Anyone who has read thru the “Master Combination List” has wondered: “how did someone come up with all these different types of combinations?”

I wish I could say it was easy. It was not!

Sure, I THOUGHT it was going to be easy, but when I set out to add new combinations to my workout system, I kept discovering the same old boring combinations over and over again. So, in the interest of full disclosure, here’s how I did it:

1. I used to own a gym called “L.A. Boxing”, which are now called “UFC Gym”. I hired many fighters and top-notch instructors to teach the classes. Every now and then, one of them would not show up for class, so I’d have to teach it! After this happened several times, I thought, “I better prepare myself by having a lot of cool combinations written down in advance!”
So I set off to do just that. I thought of everything I could (from previous martial arts and kickboxing experience), and wrote it down. Then, when an instructor would be demonstrating a technique in class, if I liked it and thought it worked well, I’d add it to the list.

2. I read thru books. Boxing books, Muay Thai books, streetfighting and self defense books, etc. I searched thru them to pick out all the combinations I could. This is when I realized: most material has the same few combinations over and over again. Even when they would list “15 combinations for Boxing” or something similar, they would simply be stacking punches on top of each other and calling them a new combination (eg. Jab; Jab-Cross; Double Jab-Cross; Triple Jab-Cross; etc. etc.) Well, that didn’t seem too exciting, but I was able to glean several good combos that were previously not thought of.

3. Experimentation on the bag.
I would go to my heavy bag and decide to throw a technique. Then I would strategize: “Ok, from this point, what technique makes the most sense to throw next?” And one technique would lead to the other. OR- I would want to add in a specific technique, so I would strategize the series of moves that would naturally lend itself to implementing the technique.

4. Watching fights.
MMA fights, that is. When I would come across a cool combination that I haven’t seen before, I would quickly write it down before I forgot it (after rewinding it over and over to capture what was really going on). I would choose techniques that were effective, especially if they lead to a knockout.

5. Other instructors, like on Youtube.
What instructors, you ask? ANY and ALL! I have spent HUNDREDS of hours watching kickboxing classes (and no, never came across any good combinations!), fighters, trainers, instructional clips from DVD’s, etc. If there’s a famous MMA fighter out there, and he has a lot of clips, I’ve probably picked up a thing or two to add to the system from them.

One thing all of these techniques had to have in common: they have to work well on the heavy bag!
A lot of techniques work well with a partner or in a fight, but they don’t translate well to the heavy bag workout for one reason or another, so there are some combinations I liked, but through experimentation I learned they just weren’t right for the workout system, so they were scrapped.

Sometimes after a few workouts I’d realize that a particular combination had to be scrapped, or edited or refined, and I’d go back and make the changes. After a couple of years, ALL the combinations have been gone thru so many times, both by myself and by trainees, that everything has been refined and perfected so no further revision is necessary.

The next hard part was figuring out HOW to best place all of these disparate techniques into the workout system in a way that avoided overuse, kept the variety up to a max, kept the level of spontaneity up, and kept the intensity level of each workout somewhere near the same level. This process took a LONG time because it got very confusing until I figured out a system to use that would help me avoid duplication and overuse/underuse. That’s why the combinations are color-coded, in case you were wondering!

Hard to believe that this Workout System, that started from the humble beginnings of ONE workout on one index card, has grown to a complete Home Workout System that can be used month after month and still keep people WANTING to work out! And THAT’S the name of the game! You gotta like what you do. If you don’t, you won’t do it!

Think about this as you contemplate buying the latest and greatest DVD Workout Program being touted on TV and on the internet.  These DVD programs have audio.  That means that every time you workout, you are going to be listening to the same music (not music that you like, mind you) for ALL of your workout sessions, for the rest of your life.  Not only that, everything the instructor says, you will have to hear EVERY single time you play that DVD, for the rest of your life.  Even if there are 8 different workouts, you are still going to be stuck listening to their music and their dialogue each time you want to train.  And read the reviews on Amazon (the negative ones, where you find out what is irritating about the different ones) and you are going to hear how much it drives people crazy listening to the same thing over and over.  So, with that intro, read on and discover why the Kickboxing At Home Workout System is far superior to a DVD.  ANY DVD program!

1.  There is far more variety.  12 workouts in all, and all 12 are for every level, from beginner to advanced.  Some DVD sets come with multiple workouts, but most of the time only one or two are usable at your current level.  Even after one year of doing this program, you will probably have only seen the same workout 10 or 12 times.  This prevents burnout and helps keep you interested and enthusiastic about working out.  We also spread out ALL the workouts to cover your entire body, not devoting a whole workout to “abs”, or “legs”, or any other specific muscle group.  No one needs THAT much work done at once to any body part.

2.  Much less repetition due to the built in flexibility of the System:  the first 4 rounds are open to the addition of your own material, so YOU can decide what seated stretches, standing stretches, dynamic stretches, and shadow boxing you want to do.  Sure, you may want to use the same warmup stretches over and over again, but should you happen to come across a book or video that is showing you something new that you want to try, you simply add it into your stretching rounds, whether its seated, standing, or dynamic.  If its a technique, you can add it into your shadowboxing round.  This way your program can continually grow or evolve according to your needs or desires.  With a DVD, you’re stuck with what they give you, EVERY single time!

3.  Unlimited variety in the music:  with DVD’s, you are stuck to listening to THEIR generic terrible music EVERY single time you workout.  With the “Kickboxing at Home” System, YOU are the dj to your own workout.  One day you might want rock, the next day hip hop, the next time acid jazz or fusion or funk, or whatever… Being able to put on the music that YOU like, and are in the mood for, EACH and every time, is a huge plus.  HUGE!

