The short answer is, yes. Kickboxing is a striking and kicking combat sport that makes up an important part of MMA, Mixed Martial Arts, and can be learned at any fitness level if you’ve got a good instructor. If you’re trying to work out whether kickboxing is a martial art you’d like to learn, let’s first answer some common kickboxing questions.
First of all, what is kickboxing?
During your online search for fitness kickboxing classes or other Mixed Martial Arts, you may have come across various terms used such as boxing, kickboxing, Karate, Muay Thai, boxercise etc., and it can be confusing to work out which one you’re signing up for and what to expect. The easiest way to explain the martial art practices involved in kickboxing is: Kickboxing is a stand-up combat sport involving both hand striking (punches) and foot striking (kicks) as well as movement and foot positioning. It can get a bit more complex as you progress through training, but basic striking and the corresponding footwork is where you’ll start as a beginner.
In Mixed Martial Arts competitions, such as in the UFC, the standing up part of the fights is a good example of competitive kickboxing, until the fight moves into takedowns or floor grappling, which involve other Martial Arts.
Does kickboxing require previous training?
Kickboxing is a combat sport which can be learned without any previous training in martial arts, so it’s a great practice to start as a total beginner. Most Martial Arts clubs and combat sport gyms will welcome you into class with members who have already been training in kickboxing, but you’ll be instructed on the most basic stance, movements, and punches before moving into more complex punching and kicking sequences.
Sometimes starting kickboxing without any previous training can be more beneficial than coming into a new kickboxing class with training from other modalities. Many Martial Arts or other Combat Sport practices teach different styles of striking or movement, so if you’ve been learning it one way for a while, you may have to unlearn and relearn some technical skills to get back on track. If you’re totally fresh to the kickboxing world, you can just relax and start your kickboxing practice from a clean slate.
Do you need to be fit to start kickboxing?
One of the most common reasons people have for delaying their start to kickboxing classes is the belief that they need to be fit before they can learn kickboxing. Kickboxing classes do involve cardio-heavy warm ups and drills, but they can be modified and adapted to match your level. If you feel that you haven’t already developed your cardio stamina, you can begin kickboxing classes and slowly increase the power and speed with which you participate. If you can walk in the door of the gym, you’re fit enough to start learning kickboxing. In fact, kickboxing is a great way to get fit if that is one of your goals. Communicate with your instructor about where your fitness level is at, and you can start learning kickboxing today.
What will I gain from learning kickboxing?
In the most basic and literal terms, learning kickboxing will enable you to punch, kick, move your feet, and stay balanced. In reality, joining a kickboxing class gives your life value far beyond the fundamental physical movements you’ll be learning. If you’re practicing regularly, you’ll be increasing your cardio capacity, endurance, and coordination, you’ll be strengthening muscles throughout the body, you’ll be fine tuning your spatial and body awareness, and generally adding complexity to your overall fitness picture. Besides the physical and psychological improvements you’ll gain from increasing your skill set and fitness capacity, you’ll be joining a local and global community of martial artists, increasing your sense of resilience and capability, increasing your self confidence and safety, and also having a whole lot of fun in the process.
Other than these inherent gains you’ll get from joining kickboxing, it’s important to ask yourself what you want to get out of training. If you just want to get fit, set that as your goal; if you want to train to compete, make that your goal. Having fun and working hard can be the entire reason you join up, but what you gain depends largely on what you’re willing to put in. If you’re not sure what you want out of it, talk to your teacher to help gain some clarity and set yourself on a trajectory.
If you live or work in Collingwood, Fitzroy, North Fitzroy, Abbotsford, Carlton, Richmond, Melbourne, Clifton Hill, Brunswick, Brunswick East, Thornbury, Northcote and surrounding suburbs, or you’re happy to travel for an awesome kickboxing experience, come in for an intro class and get started!