Kickboxing From A to Z

A Step-by-Step Guide For Learning The “Fighter’s Workout” Without The Fight!

Master Scott Palangi

Authors Note: While reading this book, (even the “final” edited version when it’s complete) you may notice several typos, grammatical errors, and, in some cases, an outright slaughtering of the English language. There is a reason for this. You see, some people actually enjoy looking for these things. And, since it’s my driving ambition to please as many people as possible -- I’ve intentionally left some in here.

J S.P.

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About the Author
From: Master Scott Palangi Tappan, NY Tuesday, 8:37 p.m. As you can see, although this is a “Manual” type of a book, I’ve decided to place a personalized letter, here in the beginning, so that you’ve got no choice but to stop and give it a glance. Why have I decided to do this? Well, for two important reasons actually: One is, this book is “personal” to me. Not just because my name is plastered throughout the pages 127 times, but rather because, over the years and years of teaching... and the thousands of hours of training... and the “choice” to dedicate the rest of my life educating others through the martial arts “way of life” – I’ve been fortunate enough to have been in the right place, at the right time, meeting the right people, to learn the “right styles” (evolution-wise, as a martial artist) with... ultimately The Best Instructors in the world. I’ve been fortunate in finding the right instructors. Sometimes, I’m even a little self-righteous about it, too. But isn’t it “okay” to be so proud of one’s teachers? I hope so... because... I can’t even imagine where I’d be without your dedication. In a very real sense, this book was sparked by you. All of you. The second reason is, although this book’s creation was “inspired” by my instructors....”spark” alone, is rarely ever enough to finish anything. You need fuel. The fuel that carried this book to completion.... was.... is.... and will always be..... The Students Took twenty years to discover that the men, women, and children I dare call “my students”.... have actually been “my teachers” the entire time. Hence, ‘If you really want to learn something.... teach it.” Yours for martial arts excellence, Scott Palangi

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Acknowledgements
In addition to the “martial” inspiration from my teachers having a hand in this book, there’s much “human” inspiration too. You see, sometimes, we don’t even know when we’re being “taught”. And, many times, without such “teachers” our wild ideas will remain ideas until somebody comes along and “paints a picture” of what’s possible. In the case of this book, the “first creation” happened when a professional photographer showed me what’s possible. That said, I’d like to thank the man who actually bumped this project onto the “production line”, Chris Marksbury, of CM Photos.com. C.M., had it not been for your interest-turned-love for the martial arts... and for your and Gina’s relentless support, both now and during, during Sabrina’s Black Belt Journey.... and for the hours you’ve both spent giving of yourselves both inside the dojo during classes, and afterwards on projects such as this.... if it wasn’t for all The Marksbury’s have done, this book would still be a bunch of “round to it’s” stuck in my head.. Thank you for demonstrating to me that we really do have something special and worth capturing on film, and for always going the extra mile(s). Once while discussing the “becoming” of martial arts master, my teacher once noted, “How can a master be ‘master’ if he has no student to teach”. Likewise, ‘”What good is a book, if nobody wants to read it?” Had it not been for “the original audience” this book was intended for.... and for their sincere interest during each session.... I wouldn’t have even bothered to write it in the first place – let alone, ask you to shine within it’s pages, inspiring others. Thank you Jack Damico, Doreen Misciagna, and David Yamada, for demonstrating your technical excellence in this book, and more importantly, that, for you, “Palangi Marital Arts & Kickboxing” is more than just a “workout”, it’s a way of life. Your interest keeps me interested.

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Table of Contents:
About the Author............................................................................................................ 3 Acknowledgements......................................................................................................... 5 Table of Contents: .......................................................................................................... 6 Introduction................................................................................................................... 7 The Workout ................................................................................................................ 10 The Warm-Up Routine .................................................................................................. 18 The Warm Up Exercises ................................................................................................ 21 The Warm-Up............................................................................................................... 25 Shadowboxing.............................................................................................................. 26 The “Set Position”: ....................................................................................................... 27 Details and Common Errors: ......................................................................................... 29 “Set Position" Defined: ................................................................................................. 32 Heavy Bag Training: ..................................................................................................... 36 The Foot Jab: ............................................................................................................... 38 The Push Kick: ............................................................................................................. 40 The Switch Kick:........................................................................................................... 42 The Round Kick: ........................................................................................................... 44 The Side Kick ............................................................................................................... 46 The Knee Kick:............................................................................................................. 48 The Switch-Knee:......................................................................................................... 50 The “One-Two”: ........................................................................................................... 52 The Left “Body” Hook: .................................................................................................. 56 The Uppercut: .............................................................................................................. 60 The Head Hook: ........................................................................................................... 64 The Right Hook Body Shot:........................................................................................... 66 Shadowboxing Routine ................................................................................................. 68 Applied Kickboxing: ...................................................................................................... 74 Applied: ....................................................................................................................... 75 Getting Good................................................................................................................ 84 Staying “Tight” ............................................................................................................. 92 Distance, Power, and Impact......................................................................................... 94 Bobbing & Weaving ...................................................................................................... 97 Count Kicks.................................................................................................................. 99 Parting Thoughts ........................................................................................................ 102

