Why I Quit Kickboxing

Sometime in the recent past, my best friend and I persuaded each other to take kickboxing classes. I remember the moment the idea was proposed: it was while walking home after watching amateur fights in the back of our local motorcycle gang’s bar. Yeah. My friend was all, “We should fight each other.” And I was like, “Um.. maybe we could just take kickboxing classes instead?”

So, we eventually did take said kickboxing classes together. They were surprisingly educational and a bonding experience too – we got to take turns beating the sh** out of each other through the useful buffer of padding several inches thick. After a half dozen classes I kind of stopped going, but my friend continued on, even buying pink boxing gloves (which are super cute!). So why did I quit? Well, the money was the most obvious thing, but underneath was the real reason – I was kind of starting to scare myself.

I remember the moment I decided I should ease off the upper cuts. I was at a warehouse party, with the same friend, and we were standing near the back watching some sh***y Brooklyn garage-punk band. We were enjoying ourselves and minding our own business when these two drunk girls barrelled into us with lit cigarettes and hair flying. I became a one-woman mosh pit and pushed one of the girls away as hard as I f**king could. I couldn’t quite hear over the noise but it sounded like one of them was like, “Uhhh what the f**k man?” while continuing to stumble around in the near vicinity. I looked down and realized I had unconsciously gotten into the fight position: one foot behind the other, my fists clenched and slightly raised. My teeth were set and my nostrils flared, and I was eyeing these girls with the steeled focus of a tigress who’s been stepped on by a weak-legged and feeble-minded gazelle. I WANTED one of them to faux-karate dance into me again, so I could have the chance to unleash my killer left hook. Holy sh**, is this how guys feel when they get into bar fights?!

Luckily for everyone involved, the girls decided it was more fun up at the front, leaving me to let my testosterone-induced rage slowly subside. My friend and I stepped out to have a smoke, and I realized that I felt bad that the adrenaline rush had felt so good. What would have happened if I had actually thrown a punch at that girl? There probably would have been some hair pulling, maybe some meanie would have stepped on my glasses. I probably would have cried. It would have been like I started out as Nick’s tough-bitch lawyer girlfriend and then finished as Jess getting her ass beat. I’m sorry for that New Girl reference, but I’m just trying to illustrate that, overall, it wouldn’t have been worth it to get into the first real girl fight of my life. I should wait for a worthier opponent, at least.

So, despite articles I’ve read saying that sports create a ‘healthy outlet’ for women, I decided that kickboxing was not one those and have gone back to the socially acceptable passive aggressive behavior we ladies have all come to know and love. Now, I’m going to use my powers for good, instead of evil, and will go bake some cookies.

You can read more from Maris Kaplan on her blog.

Feature image via Meghan Loghue.

Filed Under