Ask a retired Kickboxing and Muay Thai Competitor:
Our Head Coach, former full-contact Muay Thai, Kickboxing and Boxing competitor, Christian Montes answers your questions about one of the most exciting forms of martial arts today – Kickboxing and Muay Thai.
If you cannot find the question you’re looking for. Feel free to submit your question at the bottom of this page, and Coach Christian will have an answer for you.
Am I too old for Kickboxing?
There are various forms of exercise that comprise a kickboxing training and a typical kickboxing class – from bodyweight calisthenics to equipment training that includes jump rope, heavy bags, and medicine balls, to partner drills that include pad work, all the way to contact-sparring sessions. They can be categorized as generally moderate to high intensity and possibly high impact. The key factors that determine whether the training environment is appropriate for people of all ages would include a format free of mandatory, contact sparring (to decrease the chance of head trauma) and where one is free to pace themselves and work up to the higher intensity and impact drills and exercises that the class may be comprised of. As with all contact sports, your personal affinity, and willingness to acknowledge that the occasional bumps and bruises are part and parcel of such activities should be the first box that you need to check off before worrying about age.
Am I too old for Muay Thai?
There are various forms of exercise that comprise a kickboxing training and a typical Muay Thai class – from bodyweight calisthenics to equipment training that includes jump rope, heavy bags, and medicine balls, to partner drills that include pad work, all the way to contact-sparring sessions. They can be categorized as generally moderate to high intensity and possibly high impact. The key factors that determine whether the training environment is appropriate for people of all ages would include a format free of mandatory, contact sparring (to decrease the chance of head trauma) and where one is free to pace themselves and work up to the higher intensity and impact drills and exercises that the class may be comprised of. As with all contact sports, your personal affinity, and willingness to acknowledge that the occasional bumps and bruises are part and parcel of such activities should be the first box that you need to check off before worrying about age.
How many calories do you burn at Kickboxing training?
While the structure and intensity of every kickboxing class will tend to vary, just as the participants individual’s body weight and level of exertion will also factor into the number of calories, it is often cited that one can burn from 450 to 750 calories in a typical one hour kickboxing class.
How many times a week should I attend?
Consistency is ultimately more important than frequency. A steady regimen of 2-3 classes per week has been shown to yield the most gains while still allowing for enough time to adequately recover between workouts
Is Kickboxing good for kids?
Kickboxing training, as with most competitive sports, can be a great tool to build confidence, physical strength, and camaraderie/social skills (from the class setting) When talking about martial arts training for kids, there are two perspectives that need to be taken into account – the usefulness in context of dealing with bullies. On the one hand, you can make the argument that knowing how to box, punch, and kick, will empower the child to fight back and defend themselves effectively. On the other hand, a strong argument can be made that the notion of “fighting fire with fire”, especially if the child (or adult for that matter) does not have a healthy and mature association with these tactics, might back fire and perpetuate more bullying behavior. The striking arts by their very nature are offensive tools that cause blunt force trauma and there should be great care in understanding the limited violence scalability this toolset offers a bullied child.
Is Kickboxing and Muay Thai the same?
No. Muay Thai is the national ring sport of Thailand and deeply rooted in the history of Thai culture. The term “Kickboxing”, when it was introduced was meant to denote a new sport that incorporated western boxing hands, allowed kicking – from Japanese Karate styles – but was restricted to mostly above the waist targets with no clinch work or grappling allowed (the use of knees would vary but elbows were almost always forbidden) This sport was the natural evolution of martial arts competition from the decade before (mid 1960’s) which mostly consisted of Karate point fighting (from non-contact to full contact) often with little or no hand-protection in an open arena setting, once full-contact became the order of the day, then a natural evolution towards boxing style strikes and gloves followed, along with changing the setting to include both combatants in a boxing ring. In contrast to the western boxing or Muay Thai trunks that are typical now and in an effort to pay homage to their karate roots but also differentiate themselves to some degree, the combatants fought bare chested (no Gi top) but with Karate style uniform pants, and sometimes wearing their Black Belts to boot. This became the trademark look for “American Kickboxing” as it emerged in the late 70’s and early 80’s
The term, Kickboxing, in the modern era has become a generic term for the many iterations of stand-up striking ring sports that include kicks. You can also make the argument that if it involves – knees, elbows, and clinch work, then it is Muay Thai. However, there are also European (specifically, Dutch) and Japanese iterations of the sport. When someone mentions these, the former in particular, they do not say, Dutch Muay Thai, they refer to it as, “Dutch style Kickboxing” - which is often a contrast to traditional Muay Thai in that it emphasizes boxing hands far more than kicking or clinching as they Thais do.
Is Muay Thai good for self-defense?
Muay Thai is an excellent martial art for self-defense. It develops and emphasizes strong and explosive strikes and conditions its participants to absorb blows with their block techniques in regular practice. Unlike other striking arts, whose sparring and competitive aspects ban fighting from within the clinch and standing grappling ranges (i.e. – how boxers end up getting separated when they clinch) Muay Thai has a very strong element of clinch work and also promotes expertise in striking with close quarter tools like the elbow and knee (which are often far more damaging that a typical punch) Like most striking arts however, the main drawback in a self-defense scenario for a practitioner of Muay Thai is the lack of familiarity with ground grappling and (this cannot be overstated) the willingness to enter into an exchange of blows with what might potentially be a bigger and stronger opponent, intent on knocking you out. There is always a risk that’s assumed if your strategy falls along the same line as your opponent (debilitation as opposed to neutralization)
Is Kickboxing good for self-defense?
The self-defense benefits that are derived from Kickboxing are the increase in general athletic attributes (balance, strength, speed, etc.) as well as body mechanics that are vital in being able to throw a strong and competent punch or kick. Being well versed in striking from both the offensive and defensive perspectives goes a long way in being able to protect yourself in a typical street encounter. With that said, one of the major deficiencies is the lack of grappling (clinch and ground) training, which is extremely common in street encounters. Another factor that can be viewed as detrimental is the willingness to engage in a scenario where you are exchanging punches, especially against a bigger and stronger opponent. Any time you are close enough to land an effective strike, you are also close enough to have your opponent land one on you as well, and unfortunately, it only takes one, lucky shot to make a bad situation far, far worse.
Will I lose weight?
Physical activity is only one factor that determines weight loss, along with a proper diet and adequate sleep/recovery. However, all factors being equal and properly looked after - a physical exercise regimen that includes Kickboxing training is an excellent way to not only increase cardiovascular fitness but also build muscular strength and endurance, while also burning fat. It is very common for people who are consistent with their KB training to see weight loss results in anywhere from 6-8 weeks from the time they begin taking classes.
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