3…at first you have to remember each combination, which move is next, but after a while it becomes instinctive: in a bout you don’t have time to think. Despite boxing’s bad rap for being barbaric, it’s long been known as the “sweet science” — every move is carefully calculated. Its beauty lies in its simplicity: the principles of physics and the kinetics of the human body. So almost every movement—defensive and offensive — in boxing has the same foundation. A left hook (3) or a slip to the right (dodging an opponent’s left strike by dropping to the right side) both set you up to deliver a right handed blow or an evasive slip to the left. A left upper cut (5) can lead to a pivot to avoid an opponent’s punch, or to deliver a right hook, or punch. Each movement builds from the last and prepares for the next. It is like walking: after extending your left leg and right arm, you then continue with your right leg and left arm. This seems automatic to us but it wasn’t always, which you know if you’ve ever watched a baby attempt his first steps. It’s the same with boxing: right then left, then right then left. Even if you punch with your left hand twice, say a 3,5 combination, you still rotate your right shoulder...
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