By Jim Graden
Good Balance - Develop a good balance (fighting stance) that you can train yourself to start every combination in and finish in. You will never develop proper technique if every time you kick or punch you start with a different body position. Think about your Balance like the foundation of a house. You may have a beautiful house with all the bells and whistles, but if you have a lousy foundation, you have a lousy house. If you have lousy balance, you have lousy kickboxing.
Put Your Body Into It - Make sure you learn to use your entire body to throw your punches and kicks. Pretty much everyone that I have ever seen, who started kickboxing with no prior experience, punch just with their arms and kick just with their legs. When executing a kickboxing technique, your whole body should be involved. There are many reasons for this, but the two primary reasons are, first, you create a lot more power when you understand how to rotate your hips and shift your weight into your strikes. Two, you burn more calories and engage more muscle groups when you kickbox, especially your core! You can develop strikes to defend yourself and you get in better shape, a win, win.
Keep Your Hands Up - Get in the habit of keeping your hand up and bringing them back to your face and more specifically, cheekbones. There are two primary reasons you want to do this. 1. It will strengthen your shoulders. Try it! Just try keeping your hands up, just above your neck, in your next kickboxing workout. Most people, reading this blog, will last only a round, or two, before their shoulders would give out. 2. Your strikes will get better. Most fitness kickboxing students focus only on the hand or foot hitting the target and pays no attention to the other hand and where it goes. When you bring your hand back to the same place every time, (cheekbones) its much easier for you to improve your boxing skills.
Don't Lose Sight Of Your Hands - Many people throw their non-hitting hand behind them as they punch, which can really put excess stress on the shoulders. A good rule to follow is don't lose sight of ether hand when you are punching, especially on a hook punch. A hook punch travels in more a circular motion and it is common for people to pull their hand way back to throw. The rule is keep your hands in front of you, enough that you can see the hitting and the recoiling hand at all time.
Learn To Kick Properly - Kicking is what makes kickboxing, kickboxing! I find it so much more challenging and engaging than just boxing. Very few things in life are going to ask you to do a coordinated movement with your legs and your feet like kickboxing does. And that’s how you should approach kicking, as a full body coordinated movement. Start off slow and ask questions to your instructor about proper form when kicking. Doing kicks improperly can be dangerous, take the round kick, if you pull your shoulder back as you rotate your hips into the kick, you can wrench your back. Take your time and learn to do them right, with good form and then good power, not the other way around.
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