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When you punch and kick and shadowbox you have two choices: One, you do everything like you have to but do not feel it. Then every exercise is a chore, every task meaningless, every move without any emotional context. Or two: you can visualize yourself really fighting. You see your opponent, you imagine the moves he makes. In your mind you position yourself to strike and counterstrike. Emotional context makes the moment come alive. It makes your body work in response to a need. It trains your mind to see and adapt. It turns an exercise from a routine to a dress rehearsal. It changes what you do from living to being alive.