If you're looking for a way to improve your fitness and get in shape, kickboxing may be the perfect option. Kickboxing is a great workout that provides many benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, increased strength and agility, and better overall fitness. In addition, kickboxing is an excellent way to release stress and tension and can even help improve self-confidence. So if you're ready to start enjoying all the benefits of kickboxing, check out your local martial arts studio today. You won't regret it!
What is brain fog? While it's not a medical term, brain fog describes a feeling that you don't have full mental clarity—maybe you're having trouble remembering something or difficulty focusing on a thought or idea.
A hard blow to the head can shake your brain inside the skull. The result: bruises, broken blood vessels, or nerve damage to the brain. A hard hit that doesn't cause bleeding or an opening in your skull could be a closed brain injury. An open brain injury is when an object penetrates the skull and goes into your brain.
Following a TBI, the ocular muscles will need to exert extra effort to compensate for trauma to the visual system. Unfortunately, this additional effort can lead to eye strain and cause pain in the temples and forehead similar to —and often mistaken for— a tension headache or migraine.
Dementia pugilistica or 'punch drunk' syndrome is a form of acquired cognitive impairment in up to a fifth of professional boxers (Latin: pugilator, boxer). It also occurs in other sports where there may be mild head trauma, such as football and horse racing.
Fortunately, there are many ways to boost motivation after brain injury, including creating routines, offering narrowed choices, setting goals, and having fun. Be sure to work closely with a Speech-Language Pathologist for an accurate diagnosis and an even more personalized recovery plan.
Is Kickboxing Better Than Other Sports?
As we said, with its punching, kicking, and sparring, very few sports are as dynamic as kickboxing. Of course, this doesn’t mean that kick-boxing is better than other sports. But it sure does offer perhaps the best workout, with the most drastic effect on your health and fitness.
Yet, the important thing about kickboxing classes is that they are precisely not just a full-body workout. Or, rather, they are – but only if we consider that our body also includes our mind.
Much more so than many aerobic activities – from simple running to Zumba, from tennis to swimming – kickboxing focuses on your emotions, concentration, and confidence. And that’s because it is inherently social. In kickboxing, you are engaged in real, full contact, physical battle – and that’s not only going to sharpen your muscle groups but also your mind and social skills.
Health Benefits Of Kickboxing
If you’re looking for a fun fitness class that keeps your whole body engaged and allows you to punch things without getting in trouble, kickboxing may be for you! It is a great way to meet new people and change your exercise routine a little while staying active and healthy at the same time. Here are its top health benefits:
Does cardio meet martial arts? Bye, body fat. If you have taken a kickboxing class, you know it takes every bit of energy. You’re constantly pushing your body to keep moving, which increases the number of calories burned and helps you lose weight.
Increase Overall Strength
Kickboxing is a full-body exercise. You get to do weight training, fighting and different cardiovascular exercises. The result? A stronger body and higher resistance.
The different kicks, jumps and punches keep your different muscles engaged. Most kickboxing movements require a lot of strength and core power to be done correctly. However, these are the movements that will help you tone your body and trim your waist.
Learn Self Defense
Most kickboxing moves can be used outside of the classroom in case of necessity. You’ll hear the instructor say things like, “this you could use in X situation” whenever you take a class. Pay attention because it may come in handy later on.
It helps strengthen your core and improve your reflexes, which will make your coordination better. Most moves involve several body parts (kick, move, punch, kick again). You’ll learn new movement sequences faster with time because your coordination will constantly improve.
Release Stress And Improve Focus And Concentration
Nothing will help you destress as fast as kicking and punching a bag. This exercise is a form of martial arts, meaning it requires a lot of dedication and concentration to master. You may go to kickboxing class all the time and not get better if you don’t focus on the techniques necessary to perfect the different moves.
Kickboxing is a great break from sitting in your office all day, typing into your computer or staring at your phone. In addition, it will help with your posture because you have to use your core and be precise to perform most of the movements.
Increase Energy Levels
This exercise is a high-intensity cardio routine, meaning you’ll get to push your body and mind to the max. It will help you release toxins and forget about your problems for a little while, increasing your energy.
Allows You To Socialize
Kickboxing classes are group classes. You’ll get the chance to work with a partner and get pumped up by those around you. Most people tend to exercise harder and longer when surrounded by others doing the same thing. The more people, the more fun, right?
