Wednesday, January 4, 2012

7 Absolute Beginner Tips About Kickboxing

Kickboxing originated in the 1970s when American karate practitioners such as Chuck Norris tried to add a more sporting feel to their karate sparring and competition. Now, it is one of the most popular sports in the world. Whether you are looking to learn to fight and compete, or just want a new way to exercise and get fit, kickboxing is an increasingly common choice. Classes are easy to find, although the amount of variety means that it is important to find a class appropriate to your goals.
Step 1
Prepare yourself physically. Although it is jumping into a class straight away can be the best and easiest way to get in shape for kickboxing, you can make things easier for yourself by starting to exercise beforehand. Start jumping rope, jogging, stretching and calisthenics.
Step 2
Find a local class. Try several different ones so that you find one that suits you, since classes can range from what are essentially aerobics classes with no contact, to full contact fighters' classes. It's good to have an idea of what you want before hand although be aware that you might find something else that you enjoy.
Step 3
Check your instructor's credentials and qualifications. Martial arts schools are not regulated, so almost anyone can claim to be a grandmaster or a world champion. Check whether they come from a reputable style of kickboxing and whether they are properly insured.
Step 4
Learn the basics first. Although you may have started kickboxing to learn flashy kicks or to learn to fight, everything begins with the foundations, such as footwork which is often neglected. Bruce Lee once said that he respected fighters who practiced a single kick a thousand times, not those who had practiced a thousand different kicks once each.
Step 5
Accept that progress will probably be slow. Punching and kicking are alien movements to those unaccustomed to it and it can take years before they become second nature to you, especially if you are being struck by a sparring partner at the same time. Take your time and don't expect to be a high-kicking world champion within a year.
Step 6
Practice your technique as much as you can. Useful training methods include shadow boxing, where you perform your techniques alone without contact; pad work, where your partner holds padded mitts for you to strike; and bag work, where you practice your strikes against a punchbag. This will improve your technique and fitness, both of which will help you when it comes to sparring.
Step 7
Look after your body. Kickboxing puts a lot of strain on your body, so it is important to stretch after exercise and to rest properly. While it is important to push yourself to get the most out of your classes, allowing your body to recover by eating well and through getting sufficient sleep is equally important.

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