Among the many forms of Martial Arts currently practiced in the United States, Kickboxing is one of the most physically demanding and rewarding practices, combining many different traditions within martial arts to create a practice that is self-defense, exercise, and a contact sport all wrapped into one. Kickboxing demands vigorous physical engagement, making it one of the best fat-burning and muscle-building Martial Arts, ideal for getting children or adults into shape and teaching them how to defend themselves should the need arise.
Kickboxing will satisfy the need for physical exercise to the hilt, but its relative youth and origins more from sport rather than spiritual tradition may fail to satisfy those seeking a more philosophical Martial Art. Kickboxing allows a simple expression of the warrior urge while creating a warrior’s body, making it one of the most straightforwardly athletic Martial Arts practices.
A Brief History of Kickboxing
Kickboxing is a fairly recent addition to the catalogue of Martial Arts, introduced in 1958 in Japan by boxing promoter Osamu Noguchi, who coined the term “Kikkubokushingu” (A Japanese transliteration of the English “Kickboxing”) sometime in the 1960s. He developed a sport which combined elements from Western Boxing, Karate, and Muay Thai, that has since become popular the world over, represented by global institutions such as the World Association of Kickboxing Organizations (WAKO) and the World Kickboxing Association (WKA). Various styles and schools of Kickboxing have cropped up from France to Panama, influencing one another and resulting in a wide variety of rule-sets and even practices included under the umbrella of Kickboxing. Kickboxing and Mixed Martial Arts in General became prominent in the United States in the 1970s, as associations such as the WKA and the Professional Karate Association (PKA) promoted the sport. Since then, the popularity of Kickboxing as both a spectator sport and physical regimen has steadily climbed, influencing Mixed Martial Arts the world over.
The Popularity of Kickboxing
Kickboxing became a major sport in Japan soon after its invention, becoming one of the nation’s most watched sports and captivating audiences for decades. Kickboxing has lent its influence to all variety of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) and other fighting styles, and thus is watched (in some form or another) in almost every televised martial art competition excluding classic boxing and wrestling. Many action films incorporate Kickboxing into their leads arsenal of non-weaponized combat, with figures such as Jean Claude van Damme leading the way.
Although originating in Japan, the popularity of kickboxing made its way to the west on the wave of martial arts enthusiasm that resulted from the cinematic efforts of martial arts movie stars Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Chuck Norris. Although kickboxing is a specialized elite athlete sport, it also has countless participants who use classes as a form of cardio fitness, self-defense and a means of achieving greater physical prowess.
The Practice of Kickboxing
Kickboxing is an aerobic and cardiovascular exercise that is fast-paced and demanding. Warming up properly and controlling movement is essential to prevent over-extending muscles or other injuries. Particular strikes, kicks, and movements will be taught by the instructor in a class, and paying close attention to the proper execution of these exercises will help ensure that one gets a proper exercise and avoids injury.
Getting Into Kickboxing
Kickboxing classes can be found at many different fitness centers and gyms around the US, offered usually at the same rates as other exercise classes. Because of the multitude of influences on kickboxing, good kickboxing instructors will often have a high-level belt in another martial art such as Muay Thai or Karate. In choosing the right Kickboxing Class, it is best advised to look for an instructor who has a high-level belt in a martial art and who is accredited as a fitness instructor by the American Council on Exercise. Sitting in on a class beforehand will give a good idea of whether or not to sign up on a more regular basis. Beginners should avoid classes that do not provide an opportunity for individual instruction and appear too strenuous for their level of physical development.
Safety and Gear
Prospective students of Kickboxing will want appropriate sportswear for boxing, loose, breathable clothing, and some form of knuckle protection which can easily be bought at most sports goods outlets. It’s critically important in Kickboxing to listen to the instructor and avoid over-exertion- many of the kicks and jabs can strain or tear muscles if not properly executed.
Kickboxing, Great for Fitness & Self Defense
Kickboxing is a hugely popular full contact combat sport that isn’t only practiced as a competitive sport; it has also become somewhat of a fitness craze in gyms across the United States. Kickboxing classes offer students a whole body workout, as well as some great self-defense techniques that could quickly and decisively dispose of any attacker. In the professional arena, be it Muay Thai kickboxing or western kickboxing, it can be quite a vicious full contact sport, but hugely entertaining for the hoards of people who go to watch.
What Is Kickboxing?
Kickboxing is a martial art form that involves the stand-up fighting between two competitors who may use a variety of punches, kicks and knee-strikes to bring their opponent to the ground. It was originally developed by Karate master, Tatsua Yamada, and is a blend of the techniques and traditions of Karate and Muay Thai kickboxing. Today, kickboxing competitions are moderated by the WKA, the World Kickboxing Association, which strive to keep all fights safe and fair.
CKO Kickboxing USA
CKO Kickboxing is a very popular gym franchise with studios across America that offers kickboxing classes and full kickboxing gear to people of all ages and levels of fitness and experience. CKO Kickboxing is worth checking out if you wish to master this martial art.
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