4.  There are no tedious introductions and explanations to suffer thru:  DVD’s always have someone talking, introducing things, instructing, etc…. It might be good for the first time, but what about 6 months into the program and you’re still having to listen to ALL that annoying stuff EVERY single time you want to work out???   No way!  (Read the Amazon reviews from people who have been on a program for a while and you’ll see.)

5.  DVD’s can’t have you hitting an actual heavy bag.  Therefore there is no resistance behind your strikes.  You are at risk of hyper-extending your joints and causing injury.  (Did you ever wonder why they are wearing gloves??? )
But the best part about having a heavy bag is that the resistance it adds is what’s going to build muscle, increase bone density, strengthen joints, activate your core, PLUS, that’s the most fun thing about hitting and kicking:  IMPACT!!!   AmI right???   Of course!
6.  Most DVD’s have you doing cardio-fluff techniques that aren’t as directly translatable to an actual fighting scenario. Because your weight is not being transferred into any object, your stance and weight distribution upon impact is not quite as realistic and your muscle memory and neural pathways are being developed in a manner different than a fight situation.   Plus, with cardio DVD’s, you don’t have a target, and you aren’t visualizing an opponent.  With our System, you are impacting a bag. That’s the kind of balance and coordination you’re going to need in an actual violent confrontation for self defense. You have the weight of the bag pushing back against your fist, and that force is transferred into your arm, your shoulder, THRU YOUR CORE, into your legs, and into the ground… MUCH more effective for toning and building strength!

7.  All other workout DVD’s “pad” their workouts with all kinds of boot camp exercises!  Burpees, mountain climbers, jumping jacks, sit ups, running in place, pushups, and all sorts of other exercises that are NO fun to do.  The “Kickboxing at Home” System has been designed to work these same muscle groups, but by doing something fun and interesting on the heavy bag.  This gets your mind off the “workload” and puts it into the “fight”, where time passes much more quickly, and with a lot more excitement and fun.

8.  DVD’s put your neck, and possibly your whole body, in an improper alignment.   DVD’s teach you to look at a screen, when your eyes should be laser-focused on your opponent.  When you’re trying to watch an instructor, yet your technique is moving your body with momentum in a different direction, this can cause you to crane your neck unnaturally and lead to neck injury and headaches.  Our System has you ALWAYS looking at your opponent, and NEVER taking your eyes off of him.  If there is ONE crucial habit to form for self defense and fighting, this is it.

9.  More stress relief and mental peace.  A DVD has constant INPUT into your brain thru your eyes and ears.  It doesn’t allow you to relax and escape into the workout.  It doesn’t allow you to think about your fight and your technique; your thoughts are constantly interrupt ed by the “talking heads” pulling you out of your zone and distracting you.  The “Kickboxing at Home” System will take your stress level from an 8,9, or 10 and bring it all the way down to a 1,2, or 3, EVERY single time you workout.  This has been anecdotally proven thru countless uses and training sessions and has never failed.  Following the Instructions as written will lead to a perfect workout every time.
10.  You don’t have to workout in the same vicinity as a TV or computer.  With the Kickboxing At Home Workout System, you are either working out at a gym, in your garage, or in a basement, and hopefully you’ve turned the entire area into a workout room so that it feels motivating and energizing.  Maybe its just me, but I can’t workout in a bedroom or in the family room; the atmosphere just isn’t right.  I don’t want to see all of the distractions of daily living.  I want an ESCAPE from my daily life, at least for an hour!  No TV, no computer.  Just the heavy bag, my System, and my music.  Now THAT’S a workout!!!
I think the single biggest complaint I hear from people engaged in a home exercise program is…. can you guess what it is…?  Yes, that’s right:  lack of motivation!

That’s one of the reasons why I always stress to find something you LIKE to do!   The more you like something, the less self-discipline it takes to stick with…obviously.  However, even when you’ve found something fun and interesting to do, you must always guard yourself against losing motivation.  One of the best ways to keep motivated is to try to improve every element of your workout experience.  “Dressing for success” is one key element in this equation.  Others are:  having equipment you like and are excited about; making sure your “Workout System” notebook is in top shape and printed on paper you like looking at; keeping your workout area meticulously clean and tidy; putting on the best music to inspire and motivate yourself.
But back to the subject at hand:  dressing for success in your workout program.  What do most people wear when they workout?  Probably their WORST outfit, or something they might do yard work in; not too inspiring!  Do you remember when you tried to keep up a jogging regimen?  It was hard to keep going every day, but there was ONE particular day that was much easier than others:  the day you bought a new pair of shoes!   Right?  How did I know this?  Because we’ve all been there.  When you first get a new bike, you want to ride your bike.  When you get a pair of shoes, you want to use them.
The same principle applies in your Kickboxing At Home Workout regimen.  You are going to feel a LOT more like fighting that heavy bag when you’re wearing an awesome pair of MMA shorts!   Even better- MMA shorts and an MMA shirt!  (Add on the special shoes and you’ve got the trifecta)
On a personal level, I have about 6 pairs of MMA shorts, and about 12 fight shirts.  Every time I enter my workout area to get my groove on, I put on a pair of my awesome shorts and shirt, and the shoes that I wear ONLY when I’m doing my kickboxing workout.
This keeps your workout clothes “sacred”, meaning “set apart”.  They are set apart for one use only:  to engage in your kickboxing workout!   When you are wearing a workout outfit that you’re excited about, that excitement translates directly into your workout.  You can’t wait to get started because you’re already “feeling the part”.  I can’t remember even one workout in the last few years when I didn’t wear my “special” clothes.  My health and fitness is too important to me to take a chance on dinging my motivation.  I’m going to give myself every advantage towards staying pumped up about my workouts.
So, buy great clothes.  All that money you’re saving by working out at home more than pays for your new diggs many times over.  Get yourself enough to last you through one cycle of laundry so that you never have to go without.  Then, every now and then, pick yourself up a new pair of shorts, or a new shirt, or a 2nd pair of shoes to rotate into the schedule.  When Christmastime or birthdays come up, instead of saying “I don’t know”, tell people the new shirt or shorts you want; heck, give them a link to the catalog and the item #.  Give them the 800 number and the sku!  You are going to feel like a million bucks when you dress like a million bucks.  So skip the Walmart specials and buy the best quality gear you can.  This isn’t money wasted on clothes; this is an investment in your health, and in your future body!

