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Kickboxing is one of the most prolific striking martial arts in existence. It focuses on kicks and punches only to incapacitate the opponent. You need physical and mental toughness, focus, speed, and strength to compete. It’s highly effective in a ring under a strict ruleset, but the lack of grappling makes many believe it’s not nearly as effective to defend yourself in a street fight. So, is Kickboxing good for self-defense?
Kickboxing is very effective for self-defense, even though you don’t learn grappling or ground combat. You will get physically fit and strong and have the technique and knowledge to read your attacker and respond quickly and precisely.
There is more to Kickboxing than just punching and kicking. Learning how to take and absorb shots is also extremely vital for defending yourself on the streets. Kickboxing will provide you not only with that but will teach you how to evade attacks and keep your opponent at a distance as well. There are many benefits that kickboxing can provide you with, which is why it’s among the most popular martial arts in the world.
Is Kickboxing effective in a street fight?
Learning any martial art will definitely give you an advantage and a great chance to defend yourself if you had to. Every martial art has its advantages and disadvantages, but will still beat virtually any streetfighter or an attacker with no real combat training.
Kickboxing is no different. Although it has its advantages and disadvantages in a street fight, it will give you an incredible skill to help you with self-defense. There is more than one reason why that’s the case, and we’ll go through each of them.
First and the obvious – Kickboxing will teach you how to strike. Many people think they know how to punch or kick until they start training in martial arts. Kickboxing will teach you the proper striking techniques both for punches and kicks.
Punches are usually taught as three different basic types – jabs, hooks, and uppercuts. Of course, there are variations of the basic types with different executing techniques but work on the same principles. Some of the more complex punching techniques are overhands, spinning back-fists, superman punches, etc.
There are also three basic types of kicks, based on which body section they land. There are high kicks, middle kicks, and low kicks, and they are delivered to the head, to the body, or the legs, respectively. Again, there are variations of each, such as roundhouse kicks, tip kicks, spinning sidekicks, etc., but the basic strikes you’ll work on in the beginning are the first three.
As you progress, you’ll get much better at timing your shots and being surgically precise. That is a huge skill to have when it comes to self-defense, too. Most of the street fights end in a wild brawl, swinging all around until somebody hits something. If you can counter that with quick, precise strikes, you’ll not only neutralize the opponent but avoid taking any unlucky damage.
With all that being said, it’s quite clear how Kickboxing can effectively be used to defend yourself in most circumstances. However, it does have its limitations, too. There are no rules in a street fight, and your Kickboxing training is focused on fighting under strict combat rules. So, you can’t exclude somebody throwing you off guard with grappling, cheap shots, or even using weapons.
That being said, one could argue that every martial art has limitations in a street fight, as they all have distinct rulesets in which you’re allowed to operate. Karate has limitations. Wrestling has limitations. Even MMA has its own rules and prohibited actions. In the end, the fact is that when push comes to shove, it’s better to have one in your arsenal than not. After all, there are more benefits to Kickboxing and other martial arts that make them valuable, not only the ability to defend yourself from attackers.
Other benefits of Kickboxing
Apart from the self-defense part of Kickboxing, there are so many other things it can help and provide you with. Your physical and mental strength will grow, you’ll get healthier, more vibrant, and ultimately feel a lot better about yourself. We’ll make a list of all the best benefits you can get from Kickboxing and then let you decide if you should give it a go.
1. Improves Physical Fitness
Kickboxing is a martial art first, but it’s also a combat sport. Meaning, you have to be an athlete if you want to compete at any level. And, you have to be fit to be an athlete, so a lot of your training in Kickboxing will be focused on body workout. Getting you in the best condition possible is what every teacher will try to do before thinking about putting you in a ring.
Kickboxing is a very intense flexibility workout that burns an incredible amount of calories, which ultimately leads to better metabolism. As you lose body fat, your muscles will all get toned simultaneously. You’ll get a high cardio exercise, which, combined with a body workout, gets you in pristine physical condition.
2. Aids And Strengthens Mental Fitness
As great as the physical aspect of Kickboxing is, the mental toughness you’ll obtain will affect your day-to-day life much more.
First of all, Kickboxing can be a great stress relief. If you’re feeling frustrated and anxious, get in the gym, put on your gloves, and punch/kick all that stress and frustration out of your system. You’ll notice a great relief already after the first few sessions.
Next, when getting into a Kickboxing match – be it a real match or just sparring – you don’t know how much courage it really takes to continue doing it until you eat your first low kick. Being physically strong is nothing if you are weak mentally, afraid of getting hit, nervous to engage, or any other issue you might have.
As you get more comfortable in a ring, getting better skill-wise, you’ll get all the more confident. That confidence translates to everyday life and will allow you to stop doubting yourself and take every responsibility head-on, with no fear. Even chemically, scientists suggest that practicing martial arts releases endorphins that boost your overall mood and make you feel better about yourself.
You can’t learn Kickboxing on your own. There will always be more practitioners in the gym, and you’ll all work closely together. Getting to know people in a friendly environment where everybody is equal might help you break loose if you’re having difficulty with social interactions.
Many people have anxiety when meeting new people, worrying too much and overthinking everything, ultimately choosing to stay at home and watch TV. But, in a gym, there is no social status or any other thing that might limit you in an everyday situation. Here, you’re all just Kickboxers, playing under the same rules.
You’ll meet new people who obviously have similar interests. So, you might find great friends in a Kickboxing gym.
4. Improve Focus and Coordination
Kickboxing is a very fast-paced martial art that requires a lot of focus. Even a split second of deconcentration can lead to dire consequences, so you have to be extremely good and maintaining focus.
It will ultimately help you do the same in real life too. Our lives are so hasty nowadays, and it’s hard to keep up and remember everything. But, learning how to focus and concentrate will help you organize and solve things more efficiently.
Also, it takes a lot of coordinated movement to perform Kickboxing combinations. You have to use all four limbs, coordinate the strikes between one another while also having tremendous eye-to-arm and eye-to-leg coordination.
One of the toughest things to learn in Kickboxing is how to coordinate your movements perfectly. You can’t learn coordination overnight. It can only come from muscle memory, and muscle memory comes only with time, after repeating the combinations over and over until they become natural.
5. Improve posture
The last point on our list is something almost everybody has a problem with today. Our bad posture is caused by hours and hours of sitting inappropriately, looking down on our phones all the time, etc. However, you can set yourself straight by practicing Kickboxing because it will strengthen your core, leading to a much more tight and straight posture.
If you combine that with the flexibility you gain by practicing, too, you will obtain a fantastic sense of balance unlike you’ve ever had. Sitting straight is only the beginning because a better posture can lead to the improvement of many problems – back spasms, knee pain, groin tightness, etc.
To wrap things up, here’s everything you need to consider before determining if Kickboxing is for you:
- It will help you get great physical and mental health
- It will help you defend yourself effectively
- It can improve balance, coordination, and posture
- It relieves you of stress and boosts confidence
- It raises focus and determination
Ultimately, it is up to you to see if you’re willing to try out a full-contact sport. You can always skip sparring and competing, of course, so you can give it a shot and see how you like it.