It’s hard to know what to expect when you decide to do kickboxing for the first time. You may have seen enough karate movies to have visions of doing flying 180 degree kicks…
Or, you may have little faith in yourself and predict nothing but embarrassment. No matter what you expect, chances are, you don’t know what to expect. To help you understand what will happen, here’s a preview of your first year of kickboxing or Muay Thai.
Before you learn how to do anything fancy you learn the basics. It’s ok if you’ve never thrown a punch in your life. Because even if you have, you might not be doing it the right way. Everyone learns the right way to punch and all of the basic punches: a jab, straight, hook & uppercut.
Clearly, kickboxing wouldn’t be kickboxing if there were no kicks. That’s why you learn a variety of kicks. You learn front kicks, round kicks, and switch kicks. Depending on your instructor’s background, you might learn several other kicking techniques. If you’re worried about having to learn some crazy spinning back kick, don’t be. Those types of kicks don’t come along until you’ve been training for a while, and there’s no rule that says you have to learn them even after years of kickboxing.
One of the great things about kickboxing is that even the professionals drill the basics over and over again. You won’t feel like a newbie, stuck doing the boring stuff while the rest of the class trains. Everyone works on the same skills, experts and beginners alike
Beginner’s Kickboxing Sparring?
Depending on how quickly you learn kickboxing techniques, you will probably be able to spar during your first year of kickboxing. Sparring is an OPTIONAL, yet pretty awesome part of training-when in the right environment with the right instructors. It’s like being in a fight…but with rules. Using proper training equipment like: headgear, 16oz gloves, mouth guards, and shin guards, you get a chance to go toe to toe with a classmate and test out everything you’ve learned.
Your instructor might set up rules, like “Only hit with 30% power” or “No head shots.” No matter what the rules are, sparring can be a lot of fun and can help all of your training come together.
As much fun as sparring is, don’t go into your first kickboxing class and expect to step into the ring. It’s important to learn the basic kickboxing techniques first. Drills can help prepare you for sparring, and only until you’ve drilled enough to understand the fundamentals of fighting is it a good idea to get into the ring. But once you do, all of the hard work pays off in a super fun way!
And if you don’t want to spar, that’s fine too. Most fitness kickboxing classes don’t involve sparring, and most Muay Thai classes make it optional. If you don’t feel like getting punched or kicked, you can still enjoy kickboxing classes and all of its awesome benefits.
Super Increased Fitness Level
The first few weeks of class aren’t easy. Kickboxing burns a massive amount of calories and works your whole body. You use muscles that you may not have even known existed, and that means you’ll be sore in places that you didn’t know existed. Making it through your first few weeks might leave you sore and exhausted, but you also can see results very soon after starting!
It doesn’t take long before your muscles start toning up and fat starts melting away. Kickboxing is one of the most effective ways to lose weight. As time goes on, making it through a class will become easier. But, no matter how often you train, you’ll still get in a good workout. The better your punching and kicking technique gets, the harder and faster you punch and kick. So, as your technique improves, you end up expending more energy.
Whether you’re in terrible shape or great shape when you start kickboxing classes, you should notice a drastic change in your level of fitness. You should have great aerobic (think running a few miles), anaerobic (think lifting weights), and metabolic (think short, intense bursts of speed) conditioning.
How Much Improvement Happens In One Year?
One year might not sound like much time, but one year of kickboxing can turn someone from a person who’s never stepped foot on the mat into someone who can help the beginners. It’s a big transformation and an exciting time.
Dani Gallagher trains in Muay Thai, MMA, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. She’s also taught beginner’s and kid’s kickboxing and is very passionate about fitness. Working as a freelance writer, Dani shares her passion with the world. For more information on kickboxing classes in Austin, click here.