Slap Boxing – The Friendly Quasi-Martial Art

Slap boxing is well-known within the sport of boxing and as the name implies, it is a variation of boxing with the fist kept open to ‘slap’ the opponent. The result is a more toned down form of fighting with the slaps inciting pain but not causing massive damage compared to closed fists.

History of Slap Boxing

The exact root of this sport is unknown – the quasi-martial art may have started as early as its boxing forefather which was practiced by the Sumerians. It is widely believed, however, that it evolved a little later upon the inclusion of boxing gloves within the sport. Slap boxing could be an adaptive form of boxing when the players have no gloves or protective gear to be used on the hands.

As a result, slap boxing is often practiced informally. You’ll find this being played in the gym, a garage, or practically any place where sufficient space is available.

Slap Boxing as a Sport

Technically not recognized as a ‘sport,’ there’s no shortage of slap boxers practicing this quasi-martial arts. It’s not really surprising considering how similar it is to boxing. Slap boxers may use the same footwork, attacks, stance, and techniques as sport boxers with just a few adjustments since slap deliveries are different from straight punches.

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Slap boxing is often practiced as part of a sport boxer’s drill, as well as other martial arts. It can also be played for the sake of enjoyment and as a way to maintain or lose weight. Since games are played unofficially, there are no specific rules attached to the activity. In most cases, sparring regulations vary from one fighting club to another. Dubbed as a “Ghetto Game,” this practice is also an accepted form of ‘greeting’ between kids and may be seen as a way of showing affection between men and boys. In cases like these, the object is not to win but to slap and be slapped at least once, showing your opponent just how tough you can be. It is often noted that boxers who practice it have an improved hand-eye coordination and agility with their punches.

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When used as a form of self-defense, you’ll find that slap boxing works awfully well. Like boxing, it teaches the practitioner how to bob, weave, defend, and attack if needed. Although the slaps are considered less destructive than punches, it is still capable of rendering pain to the opponent, in most cases leaving them stunned for a few seconds.

Slap Boxing in Pop Culture

A lot of popular personalities have directly or indirectly admitted to slap boxing participation. In particular, rappers like Eminem, Jay-Z, and Brother Ali have released songs with references to the quasi-martial art.

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by Al Bargen