Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Skill & Fitness Features of Kickboxing

Martial arts such as kickboxing, in the hands of a skilled practitioner, provide a powerful method of a self-defense, a form of combat sport and a rigorous form of physical exercise. In addition to conditioning the body, kickboxing also trains the mind and the spirit. This emphasis on body, mind and spirit is consistent with the philosophy of kickboxing and other martial arts.
Kickboxing can refer to martial arts in general or to the Thai sport and martial art of muay Thai in particular. The L.A. Kung Fu website, in an article on muay Thai training, states that the Thai kickboxing art complements Buddhist philosophy, which emphasizes the development of the body's internal energy, or chi, through breathing, meditation and physical exercises such as those practiced in the martial arts.
Martial arts and Buddhism have strong links that extend to ancient east Asia, where kung fu and other martial arts developed. Many histories of the martial arts credit the Buddhist monk Bodhidharma with bringing an early form of kickboxing to the Shaolin temple in China. The style of kickboxing, or kung fu, practiced by Shaolin monks combine hard, striking techniques with softer, meditative movements. This is consistent with Buddhist philosophy's balance of the yin and yang, of hardness and softness, according to the Shaolin temple website.
George Petrotta, a longtime martial arts practitioner and a Ph.D. in theology and martial arts philosophy, writes that kickboxing and other martial arts strive to develop three aspects of existence: the body, the mind and the spirit. Kickboxing philosophy suggests that training must address all three aspects for a person to become a balanced human being.
Petrotta writes that the rigorous physical exercises practiced in kickboxing, such as foot and hand strikes, as well as blocking and grappling techniques, develop the body. By repeating basic and advanced kickboxing techniques, practitioners gain strength and agility. Kickboxing develops the mind by teaching the student to concentrate and keep the mind in coordination with the body. Finally, the martial arts develop the spirit through meditation and kickboxing practice as a form of personal improvement.
Expert Insight
Marco Sies, a world kickboxing champion living in Bethesda, Maryland, emphasizes that kickboxing's philosophy emphasizes the importance of achieving harmony between the mind, body and spirit. In a story published by the Washington Examiner newspaper, Sies stated that his kickboxing school combines philosophical teachings about happiness and inner peace with martial arts techniques.

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