Watch one of our in house sparring videos
Mick and Martin McNamara, the original Twin Dragons, started teaching Kung Fu and Kickboxing in 1972. They were the first martial arts gym in Canada to have a boxing ring, in 1973. Their fluid movements from Hung Gar and Choi Li Fut Kung Fu, worked better for their statures than some of the other harder Karate styles being taught at the time. This was visible in the way they incorporated their parrying and foot movement into their sparring. Being pioneers in martial arts, they saw the merits of kickboxing training and competition before other gyms followed.
Rick (center), with Mick (left) and Martin (right) McNamara
The history of Kickboxing (taken from Wikipedia):
During the 1950s a Japanese karateka named Tatsuo Yamada first established an outline of a new sport that combined karate and muay thai.
This was further explored during the early 1960s, when competitions between karate and muay thai began, which allowed for rule modifications to take place. By the middle of the decade the first true kickboxing events were being held in Osaka.
By the 1970s and 1980s the sport had expanded beyond Japan and had reached North America and Europe. It was during this time that many of the most prominent governing bodies were formed.
In Japan the sport was widely popular and was regularly broadcast on television before going into a dark period during the 1980s. In North America the sport had unclear rules so kickboxing and full contact karate were essentially the same sport. In Europe the sport found marginal success but did not thrive until the 1990s. Since the 1990s the sport has been mostly dominated by the Japanese K-1 promotion, with some competition coming from other promotions and mostly pre-existing governing bodies.
Along with the growing popularity in competition, there has been an increased amount of participation and exposure in the mass media, fitness, and self-defense.
The benefits of training in Kickboxing and Muay Thai
Competitive combat sports require participants to be in top physical shape, therefore conditioning has an important place in our training regime. Train with us and lose body fat and build muscle. Depending on how hard you push yourself, you can burn 350 to 900 calories during an hour of training with us.
Unlike some of the more traditional striking martial arts, Kickboxing and Muay Thai competition does not end when a participant makes the first clean contact to score, and then resume for the next “point” in a match. Like boxing, competitors find themselves on the giving or receiving end of multiple strikes, and during a match be required to defend or absorb, recover from, and answer with their own attack until their opponent can not continue, or until a round ends. We find this training to be a much more realistic approach to self-defense.
Our classes start with flexibility and conditioning drills. Then we work on punching, kicking, as well as elbow and knee strikes, and defense against such strikes. Students start with the group “shadow kickboxing” classes. There are also classes where we team up and hit pads or the heavy bags. Some people want to take it further and work on applying what they have learned, sparring in the ring, and also apply what they have learned in competition.
We also offer personal training to help you further increase skill and/or fitness levels for those who want to get the most out of their time with us.
Are you ready to start building a healthier, more fit and confident you? If so, contact us. We are here to help you with that journey.