How Long Does It Take To Learn Boxing? (And Get Good!)

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Boxing is a rewarding sport to get into, but before you get started you likely want to know how long it takes to learn it and potentially become proficient.

Learning the fundamentals of boxing usually takes around 6 months. It can take 1-2 years to be considered proficient. But the sport of boxing is a lifelong practice that can be continuously improved and never perfected.

Following a structured program could help speed up your boxing skill, scroll to the end of this article to see a solution to that.

About the author: Joe, a martial artist since 2019, has specialized in Boxing and other striking martial arts, like Thai Boxing. His passion for fighting helps break down difficult concepts so you can learn faster.

Joe Bloom MMA Hive Author

Meanwhile, let me give you my insights into my experience of the first few years of my boxing journey.

My experience of how long it takes to pick up boxing

A coach wrapping hand wraps around a students hands for Boxing

You can learn a strong base in Boxing for as fast as 6 months with a good trainer or coach. It can take longer for some people who don’t have a natural rhythm for fighting, or even faster for people with a history of sports.

Almost anyone can pick up a pair of beginner boxing gloves and start training and nearly anywhere in the world because there are gyms globally. Boxing is one of the oldest fighting sports there is in the world and the options reflect that.

This means that you can (and should) pick up Boxing if you have an interest in learning the skills and you want to physically progress to some of the best conditioning of your life.

I started Boxing in 2019 and was immediately hooked by the intricate challenges in the art of throwing a punch. Everything about timing, footwork, and down to the muscles used when punching inspired me to keep learning.

The speed at which you can learn Boxing depends on many factors.

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If you have a background in sports, particularly rhythmic sports like Soccer and Basketball, then you might have the advantage of learning the skills whilst also being able to meet the physical demands.

If you’re not particularly sporty, then it could be a bit more challenging to learn the fundamentals at first but it would be well worth your time and you’ll still have fun doing it.

How long to expect to learn boxing fundamentals

It takes at least 6 months to learn the fundamentals of Boxing, though for some people it can take up to 1-2 years if they aren’t naturally inclined to it.

Learning the fundamentals to a good level requires regular practice and dedication to listening and learning from your coach.

I have seen some men and women walk into their first few classes of Boxing and pick up the essentials very quickly, like the jab, cross, hook, slip, and weave.

I’ve also seen other students walk in and struggle to get down those essentials even after a month, or longer.

Some people just do – or don’t – have the natural ability, rhythm, and awareness to pick up the skills by watching and then doing. Some students are great at listening to feedback that they get from coaches, and this helps them greatly, while others don’t take the learning process seriously enough to be able to develop.

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Boxing, like any other martial art, requires a certain level of obsession with learning. You have to want to get better than you were last time and keep coming back for it.

Expectations for how long it takes to become a good boxer

It could take at least 1-2 years of regular training to get good at Boxing. If you’ve learned and improved on the fundamentals and are moving into more advanced combinations and footwork then you could be considered an intermediate and “good”.

But, it’s worth saying, “good” is a relative and subjective term! What I may think is a good Boxer could be pretty different from another.

Some Boxers (whether amateur or not) are great power punchers, and others are very hard to hit with amazing movement. They are both potentially “good” Boxers, but they have slightly different skillsets in the same sport of Boxing.

The skills in Boxing are much wider than throwing punches. There’s footwork, combinations, defense, slips, weaves, accuracy, power, and reading your opponent’s body language. Doing all of these well is what makes up a great Boxer.

To become a good, or even great, Boxer you need to prioritize all the different areas of the sport to become effective and keep progressing until you reach a good stage.

You’ll know if you’re “good” when your trainer or coaches in group classes pick you out of the class to help demonstrate to the other students in the class. The first time it happens, it’s pretty exciting! But.. you know… stay humble.

Boxing results expectations after 6 months

A group of Boxing beginners

After 6 months of Boxing, you should feel confident about the fundamentals. You should know how to throw a good jab, cross, hook, and simple combinations. With your footwork and movement, you should have a decent awareness of moving around an opponent and be ready to start very light sparring.

