A kickboxing club can teach you more than just kicks and punches

Kickboxing is a sort of hybrid martial art. It was founded relatively recently, as these things go. Whereas many martial arts have centuries-long traditions attached to them, the kind of kickboxing London classes display has only been in existence for the last few decades, since the Second World War. It was formalised by some of the soldiers who had been stationed overseas in the Far East and had seen the superior techniques used by the men they met there. They learned and exported back the punching, kicking and blocking and turned it into a simplified style suitable for teaching in a Western class.

This isn’t to say that other martial arts don’t have a lot to offer. However, kickboxing has been intentionally designed to be comparatively simple and useful for certain situations. Many of the Eastern styles, such as tang soo dau or the different types of kung fu, have elaborate patterns of movements, plus techniques with historic but very specific applications. Some are derived from the kind of place they grew up in (such as rural farming communities), and are of interest and are part of that style when studied comprehensively but are not directly needed today.
Kickboxing has stripped out much of this material, keeping the basics of punches, kicks, blocks and footwork. In that respect, the ‘syllabus’ is quite limited, meaning that you can learn it fairly quickly, then moving on to becoming proficient in these moves, putting them together in combinations, and in sparring, or fighting under controlled conditions (with pads, and to strict rules).

For this reason, kickboxing is good for self-defence, as well as all-round fitness – strength, speed, stamina and flexibility. You would rarely find these things in the same discipline, making it fantastic cross-training. With the awareness and self-defence techniques comes improved confidence and eased stress, something valuable in today’s high-pressure work environment.

So, kickboxing offers much besides learning to fight. A kickboxing club is a great place to get fit, socialise (you will meet lots of like-minded people), work out some stress, and gain some confidence. Once you have learned the basics, there will be opportunity for sparring, but that’s always up to you – there’s generally no pressure on you to go beyond your comfort zone. At least, not too far: a good instructor will push you to achieve your best without going too far!

Please visit http://www.zendokickboxing.com/ for further information about this topic.



Find a kickboxing club where you live

Kickboxing – or the martial arts from which it derives – has been around for many, many years, but it has only really been popular in the West for the last few decades. The style you will find in a typical kickboxing club in the UK now may have various martial arts underpinning it, as the word is generally considered in a fairly catch-all way by people today. These could include Muay Thai (or ‘Thai Boxing’), various disciplines of karate (which can differ substantially between themselves) and other styles. Although the kickboxing London clubs teach may draw on any number of sources, it’s probably fair to say that the popularisation of punching and kicking-based martial arts occurred in the 1970s thanks to Bruce Lee, who developed the hybrid Jeet Kune Do style, having studied Wing Chun to a high level in his native China.

‘Kickboxing’ is presently used of many different styles, which are often undifferentiated by the public – to the uninitiated, one kind of kicking and hitting is much the same as another. Alongside this, there are different governing bodies overseeing different styles and clubs, which have different rules associated with them (the use of the elbow in sparring being one major distinction that people tend to focus on). This means that if you decide to attend kickboxing classes, you might find any number of different expressions – although the same would be true of other martial arts, too, because any style that has been around a while tends to have different offshoots, in the same way that a language will have different dialects.

If you are looking for a class to try kickboxing, London is an excellent city to start, since there are many different kickboxing clubs within a fairly small area. You will need to decide what it is you are looking for. Kickboxing is evidently a sparring style, but people often try it for self-defence too. In addition, a growing number of people are looking to kickboxing for its fitness properties. The number of techniques it involves means that it offers an exceptional all-round workout, bringing strength, stamina and flexibility pay-offs. Add to this the camaraderie that often exists when a group of people gather to learn such a style (training with others is an integral part of learning), and you have another good reason to give it a go. If you’re in any doubt, it’s often worth going to a few classes – most clubs will offer free taster sessions – and see if you like what you find.

Please visit http://www.zendokickboxing.com/ for further information about this topic.