Cash in on Kickboxing

Kickboxing fitness classes are being introduced across North America, spurred by a consumer frenzy for Billy Blanks’ Tae-Bo, a martial-arts workout developed in Los Angeles, Calif. Unlike other forms of aerobics or group fitness classes, kickboxing is relatively new for the majority of recreational exercisers and fitness professionals. Although boxing-style classes have been successful in the fitness environment for several years, implementing a martial-arts-inspired class requires additional planning and special consideration.

Short-term hype?

While Tae-Bo has generated a sudden mass interest in martial-arts-based fitness, Libby Norris, a Reebok master trainer, certified boxing coach and aerobic program director at Canadian Body Works Fitness in Brampton, Ont., predicts that recreational kickboxing is more than a passing fad. “Boxing and martial-arts-style classes offer incredible benefits to a broad base of participants,” says Norris. “People really love these workouts.”

Regardless of long-term appeal, a high demand for this type of workout can quickly translate to additional revenue and memberships. At Olympic Athletic Club in Vancouver, B.C., a Tae-Bo-inspired Kick, Jab n’ Jam workout consistently draws 60 to 80 participants.

Suzanne Gove, Olympic’s fitness director, estimates that 50 percent or more of Kick, Jab n’ Jam class participants are not members. With a drop-in fee of approximately $10, the class draws a substantial amount of revenue from external sources.

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