Typically, when we defend we tense up to protect our self. In the Ring, in Everyday Life, If an attack is perceived a first Reaction is usually one of tension. This tension is more of a resistance to what is going to occur than a response to the degree of severity of what we are dealing with.
Learning to Invite the Punch begins with becoming familiar with the Tension Pattern we use in a moment of crisis.
One common Tension Pattern used to protect the self is a Shoulder Slump, when both ends of the Shoulder Girdle collapse forward. This brings the head and neck forward, making us more vulnerable to being hit.
Another common reaction to a punch is to shove the arms forward in a rigid flinching manner. This typically is accompanied by holding the breath and sometimes closing the eyes.
Trying to resist or get away from a punch only compounds the potential danger of the situation. Our fear of what is happening or going to happen overwhelms us and creates freezing sensations. The key to unlocking this Reactive Behavior is to actually feel what is happening. Tension is tension. Defensiveness is Defensiveness. Once a person becomes more familiar with what, exactly, these moments feel like in the body, the Options for other choices become more apparent.
Inviting the Punch provides us with the opportunity to Practice feeling what is actually happening. Boxing is perfect for providing many, many opportunities to get inside of our Tension Patterns. The Shoulder Slump gradually is redirected into a confident Lat Flare, and Flinching becomes an opportunity to load the Sling Shot and return to the present.