Boxing Games; Rockem Sockem to iPhone!

Posted by: John W. Zimmer
Under: Video Games
9 Jun 2009


Now when I was growing up (in the dark ages as my kids would say) our family did not have a color TV, microwave, VCR, DVD, cable TV service or computers! Eventually all of those things came but not when I was little.


I remember my brother and I being so happy one Christmas when there was a Rockem Sockem Robots game under the tree! Back in the dark ages when one wanted to play a game – they did not merely turn on the computer or the game system but rather pulled the game out of the box!


In this post I will  tell you about how these games evolved (as I saw it) and hot the modern versions of these video games can contribute to one’s overall martial arts fitness level! Here is an old TV commercial for Rockem Sockem Robots.




That brings back some memories but the thing I did not like about the game is you could move the ring around to try to mess up your opponent! Why sometimes my brother and I would end up in a fight over the Rockem Sockem Robots game! :)


I had one of the first stable computers, in IBM 286 that had 1mb of memory as well as a 16mb hard drive. I was lucky to have a hard drive as most people had computers with dual 5″ floppy drives (one to boot off of and one for your data). Anyway before Windows came out I found this one game from a BBS (bulletin board service – before the Internet you used to call servers with a telephone directly for data) – Doom. While you can box if you run out of ammo – it is more of a bang bang – shootem up game.



Before computers games were really popular there were various Mortal Kombat games. I should say that there were game systems when I was in my 20’s call Atari. The games I remember was tank and pong.This was a fun game but it did not really catch on with kids as I had bought them their Nintendo and Nintendo 64 games. One of the fighting games they bought was Mortal Kombat! Here is a clip of Mortal Kombat on one of the many game platforms for your perusal.



I really likes to watch my kids play this game but I was not too good with the controllers. I still had the idea that computers would eventually be the way kids played video games so I bought a few games for later PC’s.


I remember one cool concept where my sons would play star wars online against other players around the world! I found a fighting game with the same concept.



You are probably wondering when I am going to tie this into karate or general martial arts fitness? I will not insult your intelligence by mentioning the ancillary benefits of thumb coordination! But I will draw your attention to one of the latest fitness rages – The Nintendo Wii!



Have  you noticed that from plastic toy robots, these fighting games have evolved to interactive fitness training? Not only does the women in this video stay in shape but arguably she might be more comfortable throwing a punch (or at least covering up). :)


Always on the cutting edge of technology, Apple has turned the mobile music industry on its ears with it iPod offering and unless you have been living under a rock for the last couple of years – the iPhone now has capabilities far greater than my old computers! Video games on the iPhone are now available from the App store.


Apple announced that the new iPhone  is coming soon, the iPhone 3G S, that should push these games to new highs! Here is a video of an App for boxing/MMA on your iPhone.



I am impressed with how much technology has changed since I was a kid. I think that devices like Wii and iPhone can help you with your fitness goals directly or indirectly. There are GPS trackers, Niki interfaces to log distance, fitness and such for your workouts as welll as virtual workouts. Pretty much anything one can imagine now can happen if there is enough interest.


I hope you have enjoyed this brief look at boxing video games and possible tie-ins to self defense and martial arts fitness!




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3 Responses to “Boxing Games; Rockem Sockem to iPhone!”

  1. Neal Martin Says:

    Technology is great but nothing beats the dojo for a hard dose of reality! I used to love playing Doom though- best game ever made to this day. I love video games. I just wish I had the time to still play them! I miss them!

  2. Defend Thyself Says:

    Thanks for letting us know about the new Rock-em Sock-em Robots to the iPhone. Brings back great memories. I loved that game. Wasn’t that Rock Marciano in the commercial?

  3. John W. Zimmer Says:

    Hi Neil, I’m a big Doom fan too! I had a lot of time invested in learning how to navagate the levels but always enjoyed blowing up the monsters!
    Hey Chris! I think you are right! I found this link:
    What an eye… the iphone is a good way to keep the games alive… not much good to me as I need reading glasses :(