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Introduction
This book is about Kickboxing. Specifically, Kickboxing for sport, for fun, for health, and… most importantly, for self-improvement. Although this book’s primary purpose is to help you understand and perform the entire repertoire of Palangi Kickboxing techniques – I will also attempt to indoctrinate you in the “mindset” of Palangi Kickboxing, which has a traditional “martial arts base” with a modern, upbeat, and unpretentious approach. By “mindset” what I mean is, the thinking that is behind the moves in kickboxing; the attitude… the disposition, if you will, which you will execute kickboxing moves from. Once you’ve got this mindset, you can then transport that “spirit” if you will, into everything you do. I believe this is why “Kickboxing-for-fitness” programs – the videos, the classes, and the hype behind all of it, has caught the attention of the Western world. It’s powerful to watch an expert kickboxer -- “kick box”. The speed. The fluidity. The power. There’s nothing like it really. And when you begin to master even the most basic of fundamentals you can’t help but feel more powerful; more “in control” – not just “in control” of your fitness and your external appearance, but your entire life. How? It’s simple really. See, the moves in kickboxing come from martial arts – not all of the moves, but about 90%. And, because martial arts moves (like the ones I’ll teach you herein) enhance everything germane to physical mastery… you directly, and simultaneously develop a “mastery” of your own mind – and, eventually, even your emotions. The original reason I developed this manuscript was to help my adult students perfect their moves so that they could teach my martial arts system (called Palangi Martial Arts) along side me, at my academy, and eventually on their own. Originally, I had no intention of making a definitive guide on the subject

of Kickboxing. In fact, I’ve never even fought in a roped ring where the “real deal” kickboxers made kickboxing as we know it, popular. The reason I modeled my martial arts system, Palangi Martial Arts, after “Thai style” Kickboxing was simple: To create a martial arts system that would be “user friendly” to the newbie… and comprehensive enough to the elite athlete… so that the both of them could co-exist in an environment where one another’s differences could be built upon – and become advantageous and beneficial towards each other’s growth and improvement. I wanted to give the average “American” an opportunity to experience the martial arts in way that would be both safe and effective from a fitness standpoint, and challenge them mentally so as to overcome the inevitable boredom that is so commonplace with 98% of all fitness choices. Speaking of exercise, now’s a good time to talk about what “exercise” really is: Exercise, is actually, “induced activity”. Yes, you see, way back when (meaning, before conventional gyms started opening up everywhere) there were no such thing as “health clubs”. Why? Well, for starters, there was no need. People were relatively thin. The y had a naturally high level of activity. And, they also consumed a diet that required a certain amount of calorie expenditure just to have a single serving i.e. hunting, fishing, farming, climbing a tree for a piece of fruit. You get the idea. However, even back in those days, martial artists practiced kickboxing-like movements simply because it was fun and a way for self-expression. (And in the real “old days” martial arts were in fact a necessity, not a recreational endeavor) Which brings me back to my original point:

Mindset
Throughout this text you may hear me talk about “Black Belt Attitude” or “Personal Excellence.” Why have I done this? I’ve done this for two important reasons actually. 8

The first one is, “Black Belt” stands for a symbol of excellence in the martial arts. It suggests a certain level of quality; of precision; and/or “mastery”, if you will. The second reason is, the concept of “Black Belt Attitude” is, in fact, exactly that: An Attitude. Black Belt Attitude implies “mindfulness”. It implies “deliberateness”. And it explicitly means, “choice”. You see, in the Western world (the world of Baseball, Apple Pie, and Hot Dogs) we’re taught that a person’s “attitude” is sum total of all their thoughts -conscious and unconscious. There’s a slight degree of “assumptive-ness” or assumed ownership. i.e. “of course he’s stressed out – he’s an air-traffic controller”. But in the martial arts world (a world where there is much Eastern influence) we believe that our “attitudes” (or, habits of thought) can, in fact, be chosen – much like one can choose to wear shoes or sneakers – the right attitude, for the right occasion. Naturally, “Black Belt Attitude” is an attitude of personal excellence that one can adopt or “borrow” – much like using the right tool for the right job – to get a better result. Best part is of course, the movements of kickboxing require the student to impose his will on his own limitations in order to improve. There’s no luck associated with progress. In order to get good or even mediocre for that matter, one must concentrate fully… disciplining the field of attention… forging the body, muscles, tendons and ligaments to do what is not exactly natural, or, routine. (i.e. how much thought or skill-building takes place when one goes out for a jog, or rides an elliptical machine for hours on end? Not much.) The end result of your study of Palangi Kickboxing is that you’re not just exercising… you’re training! Training your mind… training your body… cultivating a “Black Belt Attitude!” Good luck, and, as always, good training.

