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versión On-line ISSN 1729-8091

EduSol vol.23 no.83 Guantánamo abr.-jun. 2023  Epub 03-Mayo-2023


Original article

Sports detraining in boxing as a social problem

0000-0003-3995-5237Braulio José Alarcón Ramírez1  *  , 0000-0002-0713-3549Graciela Ramos Romero2  , 0000-0003-1354-9302Noralmis Frómeta Moreira2 

1Barrio Gastón-Sur, Majibacoa, Las Tunas.

2Universidad de Oriente. Santiago de Cuba. Cuba.


The boxer's preparation involves physiological changes and adaptations to guarantee the immense physical, psychological and social loads faced by these athletes. Once this stage is concluded, another very important one appears: sports detraining, whose nature is eminently pedagogical. The following work offers a social approach to this problem and aims to reflect on the need to address the detraining process in athletes in conditions of retirement in boxing. The analytical-synthetic, inductive-deductive, historical-logical and documentary analysis methods were used, resulting in a theoretical analysis of the approached problem.

Key words: Sociology; Boxing; Training; Detraining


Sports detraining (SD) is part of a social process that begins with sports training (SD). In the specific case of boxing, SD should reach in the teaching-learning process the same value and meaning conferred to training. Research and the level of information about it are insufficient, as stated by the researcher Marín (2022) "research (...) on sports detraining (...) is addressed, which are scarce in the scientific literature" (p. 19). The need to focus the study on this area of knowledge is emphasized.

A look from sociology, as a science that studies society, shows the particularities of a phenomenon given by methodological or technical opinions. Russo (2002) considered "the very identity of the sociology of sport as a subdiscipline is problematic: it does not exist" (p.1). It is thus evident that, as a social activity, in the sports training process (SDP) and, in particular, in the SD, the social activities that make it attractive and allow it to achieve the levels reached by the SDP are insufficient.

Boxing, one of the spectacles that has accompanied the panorama of the Olympic Games since ancient times, is a responsibility of those who investigate this discipline.

Based on these criteria, this paper addresses the question of how to ensure that SD is considered in boxing as a social problem. And it aims to reflect on the need to address the process of detraining in boxing athletes.

The analytical-synthetic, inductive-deductive, historical-logical and documentary analysis methods were used. These methods allowed to obtain as a result a theoretical analysis of sports detraining in boxing as a social problem.


Importance of sociology for sport

In the laws governing society and collective thought, sociology, as a science, has found its object of study. The Philosophical Dictionary of Rosental and Iudim (1983) includes the term as "doctrine about society and the laws of its development" (p. 376). In order to arrive at this conceptualization, research processes were carried out to discover the laws, methods, principles, terms and build a new theory. In each economic-social formation, currents and tendencies appeared that sought to provide answers to social problems from their own points of view, but which served as a theoretical basis for the scientific method of research that favored the theoretical-practical platform that is still known today.

Since antiquity, there has been an attempt to find answers to the transformations generated by society, to the causes of social upheavals, to the origin of the state and law, to the fundamental stimuli of men's lives, figures such as Democritus, Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, and many others, tried to find an explanation to social transformations. Throughout the spiral that led it to become a science, sociology went through a long path, always impregnated with sociological-religious tendencies (feudalism), others against the theological conception of history and society (emergence of capitalism), in times of pre-Marxist thought, sociological thought is introduced, with the dialectical conception, which has been evolving. Sociology meets the requirements of any science.

Faced with the question "What is sociology and what is it for?" the Encyclopedia (2013-2022) states that "it is the social science dedicated to the study of human societies, their collective phenomena and interactions", in its approach to the social phenomenon this science employs in its exercise, techniques and methods of scientific research from other areas of human knowledge, it is a modern discipline, in whose reasoning it applies the scientific research method. Its importance is fundamental to understand sport as a social activity. The Process of Sports Training (SDP), reaches the dimension of a social phenomenon, capable of involving hundreds of thousands of human beings, in particular boxing.

The importance of SD lies in the fact that:

  • Allows bringing to levels of a normal systematic practitioner of physical culture the components of the preparation installed in the ex-boxer during his formative stage.

  • It makes possible the regression to the normal levels of the theoretical and psychological preparation competent with his new social condition.

It avoids the appearance of physiological alterations resulting from training, such as: blood pressure, cardiac biorhythms, overweight, articular limitations, among others.

From this perspective, the process under analysis has a systemic character, consisting of two subsystems: training and detraining. The former is aimed at the formation and development of sports skills and abilities in the training of the athlete; while the latter aims at his gradual and systematic detraining, reaching the level of a practitioner of Physical Culture.

