Kick, punch, improve ‘cardio’

In Fall Sports, Fitness, Sports, Top Stories
SUE LAGARDE/ Daily Titan
SUE LAGARDE/ Daily Titan

It’s no secret. Putting a premium on health is an ongoing worldwide trend. With the increasing number of existing lifestyle diseases, people should really change the way they live.

One way that people can do this is through an active lifestyle. Engaging in sports, recreational activities and exercise programs such as jogging, aerobics and going to the gym are some activities people can participate in.

For those who like taking it to the extremes, they can take martial arts training sessions and classes.

The Student Recreation Center at Cal State Fullerton offers a variety of types of martial art related classes.

Cardio kickboxing is one of the martial art classes offered at no cost to CSUF students.

Alba Tucker, a SRC cardio kickboxing instructor, combines different types of martial art techniques in her training.

“It’s a combination of punches, kicks, different coordination drills, increase of cardiovascular that all put together will benefit the fitness level of the person that is going to take the class,” said Tucker.

She began martial arts because she enjoys the exercise and the feeling of getting stronger and more flexible.

Junior Allyson Parsley, kinesiology major, commented on practicing kickboxing as a form of staying energized.

“It’s just good to keep your body moving and really any type of cardio exercise is really good for you. I like kickboxing because it’s very energetic,” said Parsley.

She has taken a couple of kickboxing classes at the SRC and finds the exercise very enjoyable.

“It’s just very energetic and you just get going with the movements. It’s really easy to get into, have fun and you don’t think you’re working out,” Parsley said.

Freshman Mo Varin, art major, believes the primary reason why people take martial arts is for self-defense or to build endurance.

“Martial Arts is very diverse. People just need to find the martial art that best suits them. Self-defense skill ingrained in the muscle memory and more endurance,” said Varin.

He has checked out a few of the classes offered through the SRC and attended his first Kung Fu club meeting recently.

Contrary to popular beliefs, martial arts is about more than just engaging in combat, competitions, tournaments and self-defense.

Martial arts like kung fu, taekwondo, karate, judo, muay thai, kickboxing, wrestling and mixed martial arts instill values such as focus, respect, discipline, concentration, self-control, teamwork, as well as improved coordination, memory and balance.

Aside from these, martial arts also has many health benefits.

The British Journal of Sports Medicine shows that adults in their 40s and 50s who engage in martial arts training exhibit astonishing levels of physical fitness compared with people from the same age group who do not engage even in the slightest form of exercise.

Results also showed that the participants of the study who practice martial arts have 12 percent less body fat and can do twice as many sit ups, have enhanced leg strength and flexibility, and most importantly, have a stronger immune system.

 International business senior, Aracely Magallon, enjoys taking Tucker’s kickboxing class because of the cardio exercise she is receiving.

“It’s a little bit more cardio and I just feel my heart rate going up. I like that,” said Magallon.

She also feels like cardio kickboxing has influenced her eating habits.

“It definitely influences my eating habits because if I do a class like kickboxing I’m not going to want to go out and eat fast food. It also builds my stamina,” Magallon said.

According to Tucker, there are many videos that people can follow, but beginners should take a class and have a person in front of them so that they can be corrected.

As people get better with practice, however, they can follow people “at home,” she said.

Visit the Student Recreation Center at CSUF for more available martial arts fitness classes or visit them online at

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