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The Workout
The Palangi Martial Arts Kickboxing Class is a three dimensional workout. The first dimension is Physical. In order for your body to have a balanced level of conditioning there are three primary areas that must be considered. First is, Flexibility; Second, Strength; and Third, of course, is Stamina. Typically, in order to address all three of these areas, you’d have to attend a yoga class (60 to 90 minutes)… then, go for a jog (another 30-45 minutes) … and finally, hit the weights (another 20-30 minutes). That means, if you were to follow conventional methods of fitness, you’d be spending anywhere from 2 to perhaps even 3 solid hours just to get (or stay – depending on your current level of fitness) “in shape”. Not very practical if you ask me. However, in a single Palangi style Kickboxing class – you will effectively hit all three areas of Physical Conditioning. And… you’ll accomplish that in just 40 minutes! (Plenty of time left to do the other things you enjoy. Who knows… maybe even a little partying, right? Why not?) The Second dimension of the Palangi Martial Arts Kickboxing method in Mastery. Now, when we speak of “mastery”, we’re not referring to hocus-pocus, or metaphysical touchy-feely stuff. Instead, “mastery”, in this context, refers to the simple fact that you will be learning actual techniques – combatives, if you will – that, by design, are to be executed with bad intentions. The more you do the moves – the better you get at doing them… until… finally, you’ve got complete control over your body. Mastery. The best part of achieving physical mastery is that it’s never actually part of your agenda – it just happens as a natural by product of doing the workout, session, or class. Nobody actually sets out to be a “master” – I’ll save that for the martial arts “weirdos out there who are more content with being fatso’s than attaining a healthy balance of mind, body, and spirit. Enough about mastery. My point in bringing it up is that Kickboxing is perhaps the most balanced choice of workout or martial art simply because it is more

intricate and challenging than just putting one foot in front of the other (jogging or aerobics), and it’s less aggravating than trying to hit a small ball towards a specific target (baseball or golf). At the very least – it’s more effective than both of those workouts and sports, combined. And… its more fun. Besides… learning how to kick, punch, elbow, and knee someone can actually become a lot of fun – which brings me to my next point, and, the “3rd Dimension” of Palangi Kickboxing: Self-Defense. Let’s face it, it’s a scary world out there. And, it doesn’t take a rocket science to figure out that your never actually “safe” – anywhere, anymore. Contrary to poplar belief, your need for personal safety is not someone else’s responsibility. It’s yours. In fact, those who cannot defend themselves are a liability in this society more than they’re an asset. Now, listen, I’m not just talking about the actual physical part of defending yourself, the fighting – that’s a given. I’m talking about your ability to be self-aware; to recognize and avoid danger; and, of course if need be, resort to physical defense… and… most importantly, to have the inner strength or fortitude to “pull the trigger”, as in taking action. You’d be surprised how many men and women who are “fit” (in the physical sense) and who are “successful” (in the personal and professional sense) but who – when and if confronted by assailants – would freeze in their steps, or, do something else in their pants. Or both. It’s my deepest wish that no one who studies the Palangi Kickboxing method ever have to defend themselves. I really mean that. However, it is my wish that each time you engage in the workout – you remember that you’re learning an art, not just a sport. Finally, it’s my greatest pleasure to bring you a workout that will help you to build true CONFIDENCE by developing strength in the body, mastery over the mind, and courage during the face of adversity or intimidation. This is why the Palangi Martial Arts tagline reads, “discover yourself.” The Anatomy of a Kickboxing Class 11

Each Palangi Kickboxing class is 45 minutes. There is a are three specific reasons for this. One: studies have shown that an “interval” style workout is actually more effective than a long, and drawn out, “marathon” style of training. And that rule applies to both the out-of-shaper and the trained individual alike. Modern sports science has shown us that less, is, in fact, more, in regard to creating a “fitness effect” in the body. The second reason for the 45 minute format is that there is no room for “down time”. No spending minutes on end around a water fountain, or talking to a tired workout partner about your problems, your spouse, or your spouses problems, whatever they may be. There’s only time for focused training. After class, fine, let it all hang out. During class, it’s training. The third reason our workout should last only 50 minutes is because 60 minutes just so happens to be the maximum that anyone (and I mean, anyone) can hold a strong, and focused, field of attention. Anything longer than that – we all start looking at the clock. It’s also a fact that tired people get injured. I say it’s better to go home under-trained and come back for more tomorrow than to over-train and be forced to stop training or seek alternative methods. Fortunately, if you’re attending a Palangi Kickboxing class – one that’s taught by a certified instructor – you will leave class feeling trained but never injured. That’s something few health clubs, or martial arts schools, or group fitness classes can promise. Nonetheless, a certified Palangi Kickboxing coach can make it happen in each and every class!

Kickboxing Class Format
I. II. III. IV. V. VI. Joint Warm-up Shadowboxing Dynamic Stretching Bagwork Ab & Armwork Cooldown (1-2 Minutes) (6-8 Minutes) (2-3 Minutes) (12-17 Minutes) (4-6 Minutes) (2-3 Minutes) 12