Increase Flexibility And Balance
It is mandatory to stretch before and after a kickboxing class. This is the part of the workout that will help you increase flexibility, and, in the long run, it will help you prevent injuries because the more flexible you are, the lower the chances of getting hurt.
There Are 16 Varients Of Kickboxing Originating From All Around The World. Of Those 16, 5 Main Styles Are Most Common In The Western World. These Variations Include American Kickboxing, Muay Thai, French Kickboxing (Also Known As Savate, Or Boxe Française), and Dutch Kickboxing. And Cardio Kickboxing.
So you have to wonder…how can there be so many different types of kickboxing? Most of us are used to the jab, cross, hook, uppercut, roundhouse, above the waist, stand up, long flashy pants kind of kickboxing.
But the definition of kickboxing from the Cambridge Dictionary is “a sport in which two competitors fight by hitting each other with their hands and kicking each other with their feet. Because this is such a generic term, kickboxing can include several fighting/boxing styles that you may not have ever thought of.
Let's look at the five main styles of kickboxing that we find most commonly in the west to determine which one suits you best.
American kickboxing is definitively the most well-known style of kickboxing in the US and many parts of Europe. It was born in the 1970s as a combination of karate and boxing. American kickboxing is a stand-up sport (meaning there is no wrestling or floor work involved) in which striking below the waist. (I like this rule!)
There is no single international governing organization overseeing this sport. Instead, several organizations hold their kickboxing events, each making its own rules and regulations. Some of the larger and better known American kickboxing associations include the World Kickboxing Network, the World Association of Kickboxing Organization (WAKO), and the International Kickboxing Federation.
Muay Thai, also known as Thai boxing, is a type of kickboxing that originated in Thailand. Muay Thai includes punching and kicking techniques, but it also incorporates knee and elbow strikes. The clinch, also known as upper body grappling, is also used in this style. Strikes below the waist are permitted, but not to the groin area.
Muay Thai is thought of as a more aggressive form of kickboxing to some. Muay Thai has become a more popular form of kickboxing in recent years because it is a highly effective workout that cultivates self-defence and combat skills, much more so than American kickboxing. If you want to get super fit and learn how to fight and defend yourself, Muay Thai is a great choice.
French Kickboxing (Also Known As Savate, Or Boxe Française)
French kickboxing is a combat sport that originated in the 1800s by sailors in the ports of France. In this variation of kickboxing, boxers are permitted to wear shoes in competition. This gives competitors a better opportunity to land more deadly kicks. The points of the feet are the main contact when kicking.
One of the main elements that set this apart from other forms of kickboxing are the feints involved when competing. Feints, or strikes that are meant to distract and mislead the opponent, are often used to deliver an unexpected blow to a different area of the body. For example, kicks circle in rapidly from different directions to one part of the body, followed by an unexpected blow to another part of the body. This bait and switch method gives French kickboxers an advantage.
In contrast to the black belt system, glove colours indicate ranks in Savate. As you move up the levels, you earn different glove colours. A student can’t compete until they have reached the red glove level.
This type of kickboxing is not as well known in the US and is more prevalent in European countries, especially France. In Europe, Savate is known as a distinctive form of self-defence. This type of kickboxing would be excellent to learn if you were interested in self-defence and fighting skills. But if you’re not into getting kicked by a shoe, it might not be for you.
Dutch kickboxing is another martial art that has become quite popular in Europe. This kickboxing style integrates techniques from Western boxing, Muay Thai, and Kyokushin karate. Unlike American kickboxing, kicks to the legs and head and knee strikes are allowed. Elbow strikes are not permitted. Very aggressive sparring is common practice in Dutch kickboxing.
Because Dutch kickboxers spend a lot of their training time sparring, they are often better prepared than many other martial artists when it comes to combat. As a result, it is common to spar hard daily.
This extreme hard sparring practice comes with the benefits of a high level of fitness, confidence, and fighting ability. But it puts fighters at risk for injuries, especially concussions. If you are looking for an extreme kickboxing style that will develop your fighting skills, then check out Dutch kickboxing.
Most serious Martial Artists will tell you that cardio kickboxing is not kickboxing. But if the definition of kickboxing is to use your hands and feet to kick and punch, this also has to qualify.
