World – It is a rite of passage for one to either witness a fight in school or to be part of a fight. There are many reasons for one to fight. Self-defence, to gain or maintain respect, or due to anger. For teenagers, it is mainly for the last two reasons and this could be why Bad Blood Boxing was created.
Bad Blood Boxing is the product of teenagers who felt the best course of action to solving their problems is fighting. It is almost like a teenage fight club but not very underground, which is very much different from Fight Club.
Emulating Fight Club in a terrible way
Fight Club is a cult classic. Loved by many and a movie with many talking points. Fight Club was about men trying to break away from the norms of society. Getting away from their mundane routine and trying to find some form of pain to wake them up from what is considered normal life. The main rule of Fight Club is what Bad Blood Boxing is missing and is the key difference between them. You don’t talk about fight club.
Fight Club was about breaking the norms but this schoolkid fight club is conforming to the norms. These teenagers are all about putting on a show and displaying, to whoever wants to watch, how great they are. It is about getting the ‘alpha male’ title that young boys so desperately crave. That attention and adoration from their peers. Society has created a notion that the best guys are those who can give a beating and take a beating. This is what they intend to display. Their superiority over one another in an effort to gain the admiration of the young public.
Boxing is a sport, this is not
Boxing is a beloved sport for many across the globe. It is a sport that has strict regulations and conditions. Although we think it is as easy as one, two, three to knock someone out, it is far more difficult. You cannot just enter a boxing ring and be ready to take on anyone and everyone. Boxers train for at least five hours a day in preparation for a fight. Their practice exercises include running, HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training), mitt work, sparring, strength and conditioning, and boxing drills. This all takes place in a training camp which can last from eight to 12 weeks.
The insane amount of training, creating a strategy, working on various techniques makes boxing what it is today. Experienced boxers, who have been fighting for years and have been at the top of their game, continuously work on their technique and footwork to remain at the top of their game. It is an insult to boxers to even have the thought that one can step in the ring without any training or experience. But teenagers are teenagers and these things mean little to them. They assume the harder you hit someone, the quicker they will fall.
The risks associated with boxing
Every sport that requires you to get hit in the head carries risk. Long term brain damage is just one of the more dangerous risks associated with boxing. Many former boxers have suffered after retiring or were forced to retire because of these injuries. Injuries are the least of boxers’ worries. Since 1890 it has been reported that more than 1 876 fighters have died as a result of injuries sustained in the ring. Recently Simiso Buthelezi, a 24-year-old South African boxer, passed away after he suffered brain damage during a boxing match. These are trained boxers who participate in legal matches held by federations who ensure every safety precaution is taken. If these incidents can happen when such strict safety measures are taken, what can happen when teenagers are just out there boxing with no safety precautions in place?
These are things that must be taken into consideration. Boxing isn’t all about the fancy footwork, the hard hits and cool dodges. It carries serious risks that every boxer acknowledges and understands. But sometimes, when a person is more concerned about looking like an ‘alpha male’ to their friends, they turn a blind eye to the dangers they are putting themselves into. When one is driven by their ego to fight, we really have to ask, are they actually taking into consideration what could go wrong?
Then you have the weight classes. Most people fail to realise the importance of it. The weigh-ins are not just for fighters to strip and show off their toned bodies. It is to ensure that each fighter is in the same weight bracket so one doesn’t have an unfair advantage over the other. The advantage given by size and weight cannot be underestimated. The bigger the man, the harder the punch.
Training the body, mind, and soul
Whether it is martial arts, kickboxing, boxing or any other style of fighting, the focus is never only the body. Fighters are taught about the importance of creating a strong mind and discipline is instilled in them. Fighting is almost secondary to everything because a great fighter understands when to fight and when to control themselves. That is what training instills in a fighter. Something which is sorely lacking in these teenagers.
Teenagers have a lot of changes going on in their body. They tend to lash out and behave violently because of these changes. When one attends a boxing gym or dojo, they are taught how to control this anger and release it in a beneficial way. Without training comes a lack of discipline and the unfortunate results.
Making the ego grow
History has proven that men love to display their masculinity for the world to see. Whether it be through fists or something else, it is almost ingrained in the DNA of man. However, these are high schoolers we are talking about. Overtime high school fights have become more prevalent in society. Gone are the days where grudges used to be settled through words. Now it is settled through fists and the first one to go to sleep, ultimately has to accept defeat.
Back in the days people had real heroes to look up to. Like the great Muhammed Ali. Those who wanted to be like him could be found in the gym and met their opponents with grace and humility. Nowadays youngsters have the likes of Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather and Connor McGregor to look up to. Two people who excel in trash talking. McGregor and so many others like him have created a toxic environment in the UFC. One which legendary fighters like Khabib Nurmagomedov and Georges St-Pierre were not a part of.
Businesses like the UFC are ego driven. A fighter who cannot trash talk soon finds themselves off the cards. When teenagers become fascinated by this world, it leads to terrible things. This, coupled with the constant “big boys don’t cry” rhetoric and pushing the agenda that you are only a real man if you can knock someone out, has created a violent generation. A generation that firmly believes the only way society can see you as a man is if you beat up others until there’s no one left to challenge you anymore.