Tags: west point | taking | punches | boxing

West Point Taking Punches: Military Academy Requires Boxing

West Point Taking Punches: Military Academy Requires Boxing
(Refat Mamutov/Dreamstime)

By    |   Monday, 06 November 2017 09:32 AM

All cadets at West Point are learning to take a punch since the U.S. Military Academy made boxing classes mandatory for men and women, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Boxing has been taught at the academy for over a century but wasn't compulsory for female cadets until last year.

Brigadier General Diana M. Holland, who became West Point's first female commandant of cadets, said the issue was about men and women doing the same thing.

"Now, whether boxing should be a requirement for anybody is a different discussion," she said, according to Fox News.

Requiring boxing has been controversial.

The New York Times reported that the boxing classes were responsible for at least one out of five concussions suffered at West Point alone, with at least a quarter of all concussions at the Naval Academy directly linked to the sport.

This statistic exceeds the number of concussions sustained in football by nearly double.

Cadet Kiana Stewart told The Washington Post that she was initially skeptical but found her first class empowering, despite having her nose bloodied.

"It's because I put my hands down too early," she said. "I thought he blew the whistle and I got clocked in the face, and that was just dumb on my part. It definitely teaches you to be on guard."

Despite the controversy, West Point's cadets have excelled at the sport.

The men's team has won eight National Collegiate Boxing Association championships during the past 10 years, The Wall Street Journal noted, and both the men's and women's teams earned national championships last year.

The idea is to teach cadets the skill of fighting.

Ray Barone, the coach of the West Point collegiate boxing team, said per The Wall Street Journal that boxing allowed the instructors to "take a person, put them in a fearful situation and try to see how they react."

He explained that students are taught "how to move, how to throw and defend a jab."

Once cadets have mastered these skills, they graduate on to more advanced techniques.

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All cadets at West Point are learning to take a punch since the U.S. Military Academy made boxing classes mandatory for men and women.
west point, taking, punches, boxing
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2017-32-06
Monday, 06 November 2017 09:32 AM
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