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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A few weeks ago, I suffered a nasty concussion while sparring. I spoke to my doctor, and he STRONGLY advised me to give up training or risk suffering permanent brain damage.

My question, what can I do? I absolutely love boxing, and I enjoy sparring, but I don't want to risk brain damage. Should I just hit the bags? Is sparring only to the body a worthwhile endeavor? I don't know, looking for any sort of ideas here. Thanks.
 

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Logan60 said:
A few weeks ago, I suffered a nasty concussion while sparring.

I spoke to my doctor, and he STRONGLY advised me to give up training or risk suffering permanent brain damage.

My question, what can I do?

I absolutely love boxing, and I enjoy sparring, but I don't want to risk brain damage.

Should I just hit the bags?

Is sparring only to the body a worthwhile endeavor?

I don't know, looking for any sort of ideas here.
Don't be foolish do what your doctor said.

I took what you said to mean that he told you not to spar for a few months.

Often when a fighter suffers a bad concussion he's usually advised to rest for a two or three months and to have no fights and that would include sparring too.

If you haven't already done so ask your doctor what you can and can't do as for training.

But obviously, sparring and taking punches you should not do.

Of course, if the medical community had their way boxing would have been banned a long time ago.

The medical community has long since been an anti boxing lobby.

If you question your doctor's advice get a second opinion and go see a different doctor.

But until you do, or if you do don't be foolish, do what your doctor advised you to do.

It may be that you'll only have to lay off training for a couple of months or few months is all.

And you'll want to see your doctor again also before you start back again.

JCC
 

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id get a second opinion because maybe the doctor thinks boxing is a bit taboo. concusions happen in boxing all the time as long as there is no lasting damage you should be ok to fight. but get checked by another doc first though.
 

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Logan60 said:
Thanks everyone, I'm going to speak with my doctor again. See if we can work out something.
I've come to be curious about you. Tell me how long you been boxing? And also your age? And something about your height and weight? When? and why you came to have interest in boxing?

Also something about how you train? And how many fights you've had? (not talking about sparring, but in competition)

JJC
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi JCC,

This will be a long post, so I apologize in advance.

I'm 32, 5'11 and about 210 or so.

I stumbled onto boxing a couple of years ago through karate. I really enjoyed the practicality of boxing vs. the esoteric and non physical karate that I was training in. After I discovered my gym, I was hooked.

For the first year and a half, my boxing training was through my local park and rec center, and it was pretty much hitting the bags with supervision from the local trainer. I sparred once in awhile, but not very often at all, and when I did it was often strictly to the body. In addition, my gym closes down in the summertime, and during that time I take that opportunity to go back and train in other martial arts (usually judo, but sometimes I switch it up with karate).

This past fall, I decided to get a little more serious about my training and upgraded my gym. Alot more supervision was involved, but still limited to no sparring. After 3 months, I decided that I really wanted to have an amateur fight or two (you can probably see that in one of my earlier posts), so I started to spar. Shortly thereafter, I received this concussion.

Afterwards, getting nervous about what my doctor said and fearing losing my livelihood and not being able to support my family; I went back to judo full time. I figured it wasn't ideal, but it would be safer on my head. I still wanted to train in boxing, so I decided just to shadow box (again, you can find a question about shadow boxing from an earlier post).

But after a month and a half or so, I just really missed going to the gym. Hence, my last post about advice on training.

I don't plan on having any amateur fights, but I would like to hit the gym again and maybe spar in a very limited fashion. Once again, I need to speak with my physician prior to that.

I hope that answers any questions. Thanks again for your help JCC (on this thread and my others as well). I do appreciate it.
 

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Logan, (if allowed by your doctor) I would recommend to you at this time to devote a full hour a day (I mean every day, daily) to a workout that consists of hard (intense) calisthenics, stretching and resistence (without use of weights) every day.

Tell me just exactly how this concussion came about in sparring?

Were you wearing protective head gear at the time it happened?

Were the larger training gloves used in sparring?

Was your sparring partner by far more experienced than you?

Concussions in sparring are rare. Sparring is sparring. Sparring is training, practicing, not fighting usually, not a contest.

