Rehearsal with Boxer/Dancer Kim Holman

Boston-based boxer and modern dancer Kim Holman (Artistic Director of Luminarium Dance Company) joined rehearsal earlier this week to provide some boxing training and consultation for cast and team alike.

[A note for our cast: find notes from rehearsal and videos of boxing combos on the Boxing Resources page, found in the password protected C1 Biz dropdown menu.]

Some big takeaways from our conversations…

  • Boxing is 100% a mental sport. Any fear or intimidation, you’re going to lose. You’re constantly training in something and part of that is to have a strong sense of self. You also have to be strategic in the ring – there are times when you’re sitting back and assessing, and others when aggression has to come fast.
  • All boxers have a unique relationship with their trainer. As a trainer, you’re responsible for someone’s life, trying to get someone else to take risks and put themselves in harms way. It’s a slippery seesaw of being the person to make the call if the fight needs to be stopped, and then also being very caring. Also, having a coach is a different type of relationship than you have with professors, or other kinds of mentors. You need to have 100% trust in them, and you bond fast.
  • Boxing rules how you live your life, any physical risks that go wrong can make you lose a lot of ground fast, so you have to be cautious. Getting hit in the ring can cause a lot of injury. Before every fight, boxers get a medical check-up, but some will put up a good front so they can get cleared and make it into the fight. When punches start getting thrown, adrenaline takes over, and you almost don’t feel the injuries. But some are hard to throw: with bruised or broken ribs, every breath you take, there’s pain.
  • The sport is very “you against yourself” — you can measure your own progress. You have to be aware of and in control of your body. You gain a lot of skills when you first start training, and maybe plateau a few times, but you watch yourself progress.

Some boxing vocabulary:

  • Smokers/Burners: exhibition fights that are used to boost confidence and focus and grind 
  • Shadowboxing: an exercise intended to get a boxer the habit of throwing punches without using your brain
  • Combinations: series of different types of punches and moves that a boxer has in their arsenal to use in the ring. Some examples:
    • 1 – 2 – 3 – 6 = jab, jab, hook, uppercut
  • Slips: A way to dodge your opponent’s punch: the tiney-est, baby-est motion

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