WHAT IS KICKBOXING?
Kickboxing is an individual multi-discipline sport that makes use of the body’s full range of motion and challenges the athlete both physically and mentally. The primary disciplines are split into Mat Sports and Ring Sports:
Mat Sports – Semi-Contact (aka Points), Light-Contact (aka Continuous) and Forms.
Ring Sports – Full Contact and K1.
All of the above (except for Forms) are considered Combat Sports, pitting two athletes against each other in bouts where judges score points for correctly and cleanly landed strikes with the hands and feet. Contact within the Mat Sports is kept controlled, with Knock-outs (KOs) not permitted, and judges typically deciding the winner by a points tally. Ring Sports on the other hand are most often full-contact (although some Light Contact events are conducted in a ring as preparation for athletes moving on to Ring Sports) and permit athletes to win by KO.
In almost all cases, head-guards, foot-pads and shin-guards are worn, as well as groin/chest guards, with only high level professional bouts omitting any number of them. Gum shields and gloves are always worn.
Although Kickboxing is strictly speaking an individual sport, training is very much a team effort. Partner drills and sparring are common for anyone looking to compete, while you will most often practice technical and fitness drills alongside your team-mates and other students. Kickboxing sessions breed a great sense of camaraderie, with students supporting each other through the exercises.
Forms is a purely demonstrative discipline, more akin to a gymnastics floor routine. Athletes compete for the highest judges score by performing their own choreographed sequence of striking, blocking, kicking and tricking techniques with sections that also include use of weapons such as staffs and nunchuks. It is a great way to compete and show off your skills in a non-combative way, and was the springboard for many successful careers in the film and TV industry, including the UK’s own Chloe Bruce (stunt double for Rey in Star Wars, Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy and Lady Sif in the Thor films).
FOR YOUR FAMILY
Starting as young as three years old, Kickboxing could well be the perfect activity for your child. Combining both individual growth and social/group interactions, as sport and a general fitness activity, it is second to none. Incorporating all of the positive ethical teachings of the traditional Martial Arts into a modern, safe and fun to learn style, no other activity can provide your child with as many benefits as Kickboxing.
Children who grow up with Kickboxing have superior focus, discipline, respect for each other and their elders, flexibility, balance, coordination and self-control. In addition to both the physical and psychological benefits of training, your child will also be learning to effectively defend themselves should the need arise and will also gain the confidence to say “no” to such situations, allowing them to seek a peaceful resolution to most conflicts.
Kickboxing also provides a fun and well-measured competitive environment in which your child can become a success no matter what their level of ability. With the right attitude, your child will do you, their Instructors and themselves proud!
AND FOR YOURSELF
While it’s true that the younger you start, the better, that shouldn’t put you off! Kickboxing is enjoyed just as much by people well into their 70’s as it is children, not to mention everyone in between; so why not give it a try?
Kickboxing is a fantastic way of getting (and staying!) in shape. Its fun, energetic and you’ll be able to do everything at your own pace. Once again, no other activity can provide you with all of the benefits of training in a sport that you really enjoy while also teaching you vital self-defence skills.
Britain also boasts one of the strongest competitive circuits in the world, so if you’re looking for a challenge, we’ve got you covered!