Do your roadwork (running) in the mornings, and go for long walks in the evenings. And other than the calisthenics, stretching and resistence exercises earlier mentioned. This is all the training that I'd recommend to you bascially at this time. This is bascially just to strenghten your body, and to build your stamina.

I'd like to hear more about how you received this concussion sparring.

JJC
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
When I started going to the new gym, I met up with another older gentleman like myself who was interested in sparring. Like me, he had sparred some before, but not alot.

We sparred under the supervision of the trainer for 3 - 2 minute rounds using headgear and I'm guessing 16 oz. gloves (mine were 16, I believe his were 16 as well)

Initially we were supposed to be going light, and I had asked we maybe just work the jab. I saw him start to throw some pretty hard rights, so I followed suit (probably not the smartest thing, but I can't change that now).

The first round went OK, but I think it may have been in the second or third where he really tagged me with a shot. I didn't get KO'd, but I did see stars. I thought nothing of it, and kept on going.

On the drive home, I had a nasty headache. The headache lasted all night even though I took some Tylenol. When I woke up in the morning, the headache was still there, and I also had this weird sensation like my brain was on fire (don't know how else to describe it). That lasted all day. After that went away, I was nauseous and really couldn't eat anything that night and the following morning. When I went to my doctor the following day, he explained to me that I had sustained a concussion and strongly advised me to find another interest.
 

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Logan, for a guy to be in his thirties out there just getting started in boxing and to box in the amateur ranks in competition in the golden gloves or something like that is really kind of old getting started.

Boxing is a young man's sport, however. As for not to enter competition and just to workout and to learn how to box that's a diferent thing. I see nothing wrong with that at all. It will get you in shape and its a great confidence and fitness builder.

But it should be under the supervision of an experienced trainer (someone who has much experience in boxing and who had been a boxer).

As for sparring you don't want to be out there over matched and to spar with somebody that is stronger and is going to try to kill you.

Sparring is training, not fighting.

When I was boxing amateur I sparred with guys in the professional ranks that were by far better boxers and I never had one to ever try to hurt me and to turn it into a real fight.

Nor, did I have that happen in sparring with open-class (very experienced boxers) in the amateur ranks either. I had been an open-class fighter too.

Really it only happen by some of those just getting started boxing and are in the novice ranks that will get out there sparring and to treat it like to real fight.

Either that or some big bully type guy, who has little or no boxing experince at all to come to the gym to show off how tough he thinks he is by picking out some kid that don't know much to get out there and to spar and to beat the hell out of him.

I'd seen that happen a few times before. And whenever it did, usually a trainer would pick one of the more experienced boys and to put him in the ring to spar with him and to give him a royal butt-kick and that would usually be the end of that.

Take some months to heal and get out there and get yourself in really good shape before you start sparring again, and chose only guys that aren't going to get out there and to try to kill you sparring that may be too strong for you to handle.


Sparring is not dangerous if your in shape and not over matched and to be out the with somebody that's going to treat sparring as something other than what's it intended to be training, and not a real fight.

I think you just got the wrong kind of guy as sparring partner that day that hurt you is all.

I was in the open-class ranks in boxing and had won regional and state titles as a middleweight and later as a light heavyweight (there was only eight weight divisions when I boxed in the late 1960s and early 1970s) and I had won more than half my fights by knockouts. But I had never hurt any body serious sparring. I just use that as an example to just try to get my point across is all.

Take more months to heal, but just be more careful who you spar with next time. Maybe next time to spar with some more experienced guy who isn't going to treat sparring like a real fight that is going to try to hurt you.

Often at times even in a contest its only the guys in the amateur ranks that get serious hurt in the ring in fights in the when that has happened it was because he fought a by far less a opponent in many cases it was a mismatch.

In mismatches I had even known guys to get their jaws broke.

But in contests in which the fighters are more evenly matched its rare to ever see any serious injuries.

But I can understand your doctor telling you to find other intersts.

You just need to be in shape and not have the wrong kind of sparring partners that's all especially so until you gain more boxing experience.