In my own experience, in the first 6 months of Boxing, I was mostly climatizing to the physical fitness demands of the sport.

Some Boxing training sessions may be more skills-focused and require less physical fitness to get through it as they are more about learning the details. But in other classes, your Boxing ability can be pushed to the extremes by pushing in heavy-hitting or going through HIIT-style demands by pushing fast for a period, then resting for the same, and repeating over and over again.

When most people start Boxing, they can’t move very fast with their feet or with their hands. And I was probably about the same. A lot of Boxing is about speed and efficiency, and so towards the end of your first 6 months, you should be trying to get faster and more accurate with your strikes.

By focusing on speed and accuracy, your muscles and cardio levels will learn to adjust and build up to be able to deal with the high demand on the nerves running through your body.

In the early days it’s one thing to think “throw a jab” but to actually act upon it, when you are pushed to exhaustion 49 minutes into your session, is another. I remember feeling like I couldn’t connect my decision-making from my bran and into my muscles quick enough, but over time it gets better as your fitness and mind-body connection for speed improves.

Boxing results expectations after 1 year

Two Boxers sparring at the gym

After 1 year of Boxing, you should be able to put together more advanced combinations that include difficult footwork movement patterns. Your power, speed, and accuracy will have improved, and be able to do both light and medium-level sparring.

From my own experience, a year into learning Boxing allowed me to feel a lot more confident about delivering combinations just from muscle memory. My fitness had improved massively and I was better able to meet the demands of both power and speed, depending on the training or situation.

This is really where you want to get stuck into sparring if you’re interested in upgrading to fighting an opponent. You can learn all the Boxing you want on the pads or the heavy bag, but it is an entirely different thing to use what you’ve learned against another person.

Sparring is very challenging, especially early on. But you just need to go in with a desire to learn and stay humble (or get humbled by someone quickly) and try to apply the basics of what you know. Starting out too flashy won’t help you, as you’re more likely to get sat on your butt.

Whether you are going to be sparring or not, you should have a much higher natural ability to return to the gloves on the pads or heavy bag at any time with confidence.

In the early days, it can feel sometimes feel like trying to remember everything you are learning is too difficult because there’s just so much information to intake. But after a year of repetition, your body will know how to apply Boxing techniques from muscle memory.

You should be using this time to get even better at fundamentals so that you can take it into advanced training. It’s the perfection of fundamentals that will bring you to becoming a master Boxer.

Boxing results expectations after 2 years

An advanced Boxer training with a coach

After 2 years of Boxing, you should feel like a strong intermediate-to-advanced level. You’ll be able to learn and repeat complicated combinations easier, and your fitness level can adjust to the demands of training. You’ll be more confident in heavy sparring and be able to hold your ground confidently.

After 2 years of Boxing, I personally found myself rediscovering new ways to train and view my education of the sport.

In 2 years of Boxing classes, it can be pretty easy to pick up some bad habits. If you’re serious about learning to get better at the intermediate stage, it’s a good idea to get an experienced Boxing coach to help you uncover any of these bad habits and replace them with good form.

As for me, I had a pretty sketchy jab and left hook that was leaving me with a recurring shoulder injury, plus I simply couldn’t generate much power from them.

When I dedicated some time to an experienced coach (thank you Gianni Subba AKA “Brown Canelo”), they helped me to correct some of my flaws by working from the ground up. Feet placement, foot, and hip pivoting, positioning, and distance.

Whilst these may sound like basics or fundamentals, they are in my experience some of the hardest skills to perfect.

Anyone can throw a punch, but only the best can throw a punch whilst being able to avoid a counterattack, use their energy output efficiently with generating power through the body instead of the arm, all while remaining perfectly balanced and ready to fire again.

Aside from perfecting these key factors, anyone surpassing the 2-year mark should get involved in at least semi-regular sparring to really start to improve their reactions and both offensive and defensive maneuvering. Mixing it up with technical sparring and heavy sparring to broaden your ability in handling challenges.

At this level, you might be training for or have already been involved in an amateur Boxing match. Sometimes even sooner, all depending on your goals and ability!

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