My Martial Arts Review, April 2008
Boxing vs. Kickboxing
This will have to be a very personal view on things, however I hope it will give you an idea of what to expect and to help you for the decision making process. Obviously a lot depends on my preference for the personal style the trainers use and 'vibe' they create.
I personally like everything technical, I want to know before I do something how to do it right and rather sacrifice a bit on the fitness aspect at the beginning.
If you would prefer the intuitive approach where you are allowed to 'just go for it', where you are working hard fitness wise from the beginning and pick up the technical bits along the way, then you quite likely would take a different choice than I would.
Apart from the fact that his technical training style suits me, the guy himself is very nice and straight forward. And the people in the Saturday class are just all ... very nice! It were six of us in this class (the Wednesday class is a bit bigger) - we were 4 blokes, 2 girls. And they all think that it's great that women do boxing. I didn't have a single awkward moment.
The training is demanding, though. There is no way around it, you will become fit! However, because they all are very helpful and considerate, everybody can do it as long as you are willing to reach for your limits.
The training starts with a warm up and then has a technical part which gives a bit of a timeout to catch a breath - well, at least for the first few lessons - I guess, I hope. So far I didn't throw a single punch and all I was trying to get the hang of was moving my feet correctly while holding my hands in the right place. Now I have a lovely muscle ache in all the right places which gives me hope that by end of summer I will have the gorgeous legs and bum I always wanted to have.
And it enhances the concentration. Well, at least I hope that I'm still trainable in that respect! When I checked out the website and read about the benefits of boxing I thought: Yes, that is what I want. Now I got a first glimpse of what that really means and I find things lacking within me which I hadn't realised before. This will not only be a very interesting physical journey, it will be a mind-trip as well.
According to Wikkipedia Kickboxing was only developed in the beginning 1960s in many different styles and these days is trained for enhancing fitness or as full contact sport. Although this was a taster session and the class was rather full, one could tell that the main aspect of the regular course will not be technique but fitness. Due to the hopping and running and the velocity with which punches and kicks are fired the quality of stance, punch and kick has to suffer. It was fun though, and one can expect that the correct technique will be picked up along the way.
The taster session were taught by father and daughter and very quickly it became clear that it was meant as a promotional event to draw in new clients. A part that dad had to play, while the daughter - nice girl - did the main part of the class and will then do the regular classes as well.
As mentioned before: I'm very technique oriented and for my flavour it was a bit too much of 'headless chicken' action for the benefit of fitness. And elderly ladies like me, who might have the one or the other slight leakage problem might want to take precautions. I was very close to hopping myself into trouble.
My personal conclusion
If you like aerobic classes and the fitness aspect of things, but want to move away from the more dancing orientated to something more substantial: Kickboxing is for you. You will learn technique over time, which will open the door to a full contact combat sport if you should decide one day wanting to go that route.
If you are a technical more controlling person and you want to learn more about the 'Art' bit in 'Martial Arts' while developing a high level of fitness, strength and balance for your body and a relaxed yet controlled frame of mind: Then the boxing is the thing for you.
Well, you could take either a lion or a tiger as well, but I just love those giants and thought I'd use the opportunity to show them to you. BTW: the other way round it's a tigon.