Boxing as a social activity

The SDP is a pedagogical and didactic activity, with well-defined educational objectives, established in the Boxing Athlete Preparation Program (BAPP); it is based on pedagogical laws and establishes the didactic categories of the teaching-learning process, formulates and derives objectives from pedagogical analysis and evaluates them in a systemic way. For its part, the sports detraining process (SDP) has an eminently pedagogical nature, also, like its peer, the SDP, employs the same pedagogical laws, uses, with opposing objectives in its course the same means and methods of the first, Alonso (2000) quoted by Frómeta (2016) admitted "that the planning and dosing of work capacity are categories of detraining" (p. 11), this reaffirms the use of the same terminologies of one and the other process.

Regarding the nature of SDP, valued by different authors, Aguilar (2009) considers that "... it is a pedagogical process based on scientific foundations, aimed at the systematic, multidisciplinary and comprehensive reduction of the level reached by the athlete, from a medical-biological, psychological and social perspective" (p. 38). For Frómeta et al (2022) "... a sport detraining is another of the processes, proper to the preparation of the athlete, which requires the particular methods contained in this and not another different sphere" (p. 173). Such definitions, shared by these authors, define the theoretical and practical status of SD, placing it within the BAPP, declares its nature, intention and social objective.

Nowadays, children from a very early age train with the purpose of becoming great boxers. A house in downtown Havana becomes a fighting ring, it doesn't matter if they have the approved costumes or not, it is worth more the fact of becoming a champion, but the institutions that prepare these children dedicate more hours to the sports training process and very few, if any, to the detraining. These future champions are trained to be champions, but not for what should happen at the end of their work as athletes.

It has been reiterated the importance that would have for the sport of the island the inclusion of women in the practice of this discipline. It has been considered the need to be sensitized with them and to grant them the right to enter, as they do in judo, wrestling, karate, taekwondo, in the practice of the sport of fists.

Cuban women have plenty of conditions to train in this sport and it has been unfortunate that Cuba was the only country in the world that did not include women in its National Federation. This sport does not harm the girls' health, which has been demonstrated by their participation in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and in the 2021 World Championship in Belgrade, Serbia.

One can already cite the first women's boxing program at the "Giraldo Córdoba Cardín" School, where 14 women broke taboos by stepping into the ring, for the first time, on December 12, 2022, in an official competition and then the announcement that the authorities would allow the practice of boxing in females. This orientation towards the training of women in boxing also requires the program to dedicate part of its content to SD.

Los ejemplos citados evidencian el alcance que tiene el boxeo en dos elementos importantes de la sociedad cubana: los niños y las mujeres, así como la necesidad de que su preparación deportiva comprenda también su preparación para la etapa de desentrenamiento.

The process of preparation of the boxing athlete (BAPP) and its relation to sports detraining from a sociological point of view.

Among the so-called components of the preparation of the boxing athlete are the theoretical and psychological preparation, almost always focused on developing knowledge and preparation before, during and after the fight, aimed at developing a winning mentality; in the BAPP; according to the collective of authors, when referring to the theoretical preparation considers that it is aimed at:

  • Aspects of universal and Cuban history.

  • Basic concepts of boxing.

  • Means of protection and its importance.

  • Types and characteristics of decisions.

  • Importance of medical control.

  • Analysis of the training plan and behavior of its preparation.

  • Hygiene, nutrition and life habits.

  • Importance of respect, honesty, collectivism, modesty, discipline in training and personal life.

  • Validity of attendance, punctuality, collectivism, discipline, respect, modesty, honesty in the SDP, training and personal life.

A sociological review of the BAPP from the qualitative point of view, allows assessing that it establishes tasks aimed at the transit period, not missing its social, humanistic and prophylactic character, aimed at detraining to deliver to society a healthy citizen or with fewer risks to life.

In curricular analysis of the Bachelor's Degree in Physical Culture and Sport, according to Frómeta (2016), referring to the subject Theory and Practice of Sport of the curriculum "D", he stated "... if one of the objectives of this subject is the preparation of a coach, able to increase sports performance with appropriate methods at that level and others by extension, he should also be instructed to detrain" (p. 4).

Among the avant-garde ideas assumed by current pedagogy is the challenge of training and guiding professionals, in any area of knowledge, in order to respond to the social problems that arise in the community, where SD has a social and preventive approach. Sociology makes it easier to penetrate the philosophy of boxing, as a combat sport, to scrutinize its essence, not only pedagogical, but also social.

Among the pedagogical criteria applied to didactics, there is the Principle of systematization of teaching. To recall its content, it is enough to quote Comenius (1640), when he emphasized that "what is of today serves to consolidate what is of yesterday and to open the way for what is of tomorrow" (p. 32). Transferring it towards the social objective of teaching sport, the coach must achieve an athlete who is able, according to Rodriguez (2018), to understand that" knowledge has a propaedeutic character and serves as a basis for other knowledge" (p. 110). This facilitates logical operations of analysis, synthesis, generalization, abstraction, deduction, etc. a productive and operative thinking is formed in boxing.

