Like every physical activity, playing or practicing your fighting techniques with Virtual Boxer in front of a computer screen or TV, (or even using the rear projection method) may come with risks of damage and/or injuries.
In order to prevent bad things from happening to you or to others while using Virtual Boxer, please read and understand all of these safety guidelines before you start fighting the simulations.
All of these guidelines come from experience and common sense and anything that might happen to you, other people or even pets or property around you from not being cautious while using Virtual Boxer (or even when you ARE cautious) is in your responsibility and the owners of Virtual Boxer, its participants, its workers and those who recommended it to you will not take any responsibility for anything; so in order to stay as safe as possible, please read and understand this page:
- The most obvious injury that one can suffer from using Virtual Boxer is of course punching the screen or things like furniture or a wall around or behind the screen. It is strongly recommended to always be aware of that while training and to also take the following precautions:
1. ALWAYS KEEP A SAFE DISTANCE FROM THE SCREEN WHILE USING VIRTUAL BOXER! And if you find yourself too close with your next punch already in the air, make it a short one and then back off.
2. Wear any type of good protective gloves to protect your skin and knuckles, preferably grappling/MMA gloves. If you want some weight on your hands then boxing gloves are even better (and safer) because there is more padding in it. If there's a wall or hard furniture right behind the screen, you really should ALSO be using handwraps around your wrists and joints to prevent even more serious injuries (usually to the wrist) that can be caused by impacting any type of hard unmovable material.
3. For maximum safety, kids, beginners or anyone with bad eyesight should use this simulator from even further away from the screen than usual, since their accuracy and distancing are not good enough.
4. Unless you have a big enough space to jump around in front of your screen and/or you have a lot of experience and control over your movement and distancing, you might not want to use high-risk strikes when using Virtual Boxer, like the spinning back fist for example, because those high-risk strikes double your chances of banging your hand against the screen or whatever is around. If you insist on using high-risk punches (or even kicks) while playing Virtual Boxer, make sure you’re far enough from the screen and/or perform them slower for more control or just perform them symbolically.
5. If you need glasses for better eye-sigh but you don't want to train with them you should wear contact lenses or keep an even greater distance from the screen at all time; otherwise you might accidentally hurt yourself.
6. Please, DO NOT PROJECT VIRTUAL BOXER ON A HARD SURFACE LIKE A WALL OR HARD WOOD. This is almost a guaranteed way to breaking your hand. If you want to use a projector, there’s a MUCH better way to use one and it's called “rear-projection”. Learn all about the safest and by far the most fun and effective way of training with Virtual Boxer using rear-projection at the projectors page.
- If you're not used to walk around or train bare footed you should wear at least a pair of socks, preferably Crocs shoes or anythiong that's not slippery, because your skin may burn and blister easily.
Also, In order to protect the bones and joints in your legs and feet it's advised not to jump around bare-footed on a hard floor. Wear shoes or something that can absorb the shock (like the Crocs shoes mentioned above) and that can also protect you from bumping into furniture with your toes...
Another reason to wear shoes that can absorb the shock when jumping around is that your downstairs neighbor might not like the noise that you generate using Virtual Boxer at 3:00 am and come up to your door furious to beat you up when you're still a beginner…
- In order to greatly reduce sports injuries and/or muscle and tendon pain, it is strongly advised to stretch before every sportive activity, including boxing and shadowboxing in front of your screen. Not only will it protect you from pain and injuries that might occur, it will also make you faster, more precise and more durable. It also feels so much better fighting like crazy after a good stretching session... All this will result in faster improvements with your fighting and in more self-esteem and self-confidence (because every time you're stretched you perform better). NOT stretching might cause the opposite.
- Virtual Boxer was not created to completely replace conventional martial arts training in a real gym or school; it's just another training tool. You may become too confident with your new boxing skills, which may seem extremely impressive, but when something might happen in real life you may not be comfortable and used to fighting a real person or his different style of fighting. False sense of security is a real thing and you should be aware of that. Therefore, it is VERY recommended to add this type of training to your conventional training in a martial arts gym/school.
Of course if you want to use only Virtual Boxer for training and not visit any martial arts school – it’s perfectly fine and it’s definitely a lot better than nothing! Why? Because Virtual Boxer has 30 benefits that are better than nothing...
