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Common Kickboxing Mistakes

Just when I think that I am an old martial arts practitioner, I see things that say otherwise. Like the young guys, in all the fancy gym clothes, who delivered these ridiculously slow roundhouse kicks at the heavy punching bag. Before you get your head handed to you in a match or fight, please:

1. Keep your hands up. A good boxer or puncher can get inside your kick and knock you out when you lower your hands.

2. Kick a lighter bag around 40lbs. Something with giving. I was constantly going to the chiropractor when I was training hard and 30 years later I still have hip problems.

3. Work the bag, don’t let the bag work you. Kick and hit to develop your hitting power. Don’t just keep hitting the heavy bag until exhaustion. You will simply become careless.

4. If your coach isn’t looking at you, try not to train to exhaustion. When you get too tired. You get careless. Careless practice makes sloppy technique. While you should be able to train under stress or fatigue, make sure you don’t make any careless mistakes. I used to train badly for weeks and then I had to detrain. It is better to train less properly than too much incorrectly.

5. Avoid overtraining. You’ll know when you can’t sleep well, have a poor appetite and a fast heart rate. Skinny and underweight guys take note.

6. Train patiently. The whole idea of ​​martial arts is to develop the person. When you train smartly, consistently and patiently, you will make more progress. The guy who’s in a big rush to “bust heads” always takes the longest.

7. Practice a little humility. True martial artists don’t strut around town in “cage fighter” t-shirts and attitudes to boot. The skinny guy will just attract the attention of the bullies and the braggart will be lowered a level or two. I have met world class martial artists who do not flaunt their skills. (One 19-year-old insisted that he’d won 48 fisticuffs. He also failed a simple fitness test, so it makes you wonder.)

8. Nail one technique at a time. Some methods, like Hapkido, practice dozens of kicks and hand strikes in each session. This works after a couple of years. I found that getting proficient with a couple of strokes put me ahead of most other beginners. One good technique beats a dozen sloppy techniques.

9. If you are going to train, TRAIN. I’m sick of the guy saying he works out 3 hours a day, when he mostly walks around the gym wiggling his gums. Have fun, socialize him, but get some serious training.

10. Jogging is not street work. Road work, as wrestling champion Matt Furey describes it, is running while imagining you’re fighting. If you’re kickboxing, practice hitting while running. If there are too many people around, practice footwork and wind sprints. Kickboxing matches don’t have the intensity of jogging.

11. Above all, enjoy your workout. If you don’t like workouts, try something else. Just remember that professionalism doesn’t come easy.

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