Boxing is one of the most legendary sports, so it is not surprising that a sociological analysis brings, even closer and from other perspectives, to its essence, its origin has been recorded in Ancient Greece. For Marcos (2006) "Its origins go back to the birth of the first civilizations: pre-Hellenic, Mycenaean and Greek (...) it has not been absent from the evolution of the human race" (p .15).

Greece is recorded as the country that organized the first competitions, such statement can be evidenced in vessels, flasks, stones; for these ancient civilizations three elements highlighted the pugilate, name given in its genesis, health, beauty and strength. These characteristics gave boxing the protection of a god, Apollo, a whole social spectacle, the fights in the ring, which was a circle in the arena where none of the opponents could leave it.

This formed the cell for the appearance of the first regulations and the organization of competitions, fact retributed to the Greeks, in the first Olympics, occurred in 688 (b.e.). As it became the interest of crowds and became a social spectacle, official regulations, training and repercussion in society appeared. It was not until the 17th century, in England, that modern boxing as such emerged. In Cuba, it was not until the first decade of the 20th century that boxing began to establish itself, with more and more practitioners, and even aristocratic clubs became interested in it. The motivation shown by this sport reached all social strata.

Under these historical characteristics, modern boxing emerged as a product of the scientific-technical revolution. In 1838, in England, rules were modified and incorporated to form the legal body that supports the current pugilism. In 1920, an association arose to socially regulate this sport: The International Amateur Boxing Association (IABA), whose importance lies in the fact that:

  • Gives legal and juridical body to boxing, representing it before society.

  • Organizes, regulates and promotes official boxing competitions by categories and weights.

  • Guarantees a clean, safe and drug-free sport, constitutes a legal body that fights drug use, facilitates areas and spaces for a healthier social life.

  • Contributes to the training of technical personnel for the BAPP.

Establishes DD through the National Federations as a mandatory, with a legal body (Resolution 82 of 2015).

The general objectives of modern boxing, established by IABA, become social advances in a sport discipline that has been maintained for 2600 years in the social program of the Olympic Games. In Cuba, the selection of the 15 best boxers in history demonstrate the social significance that this sport has always had, they are:

  1. Eligio "Kid Chocolate" Sardiñas (1910-1988).

  2. Evelio "Kid Tunero" Mustelier (1910-1992).

  3. Gerardo "Kid Sparrowhawk " González (1926-2003).

  4. Luis Manuel Rodríguez, the master of the ring (1937-1996).

  5. José "Mantequilla" Nápoles (1940-2019).

  6. Ultimio "Sugar" Ramos (1941-2017).

  7. Teófilo Stevenson, the Great Champion (1952-2012).

  8. Adolfo Horta, the man of total boxing (1957-2016).

  9. Roberto Balado, the " Fatty " (1969-1994).

  10. Félix Savón, the Boxer History (1967).

  11. Mario Kindelán, the most technical (1971).

  12. Yoel (the Brush) Casamayor (1971).

  13. Héctor Vinent, the super lightweight (1972).

  14. Guillermo "el Chacal" Rigondeaux (1980).

  15. Julio Cesar La Cruz, The Shadow (1980).

Since the emergence of Pancratius (primitive boxing) in Greece, science was already at its service, bronze, recently discovered, was rapidly replacing stone, and boxing welcomed this advance, since the cestus, reminiscent of modern gloves, were made of leather strips and this metal. It was a long road, but in its trajectory the scientific study would be incorporated, later converted into the scientific theory that has allowed to form the support of knowledge that make up what is known as related subjects: biological sciences, biomechanics, applied statistics, philosophy, among others that have allowed to place this sport as a universal paradigm. Its practice from the scientific perspective, has come to establish its own level of training, with its well-defined objectives, its didactic categories, its own and biomechanical studies, its physical and psychological loads, its technical components, formed under a process known today as the Boxing Athlete Preparation Program.

To get there, boxing took advantage of all the advances in applied sciences and managed to generalize these theoretical advances, according to the collective of authors (2009) "this Boxing Athlete Preparation Program is applied in the Combined Sports, Sports initiation school and Provincial Academies, all training centers of the Olympic boxing reserve" (p. 5). This shows its globalization and inclusive character in all its categories. Thanks to science and technique, Cuba has had 80 world champions, 41 Olympic champions and sowed the foundations to turn this theory into a universal reference until the creation of the Cuban Boxing School. The advances in science and technique, applied to this sport, have been responsible for such feats.

