Monday, December 14, 2009


This week the group did a kickboxing workout. I like to throw one of those in near the end, so each group can give it a try. You recall they walked/ran a 5K a couple of weeks ago, so a kickboxing workout gave them a taste of something different yet again.

The way I run my kickboxing classes is a little different. As a martial arts instructor, I’m interested in giving them some very practical, real world skills, should they ever need to use them.

As a result, even though I’m a fitness guy, I’ve never been interested in teaching a fitness kickboxing class, where the moves look almost like dance. I figure they can do aerobics.

If we’re going to be doing some kickboxing, we’re going to be hitting things, like targets and the heavy bag. We’re going to be doing drills where they learn how to duck and slip punches, and fire back strong counters. It will be high intensity, and because of that, it will also turn out to be awesome exercise.

The first step was to teach them how to make a proper fist, and then how to hold their hands and arms up in front of them. They also learned how to cover their head with their hands and arms, when someone’s trying to hit them with pads. Done properly, it’s a pretty good shield.

After that, they learned the jab and right cross, doing partner drills on the target pads. Then they learned how to bob and weave, following the two punches. Finally, they put it all together. At that point, their coordination was challenged a bit, but after a few minutes, things smoothed out pretty well.

Then, we added the knee strike. A devastating blow (especially to a guy), it follows the jab and right cross. Done in a sequence, it’s very hard to defend. By then, the group was looking pretty sharp, and putting a lot of power into their techniques.

Finally, they went to the heavy bags and learned how to do an angle kick, based on the martial art of Muay Thai—an extremely effective form of kickboxing. Also used by law enforcement to take down resisting offenders, the kick targets the outside of the thigh, about six inches about the knee.

The targeted area is called the common peroneal, and once an assailant has been struck there, it’s very difficult to stand, much less walk or run after their intended victim. That gives the defender time to get away.

The whole combination goes as follows: Left Jab, Right Cross, Right Knee Strike (s), and finally, after reloading your leg, a Right Low Kick to the leg. Done quickly, the sequence is very reliable, and almost impossible to stop.

After just 45 minutes of practice, the group not only was looking sharp, but they were also sweating, laughing, and having fun. As an added bonus, the concepts were something they can take with them and use, if the need should ever arise.

That’s why I like teaching a straight kickboxing class at least once a week (Monday nights), and also work it in to our regular group training classes on Friday nights. Kickboxing empowers the participant. Plus the rigorous workout can burn as many as 500-750 calories an hour, depending on how hard you’re working.

Finally, the sheer fun of hitting things like handheld targets and the heavy bag, are a great release from stress and the worries of the day. Doing drills with a partner develops timing and a sense of distance, as well as coordination.

While they didn’t wear gloves in this workout, in the regular class, they’re required to get some real boxing gloves. Not only do they soften the blow, should someone get hit by mistake, instead of the targets they were holding (almost never happens), but they also protect the wearers hands and wrists from the impact on the bags.

All in all, the group really seemed to enjoy the workout. As predicted, they also had a good time hitting things—everyone does!

This week’s winner was Karen Brown, who proved that sometimes, results lag behind the workouts. A little disappointed last week, after doing a last chance 10 mile walk/run workout, this week the numbers came in big time. She lost 2.7% of her body weight, and a whopping 6.6 lbs!

That tells you that sometimes, you just need to cut yourself some slack. Do the work, and it will all work out in the end. Karen got a $15 gift card from Terry Elston and State Farm Insurance for all of her hard work this and last week, including two more 7 mile walk/run sessions. Karen is now down exactly 40.0 lbs in just eleven weeks—right up there with the top gals from previous BL sessions.

Second place went to Michelle Nugent, who lost 1.9% of her body weight, and 2.6 lbs. She was also a little frustrated having to miss a few workouts, and with slight midweek gains, two weeks in a row.

Each time, though, just like with Karen, it worked out because she stayed focused and followed through the rest of the week. Michelle is now down 31.2 lbs and is quickly closing in on her goal weight.

Third place was a tie between Nita Comstock and Renea Mullins, who both lost 1.4% of their body weight. Nita lost 2.0 lbs and Renea lost 3.6 lbs. Nita’s been in the top three pretty much the whole session, and it looks like Renea has fallen in love with kickboxing!

Don’t forget about Biggest Loser “10 and 11” both of which will run concurrently—one on Friday nights, and the other on Saturday mornings, provided we get enough people. They’ll start on January 8th and 9th and we’ll help you get your New Year resolutions started off right!

No comments: