KB Fitness is a London-based martial arts school that offers self defence classes in kung fu and kickboxing. Here, founder and chief instructor Kelly Bunyan explains more.
I set the group up in 1999 in order to pass on the confidence I’d gained through the martial arts to others, and to help connect people together through a positive experience.
A typical session consists of a warm up with punches and movement, followed by stretching. Then we’ll start with kicks only, followed by combinations of punches, blocks, kicks and more movement.
As a beginner, a new person that comes to our class does not need to bring anything other than themselves and a bottle of water. We provide the punch bags and focus mitts to strike, as well as the positive energy to lift their spirits.
At KB Kickboxing, the kickboxing wing of KB Fitness, we teach people to soar by finding their inner fire. It takes a lot to step into the unknown, but once you edge outside the safe parameters of your current lifestyle, the benefits are life-changing.
Training improves self-esteem, confidence and self-discipline. It stimulates the mind and develops inner strength. It’s an excellent way to release stress too, by shouting, punching and kicking out. Our members are literally walking taller with so much more gusto by the end of each session.
Physical advantages include improved endurance, strength, muscle tone, co-ordination, balance and flexibility by consistently challenging and shaping the body, and burning fat in the process.
There is no body contact sparring at all in the beginning. You can hit focus mitts but not each other. Only later, if people want to start this exhilarating aspect of training, does body contact start. Even then, it’s important to note that our school is rare as it’s about speed and scoring points, not knocking people out. I dislike full contact boxing and kickboxing with a passion. The baying crowd, wanting to see somebody get knocked out, disgusts me. The approach in my school is to learn a traditional art form with finesse and work as a team with training peers, not hurt one another.
We run a KB champions league and host tournaments six times a year. Not everybody competes, but many people do and the others watch. Gradings are four times a year – two for kickboxing, two for kung fu. There’s a tremendous sense of camaraderie within the school and many friendships have been formed in the school. Everybody is welcoming, friendly and encouraging. We celebrate each others’ success. It’s a unique, safe haven.