This article is going to talk about a very unique concept called “minimal fitness”.  Minimal fitness is one of my philosophies about exercise and happens to be the most optimal way to exercise for the majority of people, with some obvious exceptions.

First, lets define the term:  “Minimal Fitness” means doing the least you can to achieve the greatest results.  If this was financial we’d call it “value”.

Every output or action on your part has a corresponding “return”.  For example, a dollar invested might have a $1.05 return.  A two-hour investment in watching a movie might have a return of good entertainment and boredom relief.   But we can’t run too far with examples before we must face the fact of another law at work:  the law of “diminishing marginal returns”.  Roughly translated, this means that for every action or effort, there is going to come a point where additional effort is going to have lesser gains.  Eventually it could mean zero gains.  It could also become “negative gains”, or going backwards, particularly as it relates to your fitness goals.

Lets look at how this relates to your own workout program:

Taking just one exercise as an example:  if you were to do a set of bench presses (doing as many reps as you can do), that first set is going to have a result of 80, for example.  If you do another set, it would have a cumulative result of 90.  A third set might yield a total overall result of 95, and a fourth set might bring you to 97-100.   Additional sets might not bring you any further yield, and could even be counter productive.

This means when you hit the gym, the majority of your benefits come from that first set of each exercise.  Additional sets of each exercise do give you additional results, but not nearly as much as that first set did.   Lets say that you and your twin brother decided to begin an exercise program at the same time.  You decide to follow the path of “minimal fitness” and you spend 15 minutes in the gym.  Your brother wants to follow what everyone else is doing and he spends the typical hour in the gym, doing 3-5 sets of everything.   You attained 80% of the results in your 15 minutes, yet your brother, who spent 4 times as much time and effort, was only able to achieve an extra 20% for all his trouble.

The same could be said for most exercise programs.  You don’t have to devote tons of time and energy to achieve the results that will make you most happy.  Your workout routine of 3-4 days per week will give you 80% of the results of someone who wants to workout 6 days per week.   Your 15 minute run will give you 80% of the results of someone who wants to run 10 miles.

Its not all about time and energy though, sometimes the solution is about a complete change in exercise modality or regimen.   For example, your basketball game in the park may give you 80% of the fitness you could otherwise get by engaging in an exercise routine (like a bootcamp, for example) that you absolutely hate and dread going to.   So many fitness programs these days are all marketed by the same ploy:  “this is really hard and its going to get you in maximum shape really fast!”   Many of the claims are true, but what they don’t tell you is just how much you’re going to HATE doing it!

When you exercise doing something you hate, you’ve done a disservice to your long-range fitness goals.  While you may get in great shape fast, you will probably lose this great shape and return to being a very inconsistent exerciser within the first several months.   It is simply too hard to force yourself to keep doing something you don’t like.  If the exercise is too hard, you will likely suffer an injury, sickness, or central nervous system burnout.  This is commonly called “overtraining” and its symptoms are a decreased motivation to workout, a slowdown in workout gains, sickness, elevated pulse or blood pressure, and other ailments.  It is no fun.   But because you “just had to have” those extra 20% gains and weren’t satisfied with “good enough”, your unbridled enthusiasm got the best of you and your long-term fitness plan is wrecked.

Remember, fitness must be kept as a lifestyle.  There is nothing more important than consistency/longevity when it comes to the positive benefits of exercise on your health and overall life.  Is what you’re doing now something you like well enough to keep it up indefinitely?  If its not, your goal should be to find something you DO like.   If you’re not able to, and must do exercise that you’re not very fond of, then do the least amount required to keep you fit, strong, healthy, and agile.   I always recommend non-exercisers start with making themselves a goal of trying to do 15 minutes of exercise per day, regardless of what form that may take.  One day it may simply be stretching.  Another day it could be a home workout plan that you have.  It could be going outside and shooting hoops, or passing the football, or taking a bike ride, or playing on the jungle gym.  One day it could be a brisk walk, or run.   The important thing is to do SOMETHING.   Something is SO much better than nothing, even if your “something” isn’t the most optimal way to get in shape.

When it comes to fitness, unless you’re one of the few who REALLY loves it and loves running, and doing bootcamp exercises, and hitting the gym, etc., then cut yourself some slack and find something that you can live with and stick with.  So many of the best benefits of exercise come from that first 15-30 minutes, and it doesn’t have to be excruciating.

The old “Left side/Right side” dilemma can be cause for heated controversy, but let me give you one man’s opinion on the matter:

Here’s what many trainers say:

“You should only train on ONE side. Period!”

Why?  For several reasons:

One:   You have a “dominant” side.  This side puts your strongest hand in the rear where you can throw your most powerful punches.  The “Orthodox” fight stance means your left hand is up front, and your right hand is in the rear where it can stay poised for a knockout punch:  the Right Cross.   If you’re left-handed, this is reversed and you’re fighting “Southpaw”, where your left hand is kept in the rear.

You want your strongest hand in the rear because that’s where your strongest punch comes from.

