Keep It Classy

Dudley and Balrog, fellow pugilists

Dudley and Balrog, fellow pugilists

Like many interests I’ve taken in  my life, video games have been an influence in them in some capacity. So, when I started taking boxing a few months ago no exception was made. Another big reason is that a few friends have also been taking this sport for some time and I was bring impressed with their discussions about it as well as their physical progress. Also, Rocky Balboa. Up until now I only ever took Eastern-style martial arts, and when my current decisions of either boxing or krav maga were forced to the former due to my work schedule, it turned out to be a blessing.

Some background: The Street Fighter universe has two boxers: Dudley (standing) and Balrog (grounded; M. Bison in the Japanese version). I was never big on Balrog, but when Dudley came along, being a British-accented boxer who drank tea, threw roses, and used now-common phrases like “Gutter Trash” and “Keep it Classy” in fighting game circles I was intrigued. He uses a clean, gentlemanly-style of the sport while Balrog is more dirty, using headbutts and even stepping on your foot to get in a sucker punch. Dudley also may or may be based on Chris_Eubank, a retired middleweight and super middleweight world title holder.

When I began my current job, I had to find a new gym and/or a location that I can take some form or martial arts. A UFC Gym happened to open up nearby and I signed up for their boxing/kickboxing classes (which also includes a decent-sized free weights section). Within a few weeks I was really starting to get into the techniques and respect the aerobic level necessary. Sure, this was a group class so it wasn’t exclusive training but all the pushups, burpees, planks, squats, situps, suicides, and bear crawls made me shape up right quick. I’ll be taking one-on-one classes soon to see if I want to eventually take it more serious, but primarily I want to see what my strenghts and weaknesses are with it. Overall, my main goal (as I told an instructor) is to last three minutes punching, dodging, and defending. The mental fatigue and physical exhaustion intrigue me, and I’m not afraid to go outside my comfort zone. I’ve already done Tough Mudders, so this really shouldn’t be any different in terms of dealing with uncomfortable levels of endurance.

I don’t know what my preferred style is right now. I’m tall with long limbs and fairly muscular. I’ve never taken a punch to the face which will determine a lot once that actually happens. I’ve spent so long training to fight from the outside (Taekwondo) that forcing yourself to the inside andstaying inside is very unfamiliar. Getting light on my feet with ducks and dodges has been fun. Shortening the arc of my hooks and uppercuts has been a challenge but the proper form for these makes so much of a difference; haymakers are only for the movies.

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