Kickboxing is a stand-up combat sport derived from a variety of Martial Arts practices and is an incredible way to build strength, stamina and technical skill. We often see kickboxing used in major fighting sports, such as in the UFC, but does that mean you have to be a fighter to learn the sport? Absolutely not. Kickboxing can be approached in many ways from fitness kickboxing to professional boxing, or even as cross training for other martial arts. Let’s explore kickboxing in more detail so you can work out how to best go about training in a way that suits your personal goals.
What do I learn in Kickboxing training?
While there are many different styles of Kickboxing and related Martial Arts all around the world, in general, kickboxing is a stand-up combat sport that involves striking (kicking and punching mostly) in various combinations, with corresponding footwork. Kickboxing classes incorporate moderate to intense physical conditioning alongside fighting techniques. Learning kickboxing will help you develop technical skills, but you’ll also fine tune your mental agility as you learn more techniques and put them together in increasingly complex sequences and partner drills.
Different Goals When Training Kickboxing
You can gain many mental and physical benefits from learning kickboxing fighting techniques without ever applying them to sparring or competitions. Depending on your interests and goals with Kickboxing and martial arts, you may take one of a few different approaches to training. Let’s explore these a bit further.
Training Kickboxing for Fitness or Cross-Training
If your main reason for seeking out a kickboxing class is for fitness, this may influence the type of gym you should train in, and which type of classes to go to, but not necessarily. Learning fighting techniques in a fitness kickboxing class is great for developing both mental and physical agility and coordination, strength, speed, mobility and cardio even if you never plan to use these in a fight.
If you’re trialling a Mixed Martial Arts gym that offers kickboxing classes, see if they are beginner-friendly and incorporate some cardio and strength training into the class, rather than just technical skill. You can improve your fitness simply by showing up regularly to these Kickboxing classes, and maybe supplementing with some other types of exercise on your days off.
In a Mixed Martial Arts gym you’ll also be able train in other Martial Arts and Sports such as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or Wrestling. If you regularly train in Kickboxing to improve your strength and cardio, this will definitely benefit your performance in the other Martial Arts you pursue, so you can use it as a way to cross-train. If you definitely don’t plan on fighting, you can put your efforts into participating in more exercise, but opt out of sparring sessions or fight-centre gyms.
Training Kickboxing to Compete
If you’ve never done kickboxing before but you know you’d ultimately like to compete, you might approach Kickboxing training in a different way to those who are only interested in fitness. In the beginning however, you’ll still need to start with the basic technical skills and slowly build on your repertoire while fine-tuning your technique.
Show up to as many classes as you can, and seek out opportunities to practice Kickboxing sparring once you’ve been training for a few months and your instructor feels you’re ready. This might mean that you’ll have to seek out a competition oriented Martial Arts club which incorporates sparring into their classes, otherwise you may be able to attend sparring sessions that are offered in addition to normal classes. If you’re in a gym that has both a competition and skill/fitness-only demographic, try to pick drilling partners who are also interested in fighting, and let your teacher know about your goals.
Training Kickboxing to Learn a new Skill and Have fun
If your goal is to learn a new skill and have fun, sign up and get started! You don’t need to be fit or have previous Martial Arts training to learn Kickboxing as a skill or simply try something new. There is no need to focus on sparring or join a competition gym, just come regularly and often so you can make new friends and grow into the community at your martial arts centre or gym.
Now that we’ve talked about the different ways you might go about training kickboxing depending on your goals, you can choose your gym and sign up. If you think you’re signing up for kickboxing with the intention to fight, you may end up realising it’s not for you, and you’ll come out of it with a new community and massively increased fitness level and skill set. If you think you’re going into it just to get in shape, you may end up in the cage! If you are dedicated to training and come with an open mind, you’ll likely learn more than you previously expected. The best way to start, is just to start.
If you live in or work near the suburbs of Collingwood, Fitzroy, North Fitzroy, Abbotsford, Carlton, Richmond, Melbourne, Clifton Hill, Brunswick, Brunswick East, Thornbury, Northcote, give us a call today and get signed up for your first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Wrestling or Kickboxing intro class.