Self-defence fitness is taking off, so we spoke to the organisers of three different classes to see what’s on offer.
The musical one: Box ‘n’ Bass (Lightbox, London)
With its surreal light show and live DJ playing Drum ‘n’ Bass, garage, dubstep and grime, it would be easy to think Box ‘n’ Bass is more fiesta than fitness, but the class is all about combining the intensity and technique of boxing with the energy and environment of a club. Box ‘n’ Bass instructor, Henry Weston, has advice for fit pros interested in including boxing in their sessions, “It’s very easy to incorporate some shadow boxing with 1kg weights into a circuit, or partner people up with pads and get them to punch fast for 30 seconds, then hard for 30 seconds, then switch. But without learning technique, you might as well just do burpees instead.” While the session is about proper boxing technique and a real fitness blast, it’s also about release.
The trendy one: Flykick (Regent’s Place, London)
Grab your gloves and get ready for a workout that’s a ‘HIIT’ with everyone from Chelsea mums to fitness models, and Muai Thai fighters to corporate professionals letting off steam! Co-founder, Charlie Kemper, explains why Flykick’s workout, known as the Flykick Formula, is so potent, “In my opinion, there is no better workout that delivers results than Flykick. We combine HIIT, stretch, and kickboxing techniques that don’t intimidate and are easily adaptable to every person’s fitness level, all while targeting the same parts of everyone’s body: abs, arms, glutes and core.” Besides the physical nature of the workout, Elyse Moland, another co-founder, sees the mental health benefits of Flykick as a good reason for fit pros to incorporate kickboxing into their own classes.
The efficient one: Krav Maga (Toxteth FireFit Hub, Liverpool)
“While it derives from other martial arts, it is not taught as a sport. It is focused on the personal safety of yourself and your loved ones,” says Adrian Simam, chief instructor of the Krav Maga system. The fitness that comes with Krav Maga is entirely functional, with real-world application being the key aspect, and it is much more rooted in the tradition and effective nature of the martial art. Household names such as Angelina Jolie and Jason Statham are said to take up the discipline to get in shape for film roles. Simam says, “Krav Maga is a self-defence system that combines techniques from a number of martial arts, and integrates them with your natural instinctive responses to equip you with skills that are easily learned and used when you are faced with a threat or actual assault.”
Comment below on your self-defence class experiences!