If you're just starting, Virtual Boxer is great for gaining knowledge, technique, cardio, confidence etc. BEFORE joining a fight gym. By doing that you will not start as a complete novice and you will not get beat up as much by your real training partners. All you have to do is remember that your no.1 objective is TO NOT GET HIT. Use your head movement and your elusiveness to make them miss again and again and always strike where they're open. Read the trainer's orders for the best advice on safe and optimized fighting.
- If you have pets or little kids in the house, you should keep them away from the playing area because while "fighting" you forget about everything (especially with music that can mask their natural proximity noise). It is easy to hurt whatever it is walking around your legs while fighting in front of the screen, so please, always be aware of that!
- If you're also going to use kicks when playing Virtual Boxer, unless you’re an experienced kicker and you have a lot of room to move around in front of the screen, you better know how to deliver them in a way that you won't hit the screen or bump your foot, shin bone or knee on anything.
Keeping distance is the key to safety here. If you're going to throw push kicks, side kicks or knees at the virtual guy in front of you, make sure you don't hit the table under the screen. Like I said, keep your distance and always be aware! Seriously, this can be really painful and even damaging! Don't say I didn't warn you! If you REALLY want to use kicks, consider the rear projection method!
- Don’t expect to become a ninja in just a week or two of training! It takes more time than that! Trying to test your skills too early OR any time against REAL violent (and unpredictable) people is always potentially dangerous, even if you’re an experienced professional fighter! Remember that!
- If you use Virtual Boxer a lot, you should listen to your body, and if you’re starting to feel any pain in your joints, tendons, feet, shoulders, elbows, back, neck etc. you might want to slow down a bit. Too much from anything, no matter how good it is, can be bad, sometimes even lethal.
In case you feel any type of pain you might want to do one or more of the followings:
A. Stop shooting strikes with full force, (especially the specific strike that seems to be the source of the pain.)
B. If you never stretched before using Virtual Boxer, this is a good time to start doing so! Also, in addition to stretching, massaging the area can certainly help.
C. Another possible reason for pain or sports injuries may be not performing striking techniques properly. When stretching the hand for a Cross for instance (right straight to the head), you shouldn't stretch it all the way forward until the elbow is hyper extended. You need to use your muscles to stop the stretching of the hand before it's fully extended. See the free boxing lessons page for more info about how to perform techniques the right way.
D. If the pain is too severe you should stop using Virtual Boxer for a while and pay a visit to your doctor.
Since every person is in a different age and in a different physical condition, each one should decide for him or herself how much training is enough and how much is too much. Personally, writing these lines I can say that I never had a problem with shooting too many punches full power or training for too long, but who knows what can happen in other people's bodies... So pay attention to how excessive training makes you feel.
- If you have some type of an illness like a heart problem etc. and you know you shouldn’t use Virtual Boxer, then DON’T! At the end of the day it’s your decision whether you’re going to do it or not.
Please go ask your physician for his professional advice before using Virtual Boxer.
- If you take ANY kind of a drug (legal or illegal) that may cause your body to malfunction in any way under the influence of mild to intense cardiovascular activity such as boxing and shodow boxing, please consult your physician (or if you don't want to, at least try finding information on the subject online) before using Virtual Boxer's simulations, or don't take the risk.
- If you have some type of a "depth perception" problem or ANY eye problem that's preventing you from seeing how far things really are, then you shouldn't use Virtual Boxer.
If you insist on taking that risk, there are a few things that you can do in order to minimize the risk of injuries:
A. Wear protective PADDED gloves (preferably grappling/MMA gloves or boxing gloves that are heavier and more padded.)
B. ALWAYS KEEP A SAFE DISTANCE FROM THE SCREEN!
C. Don’t shoot punches with full force!
D. Use the safe rear-projection method.
- If you have a friend or family over and they want to play Virtual Boxer, make sure they’re aware of these safety guidelines; otherwise they might hurt themselves, your screen, your pets, your small kids or even YOU while playing…
PLEASE, STAY FAR ENOUGH FROM THE SCREEN AND MAKE SURE NOTHING IS IN YOUR/THEIR WAY!
If I forgot to put something on this page, please feel free to contact me here and let me know about it. Thanks!
Good luck, have fun and stay safe!
Creator of Virtual Boxer.