Two:   “You will fight the way that you train!”  In a fight, you will want your right hand in the rear, so that means you need to train with it in the rear so that there will never be any confusion as to how you will stand or punch in a fight.  You want to develop all the right habits so that it becomes second nature to you.    Switching sides during training only confuses the issue and your solid habits.

Three:   There is a lot to work on in fighting and in your technique.  You need to have your strong side completely MASTERED, and until you’ve done that, you have no business taking training time away from it and working on the other side.

Four:   It will take longer to develop your skill set trying to work both sides.  Its confusing enough trying to learn the body mechanics, transfer of weight/force/power, proper kicks, guard and fight stance, etc. from just one side. Adding in the other side will erode some of your progress as you get confused and you’ll be left with a weaker side and a stronger side, but no side developed enough for ultimate survival in the ring or on the street.


The above is the argument of many trainers, and they are all valid points and I respect that.  If anyone wants to train that way, it is certainly appropriate and there’s no need to change.

I however have a different opinion (of course!), and some of it is because of my unique physical makeup (which I will allude to), and others may have different reasons why working BOTH sides makes sense for them.

So here they are, lets start!

1.  Bruce Lee felt that your strongest hand, instead of going in the rear, should be up front, where it is going to be doing most of the work.  After all, you will jab far more often than you will throw a cross, so your best hand should be in the driver’s seat.  Also, your strongest hand should be up front to block because typically it is more coordinated than your weakest hand.   So already we have a fly in the ointment about which side should be up front.  Bruce Lee cannot be ignored.

2.  You may suffer an injury in a fight which may necessitate your switching sides.   You could break your front hand on the attacker’s head, and may now have to protect it in the rear.  Your front hand could get injured from a knife or other weapon.  You could suffer damage from kicks to your front leg so that you have to put it in the back.  Your eye could suffer and injury and your vision needs may require you to change your stance.   Now, if you haven’t become proficient on that other side, how comfortable are you going to be?

3.  Training on both sides evens out the wear and tear on your body:  your hands and joints.  If you throw 10,000 jabs during your training lifetime, and 1,000 right crosses, that means your left arm is getting 10 times the workload of your right.  You could develop and overuse injury to your hand, and your shoulder especially.

4.  Working both sides may in some way prevent you from developing conditions based on overuse.  I have two bones fused in my neck.  If I look too long to any one side, it causes migraines.  In a fight stance, your neck is looking to one side more than the other.  Switching sides on a regular basis allows a break in each direction before problems can set in and evens out the stress.

Not all of your limbs get used equally in training.  The front hand seems to punch more, and the rear leg seems to kick more.  Switching to the opposite side gives all body parts a chance to participate equally in the training, so if you’re training in order to maintain a strong, healthy, fit, balanced body, it just makes sense to work both sides as equally as possible.

5.  Sometimes after a technique you might inadvertently land with your “other” leg forward.  You are not in charge of the fight.  Your opponent can and will do things to throw a monkey wrench in your game plan.  You might throw a switch kick completely intent on putting it back forward when you land, but your opponent has moved in on you, and now that leg is stuck to the rear and you must both attack and defend from this position.   Wouldn’t it be nice if you were just as proficient on this side?

So there you have it and the case is made for training both sides equally.  Read thru the arguments and “let each man be fully convinced in his own mind” as the Good Book sayeth.  If you’ve decided you want to train both sides, and your trainer will let you, your next question might be how to go about it.

Here is what I do:  if I’m doing a drill, lets say “5 front push kicks, 5 rear push kicks”, I will simply do the set, then switch stances and do the same set from the other side.

If I’m executing a combination, I might do it first on one side, then on the next, alternating continuously until the bell rings.  Or you might want to do the first half of the round on one side, then switch, whatever.  I try to really equalize the work on each side, but you might not need be quite so anal about it and perhaps you just want 25% of your training to be on your other side.   Whatever works best for you and is your best interest depending on your training needs and your body structure.   While I realize that this little treatise in no masterpiece, I hope it is able to serve as food for thought for those that are wrestling with this issue.

The Kickboxing At Home Workout System was designed over a period of a few years to follow the best practices of exercise science and psychology.  Every effort was made to be in complete alignment with what the top experts and researchers were revealing.   For many workout routines, you have to wonder if what you’re doing is in agreement with what the researchers are recommending; with THIS program you do NOT, because it is in complete harmony with the best training knowledge science has to offer.  Consider these few areas:

1.  The Weariness of Decisions:  Psychologists have discovered that making numerous decisions wears out our mental faculties and leaves us less satisfied with our choices.  Our System was created so that when you stand before the heavy bag, you ALREADY KNOW what to do, so that you don’t have to make a decision or choice about what technique or combination to throw! Without using this System, you would actually have to make choice after choice, up to 30 times per round, leaving you much more mentally fatigued after your training session.  That is why you’re left with NO STRESS after your training sessions on this program; it has been specifically engineered to accomplish this goal.

