Kickboxing training has risen in popularity in recent years even though it has been present for decades. It is a stand-up martial art that involves kicking, punching and striking using the knees and elbows. The sport evolved from other combat sports like Muay Thai in Thailand, karate and boxing.
Many people undergo kickboxing training for different reasons like health, as a hobby, as a competitive sport or as a means of self-defense. Kickboxing is influenced mainly by the Japanese. It was first introduced about 50 years ago. Other countries quickly embraced the sport like the United States, Brazil and Thailand.
Introduction to Kickboxing Training
Before you decide to enter into any form of kickboxing training, determine your specific objectives and reasons. There are thousands of centers and clubs all around the world that teach the martial art from children as young as 3 or 4 years old up to those 70 years old and above. Individuals can enter the sport at any time, provided that they are physically fit and mentally prepared for training.
Those with underlying medical and health conditions should consult their doctor first before joining any organization. Most people learn the sport as a form of physical and fitness activity. If you wish to enter competitively, many experts recommend that you do so at an earlier age, from 12 to 24 years old. Several organizations and commercial clubs have also been developed around the world. There are now big events, contests and shows featuring champion fighters.
The Styles of Kickboxing Training
There are different forms and styles of kickboxing training. The form and style of fighting are usually derived from the country of origin. Although Japanese kickboxing or K-1 was the pioneer, Muay Thai seemed to have overtaken it in recent years in terms of popularity. Generally, there are 8 known points of contact in kickboxing. These points specifically refer to the areas which the fighter can use to strike the opponent. These are the two hands, two feet, two elbows and two knees.
Japanese and Thai kickboxing matches usually consist of five rounds with three minutes each. Fighters are allowed to hit almost all areas of the body, except for the crotch. There are also other styles allowed that are prohibited in other sports, such as neck-wrestling and clinches. When kickboxing first began, throws and head butts were allowed, although these are now banned.
More Rules on Kickboxing Training Styles
Muay Thai is unique in the sense of the pre-match ceremonies and rituals. If you observe Thai kickboxing matches, there is a brief pre-fight ceremony featuring Thai music and the customary Ram Muay or exercise before the match. In different forms of kickboxing training, points are awarded depending on the strike and its effectiveness.
Kicks and punches are usually scored the same way. Kicks to the head or middle part of the body are given better scores by judges. The shins and forearms are generally used to block strikes. Fighters can win by earning the most points or knocking out their opponent.
Basic Kickboxing Training Attire
When trying kickboxing training for the first time, it’s important to wear the right gear for protection and improved function during spars. Beginners are advised to wear kickboxing shorts, head gears, mouth guards, groin cups, hand wraps and shin guards. All of these, plus the gloves and kick-boots, are intended to minimize the impact.
Males are usually bare-chested while females wear a sports bra plus padding on the chest. The protective accessories will be removed by advanced and professional fighters, leaving them only with the kickboxing shorts, gloves or hand wraps. You are free to customize these for aesthetic purposes provided that you carefully consider the rules and specifications of coaches when training.
Kickboxing Training: Offensive Moves
During kickboxing training, individuals are generally taught how to strike and block. Different kickboxing tools will be used to improve the technique and form of students, such as punching bags, mitts, balls and weights. There are different punching techniques such as the jab, cross, uppercut, straight punch and hook.
There are also unique punches taught such as the overhand punch, back fist, the bolo punch and the flying punch. Over time, trainees will be taught combinations. Kicks are also taught in combination with the punches. Some of the techniques include the front kick, side kick, roundhouse kick, axe kick, back kick and sweeping kick. Advanced forms are also available for intermediate and expert trainees like flying kicks.
Kickboxing Training: More Offensive Strikes
Knee and elbow strikes are also taught in kickboxing training. These are also very effective ways to overcome the opponent. Examples are the hooking knee strike, straight knee strike and rising knee strike. As for elbow strikes, there is the front elbow strike, side elbow strike and spinning elbow strike. As trainees improve in their skill and technique, they will be taught to use combinations of all 8 points of contact.
Kickboxing Training: The Defensive Moves
Kickboxing training will educate students about the three main defensive positions. The defensive style will depend on the physical characteristics and strengths of the fighter. There are different defensive techniques to learn such as slipping, bobbing, blocking and parrying.
Trainees in kickboxing training programs need to master all these. They will use different parts of their body to block or evade hits. The slipping method involves rotating the torso to avoid punches and kicks. Bobbing involves shifting to one side to avoid strikes. Parrying involves the use of the forearms or shins to block or change the direction of attacks. As a form of self-defense, these techniques are very effective which explain why many women and young children enroll.
Finding the Right Kickboxing Training Gym
When searching for the best gym to provide you with kickboxing training, visit a number of dojos and clubs then talk to the instructor personally. Find the right place that will help you reach your objectives whether you’re training for recreation or competitive purposes.
Also, check the background and certification of the place. It’s best to join a club with certified instructors with the right experience and achievements. You will also be introduced to the different levels or grades as you progress.