Is Boxing Considered a Martial Art

Is Boxing Considered a Martial Art or Not? (This is Why)

Is Boxing a martial art? Here is why it is.

Boxing can definitely be considered a martial art. In fact, boxing is one of the oldest martial arts. The definition of martial art is something that has codified systems and traditions of combat practiced for example for self-defense.

In this post, we will go through the deeper meaning of martial art, as well as why boxing is definitely a martial art.

Is boxing a martial art?

The question of whether boxing is a martial art or not has been around for a while.

Boxing can definitely be called a martial art, due to the nature of the sport. It is one of the oldest martial arts and combat sports that are still being actively practiced.

The modern-day definition of martial art is kind of a loose one. It has many different criteria, and a sport only really has to fill one to be considered to be a martial art.

With boxing, we can tick the box with several of these criteria. More about them below, after we go through the definition of martial art.

What is a martial art?

Let’s take a closer look into what is martial art.

According to Wikipedia, a martial art is:

Martial arts are codified systems and traditions of combat practiced for a number of reasons such as self-defense; military and law enforcement applications; competition; physical, mental, and spiritual development; entertainment; and the preservation of a nation’s intangible cultural heritage.


Therefore, we can find at least several reasons, why boxing can be considered to be a martial art.

Why is boxing a martial art?

Since we already went through, what is the definition of martial art, at least according to Wikipedia, we can now see how well boxing fits that term.

Let’s also say that a sport or a combat sport only really has to fit into one of the criteria of martial art to be one. Boxing fits in several ones. Let’s go through different reasons why boxing can be considered to be a martial art.

Boxing can be used for self-defense

Boxing can definitely be used for self-defense purposes. That is one of the main “definitions” of martial art when commonly spoken about martial arts.

The first thing that comes to mind went talking about martial arts is probably self-defense. At least for me.

Boxing can really help you out in self-defense situations, so therefore, boxing fits the mold of a martial art from a self-defense standpoint.

You can compete in boxing

Boxing is one of the oldest martial arts that have had competitions.

Even today, boxing is one of the most watched sports of all time. Boxers do get paid a lot more, than their MMA counterparts due to several different reasons.

Anyway, since there are a lot of competitions around boxing, amateur and professional, I think it’s safe to say that boxing can be defined as a martial art from this aspect as well.

Boxing can aid physical, mental, and spiritual development

Boxing can also aid physical, mental, and spiritual development.

Physical development should be a no-brainer. Not only will boxing burn tons of calories, but it can also help you to build muscle and tone up your muscles.

On top of that, boxing can definitely have mental benefits to it. When you are practicing boxing, you can not think about anything else as you go.

It is kind of a meditative state, where you can not stress about work or school, you have to focus on that one thing or you might get knocked out.

That being said, I think it’s safe to tick the box about physical and mental development from boxing, which further indicated it is a martial art.

Boxing can be used for entertainment

I am not sure whether this means entertaining the crowd or the boxer themselves, but I am sure boxing fits this category.

Boxing can be enjoyed by the people watching it, as well as the ones competing and practicing it.

That is the last point that can definitely make boxing a martial art.

boxing gloves

Why is boxing not a martial art?

Even though all we have already gone through, some people claim that boxing is not a martial art.

That is because according to different definitions, martial art means different things.

Some previous definitions of martial art only count Asian martial arts as martial arts. Therefore, western boxing does not fit in.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, I think we can agree that boxing is a martial art, according to its modern definition.

This is more like a literature question, rather than a martial art one, but with boxing ticking all the different boxes for being a martial art, then it is and should be considered as one.

Even though the older or different definitions of martial art have had different criteria for martial arts, the modern one does fit boxing in it.

Read also: Are martial arts sports?

Hopefully, this was helpful, have a nice day.

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