Kickboxing is a combat sport that combines the punching techniques of boxing with the kicking techniques of karate. It originated in the 1970s when karate stylists such as Joe Lewis and Chuck Norris decided that the best way to test their skills would be to compete against each other in the ring. It is popular way of learning to fight or to get fit. While it is possible to learn the art on your own, it is always best to seek professional teaching or to get an experienced training partner as this will make the learning process faster and more effective.
Find a place with ample space and without obstacles for training. This can be a yard, a studio, a spare room or a park. Access to a punching bag or other training equipment is helpful but not necessary.
Sign up for a class, if possible. Even if you are looking to teach yourself, attending a professionally taught class will help you understand how techniques should look and feel and will give you quick and effective feedback. It will also give you an idea of what your training sessions should look like.
Learn from an authoritative source on kickboxing. If you cannot find a teacher, then you need to be as familiar as possible with the art so you have an accurate idea of the correct technique and effective training methods. You can learn from books with clear instructions and diagrams, from DVDs or even the Internet. All can be effective, but they still lack the feedback of an experienced coach.
Warm up properly before every session to reduce the risk of injury. Begin with light exercise such as jumping rope, jogging, calisthenics or shadowboxing, where you perform kickboxing techniques without resistance against an imaginary opponent. This helps prepare your muscles and joints for the upcoming workout.
Practice individual techniques such as punches and kicks. Focus on the basics, such as straight punches and hooks, as well as roundhouse and front kicks, using a mirror if necessary to observe and correct your form. Practice these in the air if you have no equipment, or against a punching bag or focus mitts held by a training partner.
Develop your footwork by moving constantly. Footwork is an important part of kickboxing so practice moving in combination with your strikes. This will give you a grasp of the basics, but to move beyond this level you will need a partner with whom to train to work on attacking, defensive drills and sparring.
- “Advanced Kickboxing“; Pat O’Keefe; 2002
- Kickboxing: Styles
- American Council on Exercise: Kick Your Way to Fitness