In the mood for some kickboxing?

Sports spirit

There’s a new sport in town. Kickboxing – a variant of the age-old Karate, is emerging as a new favourite among health freaks.

More importantly, kickboxing is being endorsed by young girls and women in the Capital who not only want to stay fit but also learn a few tricks to save themselves in tricky situations.

The benefits of kickboxing, especially for women, have been accepted worldwide, but it seems the sport has gained recognition in India only lately. Kickboxing is originally a Thai martial art, commonly known as Muai Thai, practiced in the country for many generations now.

Thais are known as the masters of the art. It moved to America and the West with the popularisation of martial art cult movies such as Bruce Lee, the Karate Kid, American Ninja etc., and has recently exploded into many variants.

The benefit of kickboxing over other martial arts, however, is that teaches some easy self-defence skills as well. Training institutes in Delhi say that more and more women are signing up for Kickboxing classes each passing day.

Jai Kishore Singh, a member of the world renowned martial arts school Sanshinkan International, informs Metrolife, “Till late last year, we had only 10 girls learning kickboxing at our three centres: Kailash Colony, Lajpat Nagar and Janakpuri. In the past three-four months alone, the number has risen to 40. The biggest reason for this is of course the December 16 incident which has left many women feeling
vulnerable.”

“They now want to be prepared if, God forbid, faced with any such situation, in which kickboxing helps. In this sport, we teach how to throw kicks and punches, make iron hands and legs and target a person at the soft areas of his body if attacked. So, you’ll not only be able to defend yourself, but also fight back. It hugely improves your reflexes, hand and legs coordination and body balance, and gives a great boost to your confidence.”

Other than that, kickboxing has some other benefits as a result of which women are warming up to the sport. Mithilesh Vidyarthi, a trainer at the National Institute of Martial Art and Physical Science, Netaji Nagar, says, “As it combines martial arts
techniques and heart-pumping cardio, kickboxing is a high-energy workout guaranteed to burn calories and fat. Kickboxing alone burns about 750 calories in an hour. Throw in some jump rope and conditioning drills and you could burn anywhere from 750 to 900 calories per hour.”

“Other than that,” he adds, “Kickboxing almost magically trims the waist and tones up the legs and butts. Kickboxing is mainly focussed on striking with the legs - kneeing, kicking, jumping and so on - which means that your legs are involved in all sorts of movements that they aren’t usually used to. And that ensures they firm up.”
Jai Kishore adds, “Kickboxing is also a good way of relieving the day’s stress and taking out your frustration on a punching bag. If you haven’t tried Kickboxing,
you are surely missing out on something.”

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