Kickboxing is an all-time classic stand up fighting sport based around punching and kicking, historically developed in karate mixed martial arts. Kickboxing is universally practiced as a competitive contact sport, often practiced as self-defense, general fitness, or for personal fitness. Kickboxing has been featured in some of the best cinema films of the last several decades and has achieved a cult following in places like Thailand and Brazil. Many cities throughout the United States have health clubs with kickboxing classes, and kickboxing has even gained popularity among college students. It is also gaining in popularity amongst martial arts enthusiasts, and as it develops more into a mainstream sport, it is beginning to come to be viewed as the “fighting form” of combat.
There are many forms of kickboxing, including freestyle, standing, top-mountain, bottom-mountain, and hybrid. Freestyle, which is most commonly referred to as “real-life” kickboxing, consists of rapid-fire punches and kicks that are engaged in response to an opponent’s initial punches and kicks. Standing up kickboxing is slower than freestyle, but involves several key techniques. Top-mountain kickboxing is the standard for tournaments and is usually reserved for light-wight fighters.
The main benefit of learning Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) or any other form of martial arts, for that matter, is that it provides a whole range of self-defense strategies, including the use of submission holds and chokeholds. Most people focus their Kickboxing classes on cardio kickboxing for the maximum physical benefit, but this is not enough to be truly successful in a self-defense situation. Self-defense training must include strikes to the back, legs, arms, and stomach of your attacker for maximum effectiveness. To learn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, you will need to attend a certified Kickboxing class.
When practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), or any other form of martial arts, striking is important. However, there are many different types of kicks used in kickboxing that are not common in boxing. For example, a high-volume roundhouse kick is used by most kickboxers but is not commonly seen in boxing. In addition, many boxers will use a wide-base foot strike to surprise opponents. A great deal of the fun of Brazilian kickboxing comes from the unpredictable and dynamic footwork that is the hallmark of the sport.
Since the primary purpose of Brazilian kickboxing is self-defense, many kickboxers add striking components to their arsenal of moves. This adds a realistic element to the fight and allows both the Kickboxing athlete and his opponent to have a greater understanding of the capabilities of each fighter. Many times, the only way an opponent can defeat a Kickboxing fighter in a self-defense situation is if he is able to effectively counter whatever strikes the Kickboxing fighter is using. Through constant practice of being able to anticipate and avoid punches and kicks, a Kickboxing fighter can improve his or her hand-eye coordination and accuracy.
A major drawback to cardio kickboxing is that it is dependent on a fairly predictable pattern of attacks.
Unlike traditional striking styles like boxing, kickboxing relies on power strikes that create maximum impact and rapidity. Thus, if there are predictable patterns in the way a kick is delivered, blocked, recovered, or absorbed, a Kickboxing fighter can easily figure out an opponent’s next move. While some self-defense experts advocate teaching self-defense techniques in such a manner as to mirror what would occur in a real-life self-defense situation, other Kickboxing experts discourage this approach, arguing that there is far more skill gained by adapting to an opponent’s technique than trying to imitate him or her.
Another common form of self-defense training for kickboxers is basic striking. Many Kickboxing classes emphasize strong, solid jabs, low kicks, and front kicks against punches and open hands from the opposition. Although these strikes can be effective, many Kickboxing competitors find them too easy and effective. Because of the lack of momentum and the distance covered by the front and side kicks in most Kickboxing matches, the ability to accurately and effectively deliver these strikes to the opposition is often limited. In addition, there is usually only one or two rounds in most Kickboxing matches, and the competitor must utilize all available strikes quickly and effectively when time limits are set. Most experts agree, however, that it is still better to train with a full body guard, as it gives the Kickboxing trainee more control over punches and elbows.
When compared to the high impact nature of boxing, the striking techniques involved in Kickboxing are comparatively milder, although there is definitely the danger of injury. In order to succeed in a Kickboxing match, however, a Kickboxing fighter must master the use of his or her own body weight as well as his or her strikes and kicks. The slow motion of most Kickboxing matches makes it difficult to learn how to accurately strike an opponent while moving at an exceptional speed. Additionally, many fighters find it difficult to get the best of an opponent using only their hands, and as a result, some Kickboxing matches are quite messy due to continuous sprawl-and-fight tactics from the competitors. Overall, if you are looking for a fun, exciting sport that will provide you with excellent cardio benefits, but not much in the way of striking blows, then you may want to consider Kickboxing.
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