2.  H.I.I.T.   Exercise scientists have discovered and reaffirm with study after study that high intensity interval training is the best way to get maximum “bang for your buck” with your exercise routine.  Going at high intensity, followed by a short break, over and over again, has been proven to be much more beneficial than doing “endurance” workouts, like long-distance running.  There are always articles coming out about “the best way to exercise”.  Aren’t you glad that all you have to do is follow this System and all that has already been taken into account for you?  You never have to worry that you’re not on the right track.  You can forget about having to stay caught up on the latest information coming out in the magazines and on TV.  Everything about this System has been designed to make sure its perfect, and over the last 3 years its been modified and refined and perfected to such an extent that there is NOTHING left to change!
3.  Getting Psychology on YOUR Side:   Most people struggle with having the intention to exercise, but when the time for it comes they meet with resistance in their minds because they don’t enjoy what they’re doing and therefore look for a way out.  This System was designed so that when you first start each session you’re always starting with   “Round One:  Seated Stretches”, so that what you’re about to do is EASY and you need not be worried whether or not you’re “in the mood” or “have enough energy”, etc.  The next few rounds slowly increase the energy output so that each round simply flows into the next, and each one gets you in the mood for the following one.  This lets you use your psychology to work FOR you and not against you.  You will have much more long-term success with this type of System; in fact, moreso than any other workout routine!
4.  Muscle Confusion Principle:  Exercise scientists have been touting for decades to mix up your workout routine, create “muscle confusion”, and to keep your body guessing and adjusting to the stimulus you’re placing upon it.  In all fairness, many of the latest workout programs accomplish this goal very well, like the P90X for example.  In our System, each workout has you doing a unique set of combinations on the heavy bag, until you’ve gone thru all 12 workouts.  For most people, this is less than once per month, so you will never get sick of a workout.  You will probably only see the workout 8-10 times in a whole year- how could you possibly get sick of it at that pace?  You can’t and you won’t!
5.  Long-Term Solution vs. Short-Term Fad:   The HUGE advantage this System has over every other workout routine is that it is tempered so that it can be used week after week, month after month, year after year- without burning you out!  Most routines go for the “IMPRESS” factor by showing how “hard” they are, and how “rapidly” you’re going to see maximal results.  This is short-sighted, and only works for a small minority of people.  Most of them will burn you out quite quickly, and you will begin to hate doing them, and possibly start hating exercise in general.  You will go gangbusters for the first 6-8 weeks, then you will take a deep plunge off the exercise wagon and you won’t return until you’ve developed the intestinal fortitude to begin again, or you’ll wait until “New Years” to resolve yourself to pick back up, or you’ll spend more money getting the latest DVD program from the infomercial.  And you’ll repeat this cycle over and over again. You will always be taking one step forward and two steps back.  And you run the risk of getting sick and injured if you try to stay on.  Oh, by the way, I hope you enjoy “bootcamp” exercises, because almost all of the programs are nothing more than numerous bootcamp exercises given to you in various combinations and intensities, week after week.  They are no fun, and you will have to FORCE yourself with every ounce of willpower to continue, and this internal battle will take place every single day.  Believe me, I’ve done it, and so has probably everyone you know- and yourself- and it has never proven to be an effective long-term strategy to making exercise a consistent part of your life.  With exercise, NOTHING is as important as CONSISTENCY.  Even a poor program- that you will do, is better than an awesome program- that you won’t do!
6.  Avoiding Overtraining:   One of the most often overlooked biological factors to a successful workout system is the ability to recover.  Without recovery, you cannot progress.  Most programs have you going way past the point you can recover from before your next workout.  Any effort that is given past this point is simply wasted energy and effort.  Energy, mind you, expended on something you hate doing (ie. bootcamp exercises).  The Kickboxing At Home System has been specifically designed so that YOU can control the energy output level and adjust it to your own level of fitness.  A beginner and an advanced athlete can both use the exact same workout and each get the results he or she sought after with equal success.  How and why, you ask?  Because the heavy bag rounds are easily adaptable to one’s specific physiological makeup:  if you’re less fit, you simply do the fight combinations with less vigor, take more time between each combo, use less footwork and movement, etc.  The Rounds are adjustable to between 2-5 minutes, so each person can choose their own ideal level.  Or if you have less time one day, simply put the Round Timer on 2-minute rounds and go at full intensity.  I love doing it like this every now and then; its so much fun!
My general advice to people is to exercise around 85-90% of their potential.  You need that extra 10-15% that you left in the tank to recover with after the workout.  Most other exercise programs constantly are pushing you 100% day after day, which leads to overtraining.  Here’s what happens when you overtrain:
– Your body stops responding to exercise.
– You get sick or develop and injury (this is your body’s way of forcing you to slow down).  You will typically get a flu-like illness, a throat infection, or something similar.
– You lose motivation and enthusiasm for training.
– In a really bad case, you will actually burn/lose muscle tissue and start moving backwards in your progress.  Translation:  all that hard work for nothing!!!
There are many other ways in which this Workout System aligns itself with the soundest principles, not only of workout science, but of psychology as well.   It has been designed to avoid injuries, create a strong body for your “golden years”, increase bone density, enhance flexibility, develop coordination, balance, and athleticism; develop greater cardio and respiratory endurance, build more lean muscle tissue and decrease fat stores (one of the major health liabilities leading to heart and coronary disease).
It also greatly reduces stress (which is bad for you both mentally/emotionally AND physically).  It can serve to increase your self esteem and body image, as well as help you deal with things in life in a more empowered manner.  Because it is easy to stick with, it gives you a sense of accomplishment and self-discipline, and that can bleed over into many other areas of your life.   When you’re on an exercise program that is much too hard and burns you out, and therefore causes you to QUIT, it damages your self-image and can make you feel like a failure and lessen your belief in yourself.
This Workout System has been designed to counter those liabilities and turn them into strengths.  If you have not yet gotten started but are interested in doing so, why not let TODAY be the day you take your first step?  This is a program you can get on and stay on with full assurance that YOU ARE ON THE RIGHT TRACK because you’re working WITH science and psychology in the most effective and efficient manner possible!

Should you create your OWN combinations?  The answer here is a resounding “YES!”  If there is a certain technique or type of kick or strike that you really like, or even just want to practice, add it in.  You will see that the “Master List of Combinations” that comes with the program is open-ended.  It is editable so that you can add to it (or heaven forbid- subtract from it) if it is to your choosing.

