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Kickboxing hits Portland State

Bodies jostling, music pumping, sweat dripping: no, this isn’t Saturday night at the club; this is kickboxing, and it is taking the campus by storm. And for those who are looking for an alternative to the traditional workout, it may be the answer.

The possibilities for involvement in kickboxing at Portland State are seemingly endless. There are cardio kickboxing classes for students looking to get in shape and there is even a kickboxing club, which offers members a chance to learn some karate and how to spar.

Jessica Beaudoim teaches the cardio kickboxing classes and views it as a great way to stay or even get in shape. And for students who are always stressed out, the classes offer a release.

“The more you put into it, the more stress you can relieve,” Beaudoim said. “People can get a lot of stress out.”

Beaudoim also emphasizes that the class isn’t boring and can be quite enjoyable.

“I think it’s fun,” Beaudoim said. “I would rather do this than go running.”

A typical class consists of warm ups, which are followed by vigorous technique exercises. All the moves and exercises are done to dance and hip-hop music.

The class can be taken by anyone at any fitness level, according to Beaudoim. She also gives students the option to do simple moves or to move on to more advanced techniques.

The classes are taught during the day throughout the week at the Peter W. Stott Center in the small gym.

It is not too late to sign up for a kickboxing class. For more information about class times, consult the Spring Bulletin.

For those night owls, who only have evenings open, there is another option. PSU offers a kickboxing club, which is taught by 1991 Japanese Hard Contact Karate champion Juckucho Kent Kim.

Kim has been on several major movie sets and has even trained Bruce Willis. He volunteers his time to the club and teaches the class three nights a week.

Gordon Zimmerman, who does all of the coordinating, heads the club. According to Zimmerman, the club is currently trying to gain SFC (Student Fee Committee) funding, which would help the group pay for tournaments and general costs. The fee to join the club currently stands at $35 per term, but if the group is able to get funding from the SFC, the fee may be cut down to just $25.

The kickboxing club is similar to the class, except Kim teaches the members some elements of the Karate fighting style, and occasionally members have the opportunity to spar against one another.

Currently, Zimmerman is working to schedule a sparring tournament at Portland State slated for November. The tournament would be Japanese full fighting style, which means just about any kind of hit is allowed with the exception of face contact.

Zimmerman is adamant about the benefits of being in the club as both a workout and a stress reliever.

“It’s good for your balance and coordination,” Zimmerman said. “Getting hit and hitting back, it does blow off stress.”

For beginners who have never tried kickboxing, the club offers a beginning program on Friday nights from 7 to 8 p.m. For other days and times, contact Zimmerman at 503-246-6012 or e-mail him at [email protected].