Kickboxing and Street Fights
A lot of people take up martial arts for the self defence aspect - to know that if a situation presents itself, they will be able to hold their own and get out of a fight with minimal injury. Many just take up kickboxing so that they don't feel afraid of potential fights and feel safer walking home at night. Opinions are divided regarding whether or not kickboxing can be applied to fights outside the dojo, but being a kickboxer is bound to be an advantage if you know how to apply your training properly.
To apply kickboxing to a street fight, you need to forget the 'sport' aspects of it, and apply the basic techniques. The primary difference between a sport/competition fight and a street fight are the rules - basically, on the street there are no rules. You may get press ups for swearing, spitting, hitting below the belt or not showing respect to your opponent in the dojo, but in a street fight these things may well help. Once you realise that you're not sparring, you'll also realise that a lot of techniques are simply dangerous in a street fight - spinning hook kicks are likely to land you on the floor if your opponent grabs your leg, kicking above the belt is just foolish unless you're extremely fast and it's unlikely you'll start with your guard up in a proper stance. For a lot of people, these differences alone mean that they can't transfer their knowledge of a fight sport into a real fight.
But once you get past those differences you can really see the advantages of kickboxing. The warm ups and exercise mean that you will be stronger, faster and have more stamina than the average guy down the pub. While stamina may not be much of an advantage as most street fights don't last as long as a competition fight, your speed and your strength will put you at a huge advantage if you apply them properly. A good punch is a good punch, whether it's landing on a pad or someone's nose - the basic techniques of snap punch, reverse punch, rising punch etc, coupled with experience putting them together in quick succession mean you won't waste energy swinging lifeless punches and once you get a hit in, you know how to continue. Sparring will get you used to ducking, weaving and being in a fight situation, so you should be able to evade any attacks more easily.
Finally, one of the major advantages of a martial art is increased confidence. After a while of training, doing thousands of press ups over several months, achieving your next belt and knowing that you have a killer roundhouse punch will boost your confidence, and it shows. The way that you carry yourself, look at people and communicate change with it, so the likelihood of getting in a fight decreases as people go and try to find an easier target.
The ECKA syllabus is largely based on self-defence, as are our competition rules. If you would like to find out more about how kickboxing can help you defend yourself and improve your confidence, go to our website to book into one of our classes in North London.