So You Want To fight in the Ring: Kickboxing in Westchase
The bell rings and you run to the center of the ring and touch gloves with your opponent. Well practiced combinations land just as you had practiced. Kicks and punches are barely missing you as your counters hit there mark. Your opponent is staggered and looks like a drunk on a Saturday night. The referee steps in and sends you to a neutral corner. That’s it the fight is over. Your hands are raised as the crowd roars. Sounds great, but not quite as easy as it sounds. There is quite a big difference between someone who trains in a kickboxing gym and one who trains as a competitive fighter. Let’s go over the differences and find out what it takes to become a ring fighter.
Most of the student population in my Westchase gym have no interest in ever competing in a kickboxing match. They want to get in shape like a fighter without the stress of the ring. Not only do they get in great shape, but learn how to defend themselves at the same time. Competition is not for everyone. However, if you are thinking about it I will delve into the many requirements.
First thing you will have to do is find your Yoda or martial arts guide. You need an instructor that has either experience in the ring or experience training fighters. Hopefully, you will choose a coach that has had success under their belt so they could take you to your first win or prepare you well enough so that your journey is a safe fun one.
I have had many students ask what age is a good age to start competitive kickboxing or if they were to old to fight in the ring. That answer has many variables. The most important one being how long have you trained. I very rarely let anyone do a ring fight unless they have had at least a year of consistent training. The youngest combatant was about six years old while the oldest was about forty two. The cut off of someone that has never trained before is usually thirty five or so. Of course there are exceptions.
How exactly do you begin your journey into the four corners? I recommend you start with a call and set up a free first class or if you like you may watch a class. Look for a safe environment where the coach is looking out for everyone’s safety. You shouldn’t be free sparring for at least three to four months after beginning and should have a few offensive and defensive techniques down first. When you are ready for sparring it should be done in a light controlled manner. This should be done for an extended period of time until your skills allow for a faster more controlled pace.
After training for approximately a year or so and free sparring at a faster pace with all the basics down you might be ready to train for a fight. You should be training at least three to four times a week and interacting with students that have fought before. Make sure that you are not being overwhelmed and can hang with more experienced fighters. Training for a ring fight should transform you mentally and physically, your coach should be hitting every aspect of a full contact match.
Matches for amateur kickboxers are three two minute rounds. That may not sound like a lot until you are actually in the ring. Two minutes can seem like two hours. Preparing for a fight you will be running three miles three times a week for the first two to three weeks of a six week training camp. The last few weeks you will be sprinting to simulate the intensity of a match. Sparring sessions will escalate as well as training days leading up to the big event. To prepare mentally you should be put in stressful sparring situations such as sparring three fresh fights in a row or sparring with bigger faster opponents. Your body weight should reflect a very cut up athletic build. This is done through diet and conditioning. The less fat you carry the more efficient your body will work.
The reward for doing all this due diligence whether you win or lose will be one of the most exhilarating moments in your life. You will now be mentally and physically transformed into someone that can stand up for themselves in and out of the ring.