Boxing and Newton's Three Laws of Motion Justin Guerra

Boxing is a combative sport, which means that there are two opponents who confront each other in combat. Unlike other combat sports such as Wrestling, Judo, Kung Fu, and many others, boxing requires their athletes to fight solely by using their fists. Other rules of this sport include "clean" strikes which means no attacking sensitive areas (below belt, back, or back of the head, neck, kidney, and/or groin) or attacking with restricted parts of the body (head, shoulder, forearm, and/or elbow). Like many other sports/practices, boxing displays Sir Isaac Newton's Three Laws of Motion.

Boxing Related Images Found On BoxingOntario, Flickriver, and Pinterest.
"every object persists in its state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line unless it is compelled to changed that state by forces impressed on it."
*Breakdown of Newton's First Law* -- "Law of Inertia"

Basically, the following law states that the behavior of all objects remain constant (same) unless it is acted upon by an unbalanced force. As explained in the diagram above, if an object is at rest, it will remain in rest. Vice versa, if the object is in motion, it will remain so. In order for this law to stay relevant there is a condition that must met, this condition is stated within the law: "...unless acted upon by an unbalanced force." As long as the forces remain balanced, the laws applies. If this unbalanced force where to inserted, the object would either be put to rest or would be given the energy required to accelerate.

An example which shows how boxing relates to the Law of Inertia would be before the exchange of punches between the two opponents. Depending on the skill of the boxer, if they were to be beginners, they would use the basic stance. In the stance, they would have their feet separated by shoulder width with their back foot slightly raised for mobility [defense]. In a match, the stance will keep the fighter balanced until the punch is delivered and the force knocks the opponent off balance. During this scenario, the fighter remained constant until it was delivered the first blow, or in other words, the unbalanced force.

Basic Stance As Shown By
"Force is equal to the change in momentum [p] (mass * Velocity) per change in time. for a constant mass, force equals mass times acceleration."

As already stated in Newton's first Law of Motion, an object at will not remain constant unless acted upon by an unbalance force. The following law states the relation between force and momentum which is: Force = Mass x Acceleration (Of Object). The acceleration can be changed by a change either in speed, direction, or both speed and direction. This would cause the acceleration to have either a positive or negative change. As already stated before, the acceleration can be changed by two factors, mass and acceleration (net force).

*Breakdown of Newton's Second Law* -- "Law of Force and Acceleration"

If the object's mass (in kilograms) were to be increased, it would take more force to cause the object to accelerate. As a result, the object would have a slower acceleration then it had before. Vice versa, if the force were to be increased without any other changes, the acceleration would also increase. This all shows that there is a directly proportional relationship. Due to this fact, we can rearrange the following equation to find either find the mass [mass = force/acceleration] or the acceleration [acceleration = force/mass] if anyone of the following components are present.

Conversion Equations for Acceleration, Force, and Mass [From Zona Land Education]

An example which shows how boxing relates to the Law of Force and Acceleration would be the amount of damage your punch could deliver. For a boxer, there are a few factors that must be taken into consideration when you want to determine how hard your blow will be. These factors include the mass of the boxer and the force used to deliver the punch. While the amount of time spent in training also matters, it does not have any correlation to Newton's Law. Mass is the main component in which many boxer's differ in. Usually, the larger the opponent (heavyweight boxers) would be able to apply more force into their punches. There is an exception for a few boxers who train under differentiating conditions than the usual regimen would recommend. Due to this, some skilled fighters are able to hit harder than you would expect them to. The harder the hit, the more force it will need.

#MassMatters [Photo from HIT Leaders and News & Telegraph]
"For every action, there is an equal and opposite re-action."

Newton's third law also known as, the Law of Interaction, states that after every interaction which occurs, there will be a re-action to the previous action. The following statement tells us that these forces ALWAYS come in pairs which are equal and opposite. An example would be if you have two different objects labeled A and B placed in an enclosed area. Imagine both objects were placed across each other but had some distance between them. If you were to add force to object A, it would accelerate until it reaches object B. The moment A and B come into contact, B will receive the transferred force and it will accelerate. Due to the fact that both A and B are in an enclosed area, B will return after hitting the edge/wall of the secluded area and will return until it hits A again.

Definition and Depiction of Newton's Third Law: Law of Interaction [From WordPress]

An example which shows how boxing relates to the Law of Interaction would be when your punches come into contact with the opponent. The moment the punch and your opponent connect [ACTION], your opponent would feel a slight shock depending on the amount of force. Due to the slight shock, your opponent may stumble, collapse, or they might counter you with the same amount of force which was exerted [RE-ACTION].

Another example which shows how the contact sport relates to the Law of Interaction would be the movement the boxer uses. Depending on the boxer's physique, there are a few different stances which a boxer may use in order to defend himself/herself from incoming attacks. One of the most basic and most used footwork techniques is the shuffle. This technique is practiced in a few different ways: The first is to take a quick step with your leading foot and slide using the other opposite foot. The other way this technique is done is by a slow but more steady pace. The technique is done the same but at different paces in order to give the fighter the stability they need for combat. In terms relating to Newton's Laws of Motion, pressure (force) is exerted your leading foot which pushes downward. Since you are on the ground, your force is being placed against the ground. Even though it may not seem like it, the ground pushes back with the same amount of force [Equal Yet Opposing Forces].

Other than this, another example could be your or your opponent's body pushing against the ropes of the ring after receiving a blow or two. The force applied to your body would then be transferred to the ropes which like Newton stated would provide an "equal and opposite re-action." This action would show your body hitting the ropes and then returning with the same amount of force. For a boxer, this action could be thought to be a double-edged sword. With the amount of force which was exerted, the boxer could either use it to their advantage with a counter or this may be used against them by the opponent.

April 6, 2010 by Johnny N. (Boxing Strategy, Counter-Punching) [Southpaw Position]
even though we may be unaware of it, newton's three laws of motion are always taking course no matter the activity. from the moment the bell goes off, until the moment one opponent drops, newton's laws are constantly in use. boxing was just one of many sports which contributed to the laws and their usage.
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