Inside Boxing

12 May

Could the rules of boxing work in school? Today I watched the interview of Paddy Fitzpatrick and Lee Simpson about their book, Hats, Handwraps and Headaches: A life on the Inside of Boxing for Swindon Festival of Literature 2021.

Lee Simpson, nicknamed ‘teach’, used to box with his dad when he was younger but moved on to focus on words and writing. Then after years something clicked in him and he wanted to return to his previous passion. He rang up Paddy and asked if he could work with him. I find it interesting how after so many years he finally decided to return to something he used to be so interested in, perhaps in the future it may inspire some of us to get back to something we grew out of.

Teach was originally going to write about the Sunderland football team but turned to boxing as he found it more enjoyable. It’s crazy to think that if it wasn’t for his return to boxing the book wouldn’t have even been written. Boxing isn’t about physical skills strength or power but all about the mental power skills and preparation. Now I’d like to try out the sport for myself as it appears I can learn some useful skills in later life for mental training – if you can’t handle boxing mentally, you can’t handle the sport at all.

watch the talk

Another thing I picked up was how all pain is mental. As explained in the interview if you are really focused on something then it’s a lot harder to feel or even notice pain. Teach takes these techniques and uses them in his day-to-day life and arguably most interesting his university teaching. This could be very useful in education as it may help children through troubling and anxious times. As boxing is all about thinking and processing what you do this could help children through exams, job interviews and social life.

Boxers are assigned nicknames, you don’t choose a nickname you earn it, it’s an easy and quick way to establish the pros from the beginners. This is why Lee Simpson who teaches at a university is referred to ‘teach’ in the ring. But this doesn’t mean you can act higher or more worthy than a beginner if you are a pro, it is always important to respect a fellow fighter.

I learned a lot of helpful tips which could be applied to life. It also makes me want to give boxing a go – the furthest I have ever gotten in boxing is occasionally using a punching bag that hangs off a tree in my back garden and I think it would really help to have some boxing school resources. I think everyone can take a lot away from the interview and the book as whole.

Words by Milo Davison (age 14)

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