Kickboxing vs. Martial Arts: Which One Should You Practice?

Do you need to knock out stress? Exercise is one of the best methods, and combat sports such as kickboxing and martial arts contain an added component of releasing excess hostility.  

Which one should you practice? While both forms offer numerous shared benefits, they have their differences. This quick guide can help you choose the ideal workout stress reliever when it comes to kickboxing vs. martial arts.  

Benefits of Both Exercise Forms 

You can reap a host of benefits from nearly any workout routine. Kickboxing and martial arts share the following perks in common. 

  • You get your endorphins flowing: Endorphins are natural, opioid-like substances your body produces when you move. They ease pain and induce a mildly euphoric state, making you emerge from the gym with a smile. 
  • You distract yourself from self-destructive thoughts and habits: Sitting on the couch leads to rumination, which can drive self-destructive habits such as compulsive overeating or alcoholism. It’s challenging to down a bag of chips when your hands are a flurry of punches and blocks. 
  • You meet new people: Loneliness can contribute to anxiety because you feel like you’re alone against an uncaring world. Both kickboxing and martial arts can help you meet new friends who similarly enjoy healthy habits. 

Reasons to Practice Cardio-Kickboxing 

If you only have the time to practice one or the other, cardio-kickboxing offers simplicity for newbie exercisers. It also provides the following four benefits. 

1. Keep Your Heart Rate Elevated

In traditional martial arts classes, your teacher interrupts drills with detailed instructions on performing movements correctly. You might also need to wait your turn when practicing sparring or weaponry. 

In cardio-kickboxing, you perform nonstop movement, keeping your heart rate elevated. If you can’t master a technique, you can jump rope or boxer shuffle until the instructor can give you individualized tips. 

2. Punch and Kick to the Music

Let’s face it — music makes nearly any workout less painful by distracting you. In cardio-kickboxing, you’ll jam out to the latest hits while timing your punches with the beat. It’s almost like a dance, albeit a rather forceful one. 

3. Ease of Finding Classes 

Nearly any full-sized fitness center offers at least one or two cardio-kickboxing classes per week. Because this workout method focuses on easy-to-master movements, instructors don’t need years of specialized training to work their magic. 

Do make sure your instructor holds current group fitness instructor certification for your protection. Such training teaches exercise physiology and how to work out safely. 

4. Ample Instructional Apps

What if you don’t feel like returning to the gym yet in today’s COVID-19 era? You can find cardio-kickboxing routines on many fitness apps. Hello, sweet privacy, as you work out in your living room. 

Reasons to Practice Martial Arts 

While the above benefits sound terrific, they aren’t for everyone. When choosing kickboxing vs. martial arts, here are four reasons the latter might suit you better. 

1. Develop Self-Discipline 

Many parents enroll their children in martial arts to develop discipline. Adults can reap these benefits, too.

For example, if your work history is spotty due to your temper on the job, martial arts can teach you restraint. You’ll learn it’s far better to walk away from a conflict than engage and risk injury or worse. 

2. Learn Self-Defense

While non-violence is the best approach, it isn’t always practical. Sometimes, you have to defend yourself physically. 

In a physical confrontation, the wrong mindset can defeat you before your opponent even touches you. Martial arts gives you the confidence necessary to stand up for your rights or defend others when you must. 

3. Explore a Different Culture 

Do you know how to count from one to 100 in Japanese? If you practice any of several martial arts forms, you’ll learn. You’ll also discover the history of judo or taekwondo, making you a fascinating conversationalist at parties. 

4. Gain Expertise With Various Weapons 

When you were little, did you love playing cops and robbers or other weapons-based games? If you think Nerf guns are fun, wait until you learn how to whip nunchucks around like Bruce Lee. 

If you have a fascination with weapons, you can learn anything from the scythe to the katana in martial arts. Some personal defense-style classes even teach proper firearms use. 

Kickboxing vs. Martial Arts: Which One is Right for You? 

If you’re deciding between kickboxing vs. martial arts, both practices offer a host of physical and mental health benefits, not least of which is busting stress. Which one works better for you depends on each method’s unique advantages.