Of course, I wasn't there and didn't see you sparring with the guy, but I tend to think it may had been the fault of the trainer. When he saw you were hurt if he saw it. He should have called time out! And stepped in when he saw the guy was getting serious and that you had been hurt.

It may had been the trainers fault!

JJC
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks JJC.

I did realize that 32 was probably a little old, but after going to the gym for awhile I was eager to see how well I would do in a fight. Maybe it's an early mid life crisis too :)

My trainer from that gym is considered to be real good, so I'm hesitant to point a finger at him. He probably didn't see it. In hindsight, I should have just spoken up and asked to slow it down a bit when things were getting out of hand. I guess my ego got in the way

I think I'm just going to have to be content with just practicing on the bags and really focusing on form, and maybe in a month or two (with my physician's approval) move on to some light sparring.

Thanks again for your help
 

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Logan, I just edited my last post to correct typos to make for it to be an easier read.

I would not discourage you not to box.

I get the impression that your doctor is one of those anti boxing lobby types. At least as for his attitude towards the sport of boxing.

But it use to be a by far more dangerous sport.

For in boxing in a contest you are trying to knockout your opponent out if possible. You don't have that usually in martial arts. Its based usually on points and not really full contact like boxing is. But there was a time before the rules and regulations changed in boxing in the amateur ranks when smaller gloves were worn in contests and no protective head gear was worn in contests. It was like that when I boxed.

You had to be tough to be a boxer. You still do despite the fact the changes in rules and regulations that has now softened the sport in the amateur ranks.

You got to be in shape for it!

You have to not be over matched!

If your in shape for it, and not over matched that reduces the risk of serious injuries.

I tend to blame the trainer for not stopping the fight. He should have been paying more close attention to what was going on when you was sparring the guy that hurt you. I blame the trainer.

You may need to train harder!

Tell me about your daily (if it is daily) workout routine.

I want to know what you have been doing or what you had been doing to get in shape!

Its too bad you don't live here where I do. I'd take you to the gym and teach you how to fight and spar with you without trying to kill you. You need experienced sparring partners and that will treat sparring as training not as being a contest that will not try to hurt you. Its the rockies the novice boys that don't know much who often are the ones who get out there and get hurt sparring. That's why you got hurt you had the wrong sparring partners. What makes a good fighter is GOOD SPARRING PARTNERS. That's the way to learn more. You can't learn much sparring with novices for they don't have the experience.

JJC
 

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Here's just a little story about a concusion that happened at Larry Holmes's gym...


In 2002 when Larry was training for the Butterbean fight, a guy was getting mouthy in there. He is currently 9-1-0 as a pro, and he is a heavyweight, so Larry challenged him to spar. Well Larry wasn't even hitting him at sparring level punches, basicaly hitting the guy lightly (which would probably still be over 400 PSI). And he jabbed him lightly, and it knocked the guy down, he got up finished the round bloodied...and went home. Half way to his house he had to pull over, because he felt woosie. It turned out that he had a concusion, but it didn't kick in till 2 hours later. Just a short story my trainer told me about Larry. I go to Larry's gym, and even though he doesn't train like he would for a fight, and looks out of shape, he isn't. He could still do 10 rounds of sparring.
 

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Bill, I take what you had over all said to mean that Holmes challenged the kid because he was shooting his mouth off boasting about how tough he was. And had obviously said something that made Holmes angry, so he asked the kid to spar some rounds with him, and Holmes chose hurt him.

I would not agree that it was right for Holmes to have hurt the kid. He's a former world champion and the kid was obviously by far out classed despite the fact that Holmes was an old guy. Sounds to me like Holmes' ego over ruled his better judgment.

It really proves nothing for a former world champion, even a retired former champion and an old guy to get out there in the ring and to hurt some preliminary kid.

I like Holmes. I have great respect for Larry Holmes as fighter, he's a former world champion. But I cannot respect what he did by getting out there and hurting some preliminary kid only for reasons the kid obviously had offended him.

The reason the kid got hurt because it was a mismatch and Holmes had the kid too far out classed. And obviously Holmes did intend to hurt the kid. Holmes was wrong and should not have done that.

JJC
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Just thought I would give a quick update.

