WHAT IS KICKBOXING?
Program: Dynamix Striking System / Kickboxing / Muay-Thai / MMA Striking
Head Instructor: Antoni Hardonk, K-1 and UFC veteran
Instructors: AJ Barnala, Kate McGray, Lucas Drews, Sean Crenshaw
Duration: 1 hr and 15 mins
Attire: Dynamix training shirt
Equipment: Boxing gloves, hand wraps, shin guards (available at Dynamix MMA)
What is kickboxing?
Kickboxing is a modern martial art and combat sport which can be practiced for health & fitness, self-defense, or competition in Muay Thai and MMA. The techniques taught in kickboxing include punches, kicks, elbows and knee strikes as well as blocks and sweeps from the standing position and clinch.
Who is kickboxing for?
Everyone! It doesn’t matter what age or physical shape you’re in. Dynamix offers classes and one-on-one private training sessions for men and women of all levels of experience who are interested in a fun work-out and all the benefits that come with a kickboxing lifestyle.
What are the benefits of kickboxing?
Kickboxing has a multitude of benefits for the mind, body and spirit. The training sessions are designed to increase students’ strength, endurance, flexibility, agility and coordination, while practicing realistic fighting techniques in a fun and safe environment. Not only is kickboxing a great work-out, but it also helps students develop better focus and self confidence has a positive impact in all aspects of life.
KICKBOXING AT DYNAMIX
“We don’t only give you the tools but also teach you how to work with them.”
Dynamix MMA is a unique training center where people from all walks of life come together to learn the art of kickboxing, work out, and socialize. From beginners who want to learn the fundamental principles, to pro-fighters who are seeking to perfect their discipline – everyone is welcome at Dynamix! We offer two different types of training.
Dynamix offers classes for men and women of all age groups from absolute beginner to the expert level. The students work together during fun but realistic drills, and learn how to attack, defend and counterattack while moving and maintaining balance. They also learn how be helpful training partners who can playfully challenge each other to grow to new levels of skill, understanding and confidence. To make sure that every student gets the best training possible, Dynamix offers different classes for each level of experience. Every new student starts at the fundamental level and can progress to the intermediate and advanced levels after promotion through testing. The level of the students is visible through a color code of training t-shirts.
In addition to group classes, Dynamix also offers one-on-one private training. The private sessions are customized for the specific goals and needs of each individual and are an excellent way to supplement group instruction or to independently work towards mastering the martial art. Whether you want to learn self-defense, get in shape, or help prepare for competition–our focus is on working together to help you reach your goals.
DYNAMIX STRIKING SYSTEM
What is the Dynamix Striking System?
The Dynamix Striking System is a modern and effective kickboxing style and has it’s roots in Kickboxing as it’s being practiced in the Netherlands. This style of kickboxing, also known as Dutch Kickboxing, is known for it’s powerfull combinations with punches and kicks combined, and has shown it’s effectiveness by dominating the various international pro Muay Thai and Kickboxing competitions (K-1 and Glory) for the last 35 years. The Dynamix Striking System is the result of the natural evolution in technique and training methods when time tested Dutch Kickboxing meets modern day sport science and MMA.
What’s makes the Dynamix Striking System unique?
Just like any other Kickboxing or Muay Thai system, the Dynamix Striking System makes use of punches, kicks, knees, and elbows. But more than just a collection of strikes, the Dynamix Striking System is a complete system of striking including offense, defense, and movement, with the ultimate goal of putting pressure on an opponent while staying safe.
To do this, the Dynamix Striking System focuses on two core tenets:
• Interactive Pressure
• Distance Control
Interactive Pressure (or Action–Reaction pressure) means that the fighter’s approach to a striking exchange is focussed on offensive pressure while staying safe at the same time. In other words, the fighter tries to attack first (from as far as possible) to start the exchange, but can at any time switch back to defend themselves, and is immediately able to counter strike. To do this it’s very important that the striker can rapidly switch between offense and defense, which enables them to use offensive attacks and counter strikes simultaneously, instead of being forced to chose between one or the other. Therefore, all of the techniques used in the Dynamix Striking System are designed to function within a larger chain techniques while maintaining balance.
Distance Control is the ability to use reach regardless of physical attributes such as arm-length and height. Distance Control emphasizes mastering both offensive and defensive ranges and the abiltiy to instinctively judge between the two.
“We don’t break people down; we build them up.”
To optimize students’ training experience and improve the quality of education, Dynamix has developed a total learning strategy, unique to kickboxing. This strategy is designed as a roadmap for the students, complete with clear goals and milestones, and is organized as a full curriculum. The curriculum is broken down into a ranking system which determines the different levels of progress and a teaching plan to make sure the students get the most out of their classes on each of those levels.
