What is the difference between Cardio Kickboxing and real Kickboxing
After over 30 years of instructing martial arts I can tell you that the difference between cardio kickboxing and real kickboxing is like apples and oranges. If you are like most people that don’t have prior knowledge it might be harder to differentiate between the two. So I’m hoping that I can shed some light on the similarities and the differences.
Cardio kickboxing can be taught by pretty much by anyone with little to no actual knowledge of Kickboxing techniques, where as real Kickboxing is almost always taught by an instructor with a working knowledge of the art.
So, what exactly is cardio kickboxing. Cardio is heart conditioning so just like it sounds the idea is to raise your heart rate to work the most important muscle in your body your heart. The class is run with high energy music to go along with the fast paced punching and kicking. Often times the cardio workout is combined with upper body exercises, core and leg workouts which can provide a complete body workout. That’s the good stuff about cardio kickboxing. Here’s the problem with cardio kickboxing many instructors have minimal training in proper technique and form. A lot of men and women feel that this workout can be applied to a real life self defense confrontation and they are seriously mistaken. The reason being is that you have no timing and poor technique and this has been proven not to work in a stressful self defense situation. The other problem with cardio kickboxing is that there are only so many workout routines you can do, so it eventually leads to a very boring workout.
So, what exactly does real legit kickboxing have to offer that cardio kickboxing doesn’t. First, you will have an instructor that has years and years of training and thousands of repetitions under his or her belt so they can mentor you in the proper technique of kicking and striking. It should be a total body workout just like cardio kickboxing, and with the emphasis on proper form and function you will learn why, how, where and when to strike. You will not only learn how to strike but you will learn how to position your body to make your punching and kicking more effective. Distance and timing will be taught as well, this is very important. Defensive tactics will be shown and used in drills with partners. The curriculum focuses on a variety of combinations consisting of kicks and strikes. With this type of training you will never get bored.
Speaking from my own experience as owner and head coach of Hellman’s Mixed Martial Arts we emphasize Muay Thai kickboxing as you can use your whole body for self defense. Your fists, knees, elbows and legs. It is the choice of most full contact fighters as it provides the best results in competition. We also pull techniques from other Martial Arts that have been proven successful in competition. Why is competition so important you might ask? Competition is the proving ground, where else can you tell if a move is effective.
So, in conclusion if you just want to get an overall compete body workout and don’t care about technique, form or self defense…cardio kickboxing is for you. If you want to challenge yourself mentally, physically and learn an effective self defense system also get into the best physical condition of your life, find a real kickboxing gym near you and watch a class and then try one out.