In fact, since the program was created, approximately 20 NEW combinations have been invented (or stolen… I mean “borrowed”) and added to the Master List.  How and why does this happen?   Well, I may be watching a UFC fight, or a YouTube video, or similar and someone is demonstrating a certain set of techniques or combinations.  If it looks good, or effective, or interesting, I will write it down and apply it to the heavy bag.  If it works well with heavy bag training, I will “archive” it (add it to my list).

The same thing might happen in your “kickboxing journey”.  You come across something you like, maybe from a group class you’re taking, or a fight scene in a movie, or a martial artist demonstrating a self-defense technique, and you decide you want to add it to your repertoire.   Well, put it at the end of your Master List!   Then, after you’ve added many new techniques/combinations, you put them in a sensible order and make a NEW WORKOUT for your notebook.  Now instead of having just the 12 that come with the program, you now will have 14, or 15, or 20!

Not that the number of workouts needs to be increased, but if you’re so inclined, go for it!

If you are just now purchasing the program, you will notice that not all of the combinations on the “Master List” made it to the “Workouts”.  Why?  Because, after the Program/System was entirely completed, I came across, or invented, NEW combinations that I liked.  For example, just today I created a new combination.  What spurred on this new creation?  It was the simple fact that I didn’t have a technique I find very effective in my System anywhere:  the backfist.  Yes, we have a spinning backfist or two in the “Workouts”, but we haven’t yet had a backfist from a guard position, similar to the function of a jab.  And the Backfist is great!  Its fast, can strike right to the temple, is a great opening move, and I can’t believe I hadn’t thought to put it in until now!   So what I did next is exactly what you’ll need to do as you create your own.  I went to the heavy bag, threw the backfist, and then asked myself, “What’s a good followup strike to throw after this backfist?”   I decided a Right Cross went nicely.  Then I had to decide, “What next?”  Stepping in with a rear/right horizontal elbow seemed good.  After that I decided to throw another horizontal elbow with the left, then a right and left Downward Elbow, and finally finishing it off with a Rear Knee.  Viola!   A new combination is born!

So, as it stands, I have about 25 or 30 “new” combinations that haven’t been put together to form new workouts yet.  They are included in the System under the “Master List” already because I didn’t want to deprive anyone of them if they could make use of them.  I got some of these from watching trainers- on Youtube and elsewhere, or fighters- on Youtube and elsewhere, do or teach these combinations, so I wrote them down and decided I wanted to do them at some point.  In the future I’ll create new workouts with these and then the System will REALLY be big!   In the meantime, create your own if you’re so inclined.  If not, just wait for mine!

I received this question the other day, so I figured I’d post a reply to it here so that others may benefit. The person was going to set about memorizing all the combinations, thinking he needed to do so in order to be more effective.
THERE IS NO NEED TO MEMORIZE the combinations, so don’t weary yourself with such a task.
There is nothing inherently special about each of the combos. There is no need to think, “After I throw a jab and a cross, then I should also throw (fill in the blank)…”
The combinations are created simply to give you TONS of ways to put strikes together. In an actual fight, techniques will simply “flow” based on where you see openings or weaknesses in your opponent. Sure, some techniques naturally follow others, and for various reasons.  For example,  a right cross naturally follows a jab because the jab serves as a distraction and/or creates an opening for the right cross to land.

A rear leg kick might naturally follow a jab too, because you’ve put your opponent’s attention “upstairs” so that the “downstairs” technique (a kick to his leg) will be more likely to land.

A left hook follows well a right cross.  Why?  Because the cross tilts the opponent’s head back and lifts the chin so that your left hook may now knock his chin off of his body.  Well, that doesn’t literally happen, but it sure makes a nice “lever” to shake his brain around inside his cranium!

There are many combinations that do simply “go together”, like peanut butter and jelly.  In fact, almost ALL of the combinations, with the exception of just a handful of “drills”, are put together simply because they DO make sense for one technique to follow another technique.  But that still is not incentive enough to memorize them.

In fact, memorizing them, while being a bit beneficial, has a few drawbacks and is simply not necessary.  For one, the combinations are always written down on your Workout sheet, so you HAVE to refer to them anyway.  To memorize them will simply add fatigue to your brain, and diminish some of the “stress-relieving” properties of the workout.  Why hold all this extra data in your mind?

Also, many of the combinations are very very similar.  Sometimes the techniques contained therein differ only by the order in which they’re performed.  This makes them more difficult to memorize because they lack enough distinction.

Well, the question was asked, “Should I memorize the combinations?”, and the answer is a simple, “No”, so why belabor the point any longer?  Now go have fun with the workouts!

The following is a reprint of an article I originally published on “Ezine”, August of 2012

Well, its your first day at the new gym you’ve just joined, and you’ve decided that you’re going to do things right!  Not only have you signed up for a year-long membership (to make sure you’re committed), but you’ve even arranged sessions with a personal trainer!  You meet your new trainer, and after a few pleasantries, he whips out the tape measure and wraps it around your upper arms, and then around your waist. Although you’re a bit embarrassed (because you have no idea what the measurements are going to turn out to be, or even what they should be), you’re assured that this is a great idea because getting down all these “markers” now are going to establish “where you’re at”, and then months down the line you can look back at them and swell with pride at the amazing progress you’ve made.  After all, numbers don’t lie, and its easy to fool ourselves that we’re getting better, so we better have some hard evidence to back up our assertions.

The trainer tells you that you’re 5’7″, 185 lbs, and have a 35% bodyfat composition.  Other markers are of course taken, and now perhaps you know your blood pressure, your BMI, waistline circumference, and a slew of other statistics.

