Starting to learn how to kickbox can be quite a daunting task. There are many moves that need to be learned, and your need to have different stances depending on your move. When starting out we recommend that you get the basic correct from the get go. Many beginners pick up bad habits which are difficult to avoid at a later stage. For example many students start off punching, but in doing so they over rotate their hands in a punch. So it’s best to learn the basic aspects correctly and to take care that you are doing things correctly .
Here is a quick outine of some of the important basic skills in kickboxing:
Normal Sparing / Fighting stance
If your gym has a mirror, preferably a full length one, you should practise this in front of it. In front of the mirror, go into your basic fighting stance and and have a look at yourself in the mirror for the following 3 points
- Make sure that your feet are in the right positions. Right handed people typically stand with their left leg facing forward. Your knees should be bent slightly.
- Your hands should be up at your chin height. Your right hand should be positioned more to the side of your face, while your left hand should be more forward, a few centimetres in front of your head. Your elbows should be beside, but not touching your body. Your elbows can be use to to block kicks or punches delivered towards the side of your body.
- Your chin should be positioned down, over your left shoulder. This is to protect it from getting a hook to the chin.
Remember when you are starting to train, you should try and relax as much as possible. Being tense will tire your muscles out quicker. When you are in your basic stance with a punch bag or a sparing partner, remember to breath. Holding your breath for more than a couple of punches, will result in less power you throw. Being relaxed enables the flow in your movements, and will increase your speed and power. When punching, try to breath out on every punch, this will ensure that you won’t tire, and your training sets will be able to last longer.
Shadow boxing is a method, where you practice that you are boxing, without having an opponent. Here you can practice techniques you’ve learned in your classes, and perfect putting multiple techniques together. When you are learning to shadow box you should first start with the proper stance, your feet shoulder length apart, leading first with your left, and then with your right. In competition or sparring, it’s likely that you will have to change stance, say for example your opponent is left handed, and you are right handed, or vice versa. So first you should start with moving your feet, almost like dancing. You’ll see some great examples of feet movement if you watch professional boxing on TV. Once you’ve practised moving your feet, and being away about how your balance changes when you are leading with your left or your right foot, you can then think about what to do with your arms.
Where to put your arms
When you are throwing your punches, remember that your elbows should be beside the body as much as possible. When you throw a punch, bring your arms back to the block position, with your elbows beside your body. One of the reason why you need to use your elbows, is that your opponent may try to kick you in the rib cage area, to score a point. You should practise some basic moves like :
- »left, right, left punches
- »right, left, right punches
- »left, left, right punches & jabs. Here the first one in the sequence is a jab, or a teaser punch
- »right, right, left punches & jabs. Here the first one in the sequence is a jab, or a teaser punch
- »left, right x 4. Putting some power into the succession of 4 pairs of punches.
- »left, block & duck left. Here you throw a punch and then recoil into the block position.
- »right, block and duck left
Video on Shadow boxing