If you're wondering if kickboxing is considered to be a martial art, the answer is not a simple yes or no. Kickboxing as we know it today only developed as recently as the 1960s. It is considered one of the combat sports by most people, but not necessarily a martial art.

However, if you think of kickboxing to be more of an umbrella term for 'kickboxing-style combat', then we can say its roots go back many centuries when many martial arts were designed for unarmed combat on battlegrounds throughout southeast Asia.

'Modern' kickboxing is a mix of Muay Thai, karate and western-style boxing (along with components of other martial arts, such as jiu-jitsu). Essentially, it's classified as a mixed martial art (MMA).

And, over the last decade or so, MMA has become a very popular form of fitness, and kickboxing itself is also a growing spectator sport.

If getting fit through a kicking and striking workout appeals, you might be curious to know where you can find kickboxing classes in Sydney or a kickboxing gym around regional NSW?

This article will point you in the direction of a range of kickboxing classes in Sydney.

Where are the best kickboxing gyms in Sydney?
A kickboxing gym has a range of strength training equipment, as well as boxing gloves and pads for your training | Source: Pixabay - Aberro Creative

First, however, let's take a look at the benefits of kickboxing and other mixed martial arts when you join a kickboxing gym or club versus working on your fitness with a personal trainer.

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The Benefits of Joining a Kickboxing Gym or Club

With the rise in the popularity of kickboxing as a whole-body fitness activity, every gym and every trainer is trying to get a piece of the action.

If your current gym offers kickboxing classes or lessons a few times a week in amongst all the other classes they have on their timetable or program, there is nothing wrong with this. A reputable gym will have fully qualified trainers who know how to teach kickboxing techniques for fitness purposes. If you're just interested in the fun and fitness aspect of this type of training — go for it, there are multiple benefits.

General benefits of kickboxing

  • Get fit
  • Lose weight
  • Learn self-defence techniques
  • Have fun and meet new friends
  • Reduce your stress
  • Improve energy and endurance

On the other hand, if you really want to experience actual kickboxing, or any of the other related martial arts (Muay Thai, jiu-jitsu, boxing, karate etc.), then a gym, club or academy that specialises in kickboxing is the place to go. Here, you will find trainers and coaches who have experience in the sport as actual fighters. They may have been on the professional circuit, so have experience in the ring, as opposed to training solely with bags and pads. In addition, they will have coaching qualifications and be an accredited fitness instructor.

Pros and cons of a kickboxing gym

Whether you join a kickboxing academy, club or specialist gym, you need to be sure that this focus is what you really want.

The benefits of the specialised environment include:

  • being around other members with the same levels of commitment and focus on their training and sports
  • access to the best coaches with the most professional experience at all levels
  • opportunities to learn from the best — coaches as well as other fighters
  • the motivation associated with being part of a team
  • encouragement to progress through different levels and learn the most up-to-date techniques
  • the chance to train with and learn from other fighters, at the same or varied levels
  • the opportunity to compete in tournaments
  • doing what you love with other likeminded people in a friendly environment.
What is kickboxing?
Gaining experience with other fighters in real situations is one of the benefits of joining a kickboxing academy or gym | Source: Pixabay - Image by Claudio_Scott

A specialised centre might not be for everyone, though, and you may experience the following disadvantages:

  • lack of variety in training activities and options
  • unwanted pressure to improve and move through the levels
  • occasionally competitive, less than friendly, attitudes from other fighters.

At the end of the day, whether you choose to learn kickboxing through a general fitness class or at a specialist training academy depends on your goals — recreation, fun, fitness or future professional champion.

Learning Kickboxing in Sydney

With a population exceeding five million, Sydney (the capital city of NSW) is Australia's most populated city.

Its unique blend of convict history, natural beauty, business and study opportunities make Sydney a desirable place to live — with its open spaces and mild climate lending themselves to exercise and general fitness activities.

Australia has well over 5,000 gyms and fitness centres — a large proportion of which are found in Sydney. Of these, many are general fitness centres that run a combination of cardio and strength classes along with personal training sessions and equipment for self-paced training. There are also a large number of freelance personal trainers, smaller independent gyms and specialist training centres and clubs.

So, how do you choose?

