Our daily bread, our daily boxing drills.

“To make a fighter you gotta strip them down to bare wood – you can’t just tell ’em to forget everything you know if you gotta make ’em forget even their bones. Make ’em so tired they only listen to you, only hear your voice, only do what you say and nothing else. Show ’em how to keep their balance and take it away from the other guy. Then you gotta show ’em all over again. Till they think they’re born that way.” – Eddie Scrap-Iron Dupris, Million Dollar Baby

Boxing trainers repeat themselves over and over again because they know it’s the only way to make a great boxer. Sometimes monotonous drills aren’t the most exciting part of boxing, but just like jumping rope and running, drills are essential. Fighters need more than learning technique, and they need more than sparring practice. All boxers need daily repetition to succeed. In fact, what makes up a large part of training is simply a matter of repeating the same movements over and over, day after day. There’s nothing glamorous or exciting about it, but that’s exactly how most of the work is done. Repetition is essential for committing each movement to muscle memory, thereby making your boxing reflexive and automatic. Creating this reflexive muscle memory takes time and perseverance, and even pro fighters must train every day leading up to a fight. And guess what? They do the exact same drills as beginners. There is never a time in a fighter’s life where s/he doesn’t need to practice combos and footwork, wash and repeat.

Our daily drills and our daily bread are our best defense

When we repeat physical movements, we’re drilling them into our muscle memory. It’s the same when it comes to words, and especially God’s word. God knows that humans need to hear His word over and over again, which is why reading the Scriptures is our spiritual daily bread. Much like training for a fight, hearing and repeating God’s words every day is crucial for our spiritual development. What does it mean, after all, to say ‘put on the armor of God’? What is the armor made of? It is made of Biblical Scripture. When we understand Scripture and commit it to memory, we are cloaking ourselves in God’s armor. And this armor is much more important than headgear, hand wraps, and mouth guards. It is our best possible defense in life, and we aren’t safe in this fallen world without it.

‘Til they think they’re born that way

You may have noticed that there is quite a lot of repetition within the Bible. Stories and verses are repeated because God wants us to commit His words to heart. In this way, He is training us to be the best spiritual warriors we can be! Like coach Eddie from the film, God wants us to hear only His voice and no others, and to do only what He says we should do. He tells us this throughout the Old and New Testaments. He shows us what is true and how to behave over and over again until it is part of our nature to know it, and to act accordingly – until we think we were born that way. Because in truth, we were born to become that way.

The lesson is this. To grow and develop as a boxer, train every day. To grow and develop spiritually, read the Scriptures every day. Then repeat it all over again. And again.

1 thought on “Our daily bread, our daily boxing drills.

  1. I was amazed when reading the symmetry utilized between the art of boxing and the spiritual journey .
    I am in agreement with the idea of becoming the best part of who we are through physical repetition and biblical rehearsals .
    I find this article to be enlightening as well as refreshing during these perilous times .
    God bless us everyone

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