Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Riverside Kickboxing Styles

Kickboxing is a centuries old sport with roots in Thailand's Muay Thai art form. The sport has been popular in the United States for many years now, either in the original Thai form or the Japanese style of full contact karate. People in Southern California's Riverside County will find a number of opportunities to study this ancient martial art for combat or conditioning.
Different Styles
Kickboxing can be separated into three main styles. Muay Thai, full contact karate and fitness kickboxing. The first two are competitive combat sports that require serious physical conditioning. Muay Thai or Thai boxing is the national sport of Thailand. It utilizes punching and kicking as well as elbows, knees and the clinch. Fitness kickboxing attempts to provide the health benefits of kickboxing's rigorous training regiment without the emphasis on combat. Full contact karate is another style of kickboxing. However, there are no schools in the Riverside County area that offer instruction in this area.
Muay Thai
Riverside County, California offers a number of different studios that practice Muay Thai. Training in this style resembles traditional western boxing with cardiovascular training, pad work and heavy bag drills. Students will spend a lot of time learning the finer points of punching, kicking, elbowing, clinching and kneeing. Students develop skills for sparring and professional competition. Schools in the Riverside County area teaching this kind of kickboxing include the United States Karate Organization and Double Dose Muay Thai.
Fitness Kickboxing
Fitness kickboxing is a highly effective way of losing weight and conditioning the body without the risk of injury associated with Muay Thai. In a fitness kickboxing class you will go through the motions of kickboxing with an emphasis on getting your heart rate up, not learning how to compete inside the ring. Some schools, such as Kicks Advanced Training Centers, offer students the use of their own heavy bag to hit. Ultimate Kickboxing and Fitness also offers a cardio kickboxing class.
Health Benefits
Students in cardio fitness kickboxing classes can burn as many as 800 calories in an hour. The combat-oriented Muay Thai classes offer the opportunity to burn as many as 1,000 calories in an hour. Combat-oriented Muay Thai classes often come with a physical condition component that includes a variety of calisthenics such as push-ups and sit-ups. Kicks Advanced Training Center also includes strengthening and abdominal exercises, as well as stretching. This allows students to gain strength and flexibility as well as losing weight and gaining cardiovascular conditioning.
All things considered, kickboxing is a relatively low risk sport. Even Muay Thai, the combat sport, has a lower injury rate than tae kwon do and karate. For those who do spar, supervision and protective gear can reduce the risk of injury.

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