Boxers have always used shadow boxing within their training regime. In very basic terms, it is boxing without a physical opponent present. It allows you to try out many of the skills of boxing before deploying those skills on a heavy bag or indeed a real live opponent. As a matter of fact, you could argue that shadow boxing is more a work out for the brain than the body.As a child I was taught how to play chess. As part of my learning I was provided with a book written by a couple of chess Grandmasters. The authors provided some pictures of chess positions, but a key condition that they laid down was that the reader should not use a chess board to physically work through the moves. The skill was in developing the mind to think 3, 4 or 5 steps ahead. This was the vital point. Watch video in link below
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Using this chess example to explain why boxers use shadow boxing might seem unusual at first, but the relevance is unmistakeable. It trains the mind and enables free-thinking by enabling the creation of any scenario possible. In fact, the effectiveness of shadow boxing is actually based upon the absence of a physical opponent rather than the presence of one.Here’s my definition:’Shadow Boxing’ (noun) The process by which a boxer uses visualization to develop and enhance boxing skills.Shadow boxing is more an exercise of the mind than the body. It is the next logical step to boxing drills. Where boxing drills use systematic, methodical repetition, shadow boxing demands flow, speed and pragmatism. It’s about placing yourself in a combat situation and planning the required tactics to overcome a particular type of opponent. You picture in your mind the way things need to be done and practice accordingly.