Concussions in a Required Class: Boxing at Military Academies

WEST POINT, N.Y. — A bell clanged and two cadets in boxing gloves surged from their corners in a gym at the United States Military Academy last week, throwing jabs and uppercuts while other cadets yelled, “Keep working him!” and, “Use the hook!”

For more than a century, boxing for male freshmen here has been a rite of passage and an academic requirement — one they share with male cadets at the Air Force Academy and midshipmen of both sexes at the Naval Academy. Officials say there is no better way to teach the grit needed for combat.

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