Kickboxing at Ronin Athletics
When it comes to our Kickboxing program, Ronin Athletics’ follows the middle path approach. Our founder, Christian Montes, has had many successes in professional fighting which is why our program places emphasis on foundational skill building. This allows the practitioner to learn and appreciate the technical aspects of fighting through practice and application, while doing so in a fun and non-competitive environment. This type of training culture is an essential part of learning. Developing Kickboxing skills through non-serious play, versus Kickboxing purely to burn calories, is the root of the motivation that keeps the practitioner coming back consistently.
KB 101 – Understanding and Developing Concepts
The beginners’ program (KB 101) focuses on developing the foundational concepts needed for stand-up fighting. These concepts include:
- Understanding and developing your fight rhythm
- Understanding distance management
- How to throw basic punches and kicks
- How to incorporate basic punches and kicks into combinations
- Defense concepts like how to apply blocks, evade and other countermeasures
- Understanding how to incorporate all of the basic concepts to form your own fighting style
Kickboxing Class Format
The class follows a predictable lesson format and is partner based. Techniques are gradually introduced throughout the class progression. This is so that the student is familiar with general pace of the class and can proactively adjust their intensity level throughout the session. Having a predictable format allows the class to be scalable across experience levels. It is not uncommon to work alongside more experienced members during KB 101. The typical format consists of:
- Shadow Boxing – 5 minutes of freestyle striking to warm-up your striking tools for class
- Warm-up – 10 minutes of non-stop conditioning and calisthenics drills to get your heart rate up
- Root Combinations – Basic 2 strike combination which is the overarching theme for the class
- Progression Combinations – Incorporate additional strikes and movement to the Root Combination
- Strength building – The last 10 minutes of the class to focus more on calisthenics for strength building.
Partners are usually paired up by skill level. Root Combination and Intermediate Combinations are practiced with a partner using striking pads of different types (depending on the techniques being taught). The partners alternate between holding pads and striking on a round-by-round basis. Each round is 3 minutes long and the partners have 30 seconds rest in between while alternating equipment.
Kickboxing – What to Expect
For many of our beginners, incorporating all these concepts feel clumsy at first. One may think that a left jab is something that one should instinctually know how to do, but it often takes a great deal of practice to perfect one’s form, timing and accuracy. Similarly, becoming coordinated enough to throw a combination of punches, kicks, elbows, and knees in a fluid way requires many repetitions. Even for fighters who are coming from a grappling background, it often takes weeks of repetitions in KB 101 to get a feel for the rhythm.
While combat sports appear intimidating, it all comes down to how you frame it for yourself. A simple analogy could be made with music – for instance, a beginning guitarist. Apart from learning the formations of chords (i.e. a punch or kick), it often takes months to develop the muscle memory needed to quickly switch (i.e. fighting rhythm and footwork) between them and to keep strumming in rhythm (i.e. applying striking combinations)—even if they already have a background in music through another instrument. It is only through practice that the guitarist can begin to effortlessly jump between chords and play combinations of notes cleanly (i.e. live sparring). Once you have a basic command of the different facets that make-up Kickboxing Training, then you are ready to spar and begin to express yourself through these technical mediums – and that’s what will keep you motivated to train every day!