To ensure that the classes taught at Dynamix are of the highest possible level, Dynamix developed a teaching plan. This teaching plan uses a ranking system to make sure that all students receive training that is in line with their goals and level of experience. This helps prevent beginner students from being overwhelmed or lost in practice, and also to challenge the more experienced students to keep making progress. The teaching plan is not structured like a normal roadmap in the sense of a straight line towards the end goal, but instead based on the circular learning process. The student learns basic techniques, develops fundamental skills, and begins to execute those skills in practice. At the next level, the same techniques and tactics will be reviewed while new details, techniques and training drills are introduced. This builds upon the existing foundation and increases variation, detail and difficulty. The teaching plan ensures that new students are not overwhelmed in class, but instead are being comfortably challenged to get better. At the same time, the more experienced students stay challenged to keep growing to their personal best.
As students gain experience over time and develop better technique and skills, they naturally progress trough various learning stages. Dynamix recognizes those stages and offers different classes accordingly, to make sure all students get the most out their training at each level of development. Testing days are done to evaluate the level of the students and recognize their progress by way of a promotion within the system. When promoted the students receive colored t-shirts representing the level of technical understanding and skill, just like colored belts are used with the gi/kimono in traditional martial arts.
Different stages of progress
In a student’s journey from novice to mastership, Dynamix recognizes 5 different stages of progress. Each of the five stages will naturally make the developing student change his/her focus to face the next challenge. To give the students the best possible instruction and guidance, Dynamix has broken down it’s ranking system into 5 levels. This allows the program to shift focus with the student as they grow and present them with the challenges that will bring the most progress in training. The 5 levels of development and their focus points are as follows:
Level 1: White Belt
Every person that starts training in the Dynamix Striking System begins at the Fundamental Level. It is not required to have any previous experience in martial arts or physical training in general, since the program starts with the very basics of the system. The students in the Fundamental classes wear the white training shirts as their uniform just like students in other martial arts wear a white belt with their gi/kimono.
The main focus points in practice:
• Fundamental techniques
• Footwork for balance
• Offense & defense with single or two techniques
Level 2: Blue Belt
When the student develops an Intermediate level of understanding and skill in the Dynamix Striking they are promoted to blue belt. Blue belts have access to Intermediate classes, and receive blue training shirts which indicate their rank.
The main focus points in practice:
• Extended Fundamental techniques
• Footwork for Movement
• Offense & defense with combinations
Level 3: Purple Belt
When the student develops an Advanced level of understanding and skill in the Dynamix Striking they are promoted to purple belt. Purple belts have access to Intermediate classes, and receive purple training shirts which indicate their rank.
The main focus points in practice:
• More specialized techniques
• Distance-Control and footwork for angles
• Offense & defense with Set-Up’s and more complex variations
Level 4: Brown Belt
When the student develops an Master level of understanding and skill in the Dynamix Striking they are promoted to brown belt. Brown belts have access to Intermediate classes, and receive brown training shirts which indicate their rank.
The main focus points in practice:
• Most specialized technique
• ambidextrous offense & defense
• Maximizing it’s own personal style
Level 5: Black Belt
A student promoted to a Black Belt in the Dynamix Striking System has a complete understanding of the system as a whole and can now train others in the system. The student has become a master.
HISTORY & LINEAGE
The Dynamix striking System (DSS) is a modern variation of the highly successful Dutch style of Kickboxing. While many are under the impression that the Dutch style of Kickboxing is derived from Muay Thai, in actuality, it has its primary roots in Japanese Karate and is influenced by many different martial arts.
Even though Kickboxing originated from traditional martial arts, it evolved into a very effective, modern combat sport. The section below describes the history, lineage and evolution–from Okinawan Karate, through generations of outstanding masters of the art, into the modern striking system that is currently being taught at Dynamix MMA.
1800’s Okinawa Kara-Te
Okinawa is an island, now part of Japan, that lies geographically in between China and Japan. Because of its strategic location and value as a trading port, there was a constant battle between these two countries to rule the island which they both occupied. Inhabitants were forbidden from carrying weapons by oppressive forces, but needed a way of defending themselves, which lead to the development of underground self defense training. Kara-Te literally means empty hand, and emphasizes unarmed combat even though there was some practice using common everyday objects that can be used as weapons.
1916 Gichin Funakoshi, Shotokan Karate
Karate was kept a secret in Okinawa until Gichin Funakoshi (1868) popularized it for the everyday people. He began studying this art at age 11 under Karate masters Azato (Shorei Ryu) and Itosu (Shorin Ryu). Later, Funakoshi trained with many other masters of his time and blended all his knowledge into his own style which he called Shotokan Karate. His philosophy in regards to Karate, was that everyone, irrespective of gender, physical strength or age should be able to practice the art form. Funakoshi introduced Karate for the first time outside of Okinawa in Tokyo, Japan in 1922. Gichin Funakoshi died in 1957 at the age of 89 and is widely considered the father of modern day Karate.
1953 Mas Oyama, Kyokushin Karate
Masutatsu Mas Oyama (1923) was the founder of Kyokushin Karate. He trained in various martial arts like kempo, boxing and judo, before devoting himself to Karate. He considered Shotokan Karate master Funakoshi to be his mentor but also trained under the respected Goju Ryu Karate masters So Nei Chu and Gogen Yamaguchi (creator of sparring in Karate). Oyama made name for himself by winning the first All Japan Karate tournament in 1947, held in Tokyo at the Karuyama Gymnasium, where all the Karate-Do schools where united. After this, he travelled the world to many countries including the U.S. and others in Asia, to give demonstrations and prove the effectiveness of his Karate. Oyama opened his own dojo in 1953 and created his own style of Karate which he called Kyokushin. Kyokushin means “ultimate truth” and was the bridge between modern day full contact stand up fighting and traditional martial arts. He was very open minded and incorporated techniques from many styles.
1963 Kenji Kurosaki, Mejiro Gym Kickboxing
During the late 1950’s some of the Kyokushin Karate fighters started to experiment with western Boxing to make their Karate even more effective. The karate practitioner Tatsuo Yamada wanted to create karate matches with full-contact rules for which he proposed the name “Karate-Boxing”. The boxing promoter Osamu Noguchi came up with the name kickboxing. On February 12, 1963 a Muay Thai event took place at the famous Lumpinee stadium in Bangkok, Thailand. Three Karate fighters from the Oyama Dojo (Kyokushinkaikan since 1964) and representing Japan fought that night against three native Muay Thai fighters. Japan won the challenge against Thailand after the Kyokushin fighters, Tadashi Nakamura and Akio Fujihira (also know as Noboru Osawa), knocked out their opponents using punches. The third Karate fighter Kenji Kurosaki, lost after being hit with an elbow. Kurosaki who originally came to Thailand as the coach stepped up last minute to replace the original fighter who got injured. After his loss, Kurosaki decided to study the art of Muay Thai. Later on he would state that the technique used in Muay Thai didn’t impress him much but admitted that he found Muay Thai impressively brutal and the realistic training methods used in Muay Thai, very valuable.
After he came back to Japan, Kurosaki opened his own dojo in the Mejiro district of Tokyo where he started to teach his own hybrid art which at the time he called Shin-Kakuto-Jutsu. On April 11th, 1966 the first Kickboxing event was held in Osaka, Japan. Just like the sport of kickboxing, the Mejiro Gym (now Kurosaki Gym) became very popular and created many champions like Kunimitsu Okao, Mitsuo Shima and Toshio Fujiware.
Toshio Fujiwara was the first non-Thai to win an official Thai boxing title in the infamous Rajadamnern Stadium in Thailand. In the 1980’s the sport began to die in popularity because of poor television ratings, however, K-1 was broadcasted on T.V again in 1993 which led to kickboxing’s resurgence in popularity. The rules were then modified to remove elbows and limiting aspects of the clinch.
1975 Jan Plas, Kickboxing in Holland
In 1975 three Kyokushin Karate fighters from Amsterdam, the Netherlands came to Tokyo to train at the Kyokushin Honbu (headquarters) but took notice of the new sport of Kickboxing which impressed them. The three Dutchmen; Jan Plas, Peter van den Hemel and Jan van Looijen, decided to shift their focus to Kickboxing and went to the famous Mejiro gym to train under Kenji Kurosaki. Kurosaki, nicknamed “The Devil” for his tough training routine, tested and accepted the new students in his gym and had them train with his champions Mitsuo Shima and Toshio Fujiwara.
Once back in the Netherlands, Jan Plas opened up the first Kickboxing gym in Amsterdam, named Mejiro Gym, to honor Kurosaki’s dojo. Plas and Jan van Looijen together with Tom Harinck (Chakuriki dojo), founded the Dutch Kick Boxing Association(N.K.B.B.). On May 31st, 1976 the first of many Kickboxing events was held in Amsterdam. Among the first Mejiro Gym fighters were Johan Vos and Lucien Carbin who later became successful trainers in their own right. In the years that followed Jan Plas would perfect the Mejiro Gym style of Kickboxing and produce many world-class fighters. It was in these early days that a rivalry started between the Mejiro Gym and other Amsterdam based Kickboxing gyms; the Chakuriki and the Vos Gym. The rivalries boosted the level of competition, which in turn resulted in a large number of world champions fighting out of the Netherlands. Rob Kaman of the Mejiro Gym became the first world champion Kickboxer in 1982, followed André Brilleman, Fred Royers, Milo el Geubli, Tommy van der Berg, Andre Mannaart and Remy Bonjasky. By the late 1990’s, Jan Plas left the Mejiro Gym and turned it over to his student, Andre Mannaart. From then on he would focus his energy on single fighters, outside of the gym, that where fighting professionally on the K-1 circuit in Japan. First he assisted his friend Johan Vos by training and coaching of K-1 legend Ernesto “Mr Perfect” Hoost and later on he worked with multiple K-1 champion, Peter “The Lumberjack” Aerts. On September 1, 2010, Jan Plas passed away at the age of 65, his legacy being that he is widely regarded as the Godfather of Dutch Kickboxing .