In this discipline the term technique has two meanings, the one that arises from the need to transform the environment to adapt it to new conditions and the one that refers to the patterns of the basic motor actions of boxing, both pass through a scientific dimension, the first towards technological advances and the second towards the biomechanical patterns established to develop and stereotype basic movements that constitute the technical arsenal of the boxer, to attack, defend, counterattack, move and convert all this theoretical and practical scaffolding in the art of giving and not getting hit.

These two terms, science and technique, have not stopped, dialectically they move at the pace of revolutionary development and the thrust of technology, of scientific study, nourishing in each social spiral of the most subtle advances achieved by man in all fields of human knowledge, thus comes with the need for progress, Sports Training.

This term appears as a necessity proper of the same sports training because literally, it is the partial or total loss of the latter, with opposite objectives, but they constitute elements of the same system, the BAPP. These characteristics confer from sociology a holistic character when considering SD as a consequence of the social matrix that generates training, with a purely social and prophylactic objective, on the other hand, from the scientific-technical development. The SD is a product of the development reached by the pedagogical sciences and of one of the oldest and most popular social activities developed by man as a social being: sport. Its objective and social character is declared by the scientific community, for Aguilar (2009) " is a pedagogical process based on scientific foundations, aimed at the systematic, multidisciplinary and integral reduction of the level reached by the athlete, from a medical-biological, psychological and social perspective" (p.38). Its scientific foundations are based on the theoretical-methodological platform of the SDP; it is a part of it and is not outside it.

From the point of view of logic, as a science of reason and thought, first of all, training arises as a social expression; competition, each time closer to the limit of the human, induces the increase of physical and psychological loads of each manifestation, this lasts as long as the boxer is active in the sport, due to multicausal factors (age, injuries, physical and technical performance) that active life ends, and with it comes a new stage of social responsibility, not only with the athlete himself, but also with the family and society.

These training activities and competitions, according to Frómeta (2016) "in their irreplaceable form of expression, are processes of great sociological significance..." (p.11). If they have that social weight and knows that it is a stage of the athlete's life, which at the same time is transitory, then what social content has the SDP that is until the end of the days? According to Taupier (2019) "detraining is a stage or phase of the athlete's preparation, as a general process, which includes training and detraining" (p. 11). Both are opposite processes, but with a social responsibility. The socializing agents of the SDP transfer this social character to the process, but according to these authors, they do not socialize with the SDP in the same way as with training.

Responsibility is a moral value and has an ethical dimension because its practice or not has an impact on the social environment, whether in the family, sports life or the community, in the case of the boxer in or out of training. From the SDP, a boxer is responsible when he arrives punctually to training sessions and complies with the instructions given by his trainers. The term is also used to refer to the athlete who feels committed to his actions and acts as such, even after committing an infraction, which he intends to repair, it is a value generalized to different areas of social life. For Romero and Bell (2022), responsibility as a social value occurs in the civil, legal, fiscal and social spheres, among others, but boxing and other sports should also be included.

This social value should not be circumscribed to the SDP, which is broad, subject to principles specific to this sphere related to the gradual and maximum increase of physical loads, undulatory change, systematicity, superior achievements in sport, among others, on the other hand, there is none specific towards the SD. Although there is talk of reversibility and undulation, but the phenomenon of SD requires greater pedagogical and social attention from the sciences. Some researchers have suggested that SD should start with the coach-athlete work, from the very beginning of the process of attracting potential boxing talents.


Man has demonstrated his capacity to dominate nature, transforming it and coexisting in society; sport is one of those social activities of multitudes that has always accompanied him.

Scientific advances have evolved, to the limit of the properly human; the social matrix generated by the SDP reaches the category of social problem.

The reflection of the scientific and technical advances that sport exhibits, constitute a reflection of the responsible capacity of man in his walk through history.

The detraining imposes logical and well-founded reasoning and actions that allow the scientific community to make this social activity a responsible act that raises its quality of life.

Referencias bibliográficas

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Rodríguez, Y. (2018). Estrategia para la preparación de los agentes socializadores del proceso educativo para el desentrenamiento en deportistas juveniles de la EIDE de Villa Clara. (Tesis presentada en opción al grado científico de Doctor en Ciencias de la Cultura Física). Villa Clara. Iscf. “Manuel Fajardo”. [ Links ]

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Taupier, G. (2019). El desentrenamiento en los deportistas de la edad juvenil de levantamiento de pesas. (Tesis presentada en la opción del grado científico de Doctor en Ciencias de la Cultura Física). Holguín. Uccfd “Manuel Fajardo”. [ Links ]

Received: August 20, 2022; Accepted: December 04, 2022

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