JAW TRAINING FOR STRIKERS
Black Belt|August/September 2021
NEWS FLASH: FIGHTERS GET PUNCHED IN THE JAW! THE JAW AND ITS HINGES, ALONG WITH THE CHIN, ARE COMMON TARGETS FOR KNOCKOUT ARTISTS. A WELL-PLACED PUNCH TO THE JAW CAN RENDER AN OTHERWISE TREMENDOUSLY CONDITIONED ATHLETE UNCONSCIOUS IN A HEARTBEAT.
MARK HATMAKER

Boxers of old and more than a few of the modern era believed that a bit of jaw conditioning renders one better able to sustain blows to this vital spot. The science as to the efficacy of this practice is not definitive, but for many, it makes sense to indulge in some insurance training that takes so little time out of your schedule.

In olden days, many boxers would chew pitch in the belief that constantly working the jaw muscles was a good conditioner. Some used a plug of tobacco that they kept moving from side to side for the same reason. Nowadays, many have adopted the practice of chewing large wads of gum with the same end in mind.

Chewing gum is a bit of a low-impact activity for such a high-impact pursuit, so let’s have a look at what some have done to up the resistance ante. We’ll start with a British middleweight fighter of note from the late 1970s: Alan Minter.

I won’t delve too much into Minter’s career. Suffice it to say that he garnered a bronze medal as a light middleweight at the 1972 Olympics and won an undisputed middleweight title in 1980 after having spent time on the British and European middleweight thrones.

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