Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Kickboxing Combinations Applied to Cardio Kickboxing

John Harker

This is the second in a series on martial arts striking combinations used as choreography in cardio kickboxing. As said, a key difference between a trained martial artist and a streetfighter is that the martial artist reflexively hits in sequences of three or four moves. The instinctive non-thinking reaction isn't just a one-move event, its a more effective practiced sequence of strikes. One punch or kick is easy to defend against, but three or four thrown in a row can be very difficult to deal with.This reflexive reaction of hitting in sequences is only learned through lots of repetition and drills, performing sequences over and over until it is an automatic reflex. Cardio kickboxing is an ideal way to do this. In fact many of the patterns in cardio kickboxing are drawn from such drills.

Useful for cardio kickboxing choreography, here are some real-world combinations culled from the martial art sport loosely called Kickboxing. What came to be known as competitive kickboxing is a constrained system common to a number of martial arts. The original brand of "Kickboxing" was developed in Japan in 1950 by boxing promoter Osamu Noguchi as a style/ruleset for beating Muay Thai fighters. In classic competitive Kickboxing opponents are allowed to strike with both the fists and the feet, hitting above the hip. However, unlike Muay Thai, using elbows or knees was forbidden and the use of shins was also often not allowed.

Kicks are generally more powerful than punches and so are a valuable tool. But in practice it is a good idea to set up a leg kick with handwork first. A jab or two will make your opponent think about your hands...then you step and kick. Or jab/cross/right kick, with the cross either being more of a fake and push (which allows you to kick really hard) or a hard right that sets up a right kick It's more difficult to kick hard with this combo, but if you drill the guy with a good cross he'll be knocked back a bit and then you step in...

Here are the combinations:

Jab, cross, lead hook, cover

Jab, cross, lead hook, lead front kick

Jab, cross, rear leg front roundhouse kick, cover

Introduce the sequences half-time, then depending on the students, double it up. For the last sequence above make sure to tell the students to bring their rear foot back to the rear-foot starting position after the roundhouse kick (instead of alongside the other). In practice the cover happens simultaneously with bringing the foot back.

Of course for every rule (punch before kick) there is an exception. This sequence works particularly well on the bags.

Lead leg side kick, feet together, rear leg step back

Lead leg side kick, feet together, cross with rear leg step back

These combinations can be repeated individually or in sequences either on the floor or with a heavy bag. Devote equal time to right and left leg forward positions. Most are oriented around smooth rotation around the spine, swinging the body so that each punch or kick winds up for the next. After you get the progressions down, start inter-mixing the combinations together in different patterns to present something different every class.