In Boxing, basic concepts are being taught to boxers over and over. Just like in any other sport or craft, there are a couple of principles that could be seen as trivial but highly essential in the game. Trainers spend a great amount of time pointing out the physical patterns a boxer carries on to one training after the other. For a boxer who is immersed in the fighting battle, it could sometimes be hard to be aware of mind and body reflexes and habits. Even if the fighter knows about his/her mistakes, knowing something is one thing and acting upon it is another.
Stimuli and reflexes:
Reflex is one of the main concepts trainers focus on, among other techniques and strategies. So many questions come up when evaluating a boxer’s reflexes, such as: are they fast or slow, are they anchored or not, are they done in the right way or not, and what are their stimuli and so on. A reflex is caused by a stimulus. For a boxer, stimuli could be anything from a punch to a slap. Now a good boxer will defend a punch “stimuli” however, a great boxer will prevent it before it even happens. A well-trained fighter sees it coming before it comes. How does that happen? How can a boxer see the punch before it happens?
What happens is the fighter fully identifies with the opponent and becomes able to feel, smell, and hear what the opponent is experiencing at that moment in the fighting ring. This expansive sense of feeling (Awareness) comes through extensive training with others, it manifests only when training with a person, not a punching bag or a mirror. It’s training the sub-conscious consciously. Therefore, trainers always say: if you have to think about it, it’s not a reflex. Thinking isn’t part of this process.
How can we learn about our awareness?
Like a boxer in a ring, one has habitual reflexes, some are carried from parents and friends, and others came along the way. Despite that, the mind is known to be a complex entity, the body is much easier to train and deal with. Looking at one’s own re-action to stimulus in everyday life can reveal so much about the belief that resides behind it. But let’s examine beliefs later. To know about awareness, observe reflexes and habits. It’s very common, that one gets stuck in a habit, this happens when there’s a stimulus, for example, I’m being tired so I eat, I’m feeling pain so I isolate myself, I’m feeling insecure so I bully others, I’m feeling happy so I make jokes, I’ve accomplished good work so I feel superior to others, I’m feeling cared for so I care back. Tracing the re-action leads to the stimuli that caused it.
After identifying one’s habits, now one can evaluate them by asking:
Are these habits good for me or not?
Do I want to be known for having these habits?
Would they damage my health and well-being ten years from now?
Can I change these habits by myself or do I need help?
What is the alternative that I want instead?
Can my family and friends support me in this?
Every time one breaks a habit, awareness expands and a new sense of feeling emerges. One gets closer to aligning with one’s goals and aspirations. One knows awareness has changed when not re-acting to old stimuli that used to be a trigger. When a boxer identifies with the opponent to feel his/her future punches, one can also identify with one’s higher and enlightened version and therefore feel the inner sense of peace and harmony. Coming closer to a unique, original, and harmonious level of inner living. This harmony reflects itself on the outside world by creating more harmony in relationships, work, health, etc. Expanding awareness is a pleasurable experience one can endure. It seems just like a battlefield, where winning every battle is crucial to advance to the next one.
Some call this a paradigm shift and others call it a revelation. One surely remembers what one used to be and how one is in this present moment. The interesting part of all this is that a shift also manifests in thinking. Improving reflexes is the same as improving the mind. It’s a win-win deal. So next time, when someone swings a verbal punch at you, watch out for reflexes!