I spoke with my doc, and he said it was OK to return to sparring, but only under close supervision of a qualified trainer and with more experienced partners (basically just mirroring what people here had recommended).

We both agreed that competing at this stage of the game is probably not such a good idea, and that if I have any more head incidents that I need to contact him ASAP.

Thus far I've been happily hitting the gym hard, but haven't sparred yet (probably next week when I get all the kinks out).

Thanks again for everyone's help, I do appreciate it.
 

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Logan60 said:
I spoke with my doc, and he said it was OK to return to sparring, but only under close supervision of a qualified trainer and with more experienced partners (basically just mirroring what people here had recommended).

We both agreed that competing at this stage of the game is probably not such a good idea, and that if I have any more head incidents that I need to contact him ASAP.

Thus far I've been happily hitting the gym hard, but haven't sparred yet (probably next week when I get all the kinks out).
ASAP your doctor said! What I hear him saying is that he knows that your not going to stop fighting, and he knows that in your case that what happened to you is soon going to happen again, and then maybe it will convince you to turn to a more non-violent sport in which there is less risk of brain injury.

And he may be right!

Amateur boxing over the years has come to be softened a lot. So much so in fact that within the last ten years that there has come to be even girls out there boxing now.

The new rules and regulations of now requiring protective head gear to be worn in contests have reduced the risk of injury a lot.

As well as some other rules and regulations have come to be in place that also helps to reduce the risk of injury.

I hear a lot today especially on boxing bulletions boards about youngers suffering a lot of injuries and seemingly serious injury.

Kind of makes me wonder why I had not seen much of that in my time boxing amateur back in the 1960s.

Of course, you have to be in shape for it. You have to be tough in body, and if your not you can easily suffer injury, even serious injury.

You got to be in shape for it!

In part, here is that problem ...

NO ONE TRAINS TODAY AS HARD AS BOXERS ONCE DID.

If they do, it is certianly NOT with the knowledge of those before them.

The truth is the great trainers of boxing are history.

I could give names of those who were great trainers in boxing and chances are you may be would have even heard of them only because they were not in you time in boxing. And they are like master pieces that will never be replaced.

In fact, just recently an old times who is still out there training amateur boxers in his case just recenty said that to me. He was right!

The great boxing trainers are history, and are like great master pieces that can never be replaced.

Boxers today, now have strength trainers, rub down guys, physical therapists, and even trainers who have never boxed out there, or if they did box, may not have had more that two or three amateur fights.

Well, maybe they are nice guys. But EXPERTS?

Now this is the advice I would now give to you .....

Over the next three months stay out of the ring, not sparring, or you may soon end up hurt as you were before again.

And do this over the next three months ....

* Get out there at the break of day in the mornings at 5:30 am, or at 6:00 am and do your roadwork (running). Get out there earky in the mornings when the air is more pure and clean to breath. And do that EVERY DAY, not just on some days.

* Evenings ... forget all that stuff about lifting weights. You don't need that to get stronger. If you know how exercise you don't need that to get stronger.

In the early evenings have about half workout of of doing hard calisthenics (such as basic exercises such as push ups, situps, or crunches, and deep kneebends, squats and those kinds of exercises) and stretching exercises.

And do this EVERDAY!

This will strengthen and harden your body, and make your body more flexible. And the roadwork in the mornings will build you stamina.

* On top of all that if you are able to go to the gym FIVE DAYS A WEEK in the early evenings do it, but NOT SPARRING for at least three months. Just skip rope and shadow box, and workout on the heavy bag, speed bag, and on the mitts.

And with the calisthenics and stretching exercises added all that make for it to be at least a two -- to two and half hour workout not not than FIVE DAYS A WEEK.

And there is also something else you need to do ... DO NOT KEEP LATE NIGHTS. Go to bed at time no later than 10:00 or 10:30 pm.

And also have a well-rounded balanced diet, eat three square meals a day.

You do that you do not need supplements.

But taking a multi vitamin and mineral tablet or pill is okay.

Having a well-rounded and balance diet, and getting enough sleep at night both will serve to get you more strength and energy.