The joint warm up is always five minutes. The purpose is not to stretch… but rather to prepare the joints for the workout. During the warm up you’ll get attuned and “in tune” with the status of your joints and their range of motion, as well as any muscle soreness or limitation that needs to be “paid attention” to. After the warm up comes the “shadow-boxing” segment of the class. This lasts anywhere from 10 to 12 minutes. Shadowboxing, by the way, means you are punching and kicking toward your own image in full-length mirror. The actual term came from the old boxing gyms – way back when they couldn’t afford mirrors; trainers would shine a light behind a fighter who, in turn, would punch towards his own shadow against a wall. The purpose of shadowboxing is threefold: 1. To properly learn the techniques. 2. To execute proper techniques without resistance. 3. To increase ones awareness of balance and coordination. Now we come to the actual “stretching” segment of the workout. This is where we do what’s called “developmental” flexibility positions and poses. Now, because Kickboxing is born of martial arts – the stretching you’ll do will actually increase your limberness, not just exploit how horrible your current level is. What’s odd is, in regard to flexibility, you’ll often hear people say things like, “Oh, I can’t begin kickboxing… I’ve got no flexibility or coordination”. It really is a ridiculous statement and it reveals how brainwashed we are as a society to believe that we need to be a “natural” at something. Such comments are as stupid as a broke person saying, “Oh, I can’t begin saving money… I haven’t got any”. Remember, you do kickboxing to get something you don’t yet have– not to show something you already posses. And by doing the flexibility drills in this book (in the proper order – right after the warm up) you will gain a level of looseness you never thought possible – guaranteed. Next, is Bag Training. The “heavy bag”, as we call it, provides the student or athlete with an actual “outlet” to test, and apply kickboxing techniques. This is 13

where you get your resistance training accomplished in a way that will make your body toned and lean – not bulky or blocky. Another benefit of smashing the bag is stress relief. Psychologists call this “gross impact therapy”, and have recommended solely as a form of “release”. (Plus the bag won’t hit you back. The abuse is one-sided, the way it should be.) Few workouts, if any, ever accomplish this state of mind; a state of peacefulness that stems directly from “taking it out” on something. Another great thing about the heavy bag is feedback. When hit correctly, the bag “pops”. When hit poorly, it “thuds”. Sometimes you’ll hear professional fighters referring to this as “making the bag sing”. It’s truly a beautiful sound too! Best part is, in just a couple of pages, I’m going to teach you the moves that can make your moves sing too! Finally, we work the abs. This is called the core part of the workout. By “core”, we mean the central part of your body that controls your posture, your balance, and it does in fact include the development of your “abs”. Lets talk about “abs” for minute okay? First of all, we all have a great “six pack” of abs. The problem is… our so-called six pack is covered by a thick layer of body fat. Now, because the concept of “spot reducing” (meaning: to focus on only one exercise for one single part of the body) for getting ripped, is a fallacy – we do not spend a lot of time here. You see, what causes your abs to appear is the dis-appearance of abdominal fat – not the appearance of stronger and bigger “abs.” Therefore, we spend about 5-seven minutes exhausting this part of the torso so that your abs can serve you as well as making you looked ripped. But, again, because the appearance of abs happens only after the disappearance of abdominal fat (and because the actual “calorie burning” effect of abdominal exercises is nil) what will really cause your abs to appear is the workout in its entirety not just a routine of crunches. In regards to abs, now’s a good time to give honorable mention to the significance of dietary habits. But that’s another book – one that’s not as much fun to follow either! That said, you would do well to discover what method of eating supports your energy levels and best appearance.

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After your abs are exhausted... this is the best time to remind your arms that you just had a workout. And we do this by performing the famous kickboxing pushups. Kickboxing pushups come in various forms but they’re usually a shorter version of the old-school pushup you’d encounter in gym class or in military PT (Physical Training) drills. You’ll get a look at some of those later on, too. I hope your getting a sense of the personal discipline that you’ll get from Palangi Kickboxing training. But please know this: We (t he trainers and students of Palangi Kickboxing) are not necessarily “disciplined” people. We’re mere mortals just like you. However, we do, in fact enjoy the way our style of “exercise” empowers us to live our lives a little differently than those who merely “go to the gym”. Hopefully, the personal discipline Kickboxing will empower you with will carry forward into your daily lives. Especially when it’s time to say, “No”, to dessert .

How To Get the Most Out of This Manual
In order to get the most out of this book be sure to take notes in the 2.5” margin provided on the right hand side. Unlike a coffee table book, you’re supposed to get this one dirty with details. Take notes inside of this manual. When I was training in South Korea for competitive Tae Kwon Do I used to always bring a notebook to class. Sometimes during the training I’d have an “aha” experience that would cause a breakthrough to happen. (If you train with a good teacher, you should have that happen, too, and frequently.) Always jot down your breakthroughs. Use that margin. In fact, go ahead and write this down in there right now; write: “Remember to open my notebook after class and make note of cool details that help me in my training.”

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Next, you may also notice that this book has one entire page dedicated only to the pictorial flow – the breakdown of the moves, step-by-step – and then the actual instructional explanation on the following page. There is a reason for this. 23 years of non-stop, uninterrupted martial arts training has taught me much about “karate books.” Most martial arts instructional books are created to please the publisher – not the actual expert who is normally the author. And this “middleman” dynamic can often hasten the author’s most effective means and methods of effectively disseminating their information. In any field of physical “learning”, there are three essential steps that need to take place in order for the brain to actually “train” the nervous system to execute the physical feat. This 3-step process is the exact same process your mind and body used to do everything you currently do that seems “automatic.” Whether it’s riding a bike... scratching your head... or catching a ball... this 3-step process “happened”. ONE: You watch. TWO: You think about what you’re watching. THREE: You do (or, better stated, you “try”) “Watch, think, do”... and eventually, progress will happen. Now that you’re armed with this book, you’ve got the first two components satisfied. ONE: I’ve provided you with the exact “mental image picture” – the “watching”. Each of these pages is like miniature movies; broken down, frame, by detailed frame. This is significant because when you’re outside of the class your “watch” might not be very accurate. You may forget what you saw, and so on. TWO: Following each pictorial page, is the “teaching dialogue” (the words I use that make you a great student, and me, a master teacher.) This too, is significant because even if you had a photographic memory – you may still miss the “instructions” – the words that inform your mind to

