You come into this world kicking and screaming – your toothless gums gnawing at the umbilical cord. From the get go you’re looking for a fight. And then for a decade or two you’re put in a school, chained to a computer.

Your fighting instinct is put on standby. You’re allowed to kick and throw balls of varying shapes, but that’s it. That’s until you find kick-boxing – here your limbs can go crazy, finally you can draw a little blood. All you need is a high-end body – that includes a robust core, the fitness of a marathon runner and the quiet mind of a Buddhist monk. We can help you with the first two, the latter might take some time.

The Kick-Boxer: Leon Mynhardt

Leon Mynhardt holds three different South African pro titles. He was voted “Fighter of the Year” in 2006 by the World Professional Kick-boxing Council. He holds the South African Pro Am title for Muay Thai and Thai boxing.

He fights in two different weight categories, forcing his physique into different shapes depending on who he wants to fight. From the small town of Randfontein, he often floors his opponents within the first round and now has his sights set on overseas. The muscles you need: abs. The skill you need: reflex speed.

Mynhardt’s Perfect Move Roundhouse Kick

This is like a leg version of a hook – designed to take your opponent off guard. First raise your lead leg, pivot on your rear leg and throw the foot in an arc towards your opponent’s side. Aim between his right elbow and the line of his shorts. It’s a hard spot to protect.
Get your power from rotating the hip, turning the support leg and snapping the front knee around.

Target areas in kick-boxing

The temple (A) – struck from the side.
The chin (B) – struck either from the side or from underneath.
The solar plexus (C) – struck straight in or rising upwards.
The liver (D) – struck straight in or rising upwards.

Build your reflex speed

Your reflex is measured by the time it takes you to start moving and the total speed of your attack. Vary the distance or range at which you work.

> Keep your body relaxed, especially the attacking limb.
> Footwork must be explosive – slow fighters get ambushed.
> Speed is related to power. The faster you move the greater the potential impact.