Overcoming physical barriers…

I’m a guy that’s just turned 37 in April and I’ve discovered I love boxing.  Boxing is incredibly physical and there are a couple of physical factors that gave me pause for thought back in March, at the start of the road to reaching an amateur level.

Prior dislocation of the right elbow

I’m right handed. By all accounts, I should fight from an orthodox stance (have a left handed jab and a right handed cross) but I don’t.

The reason I don’t is when I was 15 years old I had an accident playing soccer and landed on my right hand fully extended. I dislocated my elbow.  For some reason they didn’t set my elbow correctly:


If you compare this photo of my right compared to my left you can see that my arm has been reset at an angle (look at my palm position).

After the physio sessions when I was 15, I can straighten my arm but as I get older I get some chronic ache and also I find that I have to constantly do physio exercises to maintain full range of movement.  Nowadays, for example, I struggle slightly to do up the collar-tip buttons on a dress shirt.

Actually taking up boxing has actually made my elbow better because it’s forced me to do physio exercises again in order to make sure I still have more or less full range of motion in that arm.  Right now I think it’s probable that it’s 95%.

I can never be a good orthodox boxer.  My left jab would be fine but my right cross would have to travel that extra distance across my chest and because of my previous injury – There’s the speed but I think but the main problem – to snatch my right arm back to guard my face after I throw that punch… well it hurts and I know it would wear my elbow more.

I spent 1 week on the boat in an orthodox stance and the remaining 4 weeks as a southpaw to try both and I’m certain I’ve done the right thing.

My right arm is now my jabbing arm.  It doesn’t have to travel so far and I don’t have to snatch my arm so far back once I’ve thrown a jab.  One thing luckily, although my right elbow has been reset strangely, it hasn’t had any adverse affect on my reach.  I do worry if someone traps my elbow though as it’s still weaker than my left and it causes a jolt of pain.  Feels like electricity shooting up my elbow.

Myopia in both eyes

This is another minor problem in that I’m short sighted, -3.0 sphere in both eyes to be exact .  Normally when I play soccer, I wear contact lenses.  That’s fine but obviously getting punched in the face can knock out your lenses.  In sparring and amateur competition your eyes are protected by wearing a face guard to some extent but I’d rather not be worried about my contact lenses.

Worst case, my sight’s not so bad that I can’t see someone standing 2 feet away from me. Still, it’s something that’s going to annoy me and as with most sports, not having perfect sight is going to be a disadvantage.  How much it’s going to affect my boxing, I don’t know until I start to properly spar with someone.  Worst case I can always opt for corrective eye surgery  but I’d rather not part with 3000 GBP unless I have to.


Well that’s it folks…

  • A bad right elbow
  • Myopia

Doesn’t seem so bad. I get pretty annoyed I dislocated that elbow though.  It’s ridiculous how something done so long ago has an impact now but what can you do?

If anyone out there has similar mechanical problems and has boxed or continues to box I’d love to hear about your experience.

Anyway, all I can say is look after yourselves and take care of your body and your health.  If anyone’s reading this and trying to mend in some way then I wish you all the best.  Keep up your exercises – it pays long term and bless all those that work in the health care industry.


ExpertBoxing – The most important muscles for fighting