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and command your body to “do” – causing your body to obey. Last, notice that there aren’t any words on the same pages as the photos. To those schooled in the fundamentals of correct “graphical design”, one might think the layout of this book is an outright mess. But this book wasn’t meant to please the likes of those who sit and give artistic opinions about an art that is in fact, a “physical education.” Only thing holding you back from excelling in martial arts sports or kickboxing now is “practice”. As far as I know... that book’s not been invented yet. There is no substitute for practice. Practice is absolutely necessary.

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The Warm-Up Routine
Unlike the typical warm-up you may see in a “fitness workout” – one filled with ballistic and bounce-like movements that can actually harm the body – the purpose of the Palangi Kickboxing warm-up is to prepare the joints (not the muscles) for the workout. “Stretching”, in a Palangi Kickboxing class is never conducted until your body-temperature, and heart rate, is elevated. This is important because, remember, we want our training session to be 100% productive and we don’t have all day to make it happen – we have 50 minutes. The last thing we want is to stretch a muscle before it’s ready to be lengthened, or to force our joints to turn at angles that the body isn’t willing, or prepared, to do. But if you observe a typical group fitness class of any ilk (martial arts included) you’ll discover that what really happens is the participants are encouraged to stretch “cold muscles,” – and then later, after the body is warm, the student winds up doing some type of movement that will injure either the muscles and tendons; possibly even the joints as well. What’s really upsetting about this is that even the most experienced athlete can become injured from this type of training simply because when you’re “warm” you don’t usually feel and injury happening! And this is where the Palangi warm up differs immensely. Whereas the framework of a “fitness” or “karate” class can neglect addressing the joint -before-muscle warmup issue, the first five minutes of a Palangi Kickboxing session will inform you of where your body is at on that particular day. Then, once you’re aware of the status of your joints and their mobility, you can selfregulate exactly what your body can and can not do. See, the idea here is this: people do not become injured during workouts because they lack flexibility in their muscles and joints – they get injured (usually) because they’re either not aware of their body’s capabilities on that given day... or... they get so into what they’re doing that they end up over-doing it. Now, if the trainer/instructor/coach possessed the workout wisdom that a certified Palangi Kickboxing

instructor owns – students would not get injured as frequently. Why? The state of the student’s body would’ve been taken into consideration prior to aggressive physical exertion. If you intend on teaching Palangi, or just want to practice at home, I implore you to not overlook this initial part of the session. It is that important.

Warm Up Sequence
1 Neck Rotations
When doing neck rotations, keep your hands placed firmly on your hips. Don’t just let them rest – press inward on your waistline so you can get a full sense of what your range of motion really is. Start by looking upward... and then very slowly—start rotating your head to your left (or right, it doesn’t matter unless you’re in a formal class) while continuing to look as far as possible behind you. As you look backward and around... start your descent. Then, as your jaw and eyes pass your shoulder-- begin looking downward; getting a complete stretch along the right side, and back of, the neck. Continue around until your eyes are looking down at your feet and your chin is touching your chest. Once you reach the maximum downward position continue up to your right side until you reach the start point. Then, repeat the exercise on the other side. (Pictures not shown to avoid redundancy)

2 Shoulder Circles
With your hands still pressed into your waistline, squeeze inward and upward while beginning to “shrug” your shoulders forward. Do this slowly and deliberately.

3 Arm Rotations
When doing arm rotations, you always want to keep your arms slightly bent. This will help protect your shoulder joints and also allow you to build up 19

momentum as you swing your arms in a large and inward arcing motion.

4 Side Bends
The spine is designed to move in six directions: front and back; side to side; and then twisting – left and right. When you do the “sidebends” in the beginning of your workout you’re able to find out what your capabilities are (or aren’t) on a particular day. It’s better to find out what your spine is ready for before you’re forced to find out through injury. Although the kickboxing workout is designed to make you bend all six ways – the side bend is rarely a natural occurrence during the workout, hence it is done here at the beginning. Once in the “start” position.... begin to lean to your left and see how far you can “reach” with your fist ... all the while... pushing inward with the opposite hand that’s secured at your waist.

5 Rotating Squat

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The Warm Up Exercises

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Advanced Warm-Up Stretches

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The Warm-Up

Shadowboxing
Shadowboxing is the most overlooked part of even a professional fighter’s workout. Ask any pro trainer and they’ll tell you countless stories of athletes who’d try and skip this part of the workout. It’s easy to understand too; staring at yourself (and your techniques) in the mirror can be discouraging… especially if you don’t like what you see. That said, lets make you look good at shadow boxing starting right now, okay? Great. First we’ll discuss…

The “Set Position”:

“Easy to do right”... always means:

“Even easier to do wrong”

1

2

'

3

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Details and Common Errors:
Incorrect: Fists are too close together

Incorrect: Feet are too close together; one is “hiding” behind the other.

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Incorrect: Fists are tilted inward.

Incorrect: Fists are turned out

Correct: Fists are holding imaginary pencils straight ahead.

