Kickboxing more than a martial art for self defense, is one great fat burning cardio work out that also promotes increase in stamina, fitness coordination, flexibility, discipline and confidence. There are classes and trainings that are well guided and safe for beginners for kids and adults. But before you start taking the challenge here are some important tips you need to know:
Gyms are normally fully equipped with all the gears you need. However, if you are well committed to do kickboxing as your sports and if you are somewhat concerned with hygiene and personal preferences you can definitely purchase your own gears. You can have your own boxing gloves and hand wraps. For your footwear, it is recommended to use cross training or boxing shoes. On other classes you might also need some protective gears such as mouthguard, sparring protector for the groin, shinguards, ankle support and head gear. Clothing should be neither loose or tight.
About six to twelve hours before your training (Your dinner the night before for a morning session or lunch for an evening session) fuel up by taking in plenty of carbohydrates that digest slowly like brown rice, beans and sweet potatoes. Around 30 minutes to an hour before the class take some fast absorbing carbs like fruits or fruit juices. You will be needing the carbohydrates as kickboxing is a very intense practice. This will keep oxygen in your blood and maintain energy levels. Also during your practice do not forget to hydrate and rehydrate by having a water bottle with you.
Warm up and cool down- Before the actual training you will normally start with a warm-up which includes stretching, skipping, calisthenics or shadowboxing, where you practice moving and striking into the air. Next is technical work, such as boxing, kicking and defensive techniques, practiced through partner drills, hitting punch bags or padwork. Cooling down includes stretching and sometimes a massage. Warming up and cooling down reduce the likelihood of soreness afterwards which usually occurs within a day or two of exercise.
If its your first time start slow, concentrate on the basics and focus first on how to properly throw the punches and kicks. Make sure you have the correct stance and always be light at your feet as you will be moving around from side to side, back and forward, up and down. Whenever you throw jabs, upper cuts and hooks remember that the punches should come from your body and not your arm. From your core and body weight to your shoulder and back muscles to a punch not just from elbow and wrist. When kicking, focus on the power and not how high you kick as this is used for striking. Lastly keep practicing, nobody will become a tournament champion in one day. As we quote “I fear not the man who has practiced 10000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10000 times.”- Bruce Lee.