…Hybrid Kickboxing wasn’t designed to be like the other Cardio Kickboxing classes on your aerobics schedule. It was made to stand out and be different from all the rest.
- Dan Zona
Going Hybrid on Kickboxing
My Hybrid Kickboxing class is a product of what made me fall in love with fitness when I was a teenager. Back then, I didn’t know what “group exercise” was. I was just some kid who loved martial arts and wanted to lose some weight. Learning self-defense under the umbrella of fitness was a foreign concept back then. A Cardio-Kickboxing class was usually a dance class taught by someone who knew very little about the art of Kickboxing. The music of choice was usually upbeat music that would hardly motivate anybody to hit something. Hybrid Kickboxing is a call to people like me who want a more authentic kickboxing class. Something a little more aggressive yet informative at the same time.
My version of a fitness class doesn’t necessarily fit the mold of what you would find at a commercial gym. It’s primarily focused on the technique rather than the beat of the music. We use Boxing or Mixed Martial Arts gloves to actually hit a bag or a focus mitt. Yes, it’s a fitness class, so you’re not expected to fight anybody. However, Hybrid Kickboxing wasn’t designed to be like the other Cardio Kickboxing classes on your aerobics schedule. It was made to stand out and be different from all the rest.
Putting Some Hit to HIIT
I took a lot of group exercise classes in my younger years. My favorite was, obviously, Cardio Kickboxing. When I first got introduced to Kickboxing, it was very different from what is usually offered by gyms. We did something called “glove to glove sparring.” Participants were put into pairs and the gloves we wore acted as pads for our partner to hit. Aside from being fun, the benefit of this approach is that students can master their technique. Working with a sparring partner is very different from just shadowboxing. A moving target forces you to rely on multiple senses. Having pretty punches isn’t enough. Proper punching distance can only be learned with live experience. All of your punching power originates in your feet. My instructor at the time was really good about drilling this into my head, which helped me develop a pretty mean uppercut. This class not only ignited my passion for group fitness but taught me the skills I would need to be a successful instructor.
Here It Is
My goal with Hybrid Kickboxing was to create a class like no other. I wanted to make the most informative kickboxing class while also providing the best workout I could. It’s called Hybrid Kickboxing for a reason: sometimes it can have a lot of Yoga incorporated into it, while other times it may be mostly dumbbell work. Either way, my Kickboxing class is always different and definitely not one-dimensional. It can take the form of any class format it needs to be. Currently, it’s offered as a small group training class, which allows me to give my kickboxers advice on technique in a more personal setting.
Different And Fun
I designed this class to stand out and be different, but I also wanted it to be fun. Because, when my class is having a good time, that’s all that matters to me. I’m incredibly fortunate to be doing something I love, and my passion for my craft shines through every week with my students.
About the Author
Daniel Zona is an ISSA certified Personal Trainer, as well as a certified instructor in Group Fitness, Cycling, Kickboxing, and Martial Arts Conditioning. Daniel has been in fitness since 2003 when he first launched his “Hybrid Kickboxing” class.