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Kickboxing Fri, Sep 14, 2007
I started kickboxing this week, and I can already say it's in the top 5 best experiences of my life.  Even though I'm brutally sore due to being pitifully out of shape, it's an awesome class.  Contrary to what I originally thought, kickboxing has hardly any kicking involved.  For some reason, I thought it was all lower body stuff, but somebody pointed out to me the fact that "kickboxing" refers to "kicking" and "boxing". 

The main downside of the Israeli self-defense class I took was that it was pretty much entirely centered around person-to-person encounters.  That's a good thing for the purpose of the class:  To teach people how to defend themselves in person-to-person encounters.  For example, if you have a gun pointed at you, it doesn't matter how high you can kick your leg or how hard you can punch a pad.  You need to know a few simple moves that'll both protect you from the attack and turn the attack around to the other person.  But because the class teaches such violent, destructive moves, you can't practice them at full force and full speed.  You're forced to practice at 10-20%.  Sometimes this was enough, other times it felt lacking. 

That's why I'm enjoying kickboxing so far.  Up to this point, the class has been pretty simple: 
  1. Run around to warm up.
  2. Do some push-ups and sit-ups.
  3. Punch and kick the living crap out of a padded bag.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 several times.
It's really quite fulfilling.  And more than that, it serves two purpose for me: 
  1. It lets me figure out how hard I can punch something.  The limiting factor is my body strength.  Since I'm wearing padded gloves and hitting a padded object, I won't break any fingers or walls/doors.  It's both satisfying and relieving to put all your strength and energy into something, especially something so potentially destructive yet relatively harmless.
  2. It lets me figure out what I'd do in a real-life situation.  I have a feeling that I, like most people, will fall back on a few simple moves when under pressure.  I won't remember how to defend against 50 different attacks.  I won't remember how to throw 30 different combinations of kicks and punches.  I'll probably remember about 2 or 3 things, and I'll use them until I'm red in the face.  Those 2 or 3 moves will come out when we start sparring.

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