This is a guest post written by Georgia from BritVoyage. I don’t know about anyone else but I’m definitely inspired to try kickboxing now!
Although I was awarded ‘Third Sportiest Girl’ in my Year 11 Yearbook, I was notorious for being unable to commit to sports. Trust me, I’d tried tons: gymnastics, netball, football, trampolining, badminton, boxing, running, yoga, the gym, but each time, I’d only lasted a few weeks to a month in classes. Until I tried MMA.
One afternoon, I stumbled across a local women’s MMA class, and found my calling. After a year of building a general understanding of boxing, kickboxing, karate, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu techniques, I decided that kickboxing was the right path. Now, after two years of kickboxing training, I have completely fallen in love with this sport, and think that every woman should give it a go – let me tell you why.
To progress in kickboxing, you need a good level of fitness. Combining punches, kicks, and parries, mean that this sport is certainly a full body workout. Each school specifies different exercises that must be demonstrated, for example, mine requires us to be able to complete 20 push-ups, 20 sit-ups, and 20 squat thrusts as a baseline. On top of this, we skip, spar, run HIIT circuits, use punch bags, and hold a horse-riding stance. In just a few months of training, you’ll notice your strength increase, your cardio fitness improves, and your body shape starts to change.
My lower body – my quads, hamstrings, core, and glutes – are so much stronger now than they once were. Yes, it does make my booty look great. Likewise, the muscle built in my arms isn’t bulk, it’s lean strength, slimming ‘bingo wings’, and making it easier to lug shopping bags around.
SENSE OF ACHIEVEMENT
There are few sports which allow you to clearly see your own progression. Like other martial arts, kickboxing has a graded belt system which is awarded by the school you train with. Each grading requires you to demonstrate a particular level of fitness, and skills that you have learnt. Yes, it’s an exam, but coming out of it with that new belt gives you such a powerful sense of achievement. Sometimes, you are able to ‘double grade’ – I did, and managed to earn my yellow and orange belts at the same time.
As you progress through belts, there is a chance you could compete. This might be something you never considered, but imagine the intensity of stepping into the ring for the first time, and the sense of accomplishment you would feel at the end of the fight, whether you win or lose.
In what world wouldn’t having the ability to kick someone in the head give you a little more confidence? At only 5ft4, and being fairly slightly built, I’m very conscious that should someone desperately want to, they would likely be able to overpower me. Kickboxing has enabled me to develop skills that might one day save my life, or at the very least save me from injury. In my opinion, knowing how to punch properly, or which kick can be the most effective in stunning an attacker, is a life skill.
If not for personal safety, the changes to your fitness and body that kickboxing causes would surely give you more confidence in yourself.
What’s the point of doing any sport if it isn’t fun? Kickboxing offers you the best of both worlds: solo progression, but in a team environment. You work together with your team, helping each other with form, sparring together, cheering each other on. Imagine you’ve had a hard day at work. Everyone has been getting on your nerves. Your boss has been a pain. Beating the absolute nads out of a bag, or laying into punch mitts is an excellent way to blow of some steam, and have a bit of fun at the same time.
So, if you’re looking for a new sport to try, or you’re finding it hard to motivate yourself at the gym, try kickboxing. Just a quick Google search for your local area could point you to your next fitness venture.
Good luck, and see you in the ring!
Where to find Georgia: