Get a kick out of keeping fit
Referred to as the 'Art of Eight Limbs', Muay Thai kickboxing is a combat sport in which competitors use eight points of contact - hands, legs, elbows and knees during a fight.
If you don't want to participate in the combative side, there are still the benefits of improving overall fitness levels, reducing stress and the opportunity to lose some spare kilograms.
'Muay Thai improves not only cardiovascular fitness, but also co-ordination, flexibility and strength as all major parts of the body get a great workout all at the same time,' explains Michelle Kang, manager of Impakt Sport and Fitness (www.impakt.hk).
'It provides people with a much more efficient way to reach their fitness goals faster. It also is a great way to relieve stresses.'
Impakt offers classes that combine fitness training with Muay Thai skills training, covering basic moves including punches, kicks, knees and elbows. Students can pay a monthly fee of HK$1,000, or for individual drop-in lessons that cost HK$200 per class.
Full membership allows for unlimited classes and use of all gym facilities. Each class runs for one hour.
For those choosing to learn kickboxing in order to lose weight or improve strength and fitness levels, Kang recommends training three or four times per week.
Sessions should include kickboxing skill work and activities that improve the cardiovascular system, such as running, hiking or swimming, weight training and stretching.
Impakt trainers can also provide schedules for those wishing to take part in the competitive aspect of the sport.
Their schedule should include one-on-one Muay Thai skills sessions with a trainer, fitness and strength training, conditioning activities plus regular stretching to help with flexibility and prevent injuries.
Swish Club International (www.swishclub.com.hk) offers classes for children and adults, including women-only classes that can be bought in multiples ranging from a single class for HK$180, to 12 classes for HK$1,000. Unlimited classes cost HK$1,380 per month.
Sessions run for one hour during the day and 75 minutes of an evening.
'Kickboxing provides some of the best training you'll ever find because you have to work your upper body, as well as your lower body at the same time. It is a whole body conditioning activity,' says Antony Au, general manager of Swish Club.