You rush home excitedly after your first workout session to see if the scale has already started moving in the right direction!

Can anything be wrong with this? I mean, this is just the status quo, right? This is the way its ALWAYS done in EVERY gym across America, and watching those numbers change sure is motivational, right?

If you are overweight, and not an athlete, I’m going to give you several reasons why this should NOT be done, even though it flies in the face of conventional practice…

Number one: its embarrassing.  If you’re overweight, have fat upper arms, or a bulging midsection, you already know it!  You don’t need some young hot shot at the gym measuring to see “just how big” you are!  But this is just the first petty “warm up” reason; the important ones start now…

Number two: it can be very de-motivational!   “Wait a second, I thought the major purpose of this whole process was to fuel my motivation; why would it do the opposite?”  Well, the truth is, oftentimes numbers change very little.  And oftentimes, very slowly!  So slowly in fact, that you just may decide “exercise isn’t working for me so I might as well just hang it up and quit.”

Number three: and this is by far the biggest reason:  it is much more important that you START and MAINTAIN an exercise program, than how rapidly you’re seeing measurable results!

Let me state that a different way: activity is much more important than results.

Lets say that you finally started walking for exercise, and now you’re doing it 5 times per week.  Then you graduated to doing a little weight training, or bike riding, or kickboxing, or Zumba classes, or yoga, or whatever… Are you going to tell me that it is not having a positive effect on your body and health even though your bodyfat percentage doesn’t seem to be budging?

Aren’t your muscles and tendons getting stronger?  Isn’t your cardiovascular system being benefitted? Hasn’t your stamina increased and aren’t you feeling better about yourself? Aren’t your clothes fitting at least a tiny bit better? Of course! And now because your chart hasn’t changed much you’re thinking that you’re on the wrong track???  Nonsense!

The most important thing you can do for yourself is develop a “lifestyle of exercise”.   A lifestyle where you make darn sure, every single week, that your exercise program is not being neglected. You’re finding fun active things to do; you’re jumping on a bike and riding around the neighborhood for 20 minutes. You’re taking evening walks. You did a hike, or canoe trip, or skiing weekend, or jumped on your Total Gym, or went to the gym, or did your Kickboxing workout on the heavy bag hanging in your garage. Your lifestyle is no longer sedentary, its active!   That is a HUGE plus, and no one should be able to discourage you from that.  This is the “new you”, and you are slowly becoming active, more fit, healthier, stronger, and more athletic.

As long as you are DOING the right things, then you are on the RIGHT track, period!

Forget about “progress”, that is not always something you can control. But you CAN control whether or not you eat that second donut; and whether you do your exercise session for the day. Concentrate on those things you have the ability to control and forget about change.  Change takes care of itself, eventually, even if its not as evident on the “outside” as you would like. Does that mean you can’t weigh yourself? Of course not, but don’t become obsessed with it.  Because of your new activity,  you are getting healthier and stronger and you should be happy and proud of that, end of discussion!

Here is ALL you need to do; its a two-step process that ANYBODY can follow:

Limit your intake of sugar and fats. Before eating something, ask yourself, “If this is bad for me, how much of it should I really eat?”  (The correct answer, btw, is “very little”.)  Use common sense.  Get adequate nutrition, and don’t indulge in high-fat and high-sugar foods. If you like them, eat them sparingly. Don’t drink only sodas all day long; limit it to two, or even better:  one.   Trim a lot of fat off your meat that you would previously have eaten. Skip dessert frequently. Use your noodle, this ain’t rocket science!

Exercise. The amount and frequency will depend on a number of factors, but a basic breakdown might be:

If its really easy (like walking), do it 5 times per week.

If its moderate, do it 4 times per week. Or maybe 2 or 3 times with 2 or 3 “easy” days thrown in.

If its vigorous, do it 3 times per week. You could also add in some easy days in between, depending on your goals, time available, etc.

Change your mind, change your habits, and change your lifestyle. Exercise and activity simply MUST be a part of “the new you”.  Don’t settle for anything less. Find something you like to do and DO it. If you can’t find anything you like to do, do it anyway until you DO find something you like, but NOT exercising is no longer an option. Forget the metrics, the baselines, the percentages, and all that numerical data that you thought was a must. Nothing is a must except that your lifestyle changes and that exercise is now a part of it.

Thank your personal trainer for his or her offer of getting all your “stats” down, but tell him or her that you’re most interested in learning how to do the exercises safely, that you need to know exactly what each exercise or machine does for you, and perhaps a program that you can follow that will steer you most safely toward your goals.

As for me, I’ve chosen kickboxing as my “exercise of choice”, and if you want to join me on my program, I’ve developed an amazing home workout system that uses only a heavy bag and a pair of gloves. With it, you get your fat loss, your aerobic workout, your muscle strengthening and bone density increase… ALL the things you’re looking for and need, in a complete, interesting, and easy to follow program. Just go to my site for details. All the best to you as you embark on your new journey into a lifestyle of fitness!

If you’re interested in training on the heavy bag using Kickboxing as your workout, then please visit my site: I’ve developed what is probably the single best home exercise program you could possibly do, as long as you know basic kickboxing moves. Come check us out!

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Fitness is a lifetime endeavor.  Whatever you choose to do to stay in shape, it should be something that you can realistically foresee keeping up for your entire “exercise life”, or at least the “exercise era” that you’re currently in.

