All of the classes that I have been to so far have only focused on different types of punches that we can use when trying to defend ourselves. Though I know that this is very useful, part of me always wonders when we will get to practice different kicks.
Right before class I started to try and mentally prepare myself for the circle drill with the hopes to not feel out of breath afterward. However, just thinking about doing the drill made me exhausted.
One of the first things that threw me off with this lesson was that the director and the usual instructor were not there so we ended up receiving a lesson from an assistant instructor. We started off with some stretches that brought back memories of elementary school. One stretch we did was that awkward one where you take your arms and make big circles and hope not to hit anyone else in the face or get in the face by somebody else. That was always a fear of mine. Nobody else? Oh, never mind then.
Moving on, the assistant instructor said that we would be focusing on learning kicks today and my eyes lit up because I was so excited. He walked over to the wall and seemed to effortlessly lift his leg up to be perpendicular to the wall. I was literally in awe of how easily he seemed to be able to do this. He then proceeded to stretch and touch his hands to his foot positioned against the wall and after touched his hands to his foot on the floor. He then encouraged everyone else to find a section of the wall and try to do the exercise. I was apprehensive as I began thinking that there is no way I will be able to lift my leg even remotely as high off the ground. Surprisingly, it only took me one try to get in a comfortable position where I was standing far enough away from the wall to have my leg straight and not feel as though I was going to fall. In my opinion, this stretch looks uncomfortable and awkward at first but I got used to it rather quickly and enjoyed practicing it.
After this stretch, we practiced with partners going from one side of the room to the other using both punches and kicks. One thing I noticed that is important when going through drills is developing a pattern that works for you. Instructors will show you what the moves are supposed to look like so you know how to practice them with your partner but the specifics are up to you. For example, how many punches you want to throw at your partner before you kick them is totally your call. I found that most of the other people in class seem to know how many punches they want to throw each time before they go for a knockout punch when we practice the circle drill. I, on the other hand, forget to think of how many I want to throw ahead of time and hesitate before kicking wondering if I punched enough before. By not feeling prepared, I also tend to always throw the same kind of punches, right toward the middle of the face. The possible disadvantages of throwing the same punches include that my partner will catch on to this and realize where they need to block or where I am unprotected. By pre-determining how many punches I would like to throw before going for a knock-out punch or a kick, I will have the chance to think of when I can incorporate an upper cut or a punch to my opponent’s kidneys.
I never watched any fighting movies or television shows that talked about different moves in kickboxing but when my instructor said we were going to practice roundhouse kicks with our partners I got excited. I knew that it was a popular move and was interested despite the fact that I thought it would be tough because I thought it was a move only professionals would be able to do correctly. I did have some trouble but luckily the instructor was able to break down the move into a few steps that made it a lot easier to understand. One important step in this move is that when you are supposed to turn around before you kick your opponent again, you are supposed to stick your leg out so you are able to tell the general location of your opponent.
I am beyond thrilled that we are beginning to learn how to incorporate both leg and arm movements into kickboxing. In my opinion, it makes kickboxing more exciting and gives me hope that if I ever need to use kickboxing skills to defend myself and it looks like I might be losing against someone that I can come up with a way to turn the fight around and win.