Throughout Vancouver, kickboxing gyms are popular hotspots for folks looking to learn a skill & improve their physical health. For us, this comes as no surprise — kickboxing as exercise offers a range of physical & mental benefits. Better still, it serves as an excellent form of self-defense. Here at Diaz Combat Sports we have a team of world-class instructors providing the very best kickboxing in Vancouver. Below, we touch on some of the most attractive perks of regular kickboxing practice.
What Is Kickboxing?
In general, the term “kickboxing” encompasses a wide variety of striking-focused martial arts. Unlike western boxing, in which only punches are permitted, kickboxing disciplines allow such additional strikes as kicks, knees, and elbows. Karate, Sanda, and Savate are all well-known forms of the art. At DCS, we structure the bulk of our Vancouver kickboxing classes around Muay Thai, one of the most brutal and effective striking arts on the planet.
Physical Benefits Of Kickboxing
An exceptional form of exercise, kickboxing provides a broad range of physical benefits. One of the clearest is endurance — kickboxing is a rigorous cardiovascular workout that improves lung function & kickstarts your metabolism. If you want to shave some minutes off your Grouse Grind time, or challenge some of the more advanced (and breathtaking) hikes around Vancouver, kickboxing classes are a perfect way to keep your endurance at its peak.
High intensity interval training is a crucial component of our class structure. Body fat & calories can be burned at a tremendous rate during these workouts. Better yet, our movements and techniques work specific muscle groups that may otherwise be neglected. Due to their focus on hitting, dodging, and proper footwork, our kickboxing classes are a great way to improve your speed, dexterity, and coordination. If you commit to regularly kickboxing in Vancouver, you can expect a boost to your overall strength and flexibility as well.
Mental Benefits of Kickboxing
Even without the physical perks, there are plenty of reasons why training in kickboxing is an excellent idea. As with any skill, development in kickboxing results in a feeling of pride & achievement as you progress. Understanding techniques & combinations allows you to “flow” between them more easily, hit harder, and train longer. This quickly becomes a positive feedback loop — as you improve during each session, you’ll crave the next one even more. The experience of pushing yourself and surpassing your limits is an utter joy.
The more you put into training, the more it gives back in return. Thanks to this, it can be easy to establish a disciplined routine for yourself. Self-discipline doesn’t come easily to everyone. Developing & adhering to a training routine will make it easier to do so in other areas of your life. Further, you will find that a solid pad-smashing session offers a good deal of cathartic release. We understand that life can be hectic, particularly in a bustling city like Vancouver. Training regularly can let you blow off steam & help make you a happier, more well adjusted person overall.
Another perk of our classes is that they’ll introduce you to a wonderful community of friendly, passionate Vancouver martial arts enthusiasts. At DCS we pride ourselves on maintaining a vibe that is inclusive, positive, and ego-free. The atmosphere & community at DCS — in addition to the endorphins released by exercise — are certain to improve your mood!
As your skills sharpen over time, you will likely gain more confidence. Confidence in one’s self can let us face and triumph over any number of daily & lifelong challenges. Still, there is another, quieter confidence that comes from regular kickboxing practice: the confidence of effective self-defense.
Kickboxing For Self-Defense
As we touched on earlier, many disparate styles of kickboxing evolved independently from one another across the globe. Different people, through their various disciplines, have all arrived at the same conclusion: punching & kicking works. In the present day, one only needs to look towards Mixed Martial Arts to see how valuable a form of combat kickboxing is. Despite how much of MMA is contested on the ground, kickboxing remains an essential part of any fighter’s toolkit. If a superior striker can keep a fight standing, they often manage to pick apart their foe with devastating effect. Great kickboxers like Israel Adysena, Stephen Thompson, and Alistair Overreem have long been at the top of their respective divisions.
DCS Instructor and 6x Muay Thai Kickboxing World Champion Lamsongkram Chuwattana doing pad work
Although there are considerable differences between an MMA ring and the streets of Vancouver, kickboxing is still an effective form of combat for both. The reasons behind this are simple enough. From day one, the body mechanics required to throw a proper punch or kick are stressed and drilled repeatedly. A good strike, thrown with proper technique, will be considerably more powerful & accurate than the flailing of an untrained attacker. Basic defense, like keeping your hands up to protect your head, eventually becomes second nature.
DCS Instructors Adrian Shead and Boom Wattanaya demonstrate how to throw a roundhouse kick
Timing, footwork, and control of distance — some of kickboxing’s trickier aspects — can also provide great defensive benefits. A person well-schooled in their practice can effectively dictate the terms of a confrontation and escape, avoid, or counter-attack. Head movement and footwork, for instance, can make it exceedingly difficult for an assailant to land a solid blow. Additionally, few people (especially those without martial arts experience) appreciate the power of the front kick. A good front kick can easily be used to both knock a foe back and keep them a safe distance away.
Finally, should an attacker get in close, kickboxing makes a variety of surprising & devastating techniques available to you. Leg kicks, elbows, and knees can be delivered from short distances with incredible power, allowing you to incapacitate or escape your assailant.
There is truly no shortage of benefits to training kickboxing, in Vancouver or anywhere else. Whether you are looking to maintain your physical health, meet new people, or develop the confidence that comes with being able to defend yourself, kickboxing is an ideal avenue for personal growth.
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