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Does cardio-fitness-boxing hinder ability to learn actual fighting?

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Hey there,

I occasionally attend a group fitness boxing class (maybe 3 times every 2 months) just to mix up my trainning. It is great for my cardio fitness level bit Im sure m not learning anything useful, boxing wise ( eg, not sure of technical when punching bag, I’m sure I’m telgraphing my movements, not sure if my defenses work, etc).  As I’m thinking of actually starting a martial arts, do classes such as these help, due to better conditioning, or hinder, due to bad habits and bad form? 



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@otterbyte and I did fitness kickboxing for a year before starting Muay Thai. While I would argue the main benefit was getting into better condition for training, a lot of the basic techniques are the same (jab, cross, kicks, etc.). Of course, we took the fitness class at the same place that teaches Muay Thai, and the same instructors taught both classes. 


If you are going to take a similar MA style (like kickboxing) there should be little trouble. Some traditional arts might use different moves or variations that will require some altering of techniques, but that's OK; you're just getting started!


In the end, I think getting into better shape is always going to be a net plus. 

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Group fitness boxing classes are meant for the cardio, not the boxing.  My girlfriend has been doing TKD for nearly 20 years, and constantly complains about having to change her kick form when she goes to those classes because they don't focus on kicking form - because that's not what they are there for.  She still enjoys and regularly goes to them for the activity side of it, but she doesn't imagine they are going to do anything for her art.


Group fitness classes aim usually for cardio, because that's what sells.  No one went to Taebo classes expecting to come out a grand master.  If you enjoy the classes, you feel better endurance in classes over all, it's a win.  If you want to get better at your art, do the art more.  Everything else is gravy.


(I cross trained a whole bunch of things, aikido, lifting, running.  The lifting and running helped the aikido, but more aikido helped more.  I dropped the lifting, do some Stadium work weekly, and that's been the best for me.)

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RisenPhoenix, the Entish Aikidoka

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The vast majority of people who have successfully defended themselves In real world situations had little to no training. Any kind of cardio or wieght training is good for self defense.


There is just no way to train effectivly without some kind of sparing with an uncooperative partner. A boxing class with no sparring is like a basketball practice basketball wihout a ball or swimming without water.  it can be great cardio but if you have never dribbled a ball or you have never swam, there are just things you can't learn from air.


If possible get to a real MMA or boxing gym and get some light contact in.


If you can't do that then  but you have mature friends that you trust, you can light contact slap box (light touch to the shoulder, top of head). this can cause an eye injury or turn into a real fight if you or your partner are knuckleheads.




After you do that, everything below will make sense. If your never going to do any kind of sparring at all, then don't worry about technique. Cardio and weights will be be a better use of your time than worrying about form. Because good physical conditioning is helpful in so much more than a fight, and it helps in a fight.


Some other things to think about.

Hitting a human skull is like hitting  round block of wood. Don't let your fitness class or actual boxing class lead to broken knuckles.





Basic blocks slips and footwork






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Middle Age Mutant Ninja Panda

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