Kicking and punching for fitness

Kickboxing class promotes fitness and self-defense

City College offers courses that will not only keep you fit year round but also help you develop self-defense skills.

“I will teach you to win a fight without ever throwing a punch,” said Jim Colbert, a professor in health and exercise science who teaches these courses.

Colbert is a seasoned coach, having coached high school, college, and professional football in the past. He also has experience as a martial arts instructor in Okinawan Goju-ryu karate and kickboxing.

His classes are an extension of his experience. They cover the basic principles of protection while stressing the importance of being aware of one’s surroundings and preventing situations that may leave one vulnerable.

Each class is offered as one unit.

“With a class of some 50 to 70 students, I depend a lot on my veteran students to help teach the class,” said Colbert. “These classes are a way to help both men and women of all ages defend themselves in almost any situation … and also being able to identify a threatening situation and respond with proper defensive behavior.”

Colbert’s kickboxing class meets in P-101 on Fridays from 8 a.m. to 11:05 a.m.

Some special attire is required for the classes. All students are expected to wear black clothing, as well as purchase and be able to wrap their hands in standard boxing hand wraps.

On rare occasions, Colbert will divide the class by gender and have Cortez Rivera, his assistant coach, teach the women.

Rivera has been Colbert’s assistant for eight years. Rivera is a trained fighter who is working towards his bachelors degree in health and exercise science.

“It’s a good outlet for the community and also helps improve self-esteem,” said Rivera about the class.

Kickboxing class promotes fitness and self-defense

“I love to fight and this class is great because it helps me learn new fighting techniques,” said Ashley Smallwood, a business major who has been fighting since 2008.

After taking Tae Bo, Leslie Gonzalez decided to take Colbert’s class.

“I love taking this class and Colbert is a great teacher,” she said.

Juan Carlos Jimenez-Cruz has been Colbert’s student since 2009. Being raised in a fairly bad neighborhood, he decided to take the classes as a way to learn to protect himself and his family.

“It shows you survival skills and it’s really good for women to learn how to fight and win,” said Jimenez-Cruz.

Every student in Colbert’s class has their own reason for attending a class but they all agree that it helps with fitness, self-defense, and the personal aspects of their lives.

Colbert’s kickboxing class is listed as PHYE 233 in the class schedule.

Students interested in taking this class or another physical education course next semester can look under Physical Education in the course catalog.