Kickboxing class offers cardio and self-defense techniques

Students participate in the kickboxing class held on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6 to 6: 45 p.m. in the Student Recreation Center. The class teaches self-defense techniques and offers a cardio workout.

by Student Writer Jake Rodgers

For students who want to blow off some steam before finals week, the Student Recreation Center has the outlet to make that happen.

This outlet is a kickboxing class, held every Monday and Wednesday from 6 to 6:45 p.m. The class is based off Mixed Martial Arts with basic pad work and cardio mixed in also.

“I like seeing more of a well-rounded class,” said student instructor Emmett de Jong. “It is something you can get a good workout, something you can hit the pads and learn self-defense technique and to let out a little bit of steam.”

Each kickboxing class consists of five minutes of stretches and 20 minutes of intense cardio workout with a water break between each session. Next, students work on a combination of punches and jump roping followed up with 10 pushups or squats. Strength training is incorporated as well.

“I started MMA at 14-years-old — I didn’t have any other sports I was good at and I loved action movies,” de Jong said. “I wanted to teach MMA for a long time, but I don’t have any high degree belts. I just learned whatever I could by myself.”

While MMA is scheduled toward the ring, kickboxing is more of a cardio workout, especially in this kickboxing class, de Jong said.

The class started this semester, but was not for the lack of trying. After failed attempts to start an MMA club, de Jong said he was able to get enough people to join his kickboxing class, which started with some success.

“I used to teach in high school, and a flier can only get so far,” he said. “And I wanted to do more demonstrations.”

About 30 students attended the first class and many did not have any experience in MMA or kickboxing, he said.

“This whole year I’ve been more oriented in working out,” said junior Cody McGowan. “I’ve heard people talk about it, and I didn’t bother to attend because I work a lot. Then I kept hearing people talk about it. Now I have some free time, so I’ll attend the class. It’s really beneficial.”

De Jong has passed out fliers all over the SRC to spread the word, and he has also advertised in his other classes, he said.

If the class were to be expanded, de Jong said he would like to see each class focus on one aspect of kickboxing, whether it is punching, kicking, grappling or just cardio.

Until then, the class is stressing how much the session is a great way not only to get into shape, but also to learn self-defense and to become a more confident person.

“I want them to have fun, learn basic self-defense and learn how to throw a punch,” de Jong said. “I’m not trying to advocate violence, but some people just don’t know how to throw a punch.”

As the class evolves, so does the urgency of self-defense techniques.

“I would like to learn more self-defense techniques other than the cardio aspect of the exercise,” McGowan said. “I would like to see the last 30 minutes more self-defense techniques.”