You do that for three months, and your going to be in shape, and there will be less risk of injury sparring as long as your not mismatched, and if you have a trainer that at least half way knows what he's doing and he's going to watch out for you and not going to let you get hurt again LIKE HE DID LAST TIME we hope. Maybe you also need to get a better trainer. But of course, I was not there and did not see what happened when you got hurt so I don't really know.

Your still young, you got plenty of time. You don't need to get in a big hurry with this. You most need at this time in my opinion is to mostly exercise and to do the things I said and to get yourself in shape.

Hope you are not offended by any thing I said or by the way I said it. Boxing isn't for wussies! And if your going to be a fighter you need to get out there and get in real good shape and that will toughen you up. For you are going to have to take some punishment to your body if your going to be a boxer.

Thanks for the up date!

I wish you well.

JCC
 

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JCC said:
Bill, I take what you had over all said to mean that Holmes challenged the kid because he was shooting his mouth off boasting about how tough he was. And had obviously said something that made Holmes angry, so he asked the kid to spar some rounds with him, and Holmes chose hurt him.

I would not agree that it was right for Holmes to have hurt the kid. He's a former world champion and the kid was obviously by far out classed despite the fact that Holmes was an old guy. Sounds to me like Holmes' ego over ruled his better judgment.

It really proves nothing for a former world champion, even a retired former champion and an old guy to get out there in the ring and to hurt some preliminary kid.

I like Holmes. I have great respect for Larry Holmes as fighter, he's a former world champion. But I cannot respect what he did by getting out there and hurting some preliminary kid only for reasons the kid obviously had offended him.

The reason the kid got hurt because it was a mismatch and Holmes had the kid too far out classed. And obviously Holmes did intend to hurt the kid. Holmes was wrong and should not have done that.

JJC
Not really. Larry wasn't/didn't even hit him at sparring level shots. He was basicaly just tapping the man (he is in his mid 20's-early 30's) when he was open. Larry probably hits at around 600PSI full blast, and he was probably on hiting the kid 1/4 of that, so he was probably only hitting him at around 125-150PSI tops. They are obviously both heavyweights, and the guy really deserved to get put in his place. When ever he would spar a black guy, he would call them boy, and the "N" word to piss them off. When he would spar mexicans/puerto ricans, he would call them "*******" and stuff. He really deserved to get hit, and Larry challenged him to spar, the guy went full out, and Larry was all relaxed and only put 25% of his effort into it. He really didn't mean to hurt the guy.
 

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bill1234 said:

. . . the guy really deserved to get put in his place.

When ever he would spar a black guy, he would call them boy, and the "N" word to piss them off.

When he would spar mexicans/puerto ricans, he would call them "*******" and stuff.

He really deserved to get hit, and Larry challenged him to spar, the guy went full out, and Larry was all relaxed and only put 25% of his effort into it.
Thanks for letting me know that!

Then the guy deserved to get a good ass whooping.

I'm surprised that he didn't ban him from the gym for acting like that.

JJC
 

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JCC said:
Thanks for letting me know that!

Then the guy deserved to get a good ass whooping.

I'm surprised that he didn't ban him from the gym for acting like that.

JJC

Yes he did. Larry truly didn't mean to hurt him, just show him who's boss, and that he is no where near top dog.
 

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bill1234 said:
Yes he did. Larry truly didn't mean to hurt him, just show him who's boss, and that he is no where near top dog.
When I was boxing not often but every once and a while we would have some guy who was a the big bully type of tough guy come into the gym and try to pick fights with somebody and to shoot his mouth off.

And when ever that happened the trainer would put him out there to sparr not with a novice or a pro there were few pros who worked out at the gym and club I boxed for only one or two sometimes for it was an amateur boxing club.

The trainer would put the bully out there and usually the bully always would naturally be a big guy, with one of the open class and usually a smaller guy who had won championship titles who would really give the guy a real good ass whipping, and that would be the end of that.

There were no punks out there boxing really like there are today, boxing had better quality people as boxers in those days.

We may had all be poor born down in the boom docks on the poor side of town most of us were but we were not trashy kids.
 

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ive taken great delight in puting a hurting on some of these bullys the past few years, one thing i cant stand is a bully!
 
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