kickboxing has enjoyed a great surge in popularity in recent years – a recognition of the many ways it’s great for exercise and confidence. When it comes to kickboxing London has lots of different clubs, all just a web search away. It’s well worth trawling through a few of the possibilities on offer, and then trying one (or more) out to see how it is in practice – and better still, most will offer free first sessions. A kickboxing club, as long as it is well run, is a brilliant way to exercise with like-minded people, enjoying the fun and camaraderie that comes with such group activity. It’s also a brilliant way of de-stressing after a long day at the office – something that comes with its own health hazards.

Exercise is widely recognised as the best natural antidote to stress, and kickboxing is a fantastic way to gain all-round exercise. Unlike some other sports, which may focus on stamina (long-distance running, for example) or strength (weight-training), kickboxing and other martial arts are good for strength, stamina and speed, as well as other considerations like flexibility. This is because you will need them all in the ring! Even if you are not fighting, which is not mandatory, there are great benefits to such comprehensive fitness. This is good news for the stressed – and nowadays, that encompasses a major proportion of the population. Stress is the body’s response to conflict and anxiety, an evolutionary fix to a threat. Unfortunately, the types of threat we now face aren’t usually fixable by the kind of action that the stress-response seeks to enable. However, exercise is a brilliant way of defusing the consequences of stress – raised heart rate, increased anxiety and alertness, and all the other symptoms that are harmful in the long run.

A kickboxing club is the best way to learn such a martial art in a controlled and safe environment. In London, kickboxing comes in lots of forms, with many different influences – so look around, and see what is on offer, because the different styles and emphases will be suitable for different needs. For example, you may be interested in kickboxing purely for the exercise. Others may be interested in the self-defence aspects, whereas still others might want to compete – perhaps at an amateur or even professional level. Whatever you want from it – or even if you don’t know yet – most clubs will welcome beginners.

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