People often ask this question as some say boxing is considered more of a sport and not a martial art for a number of reasons.
One obvious reason being because boxing doesn’t have an Asian tradition that the majority of other martial arts possess. People that don’t really know much about martial arts just assume that they all come from an Asian tradition, and probably haven’t been following the current events that has developed over time.
The origin of boxing as an organized sport was accepted by the Ancient Greeks in BC 688 as an Olympic game, and then between the 16th-18th centuries boxing had evolved, especially in Great Britain.
The definition of martial arts is a structured system and a tradition of combat practices; these are often trained for many things such as self defense, military, competition, physical fitness, mental and spiritual development. Boxing may not fall under all of the categories that follow the criteria of it being a martial art, however it is still a type of stand up combat that requires technical focus on strikes of punching. Boxing has the most effective and efficient hand work out of all the martial arts, and no wonder it is named the art of punching.
Some won’t claim that boxing is a form of martial arts because it’s restricted with a lot of rules and is entirely dependent on scoring points which makes it a pure sport. But then some say there must be a reason why most professional Mixed Martial Art fighters learn western boxing, and believe it to be a primary tool for many well rounded martial artists today, especially now with MMA being such a huge popular sport to watch with rules that includes boxing.
Other fight styles like Taekwondo and Karate are restrained by rules and regulations like boxing which ultimately take away the status of a credible martial arts. But these days when Mixed Martial Artists train they incorporate boxing into their punches, because of their credibility and their speed and effectiveness in real fighting.
Logically, professional boxing should be classed as a martial art because it is still seen as a skill that teaches you how to fight, how to defend yourself, how to strike and where to strike, so why is boxing no different? Sometimes people question it because in boxing you are only using your arms, but then in Taekwondo you almost entirely use your feet, and in Kendo you only use swords. So in conclusion, every technique is different and has their own uniqueness which makes it their own, every fighting style is an art and deserves recognition.
What are your thoughts?