6 Practical Tips to Start Kickboxing
Kickboxing is a versatile game that offers multiple benefits, including increasing strength, coordination, confidence and of course the skills in the sport. Or you can even choose it as a vigorous cardio workout. This versatility has made the sport immensely popular and most kickboxing classes focus on everything from elements of dance and cardio conditioning to martial arts, self-defense and one-on-one competition. It’s important to choose the right kind of class as your first step towards starting this amazing sport.
1. What You Need to Know
Before you start looking for kickboxing gloves, you should understand that “Kickboxing” is actually an all-inclusive term. Just in Southeast Asia alone, it can mean Burma’s Lethwei, Philippines’ Yaw Yan, Cambodian Pradal Serey or the extremely popular Muay Thai. All these sports allow the use of knees and elbows. However, in the US, kickboxing refers to a mix of karate and boxing that firmly prohibits strikes with anything other than hands and feet, and also attacking the legs, back and groin of the opponent.
2. Set a Personal Goal
Consider your aptitudes and abilities and set your own goals as an important first step before you start any undertaking; but it’s particularly important before starting a new workout regime. Will you participating in a tournament? Or do you just want to improve your cardiovascular conditioning or overall health? Do you want to learn competition sparring, real-world fighting or you are looking for a non-combat class? Most classes offer either fight classes or cardiovascular classes where you’ll be getting hit, which is not desired by some people. So, research various styles and decide what you want. If you’re particularly interested in becoming combat-ready, scheduling a one-on-one session with a trainer who can help you with technique might be a good idea.
3. Be Practical about What You can Manage
It’s always a good idea to consult your doctor before starting a new sport, especially if you have a chronic condition such as obesity, diabetes or asthma. Kickboxing can be more forceful than a standard exercise program and your body may have to undergo challenges that it’s not yet used to. Thus you should be extremely practical about your limitations.
4. Get the Right Gear
While choosing a gym, it’s also wise to check if it’s required to buy any kickboxing gear. Although it’s rare, some classes may require you to purchase kickboxing gloves, ankle supports or headgear. Remember that your clothing should neither be too restrictive nor too loose. Most active gear should be okay. Also a towel and water bottle can be a great help.
5. Proper Food
You should properly fuel yourself up before an evening class. You should consume plenty of carbohydrates, and foods that digest slowly, such as brown rice, beans or sweet potato at lunch and a small quantity of fast-absorbing carbohydrates like fruit or juice, half to one hour before the exercise. Carbohydrates are great to gain energy and they’ll help maintain oxygen level in blood. It’s also essential to be totally hydrated before any intense workout.
6. Beginning on a Quiet Note
Usually martial artists are stereotyped as spending a lot of time in meditation and there’s a reason behind this. Meditation can enhance concentration and reaction times, which could offer you an edge when it comes to learning kickboxing or any other combat sport. Martial arts and mindfulness go hand in hand. So, it’s a good idea to practice meditation before arriving at the gym.
The most important thing you should remember is that whatever is your goal, a kickboxing class is not a tournament but just practice. You should aim for getting in shape, learning a new skill and having fun. Happy learning kickboxing!