Correct: Heel of the back foot is “off the ground”.

Correct: Heel of the Front foot is slightly elevated.

Correct: Feet are “shoulder width” (with the right foot slightly backward.

Correct ç Kickboxing Stance

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“Set Position" Defined:
You’ll often hear this referred to as a “fighting stance” in different arts or schools of kickboxing. However, there are actually a dozen or so “fighting stances” depending on the discipline in discussion. I like to call this stance the “Set Position” because there’s an implication of balance and stability with the word “set” – and without that… it doesn’t matter what you’re doing – balance and stability rule, and is our first consideration. And, it just so happens , the “Set Position” I’m going to teach you is also the proper fighting stance for full-contact Kickboxing. First – the ground-rules. In my Palangi system, I break down everything so that the technical concepts are both easy-to-do and easy-to-understand. Here’s how accomplish this: As you may know, in any discipline or practice, there are fundamentals or essential concepts that must be understood for you to have a successful experience. The problem is, often times, there can be so many “important points” - you can’t remember what to pay attention to first. That’s why I’ve created a powerful teaching tool called, “The Three Rules of Three” for every technique in the Palangi system. That’s why I’ve carefully taken the time to multi-step the so-called important points of the Palangi system. This way, everyone can learn, and everyone can communicate the material, in an effective, consistent, and concise manner. That said, let’s take a look at the “Three Rules” of the Set Position. 1. FEET (shoulder width apart; left leg forward; knees bent slightly) 2. HANDS (Straight wrists; flat fists; elbows in.) 3. HEAD (Chin in; eyes forward; jaw relaxed) The Set position is where all your techniques will be executed from. Often times, a student will wonder if they’re doing something “correct” or “right” – here’s something to keep in mind if you ever find yourself thinking along those lines: 1) Before you can get good at something – you’ve first got to be willing to 32

be lousy at it. 2) Whenever you feel uncomfortable doing a move, check your stance; a good, solid, and well-balanced stance will make almost any technique seem better or less “new”. During a structured Palangi Kickboxing lesson, you’ll often hear the coach or instructor say, “Return to set”, or, “Reset, please”, and so on. I often teach my trainers to drive home the significance of the “Set Position”, so much so, that it often becomes annoying --- good. The way we (the teaching staff) look at it, until you can teach the class yourself – and make it a point to get the entire class to have the selfawareness of their Set position – you haven’t yet learned the material well enough yourself. Another important point is this: If at any time during your training you feel that you’re unable to execute a strong vertical jump – something isn’t quite right about your Set position. You’d be amazed how much faster you can learn and enjoy the moves in this 45 class... simply by re-setting your stance.

Here’s How You Do It:
First, start with your feet exactly shoulder width apart. This sets you up for a stable yet mobile stance that allows you to move quickly once you get the hang of the moves... To get a clear sense of exactly how to perform the Set position, stand up straight and take a couple of casual steps forward – as if taking a walk – and then stop and look at the weight distribution of your two feet. Usually, you’ll see your feet spaced about shoulder width apart, on in front of the other. Next, turn your torso slightly inward. This ensures your strong side is in the back and ready to perform powerful moves on command. It also helps keep your center line – the part of your body that exposes vital areas – away from immediate or easy attack; making you less of a target. Once you’ve got a comfortable Set position, it’s a good idea to bounce up and down a couple of times. In the Palangi system, we call this “priming”. You only need to do it a couple of times to feel the benefit of better balance, better posture, and more confidence doing your workout. 33

You’ll see professional fighters priming during matches when they get hit, or when their preparing a series of attacks. Look at priming as a way of creating momentum before you explode with a combination. Priming allows you to tap into the simple and oftenoverlooked principle of “energy in motion tends to stay in motion.” Finally, when you prime, try not to let your feet break contact with the floor. That’s jumping. And even though jumping can create similar advantages for performing an advance – it’s a lousy thing to be doing if you’re forced to make a defensive movement. Think about it: if you’re feet aren’t touching the ground – you can only be in one place until you regain your footing. This alone can make you faster at virtually every move in all contact sports.

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Heavy Bag Training:
Of the many elements separating Palangi Kickboxing from other “combat fitness” regimes (besides the actual fitness and physique-enhancing benefits) is the training methodology behind our approach to resistance training. “Resistance training,” in the realm of fitness and working out, typically means, “lifting weights”. It’s no longer a secret that resistance training is one of the fastest ways to make your muscles stronger. Problem is, when done excessively, your muscles can become bigger and bulkier. Because Palangi Kickboxing’s fitness approach encompasses lifestyle, performance, and mobility for healthy living -- we strive to avoid making our muscles “bigger” or “puffier” and instead emphasize building a stronger, faster, leaner, more flexible, more coordinated, and more athletic muscular system. This achieved by using The Heavy Bag for “resistance”. You’ll never worry about getting bulkier muscles from hitting the heavy bag because the “resistance” part of the training happens when your muscles are almost at full-extension. And, because your muscles are strongest at full-extension, you get the exact “dose” of resistance that forces your muscles to respond... to adapt to the imposed workload.... and to finally, “change”. The end result is better body without the bulk. Coupled with the fitness effect is the “technical effect” as well. When you “hit” something your techniques become like actual weapons. This makes you more confident because you’re learning skills to defend yourself with. An added bonus of this learning is the mental stimulation associated with learning an actual skill that creates positive body changes, as opposed to the mere “pounding of the pavement” (as in running) or the mundane-ness of yet another fad workout.

Often times, with conventional exercise there’s no real or implied “goal”. After a while... a Palangi Kickboxers’ goal is to one day become a Black Belts (about 3 to 4 years). That’s when you’re pursuing personal excellence rather than just fitness for the sake of fitness. At this level, fitness is no longer a goal, but a natural by product of your quest for selfimprovement. Beating the Heavy Bag has also been proved effective for lowering stress levels as well. Psychologists call it “Gross Impact Therapy”, and have even suggested “hitting the bag” to those seeking lower stress levels (except... they don’t show you how to hit the bag.) Perhaps the greatest benefit of Bag Training is the efficiency factor. You see, an effective Bag Routine need only last between 15 and 25 minutes to give you results – even at the professional level. This chapter shows you how to hit the bag properly; reinforcing your “brain” on the finer point of moves so when you attend classes the moves look familiar.

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The Foot Jab:

The Foot Jab Defined:

The Push Kick:

Push Kick Defined:

The Switch Kick:

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Switch Kick Defined:

The Round Kick:

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Round Kick Defined:

The Side Kick

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Side Kick Defined:

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The Knee Kick:

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Knee Kick Defined:

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The Switch-Knee:

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Switch Knee Defined:

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The “One-Two”:

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The “One-Two” Defined:
The Jab
In boxing and kickboxing alike, the Jab is a foundational weapon that builds your understanding and respect for speed plus reaction time... and it also creates strong and well-conditioned shoulder muscles, triceps, and... believe it or not, biceps as well (because of the emphasis placed on recoil.) The Jab is like a flicking type of motion that’s job (in fighting) is to do three things: 1) Set up a more powerful technique. 2) Distract your opponent by “chipping” away at their own offense. 3) Create a sense of distance between you and your target. Metaphor: Think of playing “tag”. See, when you throw your jab, your sort of poking at your target – not trying to smash it or “finish” it. When you jab, it’s like when you were a kid and you were playing tag with your friends. Think of speed, and of course “sneakiness”; being “slick”.

Here’s How You Do It:
1) Without pulling your hand back... and... without moving your shoulders even a centimeter... QUICKLY snap your fist straight out in front of you (at shoulder or face height). 2) Quickly recoil your striking fist back to where it was – TWICE as fast as you threw it out to your intended target! Note: Although I mentioned that the shoulders are not to move “even a centimeter”... that rule only applies to the beginning of the jab so as not to “tip off” your opponent to your punch; that’s known as “telegraphing” your punch – which we do not want to do. Of course, once your jab is “on it’s way” – by all means, twist your spine a little; let the shoulder go forward; and “reach” into your intended target! That’s 53

how you can make a plain ole jab a devastating weapon!

The Cross
Always executed with your “rear hand” or “power hand”, the cross is what’s known as your “knockout punch”. Often times, in boxing matches, this is known as the infamous “right hand” because most people are “righty’s” and because it’s the second most executed punch next to (and often followed up after) the “jab”. Now, although the jab and the cross both travel in an identical trajectory (straight out and back) what’s important for you to realize is that... with the cross... because of it’s originating position (being in the back) there is a little intentional “telegraphing” because you must turn not only your shoulders and your spine into the punch but also your hips and your back foot, too. And it’s okay because if you did not turn your whole body into the punch – not only would you not get sufficient power... but you wouldn’t even be able to reach your intended target. So, you must turn into the cross to execute it correctly. Metaphor: While in your Set stance, imagine there was a pole going straight through the top of your head and down into the ground. You’re now grounded by this pole and your only mobility is a twisting action. Next, picture that your front foot (your left) is glued to the ground flat; but your right foot has a nail going through it – you can pivot on it, allowing your hips and shoulders to move, but you can’t relocate it. That’s what it’s like when throwing a cross!

Here’s How You Do It:
1. Lean slightly forward on your left foot while letting your rear foot (the right foot) pivot slightly outward; simultaneously, punch with your right hand straight out to your target... and... while you do so raise your right elbow as you lean into your target. (Your rear hip should slightly break the 90° plane that exists between you and your target). While doing all this be mindful of what your inactive hand is doing (the left). It should stay next to your jaw; elbow “glued” into your rib cage for protection and easy deployment of further strikes – yes, even if your tired! 54

2. Once contact is made – snap your hand back to the starting position and then “reset” your stance and check your posture.

