Kickboxing: staying in shape, feeling safe

October 1, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

boxing pads

(Photo by Paul Fleischanderl)

Every Monday and Wednesday at 4 p.m., Kwantlen students are meeting at the Blossoming Lotus Studio for an hour of good, wholesome kickboxing.

You don’t even need any formal or prior kickboxing experience. “I’m taking these classes to get in shape and because it sounded cool. I’ve played soccer for 12 years so I needed something different and I didn’t want another team sport,” says Rachel Moir, 18, who’s in general studies.

The session begins with a 12-minute warm-up that includes the jumping jacks, stars, burpies, climbers, dive-bombers, push-ups and on-the-spot running. After that, you learn a basic fighting stance followed by a left-jab-right-hook (one-two) combination.

“It makes me feel a lot safer walking around Vancouver,” says Jena Renwick, 21, who studies fashion design and technology.

The instructors, Milo and Marcy Hilario, who have been kickboxing for 12 years, demonstrate and explain the techniques in terms that are easy to understand.

Then you strap on the gloves and pads and partner up and the real fun begins. Simulating a three-minute round, you practice the one-two combination with 30-second intervals of continuous punching. Your endurance is truly put to the test.

You alternate three rounds each with your partner, while Milo and Marcy provide tips for all the students, before lining up to learn knee strikes.

warming up knees

(Photo by Paul Fleischanderl)

You repeat that routine 20 times into the air. Then you’re back with your partner, executing an aggressive jab-hook-knee combination into the pads.

The kickboxing element of the class is capped off with three minutes of non-stop right and left hooks, as well as upper-cuts, with your partner and pads. If you’re on the floor after that, it’s okay. The session ends with a three-minute abdominal workout.

“The workouts involve your shoulders. You’ve got to keep your shoulders up the whole time. Then your abs start hurting. For an hour, they pack a lot in,” says Corbin Mountford, 19, who studies business administration.

The gloves, pads and music are supplied by the instructors. Everyone trains in bare feet and comfortable fitness attire. Classes are cumulative, so the more you go, the more you learn. Membership is $30 a month or $6 for a drop-in class; you can register on-line or visit the KSA office for more information.

“It’s a great sport to learn and gives you lots of confidence,” says Renwick.