Nowadays everybody is an expert on boxing theory. In practice though it's a whole other thing. You're going to lose a lot of rounds, you're going to get so tired that you can barely stand and you're going to sweat so much that at the end of a training session you can wring out your T-shirt like it's a wet washcloth. Very few people stick with boxing beyond the first few months. I see people come and go all the time. New people show up, typically in groups, and most of them are full of enthusiasm and untested knowledge. The lazy ones are immediately identified. When the rest of us are jumping rope, they're stretching. When the rest of us are jogging, they're walking. When the rest of us are shadowboxing, they're either standing still, chatting, or doing some kind of alternative fitness exercise. Wall sits or squats or something. Fuck them anyway.
I thought my years of strongman training and competition would be an advantage in boxing but it's not. It's almost a disadvantage. The added mass puts me a few weight classes above where I should be so all my sparring partners have a much longer reach than I do. The added power to my punches on the bag is okay but that kind of power fades quickly. Your power absolutely needs to come from technique first and foremost, and muscle second. That's probably why I shadowbox constantly now. I'm practicing how to throw punches like I'm cracking a whip instead of dropping a battering ram. My background in taekwondo is somewhat helpful but not much. The balance in the footwork is different. Also, while you can get a lot of power out of a taekwondo punch, it's such an overcommitment that you absolutely have to land it or you're screwed because there will be little or no time for a follow up. Great for breaking boards in the backyard but boards don't move around and they don't hit back.
This guy has never lost a fight before. His blocking is phenomenal.
If you don't believe him, just read any of his youtube comments.
Stamina is way more important than strength when it comes to boxing. Any fighting sport really but I think particularly boxing. Without decent stamina you won't even make it through training, never mind sparring or ever competing. Even when you get to the point that you can work out without feeling like you're going to die, the ring is still exhausting. You need endurance to get through training, you need training to develop techniques and you need sparring to turn those techniques into skills. It all starts with building the stamina to get through it.
Shadowboxing is one of those exercises that you can do forever and I don't think it's ever too much. It takes a while before you can do it without wasting a lot of energy trying to make every punch a knockout haymaker. As your technique gets better, you can get though it using less energy and your shoulders build up to it. Once you're there, it's just refining that technique. Drill your footwork, drill your basic punches, drill your combinations, then let your imagination take over and pretend you're in a fight. The more you do it, the better you get at it. Shadowbox with nothing. Shadowbox with your sparring gear on (wraps, gloves, mouthpiece, headgear, groin sheild). Shadowbox with dumbbells. Don't shadowbox with just your wraps on though; that's lame. You don't need wraps on to shadowbox. There's no point to it and it identifies you as either a beginner or a phony. Put your wraps on when you're going to glove up and spar or hit the bag, otherwise don't bother. It's equivalent to putting plates on a barbell with the numbers facing out.
One side of this barbell is loaded right and one side is wrong. That's just the way it is.
Look at us with our wraps on. We're WARRIORS!
The coolest thing about shadowboxing is that it's fun. There are so many nuances of every basic punch to master and shadowboxing is one of the best ways to do it.