This type of kickboxing you often see set to music in group classes. Usually, you are taught a routine that consists of combinations of punches and kicks. Often these combinations are fast-paced enough to torch a lot of calories.
No, cardio kickboxing will not teach you how to defend yourself or fight. But it will teach you the proper way to execute many punches and kicks; it will develop your cardiovascular fitness, strengthen your muscles, improve balance and flexibility, and it’s an empowering, fun way to get in shape!
If you’re looking for more fun, less serious kickboxing to improve your fitness and increase your confidence, give this a try. If you want to learn to fight, you’re better off learning Muay Thai or one of the many other styles of kickboxing discussed here.
The 16 Styles Of Kickboxing:
Now that we know the more popular forms of kickboxing, here is a list of all of the different variations of kickboxing with some short explanations of each listed in no particular order:
- Lethwei– Also known as Burmese boxing, this bare-knuckle martial art allows headbutts and strikes to any part of the body. Because of this, Lethwei is considered one of the bloodiest Martial Arts.
- Kun Gek Do or Gwon-gyokdo— This Korean kickboxing style combines Tae Kwon Do front kick push techniques with Muay Thai style roundhouse kicks and punches.
- Muay Thai – Although originating in Thailand, this is an MMA (mixed martial art) that has become quite popular in the west. Strikes below the waist and elbow and knee strikes are allowed.
- Muay Boran is a general term for all unarmed martial arts practised in Thailand. Originally taught in the Thai military for combat. This Thai style of kickboxing differs from Muay Thai in that it incorporates ground fighting.
- Japanese kickboxing – Japanese kickboxing began in the 1960s in Osaka, Japan. It is a mixed martial art based on Muay Thai rules and the techniques of full contact Karate (Kyokushin). This was the first martial art to assume the name “kickboxing”.
- Shoot boxing – This is another form of Japanese kickboxing. As in Sanda, throws are permitted. But in contrast to Sanda, in Shoot boxing, the fighter must be standing.
- Kudo: This Japanese martial art puts safety at the forefront. Fighters wear headgear and gloves. Throwdowns, grappling, and chokeholds are permitted. This form of kickboxing is practised worldwide but has become most popular in Russia.
- American kickboxing – A combination of Karate and boxing, this above the waist stand up style of kickboxing is well known in the Western world.
- Savate– A combat sport originating in France. Shoes are allowed in competition. Known for feints. Uses glove colours to represent ranks. Well known in France, not popular in the US.
- Sanda – Formally known as Sanshou, also called Chinese kickboxing, this style of fighting was originally introduced by the Chinese military. Based on Kung Fu techniques, wrestling moves such as throws and takedowns are used.
- Yaw-Yan- Also known as Sayaw ng Kamatayan and Dance of Death, this is the Filipino kickboxing style introduced in 1972. It is similar to Muay Thai but differs in how the kicks are performed from the hip to attack from a longer range with more power.
- Full-Contact Karate– A general term to include many variations of Karate in which fighters spar with full contact, and the criteria to win include a knockout. Some of the variations of full contact Karate include Karate Combat, Knockdown, American, Bogu Kumite, Full contact point karate, and Gloved Karate.
- Pradal Serey– Originating in Cambodia, this is a form of kickboxing that uses punches, kicks, and knee and elbow strikes. The clinch is also permitted. Elbow strikes are the predominant technique used to defeat the opponent.
- Dutch Kickboxing– This kickboxing style is a combination of Western boxing, Muay Thai, and Kyokushin karate. Very aggressive sparring is coming practice. Therefore Dutch kickboxers are quite prepared to perform well in a street fight or a competitive match.
- Adithada– Indian Kickboxing is practised in Sri Lanka and southern India. This style uses uncovered hands, elbows, knees, legs and headbutts. Once mastered, students will go on to learn a form that uses weapons.
- Cardio Kickboxing– A form of group fitness in which students are taught combinations of kicks and punches to burn calories and improve overall health.
So, what are the benefits of kickboxing? As we’ve seen, this sport offers a wide range of health benefits that can improve your overall quality of life. There are plenty of reasons to start kickboxing today, from helping you lose weight and get in shape to improving your cardiovascular health and reducing stress levels. Is it better than other sports? That’s up for debate, but one thing is for sure – if you want to start getting fit and healthy, kickboxing is a great way to go. Have you started enjoying the many health benefits of this sport yet? If not, what are you waiting for?