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Kick-boxing is an effective aggressive self-defense that can be a big money earning career for good fighters. Classes as in most martial arts are friendly with people helping people to progress in their skills as a martial artist. Not all kick-boxing classes have full contact rules, some kick-boxing classes are only for cardio-fitness and a complete exercise challenge.
Meditation has traditionally been the cornerstone to any good martial art.
Kick-boxing evolved mostly from karate borne out of a need for some martial artists to have full on contact or semi-contact fighting to enjoy and develop their art (see kyokushikai).
The first full contact kickboxing bouts were conducted in an open plan environment similar to any modern day karate or judo competition that would be put on by most martial arts associations.
Full contact karate became big business the 1970's which was televised to large audiences with the PKA (professional karate association) and the WKA (world karate association) introducing rankings for fighters whilst sanctioning professional fights all over the world, using professional rules with bouts conducted in a boxing ring environment wearing boxing gloves and mouth guards (thus the name kick-boxing), top fighters earned fame and fortune through their fighting efforts.
These early fights are the precursor to modern day cage fighting and mixed martial arts competitions which also spawned the kick-boxing movement, skills and training techniques.
Modern day kick-boxing now enjoys a collaboration of martial arts, boxing, Muay Thai/tai boxing, kung fu, karate and taekwondo etc. The kick-boxer uses what works and is within the rules (PKA or WKA and any other recognized professional body that has access to insurance to be legal). Kicking and punching with full force is used during competitive bouts but semi-contact is used during training sessions. Practitioners use boxing gloves, head/mouth guards, leg, feet and body padding during training to develop skills and technique with a belt grading system as a constant progress marker.
Basic fomat of a kickboxing Class
The class usually has a 10 - 30 minutes of stretching and warming up depending on the instructor followed by learning how to block, punch, kick and evade in a loose martial arts style whilst developing good strong martial arts technique, next, 2 partner sparring to understand distance, timing and how to best an opponent through strategy and skills.
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