WEBMASTER'S NOTE: You can find a link to Master Thiboutot's web page in the Martial Arts Mall.
Q. WHAT IS THE CARDIO KICKBOXING WORKOUT?
A. I created the workout based on my experiences in the sport of kickboxing as well as my experiences in the fitness industry, but it's basically an extension of my own personal kickboxing workout. My studio is actually located within in a health club where the program is very popular and constantly evolving and improving based on the latest standards in the health and fitness business. This concept may not bode well with traditional martial artists but I would like to point out that I also had a background in Shotokan Karate (2nd degree black belt) and Tae Kwon Do (4th degree black belt). The workout itself is a circuit training schedule moving from station to station on a timer incorporating various punching bags and conditioning drills, and skipping rope. Participants work at their own experience and conditioning levels. I also use plyometric and abdominal exercises to strengthen the legs and lower back area. I continually encourage everyone to cross train and add a weight training routine into their program which they can conveniently do in a health club.
Q. HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE CONCEPT?
A. As a promoter, I needed to have more fans buy tickets to my events. Our sport needed more casual fans instead of those just interested in the martial arts as spectators. One lesson I learned from reading about Red Auerbach, the legendary coach of the Boston Celtics, was the concept of barnstorming. He took his teams around the country to play college teams as well as local YMCA teams to expose the quality of professional basketball to the public. If I wanted more spectators at my local events, I needed to have more people knowledgeable about the sport of kickboxing. What better way to do this than to have the "white-collar" community participate in kickboxing which is another reason why I located my studio in a health club. I could reach these people but modify the workouts to suit their needs without getting them injured. After all, they were not going to be fighters but could set a great workout plus the benefit of the techniques for self-defense.
Q. WHAT PROMPTED YOU TO DO A VIDEO?
A. About two years ago the aerobic boxing craze hit the market. I had looked at some of the videos but thought they were poorly done. They weren't either "aerobics" or "boxing" but some mishmash concept which used celebrities to sell a product. I decided to do my own video for several reasons. Kickboxing is a much better overall body workout than conventional boxing so why not incorporate the kicking aspect as well as the punching? Secondly, it was another step in mainstreaming the sport to the general public but on a much larger scale. Finally, even though I had never produced a fitness tape and had a very limited budget, I felt I could produce a better product using authentic techniques than what was currently out there in the marketplace.
Q. WHAT DIRECTION DO YOU THINK THE PROFESSIONAL SPORT OF KICKBOXING IS TAKING?
A. Gradually, thanks to the efforts of a lot of promoters, trainers and most of all fighters, the sport is moving forward. I've always thought our athletes were more skilled and better conditioned than the boxing community's counterparts. The old argument was always that kickboxers couldn't punch as well as boxers. (But, boxers couldn't kick as well as kickboxers either). Now, that has changed and fighters like Troy Dorsey and James Warring have proved that kickboxers can certainly punch. The sport has grown immensely overseas particularly, in Europe and the former Soviet Union. With the ISKA sanctioning four types of events it can incorporate a lot of fighters worldwide into its governing umbrella. Just as it did with karate in the fifties and sixties, it took a while for the public to embrace the art form. In the nineties and beyond, it will take gradual but warranted acceptance of kickboxing as well.
Q. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF POPULARITY OF THE GRAPPLING MOVEMENT?
A. In some respects, it reminds me of the old PKA Karate days when a lot of styles were brought together to compete under one set of rules. It definitely weeded out those techniques that worked in the ring and those that didn't. With grappling, it is the same situation and for the time being, those that can fight on the ground will win. However, what's going to happen when the kickboxers, boxers, shoot fighters. wrestlers etc. learn grappling techniques? It will certainly level the playing field and most likely give the advantage to those who can kick and punch effectively, In general, however, although grappling is great for realistic situations in street fighting, I don't think it is an appropriate model for learning the martial arts for kids. It's extremely dangerous and at some point will probably be banned by the government.
Q. WHERE DO YOU GO FROM HERE?
A. I would like to do a second video that uses no equipment. The exercises and conditioning drills that I use in class but aren't on my first tape could be used to supplement the fundamentals learned from tape one. I am also doing more demos and seminars. Even at the age of 46, I feel I am in decent shape. I am currently training for the Maine Marathon in October and love to play golf. I'm not saying that I'm very good at golf yet, since my 14 year old son can beat me already, but I'm going to get better.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION OR TO CONTACT FRANK THIBOUTOT:
web site: http://www.wowpages.com/cardiokick
phone : 1-800-270-5425 (207) 781-2560
Other Reprints available:
Kim Taylor - Swordsman Extraordinaire
Tony Interdonato, President of the Martial Arts Network