Not long after posting yesterday’s entry, I received an email from an individual who questioned the significance of skill if one possessed extreme power and strength. He then attempted to use Mike Tyson as an example of a dominant boxer who thrived on power, not skill.
I wasn’t surprised by the comment, despite disagreeing with it. Many younger boxing fans are only familiar with short highlight videos of Mike Tyson’s one punch knockouts. They fail to understand or appreciate the skill behind those knockouts.
Mike Tyson was actually an extremely talented defensive fighter. His head movement and ability to make opponents miss is often what left him in position to land the knockout punch. Tyson wasn’t effective simply because he was strong or naturally powerful. He was also a talented boxer with a vast range of skills.
The video below highlights his defensive prowess.
Ironically, a friend of mine who sparred with Tyson when they were both accomplished professionals has named a few fighters that he believed hit harder than Tyson. I won’t bother listing the names here, as most are fighters that no one has ever heard of.
In summary, no one will deny the potential importance of power, but don’t make the mistake of assuming it overrules the significance of skill. If you wish excel at a sport, you must practice and perform it. Supplemental training must not interfere with your development in the sport. Focus on the sport first and foremost, and then make small additions to enhance your development. In time, your ability to handle greater workloads will increase, thus you’ll be able to perform more supplemental training. The process often takes years, not weeks or months. Either prepare yourself for the long haul or be prepared to fail.
“What we don’t understand we can make mean anything.” – Chuck Palahniuk