UNLESS there are valid reasons for you training beyond that level.  Here are examples of some valid reasons:

  • You’re training for a specific GOAL; ex. marathon, sport, event you have to participate in, etc.
  • You are an athlete and need to compete
  • You absolutely love exercise
  • You are relatively young and can quickly recover from super-intense workout regimens

Here are some reasons to MODERATE your exercise routine:

  • It’s easier to stick with long-term when each session isn’t grueling;
  • You will avoid burning out, losing motivation and enthusiasm for exercise;
  • You will avoid over-use injuries (repetitive stress) on your joints
  • You will be keeping the gains you make from your exercise sessions

When you train too hard, you must continue at that same intense pace or else your body will start to reverse back towards whatever pace you’re maintaining long term.  Translation:  if you were “extra intense” for a few months, but then find that you’re unable to keep up that level of intensity, all of that extra effort will only profit you DURING that intense phase; you will slowly lose that progress when it’s not maintained.

Why train harder than you’re able to gain from?  That’s like having a bank account that can only hold $100,000, yet you’re working overtime at your job month after month earning extra money, but only able to permanently keep that which can fit into your account.

Here’s what you should do:  train for the season of life that you’re in.

  • If you’re an athlete- train like an athlete
  • If you’re in your 30’s- train as someone in their 30’s
  • When you’re in your 60’s- train as someone in their 60’s
  • Consider your schedule, the time you have available to train, your resources (access to equipment, gyms, exercise areas, etc.), your preferences, your level of self-discipline and motivation, and your needs (whether or not you are at risk of disease due to obesity, etc.)

So how does all of this relate to “Good- Better- Best”?

There are a lot of programs out there that are absolutely great.  They are super intense, will get you in great shape, will challenge you to your ultimate capacity.  This would be considered by the casual observer to be “best” (= most difficult).  What are some of these, specifically?  Cross Fit is a great program.  P90X, Insanity, TRX, certain bootcamps, etc.  You can get on these programs and be pushed to your very limits, or perhaps beyond.

But the question you must ask yourself is:  how long can I keep this up?  If I begin to dread my workouts because they are burning me out, what will I do?  You will probably do what most people do:  quit exercise.  Maybe permanently, but at least for a while.  The result:  you will feel bad about yourself, you will question your “commitment” and discipline, and you will wait month after month until you can finally muster the inner strength to start back on an ultra-rigorous exercise scheme.  After all, you’ve been lead to believe that that is “the best”, so why would you want to waste time with anything else?   “No pain, no gain”.

Person A rides their bike twice a week, plays tennis with their friends, goes on evening walks, engages in a weight training session twice a week at home… and loves it!  This person stays in great shape, is happy, looks forward to their exercise, keeps a positive mental state, and is a consistent exerciser for their entire life.

Person B signed up for “The Ultimate Workout”, whatever that is, was pumped about it for the first several weeks, was getting in much better shape, and was super happy about actually getting started on this long-put-off exercise goal.  After a couple months, burnout began to set in and it became much harder to force him/herself to go; however, he mustered every ounce of willpower and was able to be consistent for another few months.  But you can only fight YOURSELF for so long, and eventually he was able to come up with excuses to go much less frequently, and finally- not at all.

Person B gave up on exercise even though he was on the “best” program.  Person A was only on a “good” program, but 10 years later is in very good shape.  And Person A will continue to be in very good shape (notice I did not say “phenomenal” shape) for his entire life.  Person A enjoys exercise and will therefore DO it!   Person B has been taught that exercise must be painful and grueling and has therefore come to dread it.

Which person is on the best program?

Perhaps its time to take a realistic look at what’s “best” for you.  What is best is what you WILL do.  You can achieve this with will “power”, or by simply being “willing”.  Using “power” implies overcoming a force in the opposite direction.  Overcoming force is conflict.  Conflict causes stress.

When you are simply “willing” to do something, this usually means that you like it.  There is no inherent force to fight.  There is no dread of exercise or fear of burnout.

So you can see that there is no “one size fits all” exercise solution.  It depends on the makeup of the individual, and his/her circumstances.  Person B may be perfectly “willing” to do the ultra-intense phenomenal extra-strength workout program.  Person B might actually like it and it causes no inner conflict at all, and if he can do it continually and still recover and grow from it- great!  That is his best workout.

But if you are 35, 55, or 65, and have never been an exerciser and need to lose weight in fear of diabetes or other weight-related ills, perhaps doing Person B’s workout is not “best” at all as far as you’re concerned.  There is nothing about a “workout program” that makes it best.  Best only comes from the MATCH between you and your workout, the compatibility of your makeup and circumstances to the workout’s demands.

There are of course workouts that are better than others.  For example, lengthy endurance workouts that wear out your joints and promote muscle loss are not going to be good for much except your heart/lungs.  There are also certain ways of working out that are just not as efficient or effective as others.  Some of them aren’t using the best of science and research when they’re created.  Some are much too convoluted and complicated as the trainer/designer gets too “cute” with the exercises in an effort to be “unique”.  Some want to get out stability balls, resistance bands, one-footed/one-handed, off-balance, funky movements when a simple lift or movement could easily serve the same purpose.

So, you have to be smart in your selection and choice of an exercise routine.  Use what you know of science, common sense, and your “gut instinct”, and choose what you feel will work best for you.  Don’t fall for hype, propaganda, commercialism/consumerism, and fads.  What you don’t know- learn.  And while you’re learning, DO something- walk, do pushups and situps, stretch, whatever.  Just GET STARTED and create the habit of exercise (and start enjoying its benefits), and you have the rest of your life to “fine tune” your program, to add or remove what does or doesn’t work for you.

Your BEST program is one you like, believe in, will actually do, and can keep up for a long, long time.  If it doesn’t fit that criteria, go ahead and do it if you can, but keep searching for one that does.   Remember, there is no “best”, just “best for you”.  And don’t let anyone tell you differently!

All the BEST to you!