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The Left “Body” Hook:

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Body Hook Defined:
This punch is the punch that’s made boxing famous. It’s also one of the sneakiest punches because it travels along a very circumspect path. Unlike the jab and cross (which travel from point A to B) the Hook’s deception lies in its circular delivery. It often hits your opponent on the side of the jaw or ribcage and causes enough trembling shock to “short -circuit” them; allowing you to hit them repeatedly; sometimes will knocking them out altogether. Metaphor: Imagine you’re in a room that has a ceiling that’s six to eight inches shorter than you are – you’re forced to widen your base a little, and of course, bend your knees to stay balanced. Next, pretend you just threw a cross and you were unable to reset your stance – now you’re stuck in a “pivoted” position. Now, pretend there’s a flagpole separating you and your imaginary opponent – he’s only a foot away from you... but the pole’s in the way. Suddenly, you realize you can move your body any way you want but you’ve only got a second to hit your opponent! What’s worse is... the only way you can “finish” him is to hit him exactly on his ear. Now, the only way to hit him quickly and with power is to twist your body to your right while putting your right foot down and letting your left do the pivot. Then, while in the middle of this aggressive transition you raise your left elbow and begin to punch around that imaginary flagpole. Then, as your fist is making its way to your opponents “ear” you open your chest and expose the entire front of your body to the right side of the room. Impact is made.

Here’s How You Do It:
1. From your Set position, pivot slightly forward while bending and pointing your knees toward 10 o’clock. Freeze for a split second. 2. Quickly snap your body; starting with your hips, then shoulders; then your left fist – back to 3 o’clock. 3. Instantly, and... still while snapping to 3 o’clock, elevate your left elbow (fist parallel, and, in-line with 58

your upper arm) and make your arm into the shape of the letter “L” and make contact with your target. 4. Withdraw from your target and return to the Set stance.

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The Uppercut:

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Uppercut Defined:
Another close range punch that happens to have “finishing” power is the uppercut. You’ll use your uppercut when your target or imaginary opponent is “slipping” (that’s a boxing term for “ducking”) one of your attacks. You can also throw uppercuts when your opponent is covering his body during an onslaught of attacks. Uppercuts are usually launched at the end of a combination like putting a period at the end of a sentence. Naturally, it is also possible to “time” your opponent with an uppercut when they are in the middle of launching their own attack, however, more often than not, the “uppercut” is utilized in concert with other punches. Metaphor: Picture a “magic hat”. Now, imagine that this magic hat is floating in front of you about two feet away. Like it’s hanging from a string. Your job is to deliver your uppercut without making contact with any other part of the hat other than the part that is parallel to the ceiling – the top part. Now, to increase your accuracy, let’s pretend that the inside walls of this “magic hat” are electrified – if you make contact with them – you’ll get shocked. Naturally, the only way to hit that kind of a target is to quickly snap your fist in an upward motion and to maintain a strong and sturdy angle in your entire arm – fingers of the fist facing you.

Here’s How You Do It:
NOTE: When performing the uppercut on a heavy bag, it is too difficult to perform a “headshot” because your target, in this instance, is facing you – not the floor. Therefore, when performing uppercuts on a heavy bag, be sure and hit the bag at or below stomach level. (Using our “magic hat” metaphor, it’s like pretending the magic hat is now glued to the heavy bag at about waist height facing you.) 1. From your Set stance... quickly drop your base while lowering your striking hand (in this case, your right hand.) 61

2. As your striking hand passes your lower rib cage – relax the shoulder of your striking arm so as to create a “whipping” type of action; While doin that -- quickly launch your arm and fist toward the bag while maintaining a “make-a-muscle” type of angle in your arm. Impact is made with your fist while in a “palm upward” position. 3. After impact, snap your fist back to the starting position following the same trajectory that it carried on the way to the target. Uppercut complete.

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The Head Hook:

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Head Hook Defined:
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The Right Hook Body Shot:

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Right Hook Defined:
khkljhkljhkljhlk

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Shadowboxing Routine

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Applied Kickboxing:
The big “X-Factor” separating Palangi Martial Arts & Kickboxing from its kin is the “mental aspect” of the training. You learn the “visualization” of the moves through our teaching dialogue. This mental distinction helps you do the moves with good technique (which motivates you and builds your confidence) and... because of that, you can “do” the workout better as you progress. It is this constant balance of “easy to do” coupled with “intriguing enough” that motivates you to keep on going; not just while your in classes, but long afterwards... and.... up and until... your very next class. You see, I discovered years ago that, “When people know what they’re doing – they’ll want to DO what they’re doing more often”. Simply put... we help you paint a mental image picture of the “application”. Best part is, don’t have to be able to “do” the application to benefit from “knowing” it. You only have to “see it” for it to take hold because the mind thinks in mental image pictures. After a awhile, what looks “complicated” to your peers becomes second-nature to you because... when you get the gist of a move’s “intentions” – you learn faster and with less anxiety. Your “right brain” is busy applying the moves and your “left brain” is developing more focus – without actually concentrating on them. By visiting the “application” section of this book, the moves you wish to learn become intuitive. You’ll start to “see” them while learning and doing them at your personal pace and skill level.

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Applied:
Foot-Jab Applied:

Push Kick Applied:

Low-Kick Applied:

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Switch-Kick (Low & Body) Applied:

Round Kick Applied:

Jab Applied:

Cross Applied:

Hook Applied:

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Uppercut to Body Applied:

Knee Kick & Switch Knee Applied:

and from there... other moves begin to “flow”...

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(Conti. from previous page)

... into: The Crossing Elbow & Pivot Elbow Applied:

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Finishing with the famous... “Reset” position!

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Getting Good

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Staying “Tight”

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Distance, Power, and Impact

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Bobbing & Weaving

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Count Kicks

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Parting Thoughts
I want your kickboxing and martial arts experience to be... continued.

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The Fighters Workout... Without The Fight!

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