Martial arts aren’t exactly the first thing that you think of when you think of Belfast – as it wouldn’t be when you think of pretty much any other city in the UK. Yet, whilst we don’t make that association naturally, maybe we should.
Recently, in 2017, the Northern Irish team at the World Kickboxing and Karate Union won a whopping thirty-six medals – including eleven golds. Considering that the team itself had only twenty-eight competitors, it is really quite a remarkable number.
Meanwhile, Northern Ireland boasts kickboxing world champions like Daniel Quigley, who held world titles in four different ISKA – International Sport Karate Association – competitions. He’s also trained a number of kickboxers to be world champions themselves.
So, whatever you thought of kickboxing in Belfast, you should know that Northern Ireland holds its own in any conversation about the martial art. And if you want to get in shape with kickboxing, you’ll be walking in a tradition of excellence.
That’s what we’re here to do today: to showcase for you the best kickboxing and martial arts classes in Belfast – and to hook you up with a martial arts instructor who will bring the power and elegance out of you to become a kickboxing professional.
Let’s take a look at the options you’ve got across the city – from adult programs to kids martial arts, from fitness kickboxing to proper sparring, from self-defense classes to private instruction. We hope you find the option that works best for you!
The things you’ll need to make the most of your kickboxing lessons.
The question why learn kickboxing? is one that will probably torment parents or partners more than you the one doing it.
The martial arts – and learning any fighting techniques in general – have a bit of an aura of riskiness and danger. Undeservedly so. Because if you know what you are doing, there is really very little risk at all.
The best martial arts are not so much about punching bits out of each other as trying to better yourself – to improve your self-confidence, self-control, and self-discipline through a control of your body and a respect for your opponent. It’s much more about the grace, elegance, and precision of your punches than the ability to hurt someone devastatingly.
However, let’s take a moment here to look at the arguments you can use to persuade your mum – or maybe even yourself – that kickboxing really is a great sport to take up. In short, it’s good for your health, your brain, and your attitude to life.
Firstly, taking a kickboxing class will do wonders for your physical fitness. There’s no such thing as unfit martial artists – and if you keep going to your kickboxing training, you’ll find yourself in the best shape you’ll have ever been in.
That you’ll get fit is simply not debatable, really – as kickboxing, and hand-to-hand combat in general, combines strength and muscle training with intense cardio workouts, stamina training, and calorie-burning. It’s one of those sports that, in its intense dynamism, works on all parts of your general health.
The benefits of this can’t really be disagreed with.
Yet, the benefits of taking kickboxing training are not limited to those for your body.
Rather, kickboxing is an essentially social sport, demanding respect for your opponent – as well as supreme self-respect – and an ability to take criticism, to learn from others, and to grow together. Kickboxing alone is not really kickboxing at all – and, really, it’s just a little sad.
The social benefits of the sport bring others with them: it’s good for your mental health, you stress levels, your life skills in general – and it gives an excellent opportunity for the release of all your pent-up aggression.
The health benefits of kickboxing can’t be overstated
Finally, the great benefit to your life that kickboxing offers is the ability to look after yourself in tricky situations. To learn self-defense techniques is not something that is only useful in the gym.
To feel like you can walk down the street pretty safely is one of life’s great privileges – and is only really ensured by proficiency in a martial art. This applies particularly to women – and the desire for some to be able to handle themselves is perhaps driving the new craze in the martial arts in the west.
Fingers crossed that we’ve done enough to convince you of the real worth of the martial arts.
So, enough of the whys; let’s take a look at the wheres instead.
Belfast is well-equipped with martial arts gyms and training centres. Yet, the thing you need to take care to do is to track down the kickboxing classes themselves. With martial arts schools offering Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, taekwondo, Kung Fu, Krav Maga, Jeet kune do – and all other manner of martial arts – it’s important that you find the precise boxing class you want.
So, enough, let’s take a look at the kickboxing classes in Belfast and a little further afield. We hope you find the one that suits you best!
After twenty-five years in business, Bill Murray’s ProKick Gym – or, as it is affectionately known, the ‘Home of Champions’ – is still going strong.
Based in Wilgar Street, ProKick provides kickboxing training to fighters of all levels – from total beginners to literal world champions. Murray has been a world champion himself, and he knows how to produce effective fighters.
From sparring for beginners to competition training, from casual self-defence classes to fitness training, there’s something for everyone – no matter what you hope to get out of your kickboxing.
Students have always had it lucky when it comes to sports training. And when it comes to kickboxing – and Muay Thai, its traditional Thai ancestor – the same stands for students at Queen’s University.
You guys have the opportunity to learn kickboxing without even leaving the campus – with a trainer skilled in the arts of Muay Thai and Mugendo kickboxing.
Of course, aimed at students, it ain’t gonna break the bank either.
Victory Martial Arts is another iconic martial arts gym in Belfast, this time based on the Castlereagh Road. These guys offer a formidable array of martial arts classes – including kickboxing, Jiu Jitsu, specific classes for kids and for women, and separate classes for contact styles too.
They’ve been going for fifteen years, and with their wealth of experience, you’ll get the skills you need to excel both in the martial arts and more generally in life.
Different types of kickboxing have different rules – by the way
Chum Sut Martial Arts Academy is a martial arts school that provides training in a whole range of martial arts – from kickboxing (STX style) to submission wrestling, from MMA to weapons training.
They are a skilled bunch, and the clients they pull in are hugely varied – from the age of seven to eighty-one.
If you want to learn kickboxing, you’ll be in safe hands – and you can try something totally new too.
The Concept Martial Arts Academy Belfast do something a little different. It’s not kickboxing specifically, but it’s jeet kune do – or the martial art that developed from the personal practice and philosophy of the great Bruce Lee.
Combining aspects of Muay Thai, Kung Fu, savate and karate – all disciplines that are ancestors of kickboxing too – jeet kune do is the ‘way of intercepting fist’, or, as Bruce Lee described it, ‘the art of fighting without fighting’.
It’s self-defence primarily. However, as a sort of freestyle kickboxing, it’s a great opportunity to develop your own martial art style.
Not all kickboxing needs to take place in a class – nor in the traditional training style.
At Superprof, we facilitate private tuition, connecting students of all levels, ages, and interests to the enthusiastic and experienced tutors that can show them the ropes. Alongside kickboxing, you can learn literally any subject through Superprof. Literally, we say, because we have tutors of over a thousand different subjects across the globe.
For kickboxing classes, you can learn wherever you want. In your own home, online, or in your local gym – with a trainer that knows exactly how to turn you into a pro fighter.
Just search for the trainer that you need, get in touch, and organise a lesson. The first hour will be free!