Boxing vs. Traditional Martial Arts

Improve your fitness level

Boxing vs. Traditional Martial Arts

People often confuse boxing with martial arts and vice-versa. Boxing has various applications but is generally classified as a combat sport and not a martial art yet it does provide many of the same things that a martial artist seeks to gain both physically and mentally.

To help further clarify this popular topic lets begin defining each separately as knowledge begins with definition.

I have used Wikipedia’s simple matter of fact definitions so as to avoid the philosophical differences of the various martial arts and boxing.


‘Boxing is a combat sport in which two people engage in a contest of strength, speed, reflexes, endurance and will, by throwing punches at each other, usually with gloved hands. Historically, the goals have been to weaken and knock down the opponent.’

Martial Arts (Traditional)

‘Martial arts are codified systems and traditions of combat practices, which are practiced for a variety of reasons: self-defense, competition, physical health and fitness, entertainment, as well as mental, physical, and spiritual development.’

Mixed Martial Arts

‘Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a full-contact combat sport that allows the use of both striking and grappling techniques, both standing and on the ground, from a variety of other combat sports and martial arts.’

While traditional martial arts historically were not necessarily intended for sport many have evolved allowing combative competition within their own rules of engagement.

And, although boxing was created for competition within a boxing ring, there is no doubt that it can be effective as a means of self-defense outside of a boxing ring sort of like a martial art. Some traditional martial artists would reject this fact but it is only due to their own ignorance and/or arrogance and of course never having trained with or fought a real boxer.

Indeed boxing is not a complete fighting system, however seasoned boxers are confident in their ability to overcome an adversary based on real life dangerous experiences, while a lot of martial artists have never actually fought someone who really wanted to injury them badly or knock them unconscious. Ironically, this type martial artist (from my experience) can often be cocky and full of bravado based only on theoretical knowledge of fighting.

However, a mixed martial artist understands the necessity of having boxing skills as a part of his fighting arsenal so that he becomes a well-rounded and complete fighter in one on one combat.

The legendary Bruce Lee said: ‘It is the ability to outsmart an opponent and out-maneuver him that is the skill and science of the sport of boxing .’ -Tao of Jeet Kune Do

Bruce Lee understood the effectiveness of boxing and incorporated it into his own hybrid martial art, he name ‘Jeet Kune Do’ .

Every boxer is a fighter but knows that he is not a martial artist. Not every martial artist is a fighter but some are excellent fighters, those who actually fight, in full contact engagements and the like.

by: Daron Abdullah J. Laban

These points will be further explained in my upcoming video tutorials. Subscribe to this blog and stay tuned!

explained in my upcoming video tutorials. Subscribe to this blog and stay tuned!

Check out our weekly documentary: