Friday, August 03, 2007

Female Wheelchair Boxing: Girl Fight Bout

Female wheelchair boxing isn’t a common thing...yet. Because I couldn’t find any examples on the internet I ended up making my own wheelchair boxing video after S. from my class/club agreed to be filmed. She is the best boxer in the class, has been boxing over a year and has really good form. She is also very fast. I have reach on her but she has movement and speed. This bout, because I couldn’t get power into my cross (with no power coming from the legs), I decided to use both hands as jab hands, though since I am left handed I use the right hand to jab more. We are not putting weight into the punches but since we both are moving we get some stinging, some bruising and I chewed funny for a day after getting hit hard on the jaw (I drop my jaw when I fight – bad habit). Both of us are smiling as we try to figure out strategy or in my case just think “Get her, get her, get her!”

Since trying to adapt boxing for a wheelchair is a work in progress, any tips are always appreciated. However you feel about boxing, I think this three minute bout is not exactly the “beat them till they drop” style of boxing. It should be obvious that we are both enjoying ourselves. It is only later that you go, “Gee, my nose really hurts.” And then check along your teeth for blood. This was filmed Monday and edited this week. Music is Teenager from My Chemical Romance.

16 comments:

Sober @ Sundown said...

Hi Beth,

You need some leopard skin gloves to go with your friend's pink ones....

Hope you are enjoying your new sport.

Cooper said...

That's kewl. I can see where a power punch would be an issue without anchoring yourself. Maybe a 360 degree swiveling chair with no back and your legs tucked underneath...maybe that could get more of your torso into the swing...falling over on your face could be an issue tho...Hmmmm...

Ruth said...

You might really surprise your opponent if you could brake your chair quickly, set yourself where you won't roll back, deliver a punch and then release the brake. (A boxing brake extender device?) Or try putting a sticky coating on the side of one glove so you can hold the chair still while you deliver a punch? This is a great video!

jabber63 said...

Loveing your stuff!

that boxing really looks like fun, and its great exercise.... i should get my punch bag out again!

Elizabeth McClung said...

Sober: yes, to match my Victoria secret panties as well. Enjoy....during, take muscle relaxant later.

Cooper: I tried the torso swing and hurt my back (which is why I dropped the cross), I think maybe a chair which carries motion is a good idea though, like wheelchair tennis chairs?

Ruth: If I get in a ring, I plan to hide in the corner - as you can see, my opponents have no issue running around behind me to hit me in the back of head (there is something about me that brings this out in people). If I could use my elbows to move the wheels I wouldn't have to drop my hands. Thanks for the feedback - I like the video too - I'm kinda proud I don't look as pathetic as I thought I would.

Jabber63: very much exercise, S. the girl in the pink gloves is scary fit.

Penelope said...

Very cool! Looks like a lot of fun!

I know in sparring in taekwondo (definitely different, but some of the movement stuff can be the same), we worked a lot on how to get a more precise movement in terms of turning and not moving extra and such. Also, turning one handed if possible helps because you can be using your other hand at the same time.

Sara said...

This is great! It blows out so many stereotypical cobwebs at once.

"But - but - she's hitting you! And she's a girl! And YOU'RE a girl! And you're in a wheelchair!

"Oh, and you're hitting back!"

Nice.

kathz said...

I can see you're enjoying it which is great. A little voice in my mind kept saying "ouch" every time a punch connected. You haven't thought of using a fencing mask for protection, I suppose?

But I do like the way it breaks stereotypes and I'm ever so pleased you enjoy it.

GayProf said...

I think boxing needs more cocktail rounds.

KateJ said...

Female wheelchair boxing is one thing... but posting the video on YouTube? That takes some guts- well done! You really look like you're enjoying it too!
I'm blogging again,too, if you want to take a look. But nothing so dramatic!

Elizabeth McClung said...

Penelope: I tried to find a taekwondo over here but they are all in Vancouver - yeah, try some one handed stuff - I also need to work on extending my arm all the way - but S. moves in and out of range really quickly.

Sara: I know, I think that is one of the reasons I like it so much; and the fact that guys who spar with me feel they are going to hell and mutter "bad enough hitting a girl..." Of course, there is another video of me with our instructor, the actual boxer - and it looks like I am a big bully as he never strikes back, just weaves his head so fast I can't hit it (only sometimes I do) so I look like I am torturing this middle aged guy who is doing everything he can to escape my rampage.

Kathz: when I go to the next level I will definately wear head and mouth gear - this is just like taking hits on the shoulder in epee, something you get used to.

Gayprof: ???????? - help!

KateJ: Well, if too many wierdos end up emailing me I will pull the video. I don't think I look to pathetic. And looking at the "female boxing" videos on youtube, they are mostly really bad amateur slapfests with gloves on (sad...so sad). They uphold stereotype, this doesn't (well, except the bright pink gloves)

Ms. Pet said...

*pout* I always wanted to get into boxing. By the time amateur female boxing became legal in Canada, I already had the fibromyalgia and my arms being one of my weekest areas, there was simply no way.

So, "You GO Grrl!" Is all I can say, and "Mmmmmmmmmm!" always nice to see a gal with strong arms! *wink, wink*

Tom said...

girls should be allowed to box even if they're in a wheelchair or not.

firedancer480 said...

Dear Elizabeth,

Thank you so much for this post and your video. My name is Erin McCool and I'm 29 and have cerebral palsy and am in a wheelchair. Since June I've been trying to get fit and gain upper body strength by doing a Jillian Michaels Kickboxing video that I modified the movements of myself so I can do them seated in my chair. But, I'm really interested in learning boxing and getting started boxing for real instead of just "sort of" with a video. Do you have any recommendations regarding gloves and equipment to get started?? Any help would be greatly appreciated. There's a local boxing gym that opened up near me that I emailed to see if they'd be willing to train me and they said yes and that they'd like to discuss it with me further...now i just have to convince my parents. They have reservations about how boxing can really help me, but it's something i really want to try. so, i hope i can convince them since i don't drive and they'd be my ride to class. Just in case I can't, can you recommend a standing pnching bag I might be able to use at home?? Thank you again, so much for your blog and for pursuing this sport (since before your blog i couldn't find any info on the net about wheelchair boxing) you have strengthened my desire to get started. Sincerely, Erin McCool

Elizabeth McClung said...

Erin McCool - for home, the best is a 'speed bag' as it is low impact and gets you into a rhythm of hand eye coordination. There is another Video on Youtube showing my coach training me on various aspects using the heavy bag - just look under mpshiel and wheelchair boxing. At first, I was very slow but the sit ups helped and keeping my arms up helped and hitting the pads (one person holds pads and you hit them in combinations) helps my coordination - my rehab therapist says it is 'locking in' a nerve sequence by doing it over and over again, like how brushing your teeth is easier than something new to try.

My training was totally integrated, I just did push some stuff in the chair or went down on mats and did more sit ups and push ups there. Shadow boxing is good to build up stamina and speed - all of that is non-contact, only after 6 months would you have a 'non-contact' bout where you would have arms up, and sometimes a glove hits someone coming in but there is no force behind it. So it looks bad but isn't.

It is a great cardio workout and a great fitness workout - I did national level epee before this and they have the same skills, defence, combinations, using your arm instead of a sword and trying to get past your opponent. I highly recommend it as a mental and physical stimulant - but I never once had a bruise, it is non-contact, you will need hand wraps (boxing hand wraps got in any sports store) and glove, practice gloves, not the STIFF competition ones, but the ones that absorb the most so when you hit the heavy bag it doesn't hurt. Speed bag at home is the best. Good luck!

wheelchairs said...

I really appreciate your post and you explain each and every point very well.Thanks for sharing this information.And I’ll love to read your next post too