You can start by entering 'kickboxing Sydney' or 'kickboxing classes Sydney' into your internet browser. Be warned, you will be met with pages and pages of options — this is why it's important to know your goals and what you are looking for. For example, are you seeking a team environment? A women-only environment? Adults only? A personal trainer? A flexible timetable or limited-time program? Knowing this information will help you narrow your search.

Remember, if you live in another Australian capital city, you can do the same sort of search. Try looking for 'kickboxing lessons Perth', 'martial arts near me in Adelaide' or 'Canberra kickboxing coaches'.

Bearing in mind your goals, here is a selection of general gyms and specialist kickboxing classes in Sydney to (kick)start your search.

Kickboxing gyms

If you're looking for professional classes with a 100 per cent focus on kickboxing and related martial arts, such as Muay Thai, jiu-jitsu, karate or boxing, then you might want to try out one of the following gyms.

  • Martial Energy Australia

Located in Wetherill Park, Martial Energy Australia is a martial arts centre that teaches kickboxing, karate, MMA, jiu-jitsu and weaponry to all ages, from children to adults, in a supportive and friendly environment.

  • Australian Kickboxing Academy

If you're looking solely to learn kickboxing in Sydney, the Australian Kickboxing Academy is for you. They specialise in kids and teen classes, but also offer lessons for adults as well as personal training sessions. Professional and accredited, classes are tailored to suit your goals, whether recreational or competitive. Classes include both Dutch and Thai style kickboxing, as well as general boxing techniques, strength training and conditioning for all levels.

  • Integrated Combat Centre (ICC)

Catering for people from four years of age through to adults, ICC offers kickboxing, MMA, jiu-jitsu and karate classes. Their motto is 'one big family with no big egos', which means that fighters of all levels can feel comfortable in the friendly atmosphere of the ICC training rooms.

General gyms

For people who want a bit of variety in their fitness training, but still love the idea of boxing and kickboxing, a general gym or fitness centre that offers kickboxing classes on their weekly timetable is a great option.

  • Virgin Active

No matter what type of fitness class you are after, you'll definitely find it here at Virgin. When it comes to combat sports, Virgin Active offers boxing and impact kickboxing classes for all levels of fitness and skill. There are also Virgin Active gym centres in Melbourne.

  • City Gym

Describing themselves as a 'people-focused fitness centre', City Gym caters for all levels and offers classes for general fitness, elite training, personal training, rehabilitation and seniors. Their timetable is varied and personalised programs are a speciality. Mixed boxing and kickboxing classes range from beginners to advanced boxing and kickboxing (for the more competitive members) as well as classes for women only.

What training do you do in kickboxing?
Kickboxing training incorporates strength and conditioning work as well as endurance and cardio stamina | Source: Pixabay - Pexels

Women only

While some women prefer the mixed class environment when it comes to getting fit, this same mixed environment puts a great number of women off for a variety of reasons. A number of fitness studios and training centres, such as Club Pink and Fernwood Fitness, recognise this and, as such, only cater for members who are women. Other gyms and clubs have lessons and sessions specifically for women or dedicated training spaces that are women-only domains.

  • Bikini Bods Muay Thai Kickboxing

As much as this name sounds a bit ditzy, this centre is anything but. It began as an outdoor-based boot camp for women but soon transformed into a Muay Thai kickboxing franchise, with locations throughout Sydney and NSW, that offers personal training, meal plans, goal setting and other support as part of their package deals, as well as professional kickboxing classes led by trainers with extensive experience in kickboxing and the fitness industry.

Kickboxing trainers on Superprof

A number of personal trainers offer their services on the Superprof platform — why not see if there is a kickboxing instructor in your area or even one who can do online classes with you (it's not as impossible as it might seem).

So, if reading this has whet your appetite to try kickboxing, or dispelled the myth that kickboxing is only for tough street ruffians, our job is done. Get out there. Join one of the many kickboxing classes in Sydney. Have fun. Get fit.

Live in Brisbane? Check out the opportunities to learn kickboxing in the capital of the Sunshine State.

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Kellie

Kellie is an editor, a children's writer, blogger and a teacher. Any remaining time she has is spent on a dragon boat.