Hitting & Kicking
You what what?
Boxing - You try to hit the other guy with your hands.
Kickboxing - It’s boxing but with kicking too.
Muay Thai - It’s kickboxing but with knees and elbows too.
There are loads of different striking arts available - Tae Kwon Do, Karate, Kung Fu - but they’re all the same really: you try to strike someone with a part of your body. Easy. What more do you want?
But of course they’re different in regard to their philosophies, the way they’re taught and the rules of their competitions - which in turn affects the techniques they teach and what they look like.
So why train “striking” at Cross Combat? Or hitty-kicky, as I’ll pointlessly call it?
No Dumb-Ass Kata (No Air Punching)
You know that bobbins you used to see in the old-style martial arts movies where hundreds of people lined up and fought the air in choreographed unison?
We don’t do that.
To us it’d be like having lessons in playing air guitar.
Now don’t get me wrong, kata is surely great in many situations, for example:
You’re filming a movie and you need 1,000 extras to look skilled by lunchtime.
You run a class and want 100 students in a space suited more suited to 20.
You’ve got no mates but still want to look martial artsy in your bedroom.
You’re incredibly good at visualising the moves of skilled opponents who you want to practice ninja-kicking without actually ninja-kicking.
You enjoy it.
But for us... we get our kicks in different ways.
No Attacking Inanimate Objects - (No Pad Punching)
So we hit pads and bags then, right? That’s what everyone else does...
Eh... yes they do, but no we don’t. That’s like teaching you to play Guitar Hero. It’s a fun game, sure, but for all those hours you put in you might as well have a transferable skill - like being able to blast out Stairway to Heaven at a party, or fend off an actual person if attacked.
All too often we meet people who’ve spent years working on their 17-Hit pad-hitting combos but as soon as someone stands in front of them with their body parts arranged “not quite where the pads were,” they’re lost and they’re lucky if they can pull off even a 1-Hit I-Nearly-Did-It Combo.
And No Waving Them About Either - (No Pad Holding)
Ok, I understand, that was the fault of the pad holder. If the guy had held the pads better for those three years, that wouldn’t have happened, right?
Possibly, but that’s another skill you don’t actually want. No one starts a hitty-kicky class because they want to be good at holding pads for people. I mean, do you really want to learn to stand there like an over-qualified scarecrow?
Or would you rather spend your time learning how to move your body to places where it’s safe from being hit?
Every time you hold pads is a time you’re neither learning to attack nor learning to defend. It’s like being the guitar in Guitar Hero - you might as well stand in a field waving at crows for all the fighting skill you’re gaining.
We Don’t Knock Each Other Senseless - (We Keep You Healthy - Because It’s Just A Game)
So surely there’s only one other option, right? If you’re not hitting the air, and if you’re not hitting pads, the only other option must be to hit your friends as hard as you can, right?
The problem with the sport/art of hitty-kicking is that it can look suspiciously like you’re fighting. And if it looks like fighting, surely you’ve got to hurt each other every time you practice, right? Wrong.
Hitty-kicky is basically just a game of tig - can I touch my hand to your face and stop you touching yours to mine? And yes, you’re right, you can make that game easier for yourself by having a semi-conscious, semi-paralysed opponent - and I can’t think of a sport that wouldn’t be easier that way - but that doesn’t make it obligatory, does it? Instead you can just play tig. Very technical, very skilled tig. And then, when you’re ready, you can up the pace.
It’s ok, we realise you’ve watched too many movies, played too many games, watched all those professionals being paid fortunes to risk their brains and faces and thought,”that must be the only way,” but we’ll keep an eye on things and help you find this better way to learn and play.
Safety First - Learn Defence Before Attacks
In this way you expand your awareness of striking while remaining safe. You will learn to avoid being hit before learning to hit back.
One of the most confusing things in the world of hitty-kicky is knowing where your opponents attacks are coming from - and you don’t need to be hurt or scared while you figure that out.
At first, a confusing array of limbs will come towards you from what feels like a thousand different places - and all you have to do is learn to see them coming.
Once you can do that, you can learn to block them. And when you can do that, you can dodge them.
When you can do that, it’s worth upping the challenge and seeing if you can do ti when they come faster and harder. Can you still block and dodge them?
Hitting pads is not what you need, it is this awareness that sets you up for being a healthy-brained and highly skilled boxer.
So at CC we believe there’s rarely a reason to hit hard until you feel secure and can see what’s going on. You wouldn’t play Tetris at Level 9 straight away - certainly not if you got punched every time you lost.
This way you will get to experience how real people make real movements and you’ll find real ways to respond to those real movements. And if you ever want to go harder and faster, we can hook that up for you too. It’s all about awareness (not awareness of where to hold the pads.)
Feel The Fear and Burn The Calories Anyway - (Get Fighting Fit)
Having a good game of hitty-kicky at Cross Combat is like going on a roller-coaster. You should be challenged, nervous, excited, teetering on the edge of an adrenaline-fueled breakdown - but you do it with the solid awareness in the back of your mind that you’re safe and that your health is being looked after.
Having hands come towards your face from assorted angles can be a very confusing experience. When you begin you may forget you read the last section above and may think the mild-mannered accountant moving around in comically slow-motion is actually a high-speed ninja junked out on PCP and Crystal Meth whose only intent is to eat your face.
It’s the 3D IMAX Experience of sport. It’s like you’re really there.
But you’re not. But by god that adrenaline is tanking you through the calories. Fancy a spot of fitness? Train on the edge. Why not?
Plus, of course, because you’re not standing around holding pads or any of that nonsense, more of your class-time is spent in motion, thus getting you fitter, faster, more flexible, and more attractive to the opposite sex in those rare public moments when you’re not actually involved in a ruckus.
And it’s Social Too - Even The Big Guys Are Friendly - (Self-Defence At Its Best)
to help you remember that it’s all about the fun, we’ve got a really lovely sound system to keep you entertained. “Entertained” you say. Marvellous.
And though we can’t make you notice that you’re already confident enough to talk to people, if you do you’ll find that we’ve got a really lovely, social vibe going on. Not only does that mean you’ll find it a really easy place to want to go back to when the apathy and comfort of the sofa are competing for your affections, but it also means you’ll get to hitty-kick all kinds of different people.
The great thing about being social and friendly is that folks are far then far more inclined to keep an eye on your health and safety. Friendship - even if just marginally above “aquaintance” - implies a measure of care.
Of course, if you consider things like hitty-kicky to be even slightly self-defence related, why the hell would you want to practice against someone as small and vulnerable as you?!
How’s that going to help your confidence? How would that help your understanding and awareness of how big. “scary” people move and what you should do in response to their movements?
What would be ideal - in terms of both self-defence and confidence - is if you could safely train with those big, “scary” people so that if anything untoward should happen in the wild back-streets of Edinburgh, at least you know what you’re capable of.
To further the ideal, you’d train with a variety of experience levels so you’re not lulled into a false sense of security such when a gang of marauding Glaswegians set about you, you know to offer them a swig of Buckie instead of whipping out those only-quite-good Tae Bo skills of yours.
Your Hour of Power - (Build Confidence)
After an hour of non-stop hitty-kicking against all kinds of people, while teetering on the edge of your abilities, you’ll be all bounced up and ready to set the world on fire. Bring it on exam stress! Bring it on, evil boss. If you can handle hitty-kicky, all that nonsense in the office, that lover jilting you, that crazy in the car flashing his lights at you because your own lights are off... they’ll all pale into insignificance once you’ve found the challenge of Technical Tig.
So come on down to Cross Combat. Or book a spot now. Or just sign up right here, right now, for the best hitty-kicking experience of your life.