Kickboxing a winning sport for instructor

For Sensei Manuel Juárez kickboxing is a lifetime investment.

INTENSITY – Sensei Manuel Juárez dons his hand wraps before a kickboxing workout at Lacombe Karate and Kickboxing.

INTENSITY – Sensei Manuel Juárez dons his hand wraps before a kickboxing workout at Lacombe Karate and Kickboxing.

For Sensei Manuel Juárez kickboxing is a lifetime investment.

Originally from Cádiz, Spain, Juárez now trains and instructs in Lacombe. He said he has stayed involved with kickboxing for two decades because the sport offered him health, both physical and mental, through fun, fitness and stress relief.

“Kickboxing was the sport that had everything for me,” said Juárez. He added that kickboxing has given him a way to connect with people and make friends wherever he has lived. Juárez even met his wife in kickboxing class.

Cádiz is built on a peninsula and is almost entirely surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.

As such, Juárez spent a lot of time at the beach growing up and in his teens, looking good at the beach was very important.

As a way to stay fit and look good on the beach, Juárez decided to give kickboxing a try after meeting some high school friends who were involved in the sport. Juárez added that he already had an interest in martial arts but never had the opportunity to try any.

He said he had previous experience playing team sports like handball and soccer, but was never very athletic as a child.

“All my friends were much better than me at sports.”

However, that changed with kickboxing.

Juárez said it took him awhile to improve, but improve he did.

“Kickboxing took a lot of effort,” he said. “We had class two times a week and I would go three times a week to work out by myself. I didn’t have flexibility, I didn’t have coordination, it took me a while to get better.”

Juárez went on to say that by the time he had earned his black belt and was skilled enough to be competitive at tournaments, kickboxing had become a part of his life.

He added that he continued training because he had invested so much time developing his rank and skill that he did not want to lose them.

“At the same time, I realized that it was a sport I could do pretty much for the rest of my life,” said Juárez. “Because you can adapt it. When you get older, maybe you have some injuries in your knees, you can box more. If I have an injury to my elbow, I can kick more. I have met people that were 60, 65 and were doing kickboxing. It’s a very flexible sport.

“It’s also very complete because you use everything. You have to have cardio, you have to have strength, coordination, flexibility and you have to use your brain. It’s not just about the strongest or the fittest.”

A third-degree black belt in kickboxing, Juárez has coached kick boxers at the national level. He said that his desire to coach at higher levels is actually what inspired him to earn his belts.

As a first-degree black belt, Juarez was able to coach at a regional level, as a second-degree he was able to coach at what would equate to a provincial level.

He added that he was not able to take the courses necessary for coaching at higher levels until he had the prerequisite belt.

Lately, he has slowed his advancement through the ranks. He said his last belt test was in 2003 and had he continued testing he would likely be ranked higher by now.

While his martial arts background is mostly in kickboxing, Juárez has dabbled in other martial arts as well.

He has studied Taekwondo, karate, Muay Thai, English boxing and kung fu in several different locales to supplement his kickboxing.

Juárez added that he has been involved in martial arts consistently since first getting involved with them 20 years ago. When he has not been able to train in kickboxing in the area he is living, he has gotten involved with other martial arts that are available.

news@lacombeexpress.com

 

Just Posted

The City of Red Deer sits at 249 active cases of the virus, after hitting a peak of 565 active cases on Feb. 22. (Black Press file image)
Red Deer down to 119 active COVID-19 cases

Province identifies 179 new cases Saturday

Member Terry Parsons’ custom built track vehicle.
Forestburg’s Area 53 Racetrack gears up for action-packed season

Site will also host a portion of the ‘Miles of Mayhem’ event in July

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported five additional deaths Wednesday due to COVID-19. (File photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Red Deer at 169 active cases of COVID-19

Province set to move into Stage 2 of reopening Thursday

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Christian Eriksen in stable condition, Euro 2020 match resumes

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Airport ground crew offload a plane carrying just under 300,000 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine which is developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
1st batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines won’t be released in Canada over quality concerns

The vaccines were quarantined in April before they were distributed to provinces

Grade 12 students at Wetaskiwin Composite High School took place in the annual water fight off school property on June 11, 2021. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
Graduating students in Wetaskiwin throw water fight after being told it could result in suspension

Students were told their participation could result in them being barred from graduation ceremonies.

The arrest south of Winnipeg occurred before Bernier was to arrive at a protest in the city. (Twitter/Maxime Bernier)
Maxime Bernier arrested following anti-rules rallies in Manitoba: RCMP

He’s been charged with exceeding public gathering limits and violating Manitoba’s requirement to self-isolate

Most Read