2006, Volume 2
The violence in boxing
Wojciech J. Cynarski1, Artur Litwiniuk2
1Faculty of Physical Education, University of Rzeszów, Rzeszów, Rzeszów, Poland
2Academy of Physical Education in Warsaw, Biala Podlaska branch, Biała Podlaska, Poland
Author for correspondence: Wojciech J. Cynarski; Faculty of Physical Education, University of Rzeszów, Rzeszów, Rzeszów, Poland; email: sp_walki[at]univ.rzeszow.pl
Violence has many faces. It may express itself in a morally justified and socially accepted action. However, in a situation when it serves destruction or represents the civilisation of death, it becomes morally reprehensible and is contested as such. Examples of it are popularised in media, mainly TV, in scenes of violence and cruelty (mainly for commercial reasons) and participation in gladiatorial shows, where the contestants risk life and health and the spectators satisfy their primitive instincts. The article is focused mainly on the cultural phenomenon of boxing and other similar combat sports and they reflect on the show of violence. It analyses the problem of aggression as a source of violence; the presence of brutality and violence in mass and sport culture, and presents relations of professional boxing to the contemporary gladiatorship. Apart from the issues of boxing and boxers’ ethics, the cases of extraordinary Polish professional boxers have been presented. Martial arts (e.g. karate) have been compared with contact combat sports – boxing and kick-boxing. This comparison indicates the unquestionable superiority of the noble, traditional ways. The far-Eastern martial arts, representing the way of non-aggression and overcoming one’s own weaknesses, counteract the cult of force and violence.
Key words: boxing, ethics, gladiatorship, mass culture, violence