1978 Johan Vos & the Vos Gym
Johan Vos started practicing martial arts at a young age by learning an ancient Japanese form of Jujutsu. As a young man he developed a reputation as a strong Kyokushin Karate fighter but he also studied boxing and Savate (French Kickboxing) while graduating with a degree in Physical Education. When Jan Plas returned from Japan and opened his own Mejiro Gym, Vos decided to team up with his former training partner to teach the Karate classes while training Kickboxing under Plas.
In 1978 Johan Vos decided to start his own gym. Vos turned out to be a magnificent trainer who over time would make refinements to his kickboxing style and training methods. He used constantly changing training-drills to simulate different fighting scenarios to prepare his students for competition.
The Vos Gym soon had a stable of great fighters and with champions like Ivan Sprang, Mousid Akhamrane, Lucia Rijker and Ivan Hippolyte, the Vos Gym began to compete with the other two big gyms in Amsterdam; Chakuriki and Mejiro Gym.
The following years the Vos Gym would produce more champions like Ernesto Hoost, Peter Teijse, Michele A’boro, Tom Walraven and Jerrel Venetiaan. In 1993 Kazuyoshi Ishii started the K-1 professional kickboxing league. From day one, the Dutch fighters dominated K-1 and the Vos Gym was well represented by several fighters. Vos Gym fighter Ernesto Hoost won the K-1 Grand Prix title a total of 4 times, setting a world record. Ivan Hippolyte won the K-3 (later called K-1 Max) tournament at middle-weight and Hoost again won the only K-2 tournament for lightheavy-weight.
Currently, retired World Champion Ivan Hippolyte, a student of Johan Vos, runs the Vos Gym.
2010 Antoni Hardonk, Dynamix MMA
In 1990, Jan van Looijen introduced Antoni Hardonk to martial arts. Van Looijen was one of the pioneers of Dutch Kickboxing, who learned Kickboxing in Tokyo from Kenji Kurosaki, and trained his sons along with Antoni. Hardonk developed a passion for the art of kickboxing and became interested in competition and joining a gym with a fight team. He decided to join the Vos Gym, which at the time was one of the most dominant teams on the kickboxing scene. At the Vos Gym he had the opportunity to train among and learn from kickboxing legends Ivan Hippolyte and Ernesto hoost, and even receive instruction from Jan Plas himself. Soon after, Antoni started his competitive career and began to progress through the kickboxing ranks. At the same time, his eagerness to learn lead him to study other martial arts such as Kyokushin Karate, Savate, Boxing, and JuJutsu, as well. As he became a more proficient striker, he was taken under the wing of head coach Johan Vos and had the opportunity to study the art of standup in great detail. It was during this time that he developed an understanding of the concepts that form the basis of the Dynamix Striking System–concepts of body mechanics, balance, distance control, and movement patterns. In 2000, Antoni reached the highest level of professional kickboxing competition by winning his K-1 debut with a second round knockout. In the following year, Antoni made it to the finals of the K-1 Scandinavia tournament.
In 2002 Hardonk was exposed to the Brazilian style of Jiu-Jitsu as developed by the Gracie family. His desire to further develop as a martial artist made him travel to Los Angeles, Califiornia, to study under the Jiu-Jitsu legend Rickson Gracie. He would regularly travel to LA for half of the year to train at the Rickson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Acadamy. It was at Rickson’s school that he became friends with Rickson’s head instructor and black belt prodigy; Henry Akins.
Shortly after, Hardonk started wrestling with Soviet wrestling champion and UFC veteran, Vladimir Matyushenko. It was through this cross-training that Hardonk evolved from a striker into a complete MMA fighter. In 2006 Antoni signed with the most prestigious martial arts organization in the world, the Ultimate fighting championship (UFC) and became known as one of the most technical strikers in the heavyweight division.
In 2010, Antoni Hardonk decides to retire from competition and open up a gym where he can pass on his martial arts knowledge. Together with Rickson Garcie Jiu-Jitsu black belt, Henry Akins, he starts Dynamix MMA in Los Angeles, CA. Although Antoni transitioned from a fighter into a coach, he never stopped developing his own martial arts knowledge. In the years that followed he made adjustments to the different styles he learned to combine them into a single, effective fighting system for modern day MMA and self defense. Antoni and Dynamix MMA have helped and trained many UFC fighters, reputable kick boxers and grapplers along the way.