Kickboxing is a form of boxing derived from the martial arts of karate and Muay Thai (thai boxing). It is a stand-up, mixed-medium, full-contact sport, that involves kicks, punches, knee and elbow strikes, as well as head butts. It can be performed alone with punching bags, via contact or non-contact sparring with a partner, or in the ring under competition.
While kickboxing is a powerful sport and workout, it has a relatively short history. In the 1960s, people in the martial arts world began to seek full-contact sports. Karate was very popular, but formal rules did not allow for contact in competition. There were those, such as Tatsuo Yamada and Osamu Noguchi, who sought to include contact within the ring in Japan. They originally introduced competitions that pitted Muay Thai Boxers against Japanese Karate fighters. A new style of kickboxing slowly emerged from these competitions and its popularity spread.
By the 1970s, kickboxing was introduced to North America. In the beginning, rules were soft or non-existent, but as interest in the sport grew, organizations were formed to regulate the world of kickboxing. The World Kickboxing Organization formed in 1976 and by 1992 the International Kickboxing Federation was founded.
When kickboxers step into the ring today, they wear mouth guards, hand wraps, 10oz boxing gloves, groin protectors and optional shin pads, kick boots and protective helmets. While men are bare-chested, women wear sports bras and chest protection. In Japan, matches last for five rounds of three minutes each, while American kickboxing may last from 3-12 rounds of two to three minutes each.
If you are interested in kickboxing, but not ready to step into the ring, don’t worry about some of the more formal rules. While kickboxing has its place for entertainment value, it also has caught on as an exercise workout as well. For good reason too, as a one hour kickboxing workout can burn 500-800 calories in this fast-paced, fat-burning exercise.
Kickboxing workouts have gained in popularity due to the vast benefits to be had from the aerobic nature of this martial arts based exercise. You can gain increased stamina, raised energy levels, weight loss, fat loss, flexibility and improve your core muscles. Due to its high activity, kickboxing workouts are also great for the heart, improving blood circulation, increasing your oxygen supply and controlling high blood pressure. You might even find improved self-confidence as you learn the basic art of self-defense as well. Best of all, punching a training bag has also been shown to decrease stress levels. Who doesn’t like to take out their daily frustrations on something other than themselves!
Remember to always talk to your doctor before starting any kickboxing training, or exercise regime of any sort. As kickboxing workouts are highly energetic, it is best to stay hydrated, and even increase your protein intake before exercising. It is essential to properly stretch and warm-up before kickboxing training to prevent muscle cramps and strains. Once you are ready though, start kicking and have fun!
At Premier Fitness Camp we love to expose you to a huge variety of workouts. Variety and not getting bored will help you so much on your weight loss journey. Our trainers at our fitness retreat are dedicated to making workouts fun and interesting, from indoors, to outdoors, to even doing Zumba in the pool!