American Kickboxing Academy

A great way to improve fitness, lose weight, tone up and burn calories. Our American Kickboxing Academy is for adults and youths from 11 years up and is all taught in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere with energising music. Learn the skills of boxing with additional kicks through a progressive colour belt system similar to that of karate. Includes stamina training exercises and tummy toning - popular with mums and dads. Evening classes only.

Beginners Guide

Classes are relaxed and taught in a friendly atmosphere. Warm up is a combination of skipping and stretching. Beginners should try and skip continuously in any style in order to gently warm the muscles. Students who are unable to skip can try alternative warm up exercises.

All periods of training are supported by appropriate motivational music.

After warm-up, students pair up and work alternately on their syllabus items. Initially, students should try and pair with someone of equal experience, size and strength to build confidence and to prevent injury whilst learning the basics. This is why students are advised to bring a friend when trying out. However, training with a variety of opponents, especially higher grades should be considered as they will help with your technique and ability.

Students work with either focus mitts or Thai pads for punch combinations and precision kicking, or kick shields for power kicks. Holding for someone is excellent resistance training. Focus is on good form and technique as students work on the fundamental punch and kicks, adding more mobility as students work through the early grades

Following the bag-work students engage in NON CONTACT sparring, called shadow, with each student taking it in turns to focus on whereabouts to strike - and how to avoid attack. Shadow also teaches the student the required footwork. Students experiment with their techniques against a live opponent. This enables the student to link punch and kick techniques together, work on their mobility and distance awareness.

Classes finish with stamina sessions with a broad variety of exercises and some specialist exercises to target specific muscle groups arranged in 2 minute rounds.

Fuel and Hydration

Students should eat before training, preferably several hours beforehand. High intensity training without fuel will cause the body to burn muscle before it burns fat to create missing energy.

Students should bring a bottle of water to hydrate throughout training along with a towel.

Students should also eat within 2 hours of completing their training to help replenish the body. After exercise the body processes foods and allocates them to the needed areas quicker and this will stave off morning-after muscle fatigue.


Wraps are provided as part of the uniform and everyone should be using wraps to protect their knuckles, wrist and thumb joints. Training with wraps is a good way to learn new techniques as they ensure correct hand position i.e. it hurts a bit when you get it wrong.

Once confident with a technique a student can choose to use boxing or lighter bag gloves. Boxing gloves enable more power to be delivered with a greater margin of error with less chance of injury. Some students may prefer sparring mitts or open hand gloves.

Similarly, foot protectors are an option to consider for high grades when working for extended periods on kickshields or sparring.

Syllabus and Progression

SAMA has applied a structured approach to kickboxing and uses a belt grading system similar to Karate to ensure students learn techniques progressively and with adequate practice before attempting a grading.

Grading occur every few months (2-3 months for early belts) and follow a similar format to classes with all eligible students performing their grading concurrently. As the grading progresses each grade drops out until only the highest grade remains. There is a strong emphasis on endurance, and stamina sessions for higher grades will last for long periods.

Middle/Intermediate Grade Students

Intermediate students are expected to have greater dexterity when skipping displaying a range of skills, and to skip vigorously. This will develop naturally over time.

Students should be more agile, delivering good power and technique with increased mobility between strikes. The syllabus will include more complex punch and kick combinations and involve advanced kicks that will test stability, control and accuracy.

When sparring, students should be exploring contact and concentrating on the relevant technique for the distance to their opponent. Note that contact sparring is entirely optional and not a requirement.

Students should now be learning to breath properly whilst training and at some point should find and be able to recognise their endurance limit for future reference.

High/Advanced Grade Students

Fitness and stamina play a key role towards becoming a viable kickboxer and this should be reflected in the student effort and attitude to training. Most punch and kick transitions and combinations have been explored but it is now up to the student to mould these into their own style.

Training will involve 'chasing-the-bag' on both mitts and kickshield with the student treating each session as a training bout. Students are encouraged to train to their limit and with a variety of opponents to identify their weaknesses and improve their overall fight potential.

For those students pursuing competitive full-contact kickboxing, students can prepare by sparring in class with head and mouth guards with the ultimate goal of competing at tournaments that are held regularly throughout the year.