Once a week, my friend and I go to kickboxing classes at Black Tiger Fight Club in Liangma Qiao. We like the no-frills nature of this location; the “changing room” is just a curtained-off area and you don’t have to buy expensive gloves – you can just borrow them at the club.
When we had our first class, I really liked that it wasn’t a big deal that we were beginners and the other students were advanced. The teacher was very friendly and considerate; he gave us other exercises to do and explained the important things to us.
What’s a typical lesson? First, we warm up with jump rope and stretching. We’re usually pretty tired by the time that’s over, but then the real training begins. We split off into pairs and concentrate on a specific kick or punch; depending on our level, the trainer gives each group different tips and exercises. (To be honest, most of the time he ends up helping my friend and I.) Then, we practice what we learn on the punching bag and finish off with sit-ups, push-ups, and other exercises. In the end, everyone is totally exhausted – in a good way.
Black Tiger has a range of different classes, like kids’ classes, women’s classes, MMA (mixed martial arts) classes, and fitness classes. One gym is located at Riviera Plaza and the other one on Xiaoyun Lu. The first lesson is free, if you want to try kickboxing without making a commitment.
You can pay for three months (RMB 2,800) or six months (RMB 4,500) at a time, but since my friend and I just go once a week, we bought the punch card for RMB 1,200. It gives us access to 10 classes whenever we want, so it’s very practical because we haven’t got much time and just want to go to a class in the evening.
When we started doing kickboxing, my friend and I were in the women’s class, which focused more on the abdominal muscles. But then Black Tiger changed its class schedules, so now we’re in the men’s class, which involves more arm muscle exercises like push-ups.
I think kickboxing is always very fun and it’s perfect for keeping your body fit. I remember the first time we went, it was very hard for me to finish all the sit-ups and push-ups; now, it’s still exhausting – but I can make it.
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beijingkids intern Josefine Rein (15) is a Grade 9 student at the German Embassy School. She’s from Braunschweig (Germany) and has been living in Beijing for two years. She plays basketball and football, and likes hanging around with friends.
Photo by Claudio Gennari via Flickr