Sunday, October 20, 2013

Head Injuries

Injuries in boxing are common, even for amateurs. The moment one spars, there can be injuries. I've had shoulder pain so severe that I could barely lift my arms over my head. This was when I was on a 5x/week schedule. I've reduced my training to 2-3x/week with the other times doing cardio (biking) or shadow boxing at home. I'm going to write down just my head injuries since they worry me the most for the future.

#2 - Oct 20, 2013

My head finally stopped ringing yesterday, 4 days after I sparred GerryC on Oct 15. Today, I sparred MikeT the hardest hitter in our gym and one of only 2-3 heavyweights. He's only 22, basically half my age. At 6'1 200lbs he packs a mean punch, and he was going quite hard today and got me with so many hooks and straight rights. My head was ringing again. Normally, it doesn't ring since I mostly spar lighter/smaller guys, but when I spar guys my own weight we hit quite hard and they're big so my head ends up ringing even if I end up hitting them quite a bit as well. I noticed after the match that my mouth was full of blood. I wasn't sure where it was coming from and I felt fine. It's now 6 hours later and I went to brush my teeth and there's still blood in my mouth. (I've had dinner in between, didn't feel anything.) I don't know where it's coming from. I look and the crown of my back molars on my right side are red. I'm sure it's b/c I got hit by MikeT and even with a mouthpiece and full face headguard, I'm still bleeding.

MikeT got me in the ribs several times too and it hurts to stand up or sit down, I expect pains in boxing, it's one of the most dangerous sports b/c of repeated blows to the head. For the most part, I'm just nowhere near his skill level + my age and even in sparring going less than 100% there's a high chance of injury. Either way, I'm getting more and more concerned about how long I should continue in this sport... Maybe I'll get better and be able to block better, but for the most part even pro boxers get head injuries. Something to think about for the future, I'm committed to my match on Nov 30 no matter what.

Update: It has been 24 hours and my mouth is still bleeding. My left rear teeth are still red, and when I was brushing my teeth my mouth was bleeding.

#1 - Oct 15, 2013

It has been 3 days since my last sparring match and my head is still ringing. I sparred GerryC and we were in the corner and both hit one another. I wouldn't say it was too hard and we were wearing headgear, but since we were in the corner for a while we did hit one another many times. He only got me in the head probably 4 times in 2 rounds, though one of them was a really hard hook, and I probably got him 12 times or more, but the majority of those were jabs which are not really as strong. I'm not sure how he felt, but my head is ringing and I have a huge headache. I'm leaning towards perhaps taking up another sport.

Some people enjoy the boxing training, but I remember Mike Tyson in an interview said boxing training is so boring. There are only 6 punches, and so a lot of the skill comes in a) conditioning, and b) going over drills a thousand times/a million times, and then c) sparring. Without sparring, I wouldn't be boxing it would be boxercise. That's OK if you enjoy it, but I don't particularly enjoy it. I am getting concerned since I spar frequently. I could cut down on how much I spar, but it's hard to motivate oneself to do something without the sparring. I can see why boxing has waned in popularity for amateurs vs. something like Brazilian jiu jitsu which has grown leaps and bounds as a sport. One can get hurt in BJJ, but it's nowhere near the severity of boxing and it's in the body not to the head. 

I plan on reducing the number of times I spar to maybe just once/week, and being careful about my head. After my November 30 match, I'm going to have to think long and hard about whether to continue in this sport. The fitness is great, but to compete there is a danger. We have people in our gym who do nothing but train, they don't even spar. I'm sure they don't have many issues, but it's getting hit repeatedly in the head. Even someone as skilled as Ali eventually develop a condition. This is the 1st time since I've started this journey, that I'm actually pondering whether I should continue or not. 

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