Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Fists of Flurry: Kickboxing on Amphetamines

I was on my way to my kickboxing class the other night, when some spazzy woman ran past me and the other people walking up the stairs at the gym. She weaved her way through the crowd, rushing up and squeezing past the other patrons. She didn't say "Excuse me" or "Pardon me" as she hustled by us. It irritated me a little, because we were all in a hurry, and the rest of us didn't see the need to make our hurry more important than everyone else's.

I arrived to the class right on time, which means the room was packed and I had to wedge myself into a non-row somewhere in the middle towards the back. I wondered if anyone would kick me in the face in the crowded room, what with me not in a real row and all. Oh well. I was taller than the other women, so they'd better watch their faces with these 34-inch inseam legs shooting around me like a death star of kicks.

Then I noticed the spazzy woman from the stairs hustle herself up to the raised stage for the instructor and I realized it was my ADHD kickboxing instructor. The woman is thin and wiry, with thin and wiry muscles. She is also a spazz the likes of which I've never seen. Not only does she play fast music, she turns up the rpm so all of the songs sound as though they're being performed by Alvin and the Chipmunks.

I haven't been doing cardio kickboxing long, so I still haven't got all the choreography down right. Plus, it's an advanced class which means it's more choreography at a super-high rate of speed. When I watch the instructor throwing punches "up to tempo" her arms whirl so fast it is a blur. 

Then I start to snicker.

Cardio kickboxing is one of the most ridiculous activities I've ever witnessed. How did anybody come up with it? It's like the bastard child of boxing and aerobics. Did anyone ever really want or need to see boxing, only faster? As I try to keep up with jabs and uppercuts on speed, double-double, double-up, single, upper-cut, jab, roundhouse, repeat, threepeat — I can't help but laugh at what an oddity we are.  If you were watching a YouTube video without the sound you would immediately post it on your Facebook to LOLZ with your friends.

We look like a bunch of insane ladies amped-up on amphetamines, doing some sort of psycho speed boxing dance routine. 

And what is this training us for, anyway? 

What a useless activity, if you think about it. I'm not getting any applicable skills from the class. I won't be able to kick anyone's ass in the real world because I can do a choreography of kicks and punches to the tempo of Alvin and the Chipmunks singing "It's Raining Men."

If I encounter a thief in my house, what am I going to do? Run up to him and turbo rabbit-punch him in the shoulder?

"Hey!" he might say. "Quit it! What are you doing?" as he holds up his hands and looks at me wide-eyed, a flurry of soft-thudded baby punches landing on his shoulder, followed by some rapid-fire soft thuds in his hip from my not-so-high kicks.


"Don't mess with these fists of flurry!" I might say as I air pummeled him.



I really should be taking a real kickboxing class where I can kick and punch someone or something for real. At least that wouldn't feel quite so silly. Honestly. A bunch of women pantomiming boxing moves to frenetic high-pitched music?

Who thought of this?

I will say this, however. I do leave the class covered in sweat. I won't work out this hard for 60 minutes by myself. I hate cardio. I find it boring. I love to lift weights and pump iron, to do push-ups or pull-ups, but jumping around for an hour by myself on a treadmill or elliptical machine bores me to tears.

And despite all my mockery, I do enjoy air punching the shit out of all my mortal enemies. So don't mess with me. I will hyper-punch you one hundred times, and though my fists are not accustomed to hitting actual flesh, I'll have the endurance to hit you softly for a very, very long time.

Which may start to hurt. 



  1. This is why I love hip hop dance classes. I like feeling like a bad ass while dancing around in my 80 dollar jazz sneakers like an old(er) white chick while popping it and locking it and whatever-elsing it.... I feel like I've worked out at the end of it.

  2. I have always wanted to pop it and lock it.

  3. I have this hamster looking thing in a karate gi that holds nunchuks, when you press a button the nunchuks spin and he sings a chipmunkerized version of "Kung fu Fighting." While reading this blog I kind of melded the two visions together and had a really good chuckle. Thanks and I'm sure you're fast as lightning too.

  4. What's even scarier is that I've seen that Kung Fu hamster, I just don't remember where.

    Now I just had an image of the hamster from "Bolt" rubbing his hands together, saying: "Let it begin...LET IT BEGIIIIN!"

