Cardio Kickboxing® Methodology
By Frank Thiboutot

Home of The Original Sport Specific Workout with a Kick Since 1992


Cardio Kickboxing® is a registered trademark, Reg. No. 1,890,451, 1995.
Use of the name without permission is prohibited.

The primary philosophical distinction between the Cardio Kickboxing® program and the multitude of other martial arts systems and styles is that it is primarily used for the purpose of exercise.  Not to enable someone to become the "ultimate fighter" or "Toughest person on the planet".

There are several methodology distinctions as well.  There are no “deep” Karate stances that might otherwise inhibit mobility for kickboxing purposes.

“Practicality and functionality” is the big difference between flashy and entertaining movie world techniques and real world techniques.

“Sport Specific” is the big difference between conventional aerobic dance and the Cardio Kickboxing workout.

Frank Thiboutot

BY Marcus DeValentino, Cardio Kickboxing Program Director

If anyone ever wonders "What in the world does Cardio Kickboxing® have to do with Mixed Martial Arts?" they need not look any further than the “Original” Cardio Kickboxing® Workout video and its evolution today.

With the exception of sport jujitsu grappling techniques designed specifically for the mat or, submissions, there is not one single aspect of the Original Cardio Kickboxing® Programs science, methodology, and distinction that is not rooted in fight conditioning and training.  The boxers and stand up fighters also have their versions of cornering, clinching, jamming, and trapping incidentally.

When we look at the training regimen of the Original Cardio Kickboxing® Program that is actually based on mixed martial arts training and coaching science we find ourselves with an unlimited capacity not only to preserve the integrity of the sport of kickboxing, but, to evolve as well.

When we speak of Cardio Kickboxing® in its essence we are not talking about a mere workout but, a training program and for the “more serious”, a way of life as with any combat warrior or fitness warrior.  And this essence is part Western boxing, Muay Thai, modified kicking skills of karate, modified strikes of karate e.g. the spinning back fist strike.

Let us break it down shall we?

With Western boxing we develop the power of the punching arsenal including the jab, hook, uppercut, cross, and overhands for offense.  For defense we have elusive and evasive footwork, constant moving off the balls of the feet, bobbing, weaving, slipping, and also crouching, hand positioning with fist on guard near the chin and elbows near the ribs.  This includes traditional boxer gym training equipment such as hand wraps, gloves, speed bag, heavy bag, timing ball, uppercut bag, skip rope, road work, and the medicine ball core workouts as well an non equipment based training concepts such as crunches, push ups, squats, etc.

Our influence from Thailand’s Muay Thai  (pronounced Moo Tie) with its variety of Contact rules depending on the sanctioning body, gives us shin/instep round kicks, knee kicks, elbow strikes, boxing skills, head butts, and advanced training training with heavier targets and emphasis on sparring drills.  For more on National rules please visit the International Kickboxing Federation at

Modified kicks of karate means less flamboyant and more direct kicking skill designed to knock down or knock out an opponent while minimizing the risk of being knocked out however, the primary kicking weapons are front push kick, round kick, side kick, back kick, and in some instances the spinning heel kick and inside-out crescent kick.  Modified Karate techniques went through a metamorphosis during the seventies when the stance became modified to suit boxing/kickboxing techniques but, as we have mentioned, primarily, the variety of kicks, jumping, spinning, flying, etceteras have been narrowed down to a smaller range of kicks more practical for kick boxing purposes.  An honorable mention goes to Benny “The Jet” Urquidez.

The latest evolution of the Original Cardio Kickboxing® workout is called "Cardio Kickboxing® MMX" with the MMX referring to mixed martial arts training and coaching science and as such, includes all of the above but, unlike the common fitness center workout, participants pair off and rotate with one another or they alternate roles between coach/trainer and fighter on a mission not only to bring out the best from one another but, also to win.

"Players win Games, Teams win Championships." 

For Cardio Kickboxing® and Fitness:

Cardio Kickboxing® was first introduced to the marketplace in 1993 with the video, "The Workout with a Kick"!  In 1996, the instructor certification program was developed.  Now, the program is available in book form with the release of Cardio Kickboxing® Elite: For Sport, For Fitness, For Self-Defense from YMAA Publishing at or at all major bookstores in January of 2001.

In summary, Cardio Kickboxing® is a fitness program that utilizes the concepts of Sport Karate derived from martial arts.  But, don't be mislead into thinking that it is only a program for those who do not take their fitness serious either.

As of October 2007 this official Cardio Kickboxing® program evolves again with the application of Mixed Martial Arts training concepts and various coaching sciences.



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