Boxing With Glasses - Practical Guide
Not everyone has perfect eyesight, but lacking 20/20 vision should never prevent you from enjoying boxing. Even so, there are regulations against boxing with glasses for obvious reasons. You will get hit in the face, and if you are wearing glasses, then you know what can happen to them.
So, is it possible to box if you wear glasses? Of course, it is. If you are just training, you can check with your gym, coach, etc. to see if you're allowed to at least wear sports glasses with headgear. However, if you do want to take a professional approach, even in amateur boxing, you won't be able to actually wear your glasses during a bout.
To help you further understand what it is you need to do, we created this handy little guide so that you can jump into the ring and enjoy yourself regardless of your eyesight.
Understand Your Vision
Before you can even think about the issue of glasses and boxing, you should have a firm understanding of your vision in the first place. Just how well or how bad can you see? As long as you are not legally blind, then you should find a way to box. Of course, there are other martial arts you can participate in if you're blind, but as boxing relies on you seeing the punches coming, it will help that you can at least see something in front of you.
Get yourself a current checkup if you're interested in boxing so that you know if it will be easy or not to remove those glasses and step into the ring.
Consider the Alternatives
When it comes to boxing if you have to wear glasses, there are a few routes you can take to get around the situation:
- Sports Glasses
- Corrective Surgery
- The fourth option... (training your eyesight)
Now, we mentioned sports glasses earlier. These are more durable than your regular glasses, and they are always a good option if it's allowed while training. On the other hand, we also mentioned how it isn't always allowed. If you are to compete, you can't wear anything that gets in the way, and sports glasses are included in that.
For those of you truly uncomfortable not wearing glasses during training, then these are a viable alternative if it's allowed.
There are many people who choose to go the route of contact lenses. There are both benefits and disadvantages when it comes to wearing contacts while boxing.
First, the benefit is clear: you can see. Your vision is not obstructed in any way. You can see just as well as your opponent who may have perfect vision. This can make a match far more comfortable in the long run for you as you aren't squinting or straining. Your focus is purely on the match, not whether or not you can see that punch coming.
Now, there are two major drawbacks when it comes to boxing with contacts: losing them and injuries.
As stated before, you will get hit in the face. The face is one of the primary targets in boxing as it can completely render someone unable to fight. Your opponent is not going to care that you are wearing contacts; they are going to nail whatever shot they can take, including your eyes.
If you do get hit in the eye, there is a great risk that you can lose your contact. Losing a contact, or both of them, in the middle of the fight can quickly throw you off. If you are not used to fighting with poor vision, then there's a high chance that you will lose.
Concerning injuries, taking a strong hit in the eye can lodge your contact lens further into your eye. Also, even if your contact holds firm, your eye can swell up, making it impossible to remove the lens until the swelling has gone down.
These are risks that many just are not willing to take, but if you have soft contact lenses, you may have a better chance getting through the fight without losing them or having them moved.
This is an alternative that many professionals undertake. Having corrective surgery to improve your eyesight is as good as an option as any to ensure that you don't need to worry about glasses or contacts.
Lasik is one of the most popular surgeries to undergo to improve your vision. About 96% of people receive positive outcomes from it, but it does come with its share of drawbacks such as fluctuating vision. It's up to you to decide if this is the best option to take if you don't want to box with blurry vision or with contacts.
The Fourth Option: Training Your Eyesight (and Confidence)
We spoke about the few alternatives you can consider if you are truly uncomfortable fighting with poor vision. However, if you don't want to partake in any of those other options, then there is still something you can do: remove your glasses.
It is a simple task, yet a daunting one at first. Rest assured though: many boxers who need glasses go in without anything to aid their vision. You will certainly struggle at first, so it is important that you work yourself up to fighting without your glasses before undergoing a professional match.
Here are a few suggestions to help you work up the confidence to fight without vision aids:
- Make use of various punching bags
- Get into the flow of shadowboxing
- Train with a sparring partner you trust
You can begin to train your eyesight by taking off your glasses and stepping up to a punching bag. Whether it is a heavy bag or speed bag, just train like anyone else. You may be a tad bit off of your game at first, but it's important that you keep going and not reach for those glasses to make it easier on yourself. Your eyesight has to learn to adapt to throwing hits without seeing clearly.
Try your hand at shadowboxing without glasses. Seems like an easy task, right? It actually does quite a bit to help train your eyesight through training your muscle memory. The more you shadowbox, the more you get a feel on how you should stand, your footwork, and the proper ways to throw a punch.
Leave your glasses aside so you're not compelled to look into the mirror. You should be able to truly feel how your body from your arms to your legs should move when landing that punch.
When you are ready to move on from the bag and shadowboxing, you should step into the ring with a sparring partner that you trust without using anything to aid your vision. Train with mitts first before you decide on contact sparring. Mitt training is perfect in getting a feel of where your fists need to be and how to dodge if all you see is a blurry mess.
We stress that you should have a partner you trust training with you because you want to get better, not lose confidence in yourself. Work with your partner to not necessarily make it too easy for you, but help guide you along so that you build-up your ability to react without seeing properly.
The inevitable option when it comes to training your eyesight is to actually spar. You and your partner can work things out here, selecting to only train certain areas such as work on footwork, defense/offense, etc. Do not try to tackle everything at once. This is something you aren't used to, so again, you have to build yourself up to a comfortable level.
Some Parting Thoughts
There is no doubt that boxing with glasses can be a difficult thing to accomplish. When you're training or even in a match, you may get hit more than a few times and miss a few easy-to-land punches. However, all of this is worth it in order to train your eyesight and your body to adapt to this newfound sensation.
The more you work on this, the better you will get. Your confidence will bolster to the point that you won't hesitate once you step into that ring. You have trained for this, so you know you can handle not seeing as clearly. As long as you remain aware of where your opponent is at all times, then you can handle yourself in the fight as well as anyone else.