  5. Maybe if you do your routine for the burgler you might make him laugh into submission?

  6. dude - take REAL boxing. if you think THIS makes you sweat...wait till you try the real thing. boxers are cut and shredded for a reason. it's NO JOKE, yo. when i finally launched a right hook and it landed in my trainer's jaw completely unexpected, and he lurched backwards...........i felt like freaking motha effin TYSON (without the ear biting, of course).


  7. So, see, if you are entertained AND you get the cardio in while you do it, isn't that the whole point?

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  9. Re-posted sans typo...

    It seems like after all that fun and observing of the other's fun and sweat ... it may just also come in handy one of these days.

    Think of it as Cardio-Auto-Marketing-Ninja training in the new Government Motors auto age?

    (I suggest you hop to a Ford account holder. After all auto marketing / buying may be a regulated sport. Soon)

  10. My wife did this for a while to a video. I never said anything but, I did find it odd. Speaking of boring, I agree, stationary cardio is boooooooooooooringggggggggggg! I ride a bike. It really gets your legs and ass pumped and fit. It even works out your arms cause you have to lean over and support your weight with your arms. Plus, those lycra shorts are really sexy. Especially on a guy my age. HA!
    ~Mickey Joe~

  11. Well - cardio's cardio. If you're sweaty and panting, that's good, right?

    Don't think too much about how you look while you're doing it; I bet you're getting nice pipes. And you might be surprised what those fists of flurry could do if necessary.

  12. Have you tried Nia? It's a great cardio dance-based workout. I've been teaching it for 8 years. It's a combo of Martial Arts (Tai Chi, Tae Kwon Do, Aikido) Dance Arts (Duncan Dance, Jazz, Modern), and Healing Arts (Yoga, Alexander Technique, Teachings of Moshe Feldenkrais) -- aspects of all of those arts put into a mind/body, cardio pumping hour of fun.

  13. I did Tao Bo for awhile back in the late 90's and even now when my husband pisses me off, I tell him "Don't make me go all Billy Blanks on your ass" and then I say "Wait, let me get into my kicking position" and then I do a kick into the air vaguely near him and he just stands there staring at me and I'm all "Yeah. How'd you like that, huh? Next time you'll know better."

    But he never does. He never does.

  14. You should write a book titled with your tag - "Stupid things chicks do to stay hot"

    It would be a best seller.

  15. Silly? Naw! I do my Kathy Smith kickboxing DVD in my living room and I NEVER feel silly. AND I did roundhouse a guy in the head once sort of by accident. See - you might use your mad skillz in the real world some day!

  16. When I see the women at my gym doing this class, I can't imagine why they would want to. The class is always overfull, as yours sounds, and you know their sweat is flying everywhere! It makes me sick to think of it. I am surprised you can endure it with your touch issues. More power to you, woman! ;-)


  17. I find the treadmill very boring as well. The last time I went on one, I was jackassing around to the point of having the other treadmillers, including a running guy next to me, laughing.

    I was listening to someone else's MP3 player and on came a terrible song and I started howling out, "You can wear purrrrple for me nowwwwwwww" and promptly tripped and flew off the machine.

    Everyone totally lost it then.

    I don't think treadmills like me.

  18. I thought this was going to be about ice cream when I saw "flurry" in the title. I wouldn't say I'm disappointed...okay, I might say that.

  19. This is why my "hobbies" are yoga, meditating and knitting. Because really, I'm sitting on my ass but I'm still technically "doing something".

    I even get grossed out when I sweat while having sex.

    Okay, well afterward... Not during.

  20. Oh man! I thought you got to kick the shit out of a punching bag with this class! *cancels class*

    Cardio is the devil... I want an aerobic fire pit building class or something. I need to feel like I'm doing something while looking foolish. (Not you, definitely me though. Oh sweet lord, you have no idea. My butt is just way too fucking high.)

  21. the bastard child of boxing and aerobics. i love it.

  22. I feel the same way about belly dancing or strip aerobics. All the women at my gym are middle aged moms, watching them writhe sexily to sitar music is not my ideal workout. Haha jk it totally is

  23. Bunny punches of DOOM.

    Why are most cardio exercises embarrassing?

  24. Phew! Iw as exhausted just reading that. I've seen those classes and they look like really hard work! Good for you!!