As long as there have been fists, there has been fighting. As a result, this basic human urge has taken on myriad forms throughout the centuries and all over the world, making the simple desire to take a class in martial arts a mind-bogglingly complicated task. To help you make sense of which practice is right for you (or your child), we’ve laid out the basics on 10 of the most popular types of martial arts—classes for which can be easily booked through our site.
What is kickboxing? In the US, kickboxing as a sport is generally a fusion of boxing and karate that involves strikes using only the hands and feet.
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More of a catch-all term rather than a specific fighting style, kickboxing can refer to anything from a martial-arts-inspired aerobics routine to the ancient practice of muay thai. Unlike muay thai and other practices, elbows and knees are not allowed. Because of the sport’s murky definitions, be sure to ask for details before taking your first kickboxing class to make sure it’s the style you’re looking for.
What to Bring: workout attire, water bottle, towel; some classes may require ankle supports, boxing gloves, and headgear
Famous Adherents: Ashley Judd, Eva Mendes